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North Wales Diary Discussion: March 2013

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Started by: Susan Read

Go to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 03 April 2013, 09:28. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Susan Read 25 March 2013, 17:36top / bottom of page

John, pleased to see your are right Spring certainly can be far behind. I have not found an Ode to the East wind and one by Kingsley to the North-East seems to be a bad joke. ''Tired we are of Summer'' etc.

The snow here is disappearing fast, by sublimation. I was tempted to say ablation but I think that implies permanent snow!

February Gold is just flowering and mine normally manages at least the end of February. A saxifrage often out in January has only recently flowered. I think it came from a plant sale or raffle and I do not know the name.

Contribution from John Good 28 March 2013, 23:29top / bottom of page

Nice to hear from you Susan. I have been racking my brain (what's left of it!) to remember the name of your saxifrage, but for the moment at least, it escapes me.

Ah, I've had a thought, it could be Saxifraga scardica, or if not one of it's hybrids.

Contribution from Susan Read 29 March 2013, 10:18top / bottom of page

Yes indeed that looks likely. I have just found Google takes me to an entry ...AGS Northumberland Diary 25 March 2007! Not as much pink on my plant but flowers rather like the S marginata in the same entry. I feel like a student who should have read the text book by a certain J Richards (am hoping the NHS will enable me to soon)

I wish the AGS encyclopaedia had illustrations of natural plants as well as show specimens.

Contribution from Tim Ingram 29 March 2013, 20:09top / bottom of page

Susan - I think the hope is that with the Encyclopaedia online members will gradually elaborate on the entries for plants, but this is only likely to happen on a piecemeal basis. Personally I think discussions on the Forum are more effective because a greater number of gardeners can get involved and interesting aspects of growing and studying the plants can range more widely - the Encyclopaedia is a fantastic reference but the more you know plants the less easy it often becomes to pin down what they are! (Or even sometimes that this is so important).

Contribution from John Good 02 April 2013, 21:54top / bottom of page

I don't see one being more important than the other, although it's true that more people are likely to contribute to an informal forum than to a more formal e-book. The advantage of the Encyclopedia is that all the information on a particular Family, Genus or Species is gathered together in one place, rather than being scattered around various forum pages, but we must all be willing to contribute to the Encyclopedia if it is to grow as some of us hope.

Contribution from Tim Ingram 03 April 2013, 09:28top / bottom of page

John I certainly wouldn't disagree, and the idea of an 'ebook' is very appealing. But if you look to the SRGC Forum there are often very informative short discussions on different groups of plants (which are helpful to those of us - everyone really - whose expertise is limited, and draws in new gardeners). The Encyclopaedia is so comprehensive that there must be resistance to chiming in about plants even if your knowledge is quite strong. The Shows can have a similar effect and I do remember Peter Cunnington wishing for more emphasis on garden worthy plants, perhaps more educative - not a new appeal, and I suppose ultimately the responsibility of those of us who wish for it to satisfy (but at the same time we need to advertise the Shows better to new gardeners). On the NARGS Forum is rather a different approach in that very many references are given to websites, so these in a way take the place of the Encyclopaedia. Both of those websites also have wonderful threads on places few of us are able to visit, notably New Zealand, eastern Europe and Russia and localised parts of North America. The AGS has a different approach - the result of how it is made up, which historically tends to hark back to the quite hierarchical ways of the RHS too, and is very strongly botanical. What would be great would be if the strengths of AGS as still the pre-eminent 'Alpine Garden Society', could be combined with those of the SRGC and NARGS, which are more 'user friendly' (ie: via their Forums), to give alpine gardening that attraction it needs for the future.

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