I was happy to see all the Lilium offerings since I am a liliophile, but a bit alarmed at the rise of so many non-alpine and very large species included. Also, common things like Nigella damascena (Love-in-the-Mist) that you can buy at any nursery or big box store, just don't belong, in my opinion. I worry that the list will become a catch all for everything.
I was a bit surprised too. As I'm not familiar with all that many alpines/ rock garden plants, I had gone through some of the photos posted on nargs and made a list of some I wanted, but unfortunately they weren't on the seed list. And some on last year's list that I wanted weren't on this year's list. It seems I got an email from Nargs a while back, saying that there weren't as many seed donors this year as in the past.
I did order a bunch of gentians, a few aconitums, a few anemones, a few geraniums, a few aquilegias, saxifragas, corydalis, lewisia, delphinium tatsiense, primula... and these which are completely unfamiliar to me:
The list does change significantly from year to year, but this year there are whole blocks of rock garden stalwarts missing. Really I am not complaining, since it's volunteering all the way, but for instance, the phlox selection is pitiful compare to usual listings. And it has Phlox paniculata hybrids (available at big box stores everywhere)...grrrrrrh.
Delphineum tatsiense is quite nice, even when not in flower, IMO.
I guess it probably doesn't qualify as a rock garden plant, but I do love it. It blooms much earlier than most tricyrtis, as the yellow varieties do. Yellow with brown-maroon spots/blotches. The leaves start out with big dark spots on them in spring, but later are just green.
Yes, Dryas octopetala seems to be pretty easy to grow, judging from the various alpine forums and people's reports. (It's certainly easy here, though since we are at 1100m elevation and 45 minutes from the Rockies, we have many advantages for growing alpines.)
The best way to appreciate it, though, is in its natural habitat:
That's lovely, Alta. Unfortunately we don't have a whole lot of natural habitat here in the city, nor, I think, the best conditions for growing alpines.
Do you know yet what you'll be ordering from the seed exchange? I imagine that you already have almost everything imagineable.
Our Minnesota chapter is again helping out the major chapters involved, and took 300 different taxa for the exchange, to repackage to individual glassine envelopes. We all receive them Friday (17 Dec) and are suppose to have them to our committee chair by Thursday, so he can send them on their way. It's important to realize that just because the list is ready to order from does not mean that everything is already set up to fill orders. For the benefit of anxious gardeners who don't yet know, this is a completely volunteer effort, requiring thousands of hours of donated time (and money). You might think about putting in a note of thanks and gratitude with your order, for their generous volunteer work.
The Delaware Chapter that will be filling orders, will meticulously record incoming orders in the order they are received, with preference given to donor orders. It will depend on when they are able to get together and process them. Every chapter has their own people and therefore schedules will vary from year to year. It would be great if they do, but I would never expect a volunteer operation of such magnitude to begin before the holidays are over.
I donated Deinanthe caerulea, also not an alpine. The lit says that the seed can't dry out, but I found by experience that that is not the case. And they don't need any kind of pretreatment either. The seed is very very tiny, and I gave oodles of it. Anyone who orders it will surely have enough for multiple batches. Same with the Coryphantha vivipara cactus seed. And I see I wasn't the only donor for that species this year, so recipients will have a mix of provenances from the mountains and South Dakota flatland.
I know what you mean about Alta seeming to already have everything; she is wonderful plantswoman. But growing it all, even in a lifetime, is a pretty impossible task. Yet we all try, now don't we!
My Dryas octopetala needs to be cut back each year now, to stay in bounds. Tulipa tarda seems to like growing in, under, and through it.
I received an email from my local chapter a while back, asking for volunteers to package seeds. I said I'd volunteer, but later received another email saying that the services of our chapter weren't needed this year. I wonder why, considering how much work it is.
CL, do let us know when you've whittled it down a bit more.
Between NARGS, the "Hog Wild" seed swap, seeds I've traded for, and a few purchased, you'd think I was starting a nursery. I'm going to have to be very very organized to get them all planted properly this winter, and very organized is not something I'm good at. I have, however, already started researching germination requirements. I may have some questions for you guys later.
I am leaning towards some of the perennials rather than the alpines.
Yes, some can be purchased,but you know what?
I get better germination from seeds from other gardeners than I do from commercial sources.
I also want to see which alpines are coming back from last season's efforts.
perenniallyme wrote: I said I'd volunteer, but later received another email saying that the services of our chapter weren't needed this year. I wonder why, considering how much work it is.
