New Seed For The New Year
Esther Berry, Aberdeen, Washington
At this writing, the first frost of winter is now white upon the ground but even so, spring is just around the corner. With the postman bringing little packets of seed from everywhere; who needs Santa Claus. For a compulsive gardener there is nothing so exciting as seed. Who knows what treasures are yet to arrive? I can scarcely wait!
Last spring the late frosts sharply curtailed the production of seed in the northwest, but now, with the seed program in its third year, I refuse to worry. I am confident that the seed will come in-from somewhere.
It is still too early for much information on the items our list will contain but we do know that we will have many new hybrid crosses; probably more kinds that will be hardy in less favorable climates than we have had before. We will again offer hybrid crosses from Dr. Carl Phetteplace, Eugene, Oregon and from Dr. Ernest Yelton, Rutherfordton, N.C. Also there will be some from Jack Cowles, Dexter Estate, Sandwich, Mass. and from Dr. Frank Mossman, Vancouver, Wash. We have received a shipment from Dr. Tsuneshige Rokojo of Tokyo, Japan containing among others, seed of R. fauriei, which we have not listed before. Another item new to our list is R. maculiferum from James Caperci of Seattle, Wash.
Perhaps the most exciting items on our list may be the seed collected in Japan by Mr. Frank Doleshy of Seattle, Wash. Imagine seed of R. yakushimanum collected in the wild! Details about this collection will be found in his article, also in this bulletin. Here, I will only add that this remarkable contribution demonstrates, in a very special way, the wonderful possibilities of a co-operative plant society. The rich resources that we as members can share with each other is pretty amazing.
Since only a small portion of the seed that is to come has arrived, (I hope) it was not possible to include the seed list in this issue. The next issue of the bulletin will not be out until April so the Board of Directors has granted permission for the seed list to be mailed separately. This has not been done previously because it involves considerable extra expense. It is our wish to give the best possible service to those requiring seed so we shall try this method this year. In another year we will need to consider whether the service does indeed justify the expense or if some less expensive method of distribution can be devised so that these funds can be used for other purposes; possibly the purchase of seed not other wise available to us.
We have decided upon February first as the target (late upon which we will send our list off to the printer. Those who will have seed to contribute must make certain that their seed reaches us at least a week before that date. We shall be waiting with eager anticipation.