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Messages - Peter Kohn

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General Meconopsis Forum / MGS#1
« on: November 20, 2017, 01:02:12 PM »
This form of M. baileyi was offered on the seed list this year. Only got very tiny amount of germination but the plants have grown on well and right now they are still in reasonably full leaf when normal forms of M. baileyi and also 'Lingholm' have gone right back. Ian Scott has no further information so I wonder whether anyone else in the group knows anything more about this plant. Could it actually be a hybrid ?

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Test Topic page
« on: November 20, 2017, 12:57:55 PM »
Test seems to be working !

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Thompso and Morgan
« on: November 05, 2017, 03:38:29 PM »
I'll have a go at that unless it would be better coming formally from the group. Gardener's World were pretty misleading about how to grow meconopsis but they did take down the offending clip after we complained.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Thompso and Morgan
« on: October 22, 2017, 05:10:46 PM »
I have to agree about T&M seeds (generally, not just meconopsis). When we first started to develop the garden at Kerrachar almost everything was grown from seed. We learned to accept that not everything germinated with our one size fits all approach but with most sources of seed we expected 70% germination. (These days we expect quite a bit  better with seed we have collected ourselves but I suspect we have largely selected things that we initially grew from seed anyway). With T&M our success rate was only 30% and after a couple of years they were dropped as a supplier. That was 20 years ago. Hopefully they have improved.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Thompso and Morgan
« on: October 11, 2017, 08:24:19 AM »
Sounds sensible though I suspect they are more concerned with using names that are most successful commercially rather than scientifically accurate. I cringe whenever I see Incarvilleas described as 'hardy gloxinias' but there is little chance of reversing this useage and getting the horticulture industry to use baileyi rather than betonicifolia will be very difficult.

General Meconopsis Forum / Thompso and Morgan
« on: October 08, 2017, 08:31:13 AM »
I was interested to see that T&M are offering 'Luxurious Designer Poppies' in their Meconopsis 'Union Jack' Collection. One plant each of (Meconopsis betonicifolia, Meconopsis Napaulensis, Meconopsis betonicifolia 'Alba') in 7cm pots for £9.99 reduced from £35.97.

This raises a number of questions.  How can they be sure that the white plant is white ? (Our seed-raised plants from M. baileyi alba have a high proportion of blue progeny).  Are they raised by tissue culture ?  Does this explain why the plants are so small ?  And being so small, will they survive the winter ?   We have always followed James Cobb's advice, given more than twenty years ago and tried to build up large strong plants before winter. We will be selling our large, multi-crowned M. baileyi plants in 2 litre pots at our final plant sale in Sheffield Botanic Gardens this afternoon (for £5). What do others think ?

Species / Re: Meconopsis staintonii
« on: September 09, 2017, 08:10:35 AM »
My flowering plant was actually (almost) pure white and the seed capsules were still not yet ready to harvest so cannot comment on the seed yet. Several other plants are still at the rosette stage and look not unlike the 'M. staintonii' grown from Cluny seed this year (this was the 'lemon yellow' form - I didn't get germination from 'pinky red' or from Ian's ex CC second time round).  I have to say that both Ian and |\\john's seed progeny have made very spectacular rosettes so far.  I have had a lot of losses from plants in the napaulensis (hort) and paniculata group with plants in pots here in Sheffield so I am hoping for better luck with plants in the ground.

Growing / Re: Growing Meconopsis
« on: August 27, 2017, 12:01:02 PM »
I wonder whether the plants at Holehird were seedlings from the M staintonii albiflorum which Ian brought to the October 15 meeting.
Pat Murphy would know.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Meconopsis for Gardeners
« on: July 29, 2017, 09:26:08 AM »
Have now received my free copy and am spend time in the local University Library studying it.  Found the odd problem (picture of baileyi and Lingholm seed labelled back to front for example) and I still don't know how many species there are as different numbers appear in different chapters but there is so much description of what conditions various species enjoy in the wild that it makes me wonder why we ever succeed with any of them in the UK but also helps think about what might might be the best situations to try with more knowledge. Anyway, super book.