Perhaps the national made a blanket call for help from the chapters, and your chapter's response came after others that already agree to do the needed work. It really is a fun thing, no matter what part of the volunteer work you do, especially if you get together and do it as a group. For the repackaging, we had a kick-off day when we all converged at a member's house and spent several hours (or however many you want) doing the task. Then if you want, you can take more home to do at your leisure.
I was repackaging some of the Pulsatilla offerings and the Pterocephalus spp. today.
This is pretty much what I ordered:
I guess I'm just putting my little toe in with the alpines, and waiting to see if they'll survive in my yard before trying more.
I've given up on trying to grow lilium bulbs from seed. I just can't get them to germinate, and at this point don't really have room for more liliums anyway, or any extra tenacity to deal with even more lily beetles than I had last year.
No lily beetle here yet, either. If it is any consolation, it's not uncommon for invasive insects to "stabilize" in 10 years or so at lower population levels then the initial colonization. Hopefully that will be the case with the lily beetle too.
Yikes! (~blush!~) If I kept it up for another 20 years I might get to deserve that kind of praise, but thanks for the compliments!
I saw lily beetles here for the first time ever in the summer of 2009 when I found (and summarily executed) 4 of them. Last summer, between the two of us, we killed about 8 adults and I squashed probably a dozen absolutely revolting larvae, and had several lily stems chewed badly! So, yes, they are definitely in Calgary (the NW at least), unfortunately. My lilies tend to be planted amongst perennials so the fiends have quite a bit of cover to do their damage in. After one season, I can see why the are so hated!
Strangely enough, perhaps, one of the things I've always really enjoyed about the NARGS seed list is the huge variety of plants, not limited to alpines! I'm impressed by the wild-collected selection this year and by the fabulous array of Salvia (of which I hope many are hardy)!
Here are my eclectic first picks:
I thought I had the lily beetles under control for a few years, finding only a dozen or so and summarily executing them, but last year they started really early - around April, I think, and it was a constant battle, not always successful, to get rid of them before they deposited their eggs. I even found a few as late as November. I read that they winter underground at the base of the plants, so I'm planning on using neem oil on and around all my lilies as soon as they start coming up, if not before.
Now I'm going to have a look at the picks of the experts and see what I missed.
Sorry, I have no idea about that. What I do as a first offense is inspect my lilies daily with a wide-mouthed jar of water with a little vegetable oil, and knock any lily beetles I see into the jar. Though they can fly, I've only had 2 ever fly away. What we have going for us is that, being bright red, they're easy to spot, and they don't move too quickly. I also check the undersides of leaves for larvae, and remove the leaves that have either that nasty excrement or teeny red specks, and those go in the jar too. Then last year I started using neem oil, maybe a half dozen times, spraying the plants and around the base of the plants. It's a lot of work, but my lilies have so far remained mostly intact. I do hope that a larger application of neem oil earlier in the season, around the base of the plants, will cut down on the work.
What chemicals are those, CL? I use 100% neem oil, diluted in water, with a little bit of dish soap to disperse the oil in the water.
I realized after I did my list that some of my alternates should have been 1st choices and vice versa, but I didn't want to take the time to redo it. With so many seeds, I'll never know the difference anyway.
I can't believe I haven't checked this forum is so long!
The first batch of orders were sent out a few days ago.
We have over 500 orders recieved so far and expect
another few hundred to come in yet. We should have
them all out by mid-Feb. One very brave chapter member
is spear heading this part of the job - she has set up
3 sessions a week in Jan & into Feb.
So start looking in your mail - donors should have gotten
theirs or will get them very soon.
perenniallyme wrote: Did you get all of your first choices?
All but two. But you saw I didn't order all alpines. The ones I am most pleased to receive are
Lilium tsingtauense - after three tries of growing this from seed and 5+ years later finding they are not the true species when they flower, I finally know I have the true species seed, 'cause I know the donor has the real thing.
Lilium pardalinum dwarf form
Heck, it's hard to pick my most treasured! I really like them all !!!
I sure hope so. My PO isn't 100% reliable. Maybe I'll call them tomorrow in case it's sitting in the "deliver whenever you feel like it" pile. I once ordered seeds from Valueseeds and, though they shipped them the next day, they took 3 weeks to get here, and if I remember right, they magically appeared the day after I called to report them missing.
I got my seeds today. Hooray! I got all of my choices too!
Hmmm, I don't know what to do, CL. I had heard that neem oil was better ecologically than a lot of other stuff. But I certainly don't want to kill off the bees or butterflies or earthworms, etc. On the other hand, I'd really like to keep my lilies. I don't know what to do.