John Amand - Tulips, Species and Hybrids (9/11/2012)
Those who have attended the Chelsea Flower Show over the years will probably have been excited by many of the rare bulbs on Jacques Amand's stands. Our talk this November was by John Amand on tulips. John's connections with the Dutch bulb growers and obvious enthusiasm and fascination with the subject, really came across, and made his talk very different from many others that we have had. The range of tulip varieties and the scale on which they are grown is mind boggling, but what is also nice is some of the smaller scale growers and groups that maintain older and historical tulips in cultivation. From a gardeners point of view it is astonishing how so many rare and, what many would regard as tricky, plants are grown on a field scale. A good example is the 'Chilean Crocus', Tecophilaea cyanocrocus. He showed pictures of a number of other bulbs, including the very fine Erythronium 'Joanna', named for his daughter, which has made a superb plant in our garden, a gift from Wol and Sue Staines at Glen Chantry. All in all a great talk from an authority on the subject (from the gardener's perspective), plus some pretty interesting plants to try in the garden!