Decadic Pelargonium Cultivars: 1830-1839 Pt. 4: Based on the Spalding List of Pelargonium Cultivar Names

9781899742516: Decadic Pelargonium Cultivars: 1830-1839 Pt. 4: Based on the Spalding List of Pelargonium Cultivar Names
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Gardening: Pelargonium cultivars of 1830's I had thought of calling this "Decadent P. cvs" but find (Oxford Eng.Dict., is using that "technical"?) that although "decadent" can be used or twisted to mean "ten-year periods" there is a word which precisely means TEN YEAR PERIODS: DECADIC. Now the thing is, that I've already analysed the state of the art for existing names, see Geraniaceae Group Associated Note 5, June 1999 & Addendum by Dr.Alan Leslie, Senior International Registrar for the Royal Horticultural Society, AND for existing names,@ 1999, my estimate was 25,000. I can't cope with that many, even with computers, at least not all at once. And YES, stupid, of course I know about scanners; I've investigated them, too, and have been appalled to find (1998) that they may take 6 minutes for one page (bad time) or a good time is 4 mins AND you have to minutely check the result & ensure the "reading" is correct. Now I can type @ about 1-page per 3 minutes, so as long as I can read it, it is at present quicker for me to do it manually, and the advantage is that I can leave out or meaningfully abbrv. some words, or add words to expand a meaning where it isn't clear but I happen to have extra knowledge.

These factors might make it feasible for me to attempt the task, but further factors - merely selling Ger.Gp.books, keeping the News issued nearly on time, etc, mean I simply do not have the spare time to add this job to all the others. But in any case I don't want to: instead what I would like to do is examine the very early cultivars. This arose from, first, seeing the Canelleto painting, "The Stonemason's Yard" in which are shown clay flowerpots with Pelargonium cultivars of the Zonal Class, and my suspicion is, hybrid cultivars. Date? Circa 1750. Second, a LOT of the latinised "species" described & illustrated by Sweet 1820 HAD common-names, and the hint is very strong that there was a wide culture of their culture, as today, unwritten. Third, there was Linnaeus's comment in 1736. But note that Pelargonium cultivars take a priority below various "really interesting" studies that come up at random such as the checklist of Madagascar's flowering plants, and can only be done in "time-corners" - little bits of spare time that crop up from, pun ho ho, time to time.

Other People Doing It The Registration Authority for Pelargonium cultivars 1973-1996 was The Australian Geranium {sic} Society Inc, under Jean Llewellyn; it attempted the task alphabetically, logical, but took ten years per volume, and only reached "F", by when, in 1996, 20-years of hybridising had gone unrecorded especially in letters A,B,C! This demonstrated TWO problems: incompetance, and lack of will. Incompetance: the excuse is always "it must be RIGHT" so instead of rushing out a preliminary, admitted unsatisfactory but complete list, it MUST be perfect. But what's perfect never happens, and it hasn't. Lack of will: because nobody ELSE in all the time from Andrews & Sweet to Llewelln, has brought out such a list EXCEPT The British Pelargonium & Geranium Society under Mr. Stimpson in 1972, and it was very incomplete, and suffered strongly from the "it must be perfect" syndrome in that the LAYOUT was "perfect" - columns for all conceivable (then)data, almost all of them being empty. - Now I wrote this in Dec.2000, and on reading it, Alan Shellard brought to my notice & I was later given a copy of, The Spalding List of Pelargonium Cultivars.

This has no publication data whatever, no introduction, no author declaration at all, but contains data culled from prior books and catalogues, on fewer than 6999 Pelargonium cultivars. In original it's appalling, out of alpha order, dreadful spelling errors, bad typescript, random "tabulation", a Zonal with tricolor leaves will appear twice once as Show Class Zonal and once as Show Class Tricolor; abbreviated names appear as maybe 4 different abbreviations and the full name as well; but it was done, probably in the USA, probably distributed 1962 onwards. Two approaches thus had failed, and it seems to me that the only solution is to record blocks by TIME; this also fits with my interest in the historic cultivars, since it's much easier (!)to begin at the beginning since there are far fewer names. In addition I ALREADY have huge lists of early cultivars under their latinised names, so can go BANG and have something quite bulky even though not complete - but as I explain,a) completeness takes too long, b) I can't make it complete since lots of cultivars are not recorded in places I can get to, so I need you, the reader to tell me about them, with copy preferably. RIGHT.

So my Pelargonium cultivar lists are notionally by ten-year intervals and I shall lump 1450-1799 together (the Portuguese were sailing about in 1450, weren't they?) Tentatively, 1. 1450-1799, 31Dec: the first thirty-four decads. 1750-1799, 31Dec are the first reasonably documented four decads. Well, no, but a lot of GROWING was going on. In fact I can't find sources so have lumped 1450-1799, 31Dec, into one Part, Part 1. 1800-1819, 31Dec: two Decads, but not all that many cultivars and mainly Andrews: Part 2. 1820-1829, 31Dec: Andrews, Sweet, Trattinnick, Loddiges, Reider: Part 3. 1830-1839, 31Dec: Reider, Mrs. Loddiges, some garden magazines begin: Part 4. I don't intend to go any further as after 1839 hybridising really exploded as far as records show, & I'm not really interested anyway. Again, I wrote this in Dec.2000 and since Names: latinised names were still in fashion and were allowed for garden plants by the botanists until as late as 1959; they should be here as "Pelargonium abundans" but I generally omit "Pelargonium"; genuinely fancy-names I have under the Cultivar Code in single quotes but the latinate ones as originally published, lower-case.

Format: some are ex-species Checklist, name: publication (date); others are ex-cultivar checklists with 'Cultivar Name', Show Class, catalogue probably first listed, date. Description only if I'd felt like it for species, so not all cultivars looked at from the garden angle yet. Many were never "described", mention made merely of those features which the nursery thought were "novel" or special to help sell the