by Dr. Janis Ruksans & Liga Popova

Jānis - Thursday, 23 May 2013 17:20

I started harvestiong of Crocuses. The first to harvest are CC. suworovianus, gilanicus, autranii, cappadocicus. Crop is excellent, they grew very well. Paralelly I'm harvesting Tulips, too. There bulbs could be larger. I think problem was in returning frost when many bulbs continued growing and even started blooming below replaced cover.

In same time many nice bulbs are blooming, too. In greenhouse phantastical looks bed with Eremurus himalaicus. Just at end of blooming is Eremurus cristatus. Very nice is unidentified Eremurus grown from seeds collected by Jim Archibald in Kazahstan. It has quite narrow soft green leaves. And the last one is picture of Eremurus lactiflorus.

Jānis - Wednesday, 15 May 2013 09:59

Some more seedlings of Oxalis laciniata - #83, #205, #214, #217


Jānis - Wednesday, 15 May 2013 04:48

Quite long time passed since my last information by garden news. I started harvesting of bulbs and the first ones were greenhouse grown Corydalis and then followed crocuses and frits roots of which were damaged last winter. I don't understand reason. From frits suffered just the easiest species and most difficult alive without problems. My experience shows that in such cases early harvesting is quite essential. Completely lost were only very few pots, so I hope that total damage will not be very painful.

I'm harwesting Crocus seeds, too. The first to ripe as allways are C. capadicicus and C. suworovianus.

But blooming still continue, too. So many pictures are maid, that in this entry only few most interesting. On first picture tubers of Corydalis magadanica. Then phantastic Paeonia from Iran - following Gothenburg BG I name it now as Paeonia iranica. For the first time with me flowers Oxalis loricata. And last pictyure - Oxalis laciniata seedling #69. I have more than 200 selected seedlings - of course far too much and Liga now is selecting the best ones.

Jānis - Tuesday, 07 May 2013 08:36

Yesterday I cleaned my bulb beds in outside garden. On attached pictures you can see remnants of Crocus shoots after rodent visit and a little further I found huge deposit with Crocus, Corydalis, Erythronium bulbs. But bulbs are blooming and just now with one week delay is culmination of Corydalis blooming. Empty spots on bed remained after rodent visit. Last days are very warm and many animals awake from winter sleep. My bee garden was visited by this viper quickly escaping in shrubs from me. But I like snakes - they are enemies of rodents!

Jānis - Saturday, 04 May 2013 05:50

In this entry some Muscari - the first is M. anatolicum, then M. botryoides CARNEA - very old cultivar but almost lost up to rediscovering of it by Sulev Savisaar in some Estonian garden; follows M. azureum and then M. polyanthum SNOW QUEEN - selected by me from material originally gathered in Turkey.

Jānis - Saturday, 04 May 2013 05:46

Weather nicely changed. We still have night frosts but they are not very hard and next weak is forecasted even + 25 C. I must hardly look for adequate watering of plants grown in greenhouse. Large leaves, high temperature + strong wind in last days are forcing evaporation and plants loose water very quickly. My indicator plants are Chinese anemones. They loose water very quickly and they allways show me that I must water pot grown plants. Now I'm showing few Anemone nemorosa and A. ranuncoloides cultivars: The first is EXPLOSION selected in Norway and quite variable in flower colour but very nice in each expression. After that nice cultivar ICE AND FIRE with very light pink flush over petals inside. Usually pink is more expressed on outside, but this one has pink shade on inside, too. And last nemorosa is cv. KASSARI with very large flowers of beautiful shape. Last one is unusual ranunculoides cultivar STAR- both selected by Taavi Tuulik from Hiumaa.

Jānis - Tuesday, 30 April 2013 07:39

I mentioned Tulipa behmiana. Its buds are distinctly pendant, on second picture closed flower, but how it looks when flower is opened I showed before 2 days together with yellow form of Tulipa albertii, but here red form of this species. I very like tulip named by Russian botanists Tulipa ophiophylla from Ukraina. It is regarded as sinonim of Tulipa sylvestris by other botanists, but at least my samples looks very different and it belongs to one of my most loved species.

