International Rock Gardener
The Scottish Rock Garden Club has a new, free (at least for now), on-line newsletter, the "International Rock Gardener." I recommend it to the attention of all rock garden plant lovers. The place to find out about hardy bulbs is also in the rock garden community. The August issue has a piece on Fritillaria aurea.
Issues from January 2010 through August are available on-line. Enjoy!
Bjørn Lomborg: Climate Skeptic Waffles?
Danish statistician Bjørn Lomborg made himself famous, or notorious, by writing a couple books claiming that climate change was an illusion. This has gotten him speaking engagements in front of all sorts of groups of people who don't want to have to deal with the costs of global warming. According to a piece in 80beats for August 31, he may be changing his position a bit. He's written another book, one that seems to be a complete reversal -- or is it?
I haven't read any of Mr. Lomborg's books yet, so I probably won't read the new one, either. I suspect that most scientists see Lomborg as a publicity-hungry scallywag who doesn't much care about the facts in the matter. I think he is probably just another opportunist.
Go to the web site and find out where the name, "80beats," came from.
Scandals with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also may be overblown. On the other hand, I would caution against taking the IPCC simply at face value without knowning how its members were selected. Politics is probably involved there as much as science is.
The world is clearly changing in the direction of warming. The foibles of the humans involved in understanding this phenomenon notwithstanding, it surely is happening.
It's time for many Nerine species and hybrids to bloom. Not only the fabulous but hard to grow sarniensis hybrids, but many easier species as well. I have three different ways of handling Nerine, depending on the species.
1. Bowdenii and undulata: Water year-round, but less when the leaves are off. Summer outdoors (lath house/dappled shade); Winter in the greenhouse. Feed (with 0-15-35 or similar zero-nitrogen fertilizer) only when leaves are green.
2. Sarniensis hybrids and humilis: Dry in summer; in winter water and occasionally feed (with 0-15-35). Humilis grows well for me but has never bloomed, so feel free to try other approaches with it.
3. Summer growing species, including angustifolia/angulata/appendiculata, filamentosa, filifolia, frithii, gracilis, hesseoides, krigei, platypetala, rehmannii (not all of which I currently have): Dry in winter; summer outdoors in full sun with plenty of water and occasional fertilizer (20-10-20 or similar balanced fertilizer). For huttoniae and laticoma, I restrict fertilizer to 0-15-35.
Note that krigei need chilling in winter to initiate next year's flowering. I let temperatures get down to 35°F/ ca. 2 or 3 C where krigei pots are stored in winter.
I use my standard gritty mix for growing all my Nerine bulbs. See Archives for February 16, 2007, for details.
Good gardening, from here in central Indiana
Look up technical terms in the Glossary of Plant Biology