Seeds and germination issues / Adenophora nikoensis var linearifolia
« on: June 25, 2017, 09:15:48 AM »
Apologies for posting this here but I obtained seed under this name from this year's Meconopsis Group seed distibution.  We had good germination but the resultant plants do not have the narrow leaves we expected. If the member who sent the seed to Ian reads this, please could you tell us more about the parent plant.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Golden root mealybug
« on: June 18, 2017, 09:23:50 AM »
Many thanks for the information. Will be vigilant and also careful not to buy in any meconopsis !

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Meconopsis for Gardeners
« on: June 18, 2017, 09:02:32 AM »
Many thanks for the reassurance.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Growing in Pots
« on: June 17, 2017, 04:12:11 PM »
We find even the 'big blue poppies' go through winter nearly 100% successfully in pots but lose a lot in the ground in the Sheffield climate. At Kerrachar we also lost plants in pots if they were in the polytunnel but they were fine outside so we contimue to keep them outdoors in Sheffield. No fancy composts, just a mixture of multipurpose and JI 3 plus slow release feed. This also seems to work OK for smaller mecs such as zhongdianensis and aculeata.

General Meconopsis Forum / Meconopsis for Gardeners
« on: June 17, 2017, 04:03:21 PM »
Am dithering about buying a copy as I was told that I might get a free copy as a contributor. Does any other contributor know anything about this ?

General Meconopsis Forum / Golden root mealybug
« on: June 17, 2017, 03:56:31 PM »
Just seen a post on the SRGC forum by Alan Elliott who apparently ran a Meconopsis Workshop at RBGE today. He was drawing attention to this as a potentially devastating pest, Has anyone had problems with this ?  How easy are they to spot ?  Any obvious early symptoms ?  Worrying and would like to know more.

Growing / Re: First seed germinated 2017
« on: June 12, 2017, 01:18:48 PM »
I wonder whether you would be better with a smaller grain of grit ?  We used to use grit off our beach when we were at Kerrachar (after washing off the salt and seaweed).  These days we use Flint Chick Grit which is excellent after sieving off any sand.

P.S. Just noticed that Nick has flowered BVH42 successfully (separate post). Good to see what we are missing !

I have found M. paniculata BVH 42 really tricky. A nice healthy big mature plant which I added to the Meconopsis Glade in Sheffield Botanic Garden has collapsed in much the way shown in your picture (only more so) and it was the sole survivor. Other  seedlings had collapsed earlier. It seems to be much more temperamental than, say seedlings from Ian Scott's 'M. staintonii albiflora which are thriving in the same glade.

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Gardener's World on-line Videos
« on: June 02, 2017, 05:43:08 PM »
I have made a complaint on the Gardeners World website and will send a letter as well. Don't expect it to get anywhere near Monty Don but hopefully there is some editorial control somewhere. Meconopsis are easy to grow in NW Sutherland, slightly more tricky in Sheffield !

General Meconopsis Forum / Gardener's World on-line Videos
« on: June 01, 2017, 01:01:52 PM »
Checking up on availability of the new Meconpsis for Gardeners book, I came across Monty Don's videos on sowing Meconopsis 'Lingholm' seeds and planting the plants he raised. Has anyone else seen them ?  I was shocked by what. to me. were serious inaccuracies. He insisted on sowing Meconopsis seed fresh which may be necessary for some species but certainly not for Lingholm which most of us sow in January/February and get good germination. Properly stored seeds will germinate fine in the second year and well beyond. 

As he apparently didn't go in for early pricking out and potting on his one year old seedlings and the plants he eventually planted after two years looked starved and were much smaller than one would expect - I would expect to have plants the size he was planting by June or July in the year of sowing.

Has anybody given him any advice or feedback ?  Because he is a 'celebrity' I imagine it isn't easy but if no-one else has done so, I will have a try.

Species / Re: Meconopsis staintonii
« on: May 25, 2017, 01:53:54 PM »
My seedlings grown from Ian's seedhead stem brought to the October 2015 meeting are clearly not M. wallichii but they vary subtly so suspect they are also now hybrids.

