Saturday, August 14, 2010

We Lose the King

In memory of the great Jim Archibald, whom many people agree was the present world's finest plantsman, who died this week. He and hıs wife Jenny are responsible for a vast enrıchment of plant materıals collected from the world over and delıvered to Botanic Gardens and private collections the world over. My heart absolutely sank when I read it- I was plannıng to visit him ın Wales ın the comıng months to see hıs work and thank hım for beıng so generous to me and the horticulture world.

You certainly made an impressıon on thıs young horticulturist, Jim. May you garden ın heaven and show them how ıt's done.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Finest Plants in the Republic of Georgia 1

Colorado-made Loki vests really will get you places.
Outside of Bakuriani, which was once a ski resort for holiday-making Russians.
But it is also a home for encrusted Saxifrages. If you like Saxes, get Malcolm McGregor's book.
Runoff melts an ice-cave under a surviving drift and allows for the first flowers.
Gentiana angulosa. Oh glory, I love this plant. It has a fragrance that whispers above roses and a colour that is certainly a leak from heaven. I've never seen such blue. I don't know how often it is cultivated, but is grown like G. verna.
More near Bakuriani
More heaven.
Daphne mezereum is an old garden plant- Beverly Nichols talks about it in his timeless old english garden rambling books. It is surreal to see such a domesticated plant in its native place.

Corydalis sp. (back to my notes)
Best accomodations are often free. A loft above a hotel. I got sunset and sunrise and some sweet beanbag comfort.
Southern Georgia somewhere.
A Xeric steppe style area in the middle of Georgia. Low shrubs are a woody Astragalus and the charming white heads are Anthemis iberica.
Euphobia pontica, I hope to recall.
Well-embraced by xeriscape circles, this is Veronica liwanensis, the Turkish Speedwell, doing what it does at home in Southern Georgia.

Spring is tops anywhere you are.
Cyclamen coum complex looks fine, I believe, at the foot of all sorts of things, and here it does its celebration-of-shade at a tree's roots.
A traditional Georgian Dinner is prepared for foreigners in the hotel.
Wild Cyclamen coum.
This is for you, mom. A Paris sp. flourishes behind.
Helleborus orientalis. Another garden stand-by. Now you know where you plants-with-funny accents look like at home.

Galanthus platyphyllus is a huge plant. (Well, huge in snowdrop terms) This is a legendary stand of it that benefits from a very wet snowmelt nearby.

Closer. Leaves like paddles for bad children.
I think this is Kutaisi.

I think that Galanthus collectors wet their trousers for yellow forms. Again, Galanthus platyphyllus Yeah, they're nice.