Current Issue

 Vol 77, Issue No. 4 (Autumn 2019)

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Contents

The View from Here by Elizabeth Lawson ……………………….. 3
Drooping like a Paigle by Anne Hogue …………………………….. 5
A Book review: by Lee Nelson …………………………………………. 7
Remembering Alan Lawrence …………………………………………. 9
Sakuraso in their Native Fields by Masahiro Shiino …………. 11
Small European Primulas ……………………………………………… 16
Lizzie Riches ……………………………………………………………….. 20
Membership List …………………………………………………………. 21
Vintage Bits ………………………………………………………………… 26
National Show and Save Seed………………………………………… 27
Minutes September 15, 2019 ………………………………………… 28
New Members …………………………………………………………….. 31
Officers of the Chapters ……………………………………………….. 31

 

The View from Here

by Elizabeth Lawson

The nights are getting colder and longer, and the leaves are falling, but this last weekend in September was a productive time for liberating primroses, which tend in my garden to become almost invisible by the end of summer among gangly giants like Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ and Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum) that run amok. Now, however, I have put pea-graveled paths through the wildness and moved the primroses to their borders where I can keep an eye on them close to my feet. This is a small-scale design change, but actually allows for many more primroses, and I plan to grow as many as possible from seed.

This brings me to the subject of seed collecting and APS’ seed exchange. One of the great benefits of membership in APS is participating in the Annual Seed Exchange, both as a donor and a buyer. Donors of seed will have the benefit of knowing that progeny from their gardens are finding homes. If you are in a position to be a donor in the USA, please send seed to Amy Olmsted, 421 Birch Road, Hubbardton, VT 05733. In Canada and outside North America, please send seed to : Pascal Vigot, 1171 Seigneurie Ste-Emelie, QC J0K 2K0 Canada. The Seed Exchange list and order form will be posted on the website in late December. Printed forms can be obtained by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Amy. For instructions on seed collecting, go to the website and click on Seed Exchange on the right-hand side of the home page.

Further, I would like to honor Alan Lawrence, a former president of the APS who passed away this summer. After the 2019 APS National Show this May a group of us shared a meal with Alan and his wife Anne; we walked them to their camper where their beloved dog waited to begin the long journey back to Michigan. Recently I decided to read his presidential messages for Autumn. In Autumn 2010 he writes of deciding to switch from a moisture-controlled mix to one based on composted leaf mold, per John Richards’ formula, to foster thriving seedlings and asks for members to share their recipes for non-peat moss-based formulas. In 2011 he visited Mary Kordes’ garden on Michigan’s Keewanaw Peninsula on Lake Superior. Mary gave him seeds of open-pollinated polyanthus that were said to “perform brilliantly.” Alan gave these seeds to the Seed Exchange, quoting Mary’s comment at the time: “…it only takes one seed to get a great plant.” “Assisted plant migration” was on his mind then. This is the thought that as the planet warms, some of the rarer endemics should be assisted to move 250 miles north. Writing of the seed exchange in Autumn 2012, he reminds us that “it is probably the most comprehensive source of Primula seed available in North America….” In Autumn 2013 he was back at the Keewanaw Peninsula and describes a pink cowslip in Mary’s garden, with discussion of probable genealogy. This message also imparts information on Primula germination from Norman C. Deno’s The Second Edition of Seed Germination Theory and Practice–most species should be germinated in the light, except for P. sinensis (text available online at http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/41278/PDF). Alan advises collecting fresh seed and dry-storing in the fridge to extend life before sending to the seed exchange. These columns demonstrate Alan’s horticultural enthusiasm, his attachment to primroses, and his generous service to the American Primrose Society.

Alan ended his Autumn 2010 column this way: “Like many similar organizations, the American Primrose Society is having some long-term financial issues. The membership dues do not cover the costs of the quarterly and other income sources are eroding in the current economic environment.” It is 2019, and the situation remains pretty much the same, not that there is any need to panic. Rather, it is a reminder that we need every member to stay on board and to recruit new members, perhaps through gift memberships. Anyone who sows a seed and encourages plant growth improves the quality of life on the planet.