Species / Re: Meconopsis pseudointegrifolia
« on: May 25, 2017, 01:50:56 PM »
Haven't flowered my sole survivor grown as M.pseudointegrifolia yet but the leaves look very similar to yours and noriceably different from what I am growing as M. integrifolia,

Growing / Re: Meconopsis baileyi ex Doshog La
« on: May 09, 2017, 08:12:14 AM »
I'm still not certain about whether there is any real difference with the wild collected plants. all the different baileyi seeds sown this year seem to have done well - unusually for me, better than 'Lingholm'. My personal approach is to'allow nature to take its course'.  Seed is sown earl (usually January) and seeds are kept outside in a little plastic greenhouse against a shady wall so that I can controlwatering but exposed to natural temperature fluctuations. This year all the baileyi seeds germinated in late February.

Growing / Meconopsis baileyi ex Doshog La
« on: April 21, 2017, 06:45:53 PM »
Just inspected the seedlings in the nursery and noticed that the seedlings of the wild collected M. baileyi appear to have grown faster than seedlings from my own plants and to have rounder true leaves. Has anyone else noticed that this strain of M. baileyi is beginning to look a little different from existing forms

General Meconopsis Forum / Re: Meconopsis Group numbering system
« on: April 20, 2017, 10:24:02 AM »
Many thanks for the information, Poppy Girl. Pat Murphy has given me a piece of this plant to nurture but I had forgotten its detailed antecedents. In general, my query was whether the whole list of Evelyn's is accessible to members of the group. I'll post a picture of the current state of my MG100 separately.

General Meconopsis Forum / Meconopsis Group numbering system
« on: April 15, 2017, 05:03:15 PM »
Does anyone know how to access the numbering system used by the group ?  Would like to read more about MG100 for a start.

Growing / Re: First seed germinated 2017
« on: March 31, 2017, 05:31:27 PM »
I would be interested to know what success rate Alan gets sowing so late. I have only once sown later than mid-February and that was the species for which I am acting as 'guardian' (M. simplicifolia var grandiflora) which I didn't sow until 18th March last year. I got about 25% germination, much to my relief as most of my Mec Group seeds failed last year and I had been very impressed by the trials done by Geoff Hurst (I think) showing much better germination for many species bysowing in October with germination success falling off rapidly by DEcember/January.

I checked with Bjornar and he confirms they were collected in different locations.

Has anyone else grown integrifolia seed from Bjornar. I had seed collected in 2014 which germinated very rapidly. Some seed was kept back and sown again this year. Again it germinated rapidly. I also had fresh seed collected in 2015 which failed to germinate at the usual time but I hung on to the pot and do now have a couple of seedlings. The same seed sown this year at the same time as the 2014 seed has again failed to germinate. I am wondering now whether they are actually the same species.  Does anyone else  share my experience ?

Species / Meconopsis staintonii
« on: February 21, 2017, 08:48:05 AM »
I notice that the Plant List still regards this name as 'unresolved'. Has any work been done on the DNA ?  It seems that the white form grows much taller than other colour forms. This year I have sown four different colour forms, twofrom Cluny seed plus my own red form which was only about 90cm tall and seed from Ian Scott's albiflorum (very tall). Only the lemon yellow form has germinated so far. Might the different colour forms potentially be separable ?

Seeds and germination issues / Re: Stratification of seed.
« on: February 13, 2017, 08:55:53 AM »
Have to agree with everything Alan says. We usually sow in January though now experiment with November sowings for the big rosette forming monocarpic species. This year have had a few early germinations from November sowings but most germination is in March. This is with seed trays left outside in a 'wall multitiered greenhouse'. I am bringing spare M. balangensis seedlings to the March meeting but generally spare seedlings would have to be exchanged in October (by which time they ought to be pretty large plants).