Jānis - Tuesday, 30 April 2013 07:11

Here Tulipa heteropetala, collected last spring in Kazahstan, then just recently described species Tulipa kolbintsevii - it is named by our Kazahstan trip guide Vladimir Kolbintsev and easy identifiable by its very long neck of covering sheets. Similar has Tulipa behmiana. Another with long neck was described by Vvedenskyi from very S of Tadjikistan and named T. prolongata, but it is unknown in cultivation, so impossible to compare with T. kolbintsevii. Follow another new-comer - Tulipa lemmersii and as last one - Tulipa talievii - again from our last Kazahstan trip.


Jānis - Tuesday, 30 April 2013 07:03

It is culmination of Tulip blooming in greenhouse - Tulipa armena from Iran; then Tulipa fosteriana cv. Mrs. Dagnia - was found during my second mountain trip to Central Asia near Agalik in Uzbekistan; Tulipa polychroma - my gathering in Iran and as last Tulipa eichleri (origin unknown, I think it came from Tbilisi botanical garden when I was student, but I'm not certain about this - too difficult to find now.

Jānis - Tuesday, 30 April 2013 06:57

Now few different - Iris kuschakewiczii from most Eastern population in Kazahstan, then Puschkinia pashmenii - whitish form from near lake Van in E Turkey, Scilla gorgonica from Iran and as last Fritillaria collina from Vanadzor in Armenia (got with help of Zhirair).


Jānis - Tuesday, 30 April 2013 06:52

Weather slowly becomes better but still quite uncomfortable to work outside. So I'm still checking my stocks in greenhouses - correcting names, taking out occasional mixes and of course picturing, picturing, picturing... In this entry some of Juno irises - Iris parvula from Sina - its locus classicus in Uzbekistan, Then follow Iris tubergeniana - it recently is splitted in two species by DNA, but unfortunately my stocks accidentally were mixed together and so I don't know which one is this. Superficially both are very similar. Then I. zaprjagajevii from very S of Tadjikistan and as last one - Iris zenaidae (true graeberiana) from Kugart (Iris winkleri locality).


Jānis - Monday, 29 April 2013 11:03

And few tulips - T. vvedenskyi hybrid Honeymoon; sp. from Iran WHIR-064;Tulipa armena from Tendurek pass and Tulipa kurdica from Iraq.



Jānis - Monday, 29 April 2013 10:58

Today few Erythroniums - two subspecies of E. sibiricum just now blooming outside - subsp. sulevii and subsp. altaicum. Then Erythronium revolutum Rose Beauty and E. purdyi

Jānis - Sunday, 28 April 2013 14:56

Fritillaria reutheri and Anemone biflora - both from Iran; Tulipa systola from Iraq and Tulipa zenaidae from Khirghizia.

Jānis - Sunday, 28 April 2013 14:53

Now Tulipa ostrowskiana, Tulipa hissarica, red form of Tulipa kolpakowskiana and Tulipa micheliana.

Jānis - Sunday, 28 April 2013 14:49

Yesterday we had Open Door day in our nursery. Had around hundred visitors from Latvia and abroad. Guided tours started every hour from 9-00 in morning and last one started at 17-00.

There were marvellous blooming of Tulips and Juno irises, but a lot of other flowers bloomed, too. Here view of greenhouse and few tulips. At first two forms of Tulipa albertii. Then Tulipa behmiana. Both are quite dfifficult in cultivartion.

Jānis - Friday, 26 April 2013 05:32

Some more Erythroniums. Very popular is Erythronium White Beauty, usually attached to E. revolutum, but really it is form of E. californicum. There are two clones distributed - one early (pictured here), another later (not bloom yet). Next is E. citrinum, follows E. howelii and last is E. revolutum. Both I got from Art Guppy (USA).


Jānis - Friday, 26 April 2013 05:08

A lot of Erythroniums are blooming in greenhouse, but outside only noses are shown on beds. Very interesting is E. oregonum 'Covichan Star' selected by Art Guppy - its flowers looks up. On next picture E. oregonum leucandrum. One of most beautiful is E. hendersonii. Erythronium umbilicatum has yellow flowers.

