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Buried Treasures: Finding and Growing the World's Choicest by Janis Rukscaron;ans

By Janis Rukscaron;ans

Take a number of chapters from a John le Carré secret agent mystery, upload a hearty dose of unique travelogue, mixture with the best books on bulb starting to be ever written, and you have Buried Treasures. on the grounds that launching his first foreign mail-order catalog in 1991, Latvian nurseryman Janis Ruksans has swiftly won a name as one of many world's most advantageous specialists on infrequent and strange bulbs: Juno irises striped like unique birds; gem-like corydalis; dusky, brooding fritillaries. for many years, Ruksans has been scouring distant and hazardous areas of Europe and Asia to carry again seed of the botanical treasures that he bargains via his nursery, frequently contending with corrupt executive brokers, armed rebels, drunken drivers, or even (before the autumn of the Soviet Union) the KGB. when you learn Ruksans' bills of his large travels, you will by no means examine a flowering bulb within the related method back. A crocus will take you to the beaches of Lake Abant in northwestern Turkey, a tulip to the mountains of Chimgan in Uzbekistan. even if event abounds in Buried Treasures, there is a good deal extra for the gardener looking reliable details. in addition to being a well known collector, Ruksans is a grower and propagator of bulbs moment to none, and he generously stocks his specialist wisdom in regards to the care and cultivation of each significant and minor genus of bulb-forming plant. As richly assorted because the crops it describes, Buried Treasures will open your eyes to the wonder and fascination of the realm of bulbs.

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Additional resources for Buried Treasures: Finding and Growing the World's Choicest Bulbs

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We would debate this subject for hours. The decisive turning point for me was the first exhibition of flowers, fruits, and vegetables to be held in Latvia after the war, in the autumn of 1957. After Stalin’s death in 1953, a wave of moderate liberalization had allowed the surviving imprisoned scientists, farmers, and gardeners—whose only crime had been their outstanding professional achievement—to return from the gulags. Prewar professional associations were reestablished, among them the Latvian Society for Gardening and Beekeeping.

I am a professional gardener, a nurseryman. I don’t arrange decorative plantings or plant my bulbs in small pots to enjoy a nice collection. I propagate bulbs for distribution to other gardeners. However, I firmly believe that the knowledge I have obtained by growing bulbs in bulk is also suitable for collectors. We all work with the same thing, after all—a plant, a bulb—and the same attention is required regardless of the purpose for growing or the amount grown. At the same time, I am also a collector, since many of my plants are represented by only one or two specimens, though my total number of samples has reached several thousand.

Quite soon I was invited to an interview at a publishing house and was offered a job as an editor of Dārzs un Drava. The salary they offered was much higher than what I had been making, and the working conditions were better, so after much deliberation (I liked my scientific work), I accepted their proposal. For the next eighteen years I worked at the journal, the first three years as an editor and then for fifteen years as editor in chief. During that time I wrote my first books: two on forcing flower bulbs, one on daffodils, and a monograph on crocuses.

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