Species / Re: Meconopsis balangensis
« on: February 08, 2017, 09:39:22 AM »
I have pricked out 28 seedlings this morning (mostly in fours) and hope to be able to bring them to the next meeting on March 4th so hopefully someone will give them a good home.

Growing / Re: First seed germinated 2017
« on: January 29, 2017, 01:28:49 PM »
Like Alice, I sowed some of our meconopsis seeds in late November, also in an unheated 'wall greenhouse'.  I have already had four germinations some time ago. M. balangensis appeared on 31st December closely followed by the mysterious 'M. baileyi x latifolia' on january 1st, M.integifolia on the 4th M. zhongdianensis on the 5th. Interestingly, all of these seeds came from annd were from the 2015 collection (2014 fro the M. integrifolia). All the seeds from Bjornar have been viable though I haven't necessarily been anle to raise plants to maturity so hope I can do better this time.

Identification issues / Re: Meconopsis 'Jim's Ex'
« on: January 20, 2017, 01:40:39 PM »
Many thanks for the advice. As I have more than enough plants of known provenance I think I had better discard these. I'm still intrigued that  I got germination now though one of my fellow volunteers at Sheffield Botanic Gardens did have a similar experience with a violet M. baileyi (which for me germinated at the normal time - March in the year of sowing).

Identification issues / Meconopsis 'Jim's Ex'
« on: January 19, 2017, 04:33:38 PM »
Offered by the SRGC seed exchange last year. Bizarrely a couple of seeds have just germinated from a sowing last January. Never had a blue meconopsis wait a year before.  Does anyone know any more about this one ?

Growing / Re: Meconopsis simplicifolia subsp. grandiflora
« on: January 14, 2017, 12:06:47 PM »
Thanks Alan. I absolutely agree. I have posted another more general query about high level species but I'll give it a go and see what happens.
Noticed this morning that the evergreen species that are under a plastic sheet with ventilation at the sides (alpine gardener's style) are looking blissfully happy whilst those for which I didn't have room and stayed out on the benches are less pristine. So a winter cover needs to be part of the plan.

Growing / High Alpine Species
« on: January 14, 2017, 12:02:13 PM »
I have a number of species just sown that I am going to struggle with growing if I ever get them to germinate, not just the balangensis which I have already posted. Does anyone out there have any experience of creating good conditions for those meconopsis species that live in scree above the tree line ?  Clearly can't match the conditions accurately but presumably alpine experts might have advice to offer.

Seeds and germination issues / Meconopsis exilis (or is it sulphurea)
« on: January 13, 2017, 05:18:36 PM »
Received my final batch of seeds from Bjornar Olsen ( today.  They include something he sold as Meconopsis sp. He says he intended to collect Meconopsis exilis but when he got home he realised it might actually be Meconopsis sulphurea. Whichever, I found three packets in my batch of seeds. My first impression is that the seeds are larger than what I have sown as M. integrifolia or pseudointegrifolia but under the hand lens they have  a similar shape to the seeds of M. integrifolia he sent and are only marginally larger. I have sown a batch today and have plenty left for next year so if anyone would like one of the spare packets I am happy to send them to a good home.

I have had excellent results with seeds from Have just germinated all his 2014 and 2015 seeds I had left and his are easily the best of the wild-colletected seeds for germination success. What a shame this is his final year.

Growing / Re: Meconopsis simplicifolia subsp. grandiflora
« on: January 07, 2017, 09:21:55 AM »
Allan, our allotment is the best we can do in Sheffield. It is six hundred feet up on a north-facing slope and on the site of an eighteenth century drift coal mine so there are places where water seeps out of the bedrock. Hopefully, if I fill an old plastic fishbox with sand it will remain wet below but free-draining above. Six hundred feet isn't 3000 metres but ...

