November 3, 2006

Nerine sarniensis 1

Finally, I am home after traveling for work all month. Hopefully, November will be a little less hectic, although, I do have a book due to the publisher, and new projects are work.

Upon arriving home, I was shocked at what was in bloom in the greenhouse. So over the next few days, I will be updating daily to catch everyone up. There are so many things happening under the glass, that it will take many postings to catch up.

Here is a shot of a group of Nerine sarniensis, which I took while home for one day last week. Many of these are now past, but many more have come out.

Besides blooming, other greenhouse drama's have occured. The gas heater exploded, so that had to be fixed last week. Well, not exploded, but flames shot out and burned wires, and the bottom of the heater blew off. I hate those things anyway. Even though the glass was all repaired two weeks ago, three large panes 30 inches each slid off last night and smashed into a million shards into the raised rock bed, Weeding will be fun next year!

October 22, 2006

Bulbous South Afrifan Oxalis

A sandbed filled with blooming Oxalils species

The bloom season is peaking for the bulbous Oxalis, and both the species from South Africa and South America are reaching peak bloom. I am traveling for work much of this month, and only have today, Sunday, to photograph them and to enjoy them, before flying off Tuesday again, only to return on Halloween. I hope that it stays cool and not sunny, so that I woun't miss the peak of both these and of the Nerine sarniensis, which are just begining to open.

This Oxalis species lost its tag, so it is nice but unknown for now

A Sternbergia lutea blooms in a pot, kept out on the stone walk in front of the greenhouse. This crocus like blossom is one of the last of the outdoor bulbs to bloom for the season.
Here in New Engand, the foliage is reaching it's peak color. Since we have not recieved a hard killing frost yet, the colors have not been as intense as in past years. This weekends chores included planting Narcissus out in the raised bed, for exhibitions- cyclamineous types as well as triandrus were planted in the new bed today. Hopefully I can keep it not too wet, since the sand I recieved was builders sand and was too mud-like last year. This time I added compost, gravel and peat to it. I may have to cover the bed with a panel of twin wall if the snow adds to the moisture this winter. Snow will fall on the glass of the greenhouse, and slide down onto the raised bed, it may become too water logged, but the granite chips may aid in the draining of the bed. We shall see.

October 17, 2006

The first bulbous Oxalis of the season

Oxalis zeekoviensis
Over the next month, the collection of Oxalis species that are native to South Africa and which grow from various tiny bulbs, will be reaching peak bloom in the cold greenhouse. OXALIA you may say! Theyare just weeds. Sure, some of the worlds most knoxous weeds are Oxalis, but it is a large family, and I assure you that the rare bulbous oxalis are not weedy, and perfect collectable for the cold greenhouse or medeteranian climate like southern California. Again, winter growers, they love moisture but require a hot dry dormant rest in the summer.

I am just plain addicted to these jewels, and don't understand why others don't grow them, although this may be due to thier scarcity, and that only one or two rare bulb company's carry them, on and off, and that they cannot be grown from seed.

If you cringe at the thought of Oxalis as a collectable, don't confuse these bulbous species with the weedy pests that make oxalis a dirty word. (I have that one too!) If only we codl e so lucky that these we're weedy. Some bulbs barely increase, while a couple bulbous species do increase enough that one can pot up a second pot.
generally, these South African bulb Oxalis are slow to increase since they rarely if ever can produce seed.

Oxalis lobata with finger for scale

Here is abother photo of an Oxalis lobata, a new speices for me this year. I wanted to show you how small it actually is in this shot. Not only is it brilliant in the sun, it has the nice habit of sending up it's blossoms before the foliage, and it is fragrant too.

Oxalis virginea

I recieved these bulbs last year and they increased nicely, something which is nice since I started with six bulbs last year, and they divided into about 15.