Saturday, 22 February 2014

SRGC Early Spring Bulb Show 2014 (Part 2)

Thanks to all my readers who commented on my previous blog SRGC Early Spring Bulb Show 2014 Part 1.  Ending where I left off - making my way to the trade stands.  I don't know about you but I'm always keen to buy 'just a wee thing' as a momento of the day.  Hah, I wish! - I'm far too easily tempted.  I get round this by leaving all bank cards at home and only take the cash I'm willing spend. 

I had my eye on one special plant but that in itself has a rather nice story attached to it - therefore it deserves a post all to itself.  More suspense but it will be worth the wait, I hope.

Before the first talk started we had around 30 minutes to make the first pass of the tables.  There was 8 trade stands and as is normal at these shows, a table with plants offer for sale by members.   On my wish list for today had been a pretty pink/mauve flowering Corydalis but as I made my way around the room, each vendor gave me a shake of their head, offered me a yellow flowering varieties or C.malkensis and C. Beth Evens, both I already grow.  As much as it pained me to do so - I offered a simple no thanks reply.  What now, the money was burning a whole in my pocket!

I returned to Kevock Garden's tables, they are an award winning specialist nursery - there is always some nice plants, in particular, Primula on offer.  Of course, being this early in the year - choice was limited.  They had a few little pretties but I already had some of them. 

My first purchase was P. Calderiana.  A petiolares type Primula.  Apparently it is supposed to smell of fish.  I've had it up close to my nose and fortunately, can't smell it!  It needs a cool shady damp postion - lots of those in my garden!  P. forrestii was my second purchase, this one needs a gritty lime soil - therefore will need to be grown in a container if I'm to keep this going.  Lastly, P. juliana Garryarde Guinevere.  Guinevere is an old variety dating back to the 1920/30 and I had been after her for a while.  I'm pleased to welcome her to my garden.   

It was time now to take our seats - we had already decided that sitting up on the balcony would be better.  The main hall by now was filling up.  Sheila was keeping her eyes peeled for the doors to the balcony opening so we could get front row seats.


In this picture, you can just make out the Beechgrove Garden crew directly in front of the stage (right hand side).  Someone else I recognise in this shot is Billy Carruthers (red lumber jacket bottom left)  he is the owner of my local nursery Binny Plants.  They didn't have a stand at todays show but mental note to grab him later and enquire about the elusive Corydalis.  Sadly, I couldn't find him, I suspect he didn't hang around for long.

Both speakers today were women.  Which, from what I could gather, was quite rare at these events.  There was a huge German contingent in the audience and their translator stood up and introduced the first talker.  I thought this was a rather nice touch.

The first talk - the picture says it all!
Make your own Daffodils (and Snowdrops) by Anne Wright
I had never heard the words Chipping and Twin Scaling until recently.  A gardening friend shared pictures on how to propagate Galanthus bulbs in this manner.  Whilst in theory, I could kind of understand just what he was talking about - slicing those teeny weeny bulbs scared the proverbial out out of me!

Anne Wright made a very useful comparison in her slide show.  She showed us how to chip and twin scale onions, who knew - certainly not me!    What a clever comparison that was, I may not be familiar with the internals of a snowdrop bulb but the insides of an onion is no stranger!  Each of her slides was detailed and along with her narration I found I had a better grasp on this method of propagating.  Whether or not I'd actually give it a go would be another thing.  Mind you, if at anytime there is a spare onion kicking around the kitchen, it had better watch out.  I'll have it chipped as quick as look at it!  My immediate thought was just how much would all the equipment and sundries cost me?  Depending on the bulb, it would likely be more cost effective to buy more bulbs.  On a commercial scale though - probably far more cost effective her way.  I'll leave you to do the math!

She then touched on the subject of Hybridizing, how to prepare the flowers and carry our artificial pollination.  For a complete novice like me, I found it useful in terms of learning about the sex organs of a plant.  Again, whether or not I'd give it a go - I doubt it.  I'm far too lazy a gardener!  Maybe one day in my retirement, when I get the greenhouse of my dreams and have much more time on my hands, a girl can dream can't she?   Never say never though!

We were then treated to a slide show of the various plants she had produced through Hybridizing - some nice, some not so nice but as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I thoroughly enjoyed this talk, the room was then opened for questions before we broke for lunch.
Anne Wright's sale table
full to bursting with her Hybridized Narcissus

Lunch consisted of a packed lunch we brought with us, saves time queuing in the canteen or spending money, that could be spent on plants.  After our sandwiches, we went for a wee stroll around Dunblane.  Had we more time, it would have been nice to have wee stroll around the Cathedral and it's grounds.  I could not resist a cheeky little shot of Andy Murray's gold painted Pillar Box.  Most of you are probably familiar with our bright red pillar boxes here in the UK but to commemorate medal British gold medal winners in the 2012 Olympics - pillar boxes in their home towns were permanently painted gold by Royal Mail.  I've provided a link here if you want to read more about it.