Seeds and germination issues / Re: Storing seed once collected
« on: January 06, 2017, 02:13:29 PM »
Obviously what I do is wrong, but it seems to work. I wait until seed is really ripe and catch it just before it would naturally sow itself. Collection is into brown paper envelopes with the corners taped down. Seeds will often, but not always, sit on the table or windowsill or in my seed collection 'bumbag' in case more seed is available. Eventually, or if I have collected everything for that species, immediately seed goes into the fridge in a sealed plastic box with several sachets of silica gel.  This gives me very high viability for Lingholm and baileyi and seems to work well enough for most other species. I agree that it is essential not to let the seeds get too damp and brown paper envelopes do breathe well,

Growing / Re: Meconopsis simplicifolia subsp. grandiflora
« on: January 06, 2017, 01:56:25 PM »
Thank you for your comments, Alan. I have to agree that it is proving hard to grow some of the big blue meconopsis in Sheffield Botanical Gardens apparently because they are getting too dry in summer. I had to work hard to persuade the Curator to let me use the dampest corner of the woodland garden as a new meconopsis bed which so far seems to be a more succesful site. However, I attended a talk by Peter Korn who convinced me of the merits of growing high alpines (as against woodland marginals) in pure sand. Hopefully the crowns would be nice and dry whilst the roots would develop deeper and reach water below. This would be some sort of mirror of conditions in nature where plants are often growing in scree and are watered from below by meltwater. It certainly seems to work for him and he is even growing Lingholm very succesfully this way.

Growing / Re: Growing Meconopsis
« on: January 04, 2017, 02:00:34 PM »
Great to see the post from John and Wendy Mattingley at Cluny. Their white form of M. staintonii seems to match the monster stem that Ian Scott brought to the autumn 2015 meeting. Has the DNA been done ?  Seems odd that the white form is so much taller than all the rest though there is no intrinsic reason why the genes that control flower colour should not be coupled to the genes for height. I have young plants of the white form grown from Ian's seed and will plant them out on the assumption they will be really tall. I also have seeds from two of John and Wendy's plants just sown so am hoping they will germinate. Have only flowered a red form so far (exCC7478). This had really fine red flowers but was a mere four feet in height (and definitely monocarpic).

Seeds and germination issues / Re: When to sow
« on: January 02, 2017, 05:34:02 PM »
Never have much problem with germinating or growing on the big blue poppies but germination of everything else is much less certain. Last year was an almost complete failure with seeds from our own exchange, for example.

Pests and diseases / Re: Botrytis and mildew
« on: January 02, 2017, 11:32:44 AM »
Hi Marie

Good to know of a meconopsis fan in Jutland. We spent a very happy year in Aarhus back in 1969-70.

For what it's worth I don't think a wet climate is the major problem. We grew M. napaulensis (hort) with very few losses when we were at Kerrachar in NW Scotland where our rainfall, especially in winter, was very high. Now we are in Sheffield we have lost a lot of rosette forming meconopsis over winter having grown them into large apparently healthy plants. My feeling is that they resent being in pots but I haven't had enough planted in the ground to be sure they are less vulnerable though the reverse is true for the big blue poppies (baileyi, Lingholm etc) where we almost never have losses in pots but have huge losses over winter in the ground, especially in Sheffield Botanic Gardens.

Species / Meconopsis balangensis
« on: December 31, 2016, 04:42:11 PM »
For the second year, I have excellent germination of this species from seed obtained from Bjarne Olsen last year. Last year I lost the lot and would like to do better this year. Has anyone succeeded with this species ?  If so, advice please.

Seeds and germination issues / When to sow
« on: December 31, 2016, 04:38:50 PM »
Many tears ago there was extensive discussion about the optimum time to sow the big blue mecs such as baileyi and Lingholm and the consensus at the time favoured February. We have largely stuck with this although sowing a little earlier hasn't made any significant difference. In the January 2015 edition of 'The Rock Garden' Geoff Hill reported extensive trials on a number of other Meconopsis species which showed maximum germination success from sowings in October or November.

Last year I started to experiment with this approach with mixed success. Perhaps because I broke my own rules and moved the seed pots into the greenhouse for a while, overall germination was the poorest I ever had. Those seeds I did succeed with germinated only slightly better when sown on 24th October than on January 17th. M. napaulensis (hort) and M. paniculata from two different sources sown on October 24th all germinated on November 26th. M.staintonii alba did not germinate until May 19th, a few days after the seeds sown on January 17th.

