20 June 2007

On failure

My last discussion of seeds was prematurely triumphalist. The seeds I care most about -- the Calochortus and Fritillaria -- worked out fine (or seemed to: if I wanted to I could torture myself wondering whether they gone dormant or just died). But my assumption that the Allium and Erythronium would work out fine was of course unwarranted. Though I'm not giving up hope yet: assuming I failed to germinate seed that remains viable, nature, in the form of fall rains and diurnal temperature variation, will probably succeed where I failed.

But no sooner had I retired that batch for the season than my panicky order from Silverhill arrived: something like 20 more species from South Africa. Most of these can be sown in the fall, but a few demanded immediate attention, particularly the Haemanthus sanguineus, one of which had germinated en route. I have no idea why I stupidly ordered only 3 seeds, but you can imagine my reaction today when I discovered that the only one that sprouted had been mown down at soil level. Even if I knew the perp, the rage would remain self-directed for ordering so few.

On the other hand, I'm finally getting some action from Cyrtanthus obliquus, so I need to concentrate on not fucking that up, instead of wallowing in self-pity and/or -hatred. Onward and upward!

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