Monday, 5 November 2012

Armchair Travels


Planting spring flowering bulbs is very much in the thoughts and posts of many gardening bloggers just now - some have already made light work of it whilst others like me are still ruminating. However the goodies have been purchased so making a start on planting is at the top of my gardening to do list. I have vowed not to delay this what should be a gentle occupation until the dark cold days of January, when your fingers risk severe frost bite and the ground is not always obligingly yielding. So I was all geared up to bulb planting yesterday when I met with a major obstacle. Virtually all my bulbs were resident in the cool but dry garage, only himself had departed in the direction of Cornwall at the crack of dawn, with the key in his pocket and will not be home again until some point today. The garage is very much his domain as I do not drive and consequently do not venture into its realms on a regular basis. For some reason I no longer have a key on my key ring so my plans went out of the window along with a few choice words.

I did have one bag of crocus bulbs to plant which I had fortunately left in the house - yes I know that the books say that they should already be planted but they will soon catch up. However it did not take me all day to plant some 25 bulbs so I was left with time on my hands to idle away. The bulbs in case were crocus 'Yalta' which I have not grown before but which had been on my wish list for a couple of years or so since I first read about them. I was pleased to see them for sale in the current Avon Bulbs catalogue so decided to try some out in a container. They are described most beguilingly as "a hybrid form resembling a large tommasinianus with silvery blue outer petals and darker purple inners petals. Gorgeous even in bud."

I'm always intrigued to find out more about the name behind any bulb or plant that comes my way, so once planting was done and squirrel proofing measures were in place, I set out on an armchair voyage of discovery, with the aid of the all knowing and all seeing Google, to find out more about my little bulbs. The catalogue obligingly provided the information that the bulb was raised from seed harvested from a botanical collection in the Crimea by Janis Ruskans, (a Latvian nurseryman). Now did it follow that 'Yalta' was also in the Crimea and if so whereabouts, or was it a girl's name, or did 'Yalta' refer to something else altogether? It turned out that Yalta is indeed in the Crimea being a seaside resort on the north coast of the Black Sea. The city itself is said to have been 'founded by Greek sailors who were looking for a safe shore (γιαλός –yalos in Greek) on which to land. The city is situated on south facing bay and is surrounded by wooded mountains.'(source - Wikipedia) The climate of the area is described as sub tropical so vineyards and orchards flourish.The city has its own botanical gardens - The Nikitsky Botanical Gardens, which may well be the source of the seed that gave rise to the bulb. A most pleasant interlude, which saw me finding out about a far away city in both words and photos, which I might have never otherwise discovered.

I will hopefully report back in the spring on how these bulbs fared. Meanwhile the major bulb planting marathon awaits.

Note : For those of you who like finding out more about the names behind your plants you may well enjoy Alex Pankhurst's book 'Who Does Your Garden Grow?'.

11 comments:

  1. Yalta? The First or Second World War? A battle or a peace treaty?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A conference held in 1945 which Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt attended Diana. I could have said much more about Yalta :)

      Delete
  2. Confession - I have a bulb mountain too. And a book mountain...

    PS did you know you have that dreadful WV set on your blog? I'm only mentioning it because I know you've found it difficult on other blogs from time to time. Email me if you want to discuss further :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can probably hear me screaming from here! I have been intending to check up on this very issue for a while when I got the chance to use another computer but somehow it kept slipping my mind. Thanks so much for pointing it out to me VP. I think that I have sorted it out but email on its way.

      Delete
  3. Amazing how ones trail of thoughts work and where it leads to. Fascinating to know more about 'Yalta' and the fabulous place of its origins.

    It does fascinate me from time to time how some horticulturalists arrive one certain cultivar names. Its a great looking crocus by the way! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well at least you got a start on your bulbs, and had a chance to daydream about spring flowers. I planted some 'Yalta' for the first time this autumn, so I'm looking forward to seeing them bloom, and comparing them to other crocus. Planting them in a container is a good idea, as you can move them to a good spot to view up close.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We don't have a garage, but my hubby has often gone to work with the shed key, and even the key to get in to the allotment site in his pocket. It's so annoying. I say every year that I'm going to plant some bulbs, yet I rarely get round to it. It's exactly the same this year, none yet even bought. I do need to make more of an effort.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You mention "squirrel proofing" your bulbs - what do you use? Each year my tulips in pots are always eaten no matter what I try. Hope you soon get the rest of your bulbs planted, they will look wonderful next year.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I planted my bulbs last week after much procrastination, and it wasn't as bad as I'd feared, so hope you have some decent weather to get yours in soon. Interesting how a mishap can lead to such a pleasurable "voyage"!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is wonderful how you can set out on a journey of research on the web and find truely fascinating facts. I've read the book you had as your first iamge, that too was fascinating. Christina

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh I love voyages of discovery like that. With ref to your comment on my blog, Snowy was definitely about during the 70s, I'm not sure about the 60s, but very possibly I'd think :-)

    ReplyDelete

All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.