Jānis - Friday, 26 April 2013 05:03

Some more frits - very unusual Chinese Fritillaria davidii this spring blooms marvelously, never before had so many flowers in one pot - up to eight. Fritillaria eduardii from Tadjikistan can be red, yellow, but this one raised by Augis is named 'Amberland'. Fritillaria ruthenica was originally collected in Penza district, Russia, but F. poluninii - from Iran.



Jānis - Friday, 26 April 2013 04:59

I was very busy last days, so now several entries to compensate that. In this you can see various forms of Fritillaria ariana/karelinii/gibbosa complex gathered in Turkmenistan, Kazahstan, Tadjikistan and Iran.

Jānis - Friday, 26 April 2013 04:55

Outside is still quite cool and development in open garden is very slow. Just blooms some reticulata irises, here Alan M'cMurtrie's cv. Sea Green - really even greener than on picture. Reticulata's better grow and bloom outside than in greenhouse, but in greenhouse cultivation is much safer against rodents and weather fluctuations. I lost many crocus stocks on open beds this winter - eaten by mice.

In greenhouse marvellously blooms Trillium kurabayashii (purple) and Trillium californicum - white with variable leaves - some mottled and some plain green. Another white bloomer - Iris magnifica 'Virginity' - stock raised up from single plant discovered near Agalik in Uzbekistan during my second trip to Central Asia in late seventies last century.


Jānis - Tuesday, 23 April 2013 06:04

For few days I was extremely busy and couldn't update my news information. We had nice visitors from AGS Dublin Group for three days. Weather was marvellous so we could pass all day in nursery and next day visiting some hystorical monuments. Spring finally started here in full speed and it took only 3 days and now all snow disappear. Many nice bulbs are blooming both in garden and even more in greenhouse. But there are some losses, too. Many crocuses are eaten by mice and some stocks even completely. Fortunately something still left in greenhouses. Today I'm publishing only picture of Dublin group. In center are staying my wife Guna and I - both dressed in national dressing reconstructed by arheological researhes from graves of prechristian time here - around 10th century (Christian religie was brought with sword and flame to Latvian tribes only in XIII century and we still are celebrating pagan festivals and Gods, so we are not good christians). Tomorrow we are going to Publishing House with new book of Guna - Garden Magic - it will be in Latvian. So next entry most likely will follow anly after 2 days (may be earlier?)

Jānis - Thursday, 18 April 2013 06:29

Three days ago finally opened tops of beds and yesterday was warm and sunny enough to check my bees. They passed winter well, only one family lost its strength, but queen is OK and started to lay egs. On beds earliest crocuses started blooming although still some snow left. But in greenhouse latest - Crocus minimus started blooming.


Jānis - Sunday, 14 April 2013 11:18

One of last crocuses blooming here is Crocus cvijicii. Planted side by side with C. veluchensis they sometimes hybridise, but plants on second picture comes from intentional cross. On third picture are hybrids from reversal cross where veluchensis was seed parent. On the last - Crocus pestalozzae blue form.


Jānis - Saturday, 13 April 2013 06:22

Just now started culmination of Anemone blooming in greenhouses. Our native nemorosa and ranunculoides only comes out of pots, but species from Southern dfistricts are in full bloom. Anemone blanda form from N Caucasus, Enem vil. in Krasnodar district Russia. It is single locality of blanda in those territories which during Soviet time remained under Russian occupation (some still really are, as decolonisation of mid-XX-century didn't touched Russian Empire). It could be different as it has very different tubers - they are not rounded (club-like ?) as in Turkish blanda, but looks like small branches - elongated and sometimes branching.
Anemone caucasica is small version of blanda distributed in Caucasus. It hybridises with blanda and if you want keep clean stock, multiplying from seeds - you must keep both isolated during flowering.
Anemone blanda is very variable in colour. Unfortunately some very beautiful selections didn't alive in this horrible winter.
And as last one is Anemone biflora from Markezi in Iran - another one which brings bright red shade in dwarf Anemone collection, although more often are grown yellow forms of it.