}

May 4, 2015

CROWDS SWARM TOWER HILL BOTANIC GARDEN FOR THE AMERICAN PRIMROSE SOCIETY AND THE DAFFODIL SOCIETY SHOWS

'MOON GLOW' X 'TWIGGY' IS THE AWARD WINNING CROSS BY JUDITH SELLERS FROM NEW YORK STATE REALLY, CAN ANY PRIMROSE COMPETE WITH THIS BEAUTY? GASP- DOVE GREY AURICULA IS SUBLIME.

Ever so briefly, as I am so tired - which isn't good, because I have a long week and weekend ahead of with the National meeting of the North American Rock Garden Society which I leave for tomorrow in Michigan, but I wanted to share some pics from this past weekend which was stupendous - both weather-wise and plant-wise. Spring has finally arrived, with temperatures reaching into the 70's all weekend, perfect for our big party that kicked off the National Primrose Society show held in conjunction with the Seven States Daffodil Society show both held at Tower Hill Botanic Garden this weekend.

I won't bore you with too many details, as this is an annual event which I write about on this blog, but this year was so fine, with so many auricle primroses entered ( the fancy ones with farina white rings on them and so rarely seen here in America) and the daffodil show which had more entries than they've seen in many years, both shows were a success.


My friend John Lonsdale spoke on Saturday. I think I last saw him a few years back in Portland at a NARGS winter study weekend when we escaped to have some tacos.  I usually stop in to see him when we are near his home in PA which happens to be very near where we take the dogs for the national terrier show, which allows me me to stock up on some of his many cyclamen species - (I think he grows them all). Johns plants are extraordinary, as he is meticulous in keeping his greenhouse clean and disease free, as as a grower, his plants are strong and health, and his selection is unparraelled.  One of the only sources in the US that I know for for many of the Cyclamen species on his list.  I was able to stock up on my favorite species - Cyclamen graces ssp. anatolicum and C. graces. ssp. candicum ( Sorry, I kind-of bought all of them!).

A FEW OF THE CYCLAMEN SEEDLINGS PURCHASED FROM JOHN LONSDALE, AN EXPERT GROWER AND COLLECTOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA. CYCLAMEN LEAVE ARE SO VARIABLE, MOST OF THESE ARE HARDY FORMS, BUT A FEW ARE NOT, PARTICULARLY THE ONES AT THE TOP OF THIS IMAGE - CYCLAMEN GRAECUM SSP. CANDICUM, A TYPE WHERE THE BOTH THE FOLIAGE AND THE FLOWERS REMAINS SHORT IN CONTAINERS.


THIS PRIMULA ELATIOR WAS ONE I WANTED TO GET A PIECE OF - I WILL HAVE TO BEG AMY OLMSTED FROM VERMONT FOR A PIECE!


Then, Nurseryman Harvey Wrightman stayed with us s a house guest this past weekend. We always enjoy having Harvey and sometimes his wife Irene visits with us whenever they can. This time, Irene had to stay back in New Brunswick, Canada to help get plants ready for Harvey's trip out to the NARGS meeting in Ann Arbor, MI later this week. I'm triving there too, of course, but I don't envy his drive back up to Canada, and then back out the Michigan. I was thrilled to also have our dear friends from Toronto, Bella and Barbara visit. They came down to see the two shows, and to visit with us and Ellen Hornig, the former owner of the no closed nursery Seneca Hill.  Today (on Sunday), we had Bella and Barbara back over to the house so that they could spend a few hours with us as I just HAD to see some of their incredible photos from their 5 weeks exploring and botanizing in Patagonia this past winter. I think they were not-so-subtly trying to convince me to go too.∫


THERE WERE MORE AURICULA PRIMROSES AT THIS YEARS NATIONAL PRIMROSE SHOW THAN I HAVE EVER SEEN. AND THE CROWDS WERE HUGE AT TOWER HILL BOTANIC GARDEN, MAKING THE WEEKEND A SUCCESS FOR ALL ATTENDEES.



