Friday, 7 January 2011
Gone But Not Forgotten
There has been much wailing, gnashing of teeth and tearing out of hair here over the last few days. I have disobeyed one of those sage pieces of advice that you find in all the horticultural tomes. It's the one that tells you to leave well alone and not to go poking about to see what might lie underneath the soil. In this case I am talking about my small collection of named snowdrops which I have slowly accumulated over the last few years. The reason why I was so rash is because I have not been able to signs of growth appearing, which I usually can by now, so I decided to investigate further, taking into account any damage to life and limb that such stirrings might incur. However it would appear that there was no risk involved as I have lost about a third of my collection - more wailing and gnashing etc. I should explain that I keep the snowdrops in pots in an effort to thwart the local squirrel population and so that I can enjoy looking at them close at hand as well as being able to appreciate their scent. That will be rectified as soon as possible, as I think that the recent extremely long and sustained cold snaps we have had as well as a very wet summer have polished them off. The bulbs have simply rotted away. They would have been better off in the ground or in larger containers but I had got away with growing them in relatively small pots for a good few years. I was on reflection much too complacent that I would get away with it for ever.
On further exploration I found out that the bulbs have completely rotted away. I have lost several old timers - the bizarre 'Walrus', stalwart 'John Gray' and the buxom beauty which was Mrs McNamara, whilst others such as my favourite 'Diggory' below are on the critical list. I began collecting these little beauties when I was still working and had more pennies to spend on such goodies, so it will take some time now to replace the lost snowdrops. As of now I am not sure yet whether I will. They have given me much pleasure for some years and I might just content myself with that. I still have some to treasure and will do my best to keep them going for as long as possible.
However all is not doom and gloom. On the good news front the residents of my wormery are making an amazing recovery, after I thought that they had been to frozen solid in their de-luxe residence, which sits inside the shed. I considered briefly administering the kiss of life but decided against. Now much to my delight and surprise, although there have been some losses, it would appear that many of them went into a state of suspended animation and they are now wriggling away once more. This week's other exciting discovery has been to find a source of seeds for melanoselinum decipiens. The photo at the top of this post does not do them justice - a new camera on its maiden voyage and frozen hands are not the best combination. I was absolutely smitten with these plants which were on Jekka McVicar's display stand at the Malvern Show last spring, but neither plants nor seeds were available to buy at the time. Now just for warmers days and I will be disappearing into the greenhouse to sow them ..... I await with bated breath !