We made a quick dash back to reclaim our seats for the second talk.  Diane Clement - Hepaticas, a growing obsession, began with an introduction to Hepaticas and their species.  We were then give an explanation on their taxonomy - these little woodland wonders used to attributed to the Anemone but were separated from them due to the green sepal like bract that appears just below the petals.  It's not only the flowers that are interesting, their foliage can be just as eye catching.  In Japan, Hepaticas are extremely popular, obsessive even and like Snowdrops, can command extremely high prices.
It's at this point, I'm utterly ashamed to say I nodded off!  Those who read my previous post know that I had attended the show after only 3 hours sleep, I just couldn't help myself - I did ask my companion if I had snored, she then had to admit that she too had fallen asleep.  How embarrassing? 
In my defence the hall was hot and stuffy.  Just in case I have whetted your appetite - I found a very similar article here.  In fact the more I read of this article, the more familiar it became, perhaps I wasn't asleep for as long as I thought!  Thank goodness I don't make a living as a journalist!  You know, it would have been just as easy to say I hadn't made the 2nd talk but that would have been dishonest and not quite so funny.  Anyhow, I'll bet  Sheila and I are not the only ones to have fallen asleep in such circumstances.

There was just enough time to make a final pass of the trade stalls, of course, by this time they were somewhat depleted of their stock.  I picked up a rather pretty Hellebore - not something I would have expected to buy at such a show.  Here's a preview of it's foliage.  As you can see it has some lovely fat buds on it and I'll let it have it's blog debut when those are out.

Helleborus x sternii Silver Dollar

Ashwood nurseries describe it as 'Quite outstanding with bright silver serrated leaves and small green cup shaped flowers flushed with pink'.  I also took a punt on a couple of Narcissus seedlings - they are very tiny at present - N. jacetanus and N. cyclamineus x asturiensus.   They may well find their way into my miniature garden sometime soon.

I hope you have enjoy a look at this show through a newbies eyes - the last part in this series will be about a rather special plant I bought.  I hope I haven't bored you too much already and you will come back to read it.  Coincidentally, the pink Corydalis I was seeking, has since been purchased - Corydalis solida First Kiss not quite pink but beautiful just the same.  Click on the link for a wee sneaky peep.



30 comments:

  1. I've been known to nod off in concerts or dance recitals, so I can identify. It can feel humiliating when your chin bounces off your chest to jerk upright.

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    1. First time I've ever did this ricki.....with my age being what it is, I doubt it will be the last!

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  2. Hi Angie, a silver leaved hellebores?! Now that is cool! I have never heard of one like that. Looking already forward to photos of it when you have planted it into your garden and the flowers are open. I am also curious to see photos of all the other purchases that you made at the plant show. You have inspired me with your posts to go the next plant show here in San Diego that I get a chance to see. Wishing you a nice Sunday!
    Christina

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    1. Glad to have inspired you Christina. I always like the shows - in particular the sales table, you can always guarantee something different than is usually available in the GCs.

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  3. I used to nod off in class in college, many, many moons ago. But I haven't done that in a long time. I had an old Scottish auntie from Glasgow who nodded off in the movies all the time. Maybe when I'm her age I'll do it too. I'm sure if I had been there with only 3 hours of sleep I would have been very sleepy too.

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    1. I suspect my mother would be just like your Auntie Alison, although, she's far from old but always nods off in her chair!

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  4. The group organizing the event should know better than to schedule a presentation right after lunch! Nodding off is to be expected! I'm glad you were able to find some interesting plants to bring home with you.

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    1. I do wonder just how many others were resting their eyes Kris, I'll bet Sheila and I weren't the only ones. It's always nice to find something different at these shows.

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  5. That's not pink! Very pretty, but not pink... Not surprised you nodded off, hot hall, sleep deficit, talking, almost guaranteed. Glad you had a good time though!

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    1. Yes, not pink Janet but as you say very pretty. Cordydalis do well in my garden. I like plants that do well.

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  6. Don't worry about nodding off, I think most of us have done it at some time! Can't wait to see your new plants and read about them, it sounds as if you had a wonderful time, lucky you!

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    1. Thanks Pauline - I do think you'll like one of the little beauties I bought.

