March 26, 2006

Crocus and Ruksans

Eranthis in an alpine garden
The Eranthis hiemalis, or Winter Aconite are blooming between the tightly poised rocks in the new crevice garden, as are some new crocus purchased from Janis Ruksan's bulb catalog in Latvia. I wish that I could afford more, one wants them all! I've been able to save some seed from last year, when I made some crosses, but I think that it is going to take more practice (and time) on my part to master my goals of rows of new crosses in my own garden.

Crocus 'Ruksans'

Janis did appear as a crocus though. The crocus above is named, 'Janis Ruksans. It is a new collectible form from Lithuania, available from his catalog, but also seed sibling ,'Ego' is also available, and in America from Odyssey Bulbs in Maine. Much taller before it opens. 'Janis Ruksans' surprised me this year, since I had left it in the bulb bed, and noticed last week that it's distinctly striped buds were protruding from the sand. I lalso learned today that many Latvians and Lithuanians are leading the way in crocus breeding. Funny, I'm 100% Lithuanian, so I wonder if there is a connection between that and my Crocus fetish.

Siberian crocus in rock garden
Crocus in crevice garden
I was asked to speak today at the New England chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society. Janis Ruksans, was supposed to speak on a national NARGS tour, but unfortunately he broke his leg, and had to postpone his tour, so I filled in, though not nearly as interesting, I am sure. I presented a digital presentation about my trip to the Italian Alps botanizing last year, (in the Dolomites). But Janis' slides, which he had sent along anyway to show earlier in the day, we're still most interesting to me. Imagine rows and rows of not lettuce, but Corydallis solida or Crocus. I am already making my order for July delivery this evening. ( he only ships one delivery in late summer). Also, Russell proprietor of Odyssey Bulbs attended our meeting also, with some impressive collections of Crocus and spring blooming Colchicums.....can I ever afford them all? His catalog is just as impressive.

1 comment :

  1. I love Odyssey bulbs, too. Last year I wanted to order colchicum from Ruksans, but I couldn't get anyone to go in with me on the order to spread out the extra charges.


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