Download Buried Treasures: Finding and Growing the World's Choicest by Janis Rukscaron;ans PDF

By Janis Rukscaron;ans

Take a number of chapters from a John le Carré secret agent mystery, upload a healthy dose of unique travelogue, mixture with the best books on bulb growing to be ever written, and you have got Buried Treasures. considering the fact that launching his first overseas mail-order catalog in 1991, Latvian nurseryman Janis Ruksans has speedily received a name as one of many world's most effective specialists on infrequent and strange bulbs: Juno irises striped like unique birds; gem-like corydalis; dusky, brooding fritillaries. for many years, Ruksans has been scouring distant and hazardous areas of Europe and Asia to carry again seed of the botanical treasures that he bargains via his nursery, usually contending with corrupt executive brokers, armed rebels, drunken drivers, or even (before the autumn of the Soviet Union) the KGB. when you learn Ruksans' money owed of his wide travels, you are going to by no means examine a flowering bulb within the comparable approach back. A crocus will take you to the shorelines of Lake Abant in northwestern Turkey, a tulip to the mountains of Chimgan in Uzbekistan. even if experience abounds in Buried Treasures, there is a good deal extra for the gardener looking reliable info. in addition to being a popular collector, Ruksans is a grower and propagator of bulbs moment to none, and he generously stocks his expert wisdom in regards to the care and cultivation of each significant and minor genus of bulb-forming plant. As richly varied because the vegetation it describes, Buried Treasures will open your eyes to the wonder and fascination of the area of bulbs.

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The corner of BEGINNINGS the bed became my own private “garden,” where I planted things I had found in the neighboring forests and meadows. Thus began my first plant hunting expeditions. My family had to save every spare penny for our small summerhouse, so I went without pocket money. I was surrounded by beautiful wildflowers and started collecting and planting them in my garden. These included Primula veris and P. officinalis, Hepatica nobilis, various color forms of Saponaria officinalis, and some of my first bulbs: Anemone nemorosa and A.

While an eleven-year-old can be forgiven for such credulity, I was astounded, many years later, to discover that my professor of genetics at the Latvian Agricultural University still supported Lysenko’s theories (in fact, he received his doctorate for an “experiment” confirming that one could obtain barley from the seeds of winter rye). We would debate this subject for hours. The decisive turning point for me was the first exhibition of flowers, fruits, and vegetables to be held in Latvia after the war, in the autumn of 1957.

They were planted in a garden bed, where they brought forth perfect shoots. I repeated the experiment with seeds of Iris kolpakowskiana, but after scratching the seed skin I immediately sowed them in a box, beginning with a layer of soil, then a layer of clean, coarse sand, then the seeds, and then another layer of sand. Almost all of them soon produced beautiful shoots. This method requires time, patience, and sharp eyes, but it certainly pays off. The seeds of some plants do not fall into dormancy, or the period of dormancy is very short and the seeds do not need any cold period.

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