Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
I have had a silene for many years that I grew from NARGS seed that was labelled "Silene asterias", but I have finally ID'd it, tentatively, as Silene zawadskii. A great plant that blooms heavily through late spring-early summer. Todd, could you please show the basal rosette of your S. zawadskii, for comparison?
Gosh, all the flowers look so fresh. We are at about 8 inches below normal for rainfall now. It's fall, and we have had a drop of rain for three weeks.
Well it looks as though the Colchicum agrippinum that I bought on the cheap last fall from Buggycrazy are correctly named. I am quite pleased, as I had wondered if the bulbs would be large enough to bloom this season. But they did have spring into summer to plump up. This one had four flowers (in succession).
I have to say, the water droplets are fake. I didn't even notice the flowers until I was watering, and I'm lucky the water breaker didn't flatten them.
We were quite dry all summer but now the fall rains have arrived with a vengence...last two days hit 70 F but today and tomorrow will only reach 45! Winter is coming! I know the west and mid-west have been really hot this past while...I would welcome that now!
Thanks for posting the second Silene zawadskii photo, Todd - the foliage certainly does look like my plants. (N.B. Did you notice there's a label for Silene dinarica in your photo? I assume none-the-less that you've decided it's S. zawadskii, though. Just wondering, as I mentioned I'd been wondering what my plants were for a long time, and if yours is S. z... then I'll consider it finally settled.) Thanks!
PS The spelling seems to be as I've shown it, rather than "zadwadskii".
Yes, I got the seeds as dinarica but it is not...zawadskii was the ID that seemed to fit best. I've been spelling that wrong for years...and there are a couple of more plants (usually with Russian/polish names) that I also mis-spell...like some russian ligularia that I will not even attempt to spell. LOL!
From previous experience, I find that the flies that visit my Escobaria vivipara flowers are not very good pollinators. So everyday, sometimes twice a day, while they were blooming I took a paint brush and hand pollinated each flower. Not that big a deal, as each flower is only open for 2-3 days.
The fruits of my "labor" is rewarding. I read somewhere that the Native Americans ate the berries, and they sure look tempting. But unless I have a good source of info - not gonna do it. If you know of any relating information, I'd sure like to know.
Processing is easy under running water in a fine strainer. Not so great of a pic, but you can see I have a LOT of seed. Even after I send to the NARGS seed exchange, they'll still be plenty to play with. These are from plants grown from seed from the eastern South Dakota border (and the easternmost native colony known). So they are probably the most moisture and humidity resistant strain of the species.
If anyone would like to play with these cactus seed, give me a jingle and I'll send some your way. You wouldn't be "stealing" from someone else who might really want them. They are 50 times easier to germinate than any other cactus seed I've tried, and there are LOTS.
It's been the worse October ever here...cold and rain nearly every day. Most of the autumn crocus promptly rotted just as they were blooming. The colchicums are slightly better but the persistent winds have battered them too.
So far, this is the 10th wettest October in recorded history (around 150years) for me. But we have been up to 7 inches below normal until Septemberish. For people that had only been watering very minimally (like me) the ground is just soaking it all up. Heck, I was digging and planting my lily crosses today in my clay base soil. The soil looked like it would be chunky, but it's easy to crumble in your hands.
Not an alpine, but the Fibigea clypeata have all taken on an exceptionally ruffly appearance this year. Galanthophile, is this a weed in Europe?
NB. spelling - Fibigia clypeata.
Rick, is that a perennial for you? Interesting plant. I'll have to watch for it in the seedex's.
Galanthophile, honesty (Lunaria annua, Lunaria perennis) is different again, though similar in the effect of the seedpods.
It's been a lousy October here too! The snow started the weekend of Oct. 3, then it just kept snowing constantly for about the next 10 days, with below-zero weather (and as cold as -16 C overnight once.) It finally straightened out enough last week that I could ride my bike to work again, but then we got heavy wet snow again Saturday morning that is still on the ground! The leaves have not had much of a chance to turn colour - most have just been killed on the trees from the cold. Many potential blooms were nipped in the bud! My earliest colchicums started to bloom but then were covered in snow. The late doubles and crocus haven't even shown themselves yet, and I don't know if they even will.
Thanks. I've been spelling that wrong for several years! Sometimes it acts as a biennial, sometimes perennial. Same for Symphyandra armena, I have found.
You can see here why I asked if it is a weed elsewhere. As the common name is Roman Shield, each "shield" will have 10-12 seeds on each side. I gather all the stalks each year, but there is still a lot that fall. I have some volunteers, but not at all weedy. I think I just might have enough seed for you, Alta.
BTW Rick the Fibigia seed you gave me last spring...well I got 4 plants from them and all are trying to bloom NOW! Being biennials, I guess they will not be around in spring. I do have seeds you sent later...obviously I should wait until at least May before I sow them so that they will not try to bloom in the same year.
I finally got a chance to cut things down in the garden...it was the first day in 3 weeks that I had a few hours without rain (it did start again in the afternoon however!)...no signs of Crocus speciosus yet...I don't expect they will bloom this year. All the Lewisia are snug in the cold frame now (only way they can survive winter in a climate with 60" of rain per year). I usually overwinter my Celmisia speciosus indoors but I am attempting the coldframe this year as it is getting rather large for the basement windowsill.
My rockery needs an overhaul...overrun with Allium cyathophorum var. farreri and Geranium sanguineum...I discovered I lost several choice alpines due to these somewhat weedy 'alpines'.
I hope that you experienced alpine enthusiasts will do a similar thread for us who are new to alpine gardening. I was inspired by the pictures and comments that you posted in 09.
Thanks for your time---I know that you are all busy people.
Hi, Caroline! Just an aside - are you aware of the NARGS forum? http://nargs.org/smf/
I'm not certain if you are a member or not (I suspect yes?) but it's just another opportunity to talk about alpines, plants in general, get advice, share photos, etc..
And you're right... need to spend some time here again too!
Yes, I belong to NARGS.
That site seems to be more for the experienced alpine gardener,
and I am just getting into alpine gardening.
But I should make a point of going there more often as there is so much info there.
Well, it is by "hanging out" at the places where more experienced folk converse that one can learn things! Where else could one ask questions and actually expect to get informed answers?
And, by the way, I happen to know that most of the more experienced alpine gardeners whom you know from here are also over there... ahem, insider knowledge, shall we say. :-) So there is absolutely no reason to be shy at all, I assure you. Ask questions, post pix, share info and learn - that's the point of the NARGS forum!
Right now, the number of people posting is small... but we are persisting in trying to make it interesting, in the hopes of encouraging more people to take part, and USE the forum for whatever they get out of it - information, ideas for new alpines and plantings and methods, discussion, entertainment, seeing beautiful mountain scenery, plant IDs, enjoying the plant photo gallery, keeping up with plant world news, ,etc..
Anyway, hope to see you taking part there!
By the way, for those of you who are not NARGS members, the forum can be viewed by nonmembers, as well. Take a look!
That site [NARGS] seems to be more for the experienced alpine gardener
Caroline, Oh No !!! Gardeners of all knowledge levels are welcome and wanted! I find it an honor and a pleasure to be able to hobnob with such noted authorities, as well as members from around the world. And I have to say, I wish I had the funds to travel as many of them do. Still, traveling through their pos and photos is a lot of fun.
I am not criticizing anyone. Internet Brands has every right to whatever terms of service they wish. But I must agree to those rules.
But do participate, where ever you feel comfortable!