This year I sowed a handful of species in November. So far only one species has germinated successfully - I spotted avery full germination of M. balangensis this morning from a sowing on November 25th. I have posted elsewhere a query about how to grow this species. The seed came from Bjarne Olsen (Trillium) last year and I got good and equally rapid germination from a sowing on February 7th so I am not sure what I was thinking about in chosing a November sowing this year. I have asked for advice elsewhere about how to grow this species on - I singularly failed last year.

It would be interesting to know when other forum readers find to be the optimum sowing time for various species.

Seeds and germination issues / Re: Mec dhwojii, who grows it
« on: December 30, 2016, 08:14:55 AM »
I would agree that enclosed humid spaces are bad news for meconopsis. We always overwinter our plants which are being raised for sale in the following season outdoors, both at Kerrachar and here in Sheffield and this works beautifully for Lingholm, baileyi etc. On the other hand, monocarpic rosette-forming species seem to be happier in the ground.

Our one dramatic failure with growing the big blue poppiies was at Kerrachar the year when we put up a shade tunnel (netting only) which we thought would be ideal for meconopsis and primulas. Almost all our big blue poppies, already large ribust plants,  collapsed in July through some sort of fungal infection. We did lose a proportion over winter at first when we brought them into our very large airy polytunnel to protect them from the prodigious North-west Highland winter rain which was why we reverted to keeping them in a sheltered spot out of doors.

So treat them rough seems to be the message, at least for big blue poppies. I should add that this year we are experimenting with an open-sided polythene covered frame for some of the species that we have lost in the past. I will report back on whether this has helped in the Spring.

Seeds and germination issues / Re: Mec dhwojii, who grows it
« on: December 27, 2016, 04:43:10 PM »
It's quite a long time ago now but we always sow all meconopsis early and then follow Kames Cobb's advice of moving plants on regularly to develop them as quickly as possible. My memory is that we were ready to plant onto the peat terrace by the autumn and overwintered the plants there. If they were still in pots they would have been overwintered outside and planted onto the terraces in Spring. Meconopsis (and Primula) were the genera that did better not brought into the polytunnel.

I have tried to analyse the differences between growing at Kerrachar and in Sheffield. Climate is certainly a factor although recent mild winters mean that the differences are slight. Th e bigger difference is probably soil - clay in Sheffield but peat in most of the garden at Kerrachar (though not in the rose beds where M. x cookei and M. quintuplinervia thrived at Kerrachar - there the soil was alluvial silty clay).

Growing / Meconopsis simplicifolia subsp. grandiflora
« on: December 22, 2016, 02:27:29 PM »
Ian Scott has charged me with looking after this plant. I got the seed rather late so I wasn't able to sow until March 18th, two months later than my other meconopsis. Surprisingly, in a year when most of my Meconopsis Group seeds failed, I did get some germination (on May 4th) and now have four quite healthy plants which are settling back to a small rosette of leaves just now. (I kept back most of the seed so more will be sown in the next few weeks). The problem is, what now ?  My inclination is to overwinter in pots and then to plant up Peter Korn style in a fishbox full of sharp sand on my allotment (north-facing slope and 600 feet up). Has anyway experience of growing this species successfully or alternative advice ? My meconopsis bed in the Sheffield Botanic Garden is immediately next to an area into which huge amounts of grit have been incorporated so very free-draining. Is this a possible site ?

Seeds and germination issues / Re: Mec dhwojii, who grows it
« on: December 22, 2016, 01:49:37 PM »
We grew it for many years at Kerrachar and never had any problems. Now back in Sheffield it has been more tricky. Germination has been poor and about five years ago I only raised  a couple of plants which were eventually planted out on the allotment where leaves were as I remembered but flowers disappointing and seed non-existent. A plant raised in 2014 was kept in a pot and flowered well but seemed surprisingly large and robust. Seed was set but only two seedlings raised (and lost) in 2016. Still have seed so will try again in 2017.

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