October 26, 2008

The First Narcissus of Fall means...I'm bored?

Narcissus serotinus

I get bored easily.

This is not a very practical trait, but then again, no one will ever label me a one who is practical.

When I become bored, it's also not due to depression or of a lack of having anything to do, I simple grow less interested, and start looking for new stimuli. And so it is with my plants. The best way for me to fight my over-curious mind, is to continually introduce new stimuli, be it another genus to explore and collect, or the addition of a rare species of Narcissus, such as this new bulb of a early autumn blooming species from the area around the Mediterranean mainly Corsica, Crete, Cyprus, the East Aegean Islands, France, Greece, and Italy where this tiny Narcissus grows wild ( it's indeed surprisingly tiny - no larger than a dime). This bulb cannot freeze, so I keep it in my fall blooming Narcissus collection, which inhabits about 25 square feet of bench space in my glasshouse.

These 25 square feet dedicated to a collection is about normal for me, who has another 25 feet dedicated to the small South African bulb genus Romulea, and another 25 square feet ( or maybe it's more like 50 Square feet) dedicated to Lachenalia, another for fall and winter growing Cyclamen species, another for Nerine, another for Oxalis ...well, you get the picture.

The problem is this...I work all week.
I commute home late, and in the winter it is dark.
In the morning it is also dark when I leave.
The greenhouse is relatively automatic, with vents, and watering can often wait until the weekend.
I have had the greenhouse for 8 years now, that means * autumns of Narcissus that bloom in the autumn, 8 winters of the same pots of Lachenalia, the same species blooming every year, sometimes better than others, which is a little interesting, but now many are starting to feel more like a burdon, well, more like a dependent than anything else. And the heating costs don't help much either.

What I am saying is that any new species is welcome, as this tiny Narcissus is. No matter what, there are always surprises, this little baby took two years to bloom, I even forgot I had it ( after ordering it one fall from Paul Christian in the UK. This was the year that I was either going to decide not to heat the greenhouse, and perhaps start all over again with new collections, or....I was going to edit through each collection. Niether happened, and here I am watering and fertilizing every collection as they become larger, more of a burdon perhaps, since I insist that each have the perfect handmade clay pots, or the perfect black label, Maybe I just need to make more money and hire a gardener or better yet, a plant conservator - and treat my collections more like a scientific collection, rather than a hobby. I could be the curator, and my gardeners could maintain the collections. Of course, I would need more greenhouses, another glass alpine house or two. I think this is why I respect Martha Stewart so much - I 'get' her. When others say she is simple all about being perfect, or bossy, I always conencted with her as simple another obsessively curious human, who luckily now has the means to maintain her collections, her passions. Rare horse breeds, unusual miniature farm animals, heirloom vegetables, it's all about excellence and authenticity. Maybe I'm not so crazy after all. A little obsessed, but not crazy.

We had a hard freeze Thursday night, which killed the above ground parts of many tender tropicals such as Dahlias, Cannas and Alocasia. So I spent a good part of Sunday digging them all up and preparing them to be brought down to the cellar where they will spend the snowy winter just above freezing, in a bed of dry peat.

1 comment :

  1. Hello, it's always a pleasure to come here.
    The Narcissus is great, and it's realy amazing when new flowers appears. They start to be the center of our atention.


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