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  7. Lovely reading about your visit to the Spring Bulb show, in your country there is so much more to on gardening then in ours. The silver leaved Hellebore is a gem, just beautiful. The Corydalis is a beauty too.

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    1. Janneke, I think we Scots have a bit of a reputation for putting on a good show. I've read many times that Scotland is a great place to garden. The Hellebore is lovely, isn't it.

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  8. I like things to happen a little faster and would surely forget what I had wanted to do if I tried cross pollinating etc. I do get some naturally cross pollinated plants in the garden.

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    1. I lack the patience too Sue, hence why I said I doubt I'd be giving it a go. Although it's been nice to see how it's done and can be filed somewhere for future reference.

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  9. The silver leaved Hellebores is beautiful. Love to see what all comes out new.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Thanks Cher, I love seeing new plants and never can resist!

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  10. I looked up the hellebore you bought, it looks lovely in flower! I always find it interesting to hear or read about propagating plants and all the ins and outs – doesn’t mean I will ever do all that stuff, without a greenhouse a lot of it is not possible anyway, but just to know how things happens kind of gives me a better understanding of what happens in my own garden so it’s not wasted learning about it :-)

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    1. I'm a bit like you Helene, no greenhouse therefore lots not possible. Although, saying that with your weather you could probably get away with more than I can. I agree, it's not time wasted at all.

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  11. Hello, Angie.

      Attractive works.
      You are the excellent artist.

      I thank for your usual and hearty support.
      Have a good week.  
      From Japan, ruma ❃

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  12. I agree! A very pretty Corydalis - I've never seen that one before. I must confess to not having attended any meetings or talks like that but I am a huge fan of the Garden shows, in particular Malvern. I stroll around taking it all in, but at the back of my mind, I can't wait to dispatch my husband off to the food hall to browse around their stalls, and visit the trade stands. Like you, I've come armed with a certain amount of cash and I'm desperate to part with it. I'm never happy till I'm sporting several carrier bags of new, little treasures! Then it's time to meet up with my husband ("The Chef") for a well earned drink and to see what epicurean delights he has purchased. You might be envious to learn that we're lucky to live a few miles from Ashwood nurseries and it's a regular haunt of mine. Did they have a stand there? I did like that hellebore "Silver Dollar" you showed us. Looking forward to the next installment!

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    1. You seem to have those visits to Garden shows well under control. Indeed you are very lucky to live nearby Ashwood - although, I'm not sure my bank manager would be pleased if I lived so close ;)
      Ashwoods didn't have a stand there. It tends to be specialist alpine nurseries from Scotland. Which in itself is a treat - we have some good ones.

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  13. Now again I have to wait for that special plant :-P......you are making me fall asleep :-D.

    I also tend to fall asleep in such situations, and force myself up by doing some mental exercise.

    I have never heard about that method of bulb division. Need to read about it more and find out about it.

    Now this is a political question as we live in a politically correct world and everything in the world is changing so fast --- Is Scotland now a separate country? Or is still under Britain? What is Britain now -- England, Wales, Scotland and that small part of Ireland? So, are you guys Scottish or British? Is Britain same thing as the UK?

    Okay, I am ashamed of all these questions which show my knowledge of geography now, but in my defence, I find politics and all these country/country boundaries boring. Also, I have other activist jobs to do -- so, my knowledge in geography is poor of current world situation :-P. So, help me please...

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    1. It's in the next blog (already posted) KL. The method of propagating bulbs as I've described looks much easier now I've had it explained to me - as I said whether or not I ever use it, who knows?
      Ah, the Independence Debate!! No we are still part of the UK. The referendum takes place on the 14 September this year. We Scots are very patriotic but also are British, our passports say so.
      The difference is that the United Kingdom is Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales, all except England currently have devolved parliaments. Great Britain (The British Isles) is the same except without Northern Ireland. Well, that's how I understand it, I do stand to be corrected though ;)
      I'm not political what so ever but I do know I want to remain part of the UK. I hope that's helped a wee bit.

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  14. Angie thank you so much for your interesting blog .

    Maybe get there next year

    Were they early this year

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    1. Great place to visit, well worth making the effort.

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  15. That after lunch slot is fatal Angie so I'm not surprised that you nodded off. I think that organisers of any event should get people up on their feet then. Oh I do like your shining silvery hellebore. Chipping and twin scaling I think will remain beyond me - would probably slice a finger off :)

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    1. I thought that by having a walk after lunch tiredness would have worn off - obviously not Anna!
      I'm not sure I'll ever try the chipping method either - I'd end up in a similar situation.

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