PALE YELLOW AURICULA'S ALWAYS CAPTURE MY ATTENTION

OUR TROUGHS AMAZE ME, EVEN AFTER A WINTER SUCH AS THE ONE WE HAD THIS PAST YEAR, EVEN THOUGH THE SNOW JUST MELTED, THIS ALPINE PRIMULA MARGINATA BLOOMED ON SCHEDULE.

THE PRIMULA DENTICULATA IN THE BACK GARDEN LOOKED PERFECT FOR OUR GARDEN PARTY AND TOUR ON FRIDAY NIGHT.

SOME OF MY PRIMULA DENTICULATA FROM THE HIMALAYAS - I DECIDED TO NOT DIG ANY FOR THE SHOW THIS YEAR, THEY JUST LOOKED SO NICE IN THE GARDEN. THIS DRUMSTICK PRIMROSE IS ONE OF MY FAV'S

ON THE BENCH, THERE WERE PLENTY OF P. DENTICULATA, SO I DIDN'T FEEL BAD NOT DIGGING ANY UP.

EVEN THE JULIAE PRIMROSES, A CREEPING, SPREADING VARIETY WERE BOUNTIFUL AT THIS SHOW. I WISH I COULD GROW THESE A NICE AS THIS!


WHEN YOU SEE DAFFODILS ARRANGED LIKE THIS, IT"S EASY TO PICK OUT ONES FAVORITES. I MADE A LONG LOST OF MUST-GET VARIETIES.

THE PINK ONES WHERE EXTRA SPECIAL

I LOST THE NAME OF THIS ONE ON THE LEFT, WITH A SPLIT CORONA. ANY IDEAS WHICH ONE IT IS?

I AM A SUCKER FOR DEEP ORANGE OR DARK GOLDEN FORMS. THIS ONE WAS NAMED 'LIGHTNING FIRE'

THE BLOSSOMS ON THIS ONE WERE HUGE, AND IT'S NAME MADE IT MORE COMPELLING ' SPIDER WOMAN'

GREEN DAFFODILS ARE SO NICE AND RARE, BUT THIS ONE WAS CRAZY!' RIP VAN WINKLE' USED TO BE CLASSIFIED AS A MINIATURE, BUT NOT LONGER.

SOMETIMES, CATALOGS ENHANCE THE COLOR OF SOME FLOWERS, BUT THIS ONE IS REALLY AS GREEN AS THIS - MEET 'MESA VERDE'.
A COLLECTION OF MINIATURE DAFFODILS EXHIBITED BY A NANTUCKET GROWER

5 comments :

  1. Anonymous6:15 PM

    dear matt
    thank you for the descriptions and wonderful pix.
    due in part to your continuous cheerleading i made my first visit to Tower Hill the last weekend in April (african violet show, etc.). nice place, and packed!
    one would wish that as many "middle american" families enjoyed visiting botanical gardens as asian families do.
    our neighbor with a UK background once said that a british child who is not interested in gardens might be taken to a shrink, but an american child would be taken to a shrink if he WAS interested in gardens. quite telling?
    all best,
    ~ 02568




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  2. Yay, 02568! Well said. I am so thrilled that you made it to Tower Hill. We should all support our local botanic gardens.

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  3. Tower Hill looks beautiful I wish I could make it there sometime.

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  4. Obviously this was the time to go to Tower Hill! I've visited once late last fall, but there was not a lot going on at the time. Primulas are usually too stiff and formal for me, but those are some beautiful ones! I love daffodils, though, and plant a lot of varieties with orange in them for my husband. That 'Lightning Fire' is awesome! I'll definitely have to check out the daffodil show one of these years!

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  5. I had noticed that there was a marvelous coming together of flowers and program at Tower Hill this past weekend. What amazes me is that you were not only in the midst of it, but had time to share it online before heading off to NARGS in Michigan. Well done.

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