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Crocus scharojanii In case you think I am loosing it and have forgotten that I showed you this Crocus scharojanii a few weeks ago I can tell you that this is another flower in another pot sown at the same time as the last one! Oh what a pity they did not flower together so I could cross pollinate them – I do hope that as I did not clean the brush I pollinated the last one with and I have not used for anything else since there might just be some viable pollen grains still attached. As I write this I am reminded of the way that great plantsman Jim Archibald used to have a separate brush in each pot of bulbs that he wanted to pollinate. With a brush dedicated to that species he was more sure of getting good true and viable seed. How sad I was to learn of his death this week – the world of plants has lost a great master grower, collector, distributer, writer and lecturer. The gap that Jim has left can never be filled but we will always remember him not least for the many outstanding plant introductions that bear the JJA or JCA number. Fond condolences are sent to Jenny, with whom he worked so well and to their family.

Bulb Bed

A group of plants that we make a lot of use of in our ‘time share’ beds are the dwarf shrubs. The fact that they do not go dormant at any season may sound contradictory to my explanation of ideal bed partners from the other week but they are forgiven because they are very low and bulbs can easily grow up through them. Being evergreen means that they can provide year round interest which can be enhanced even further by flowers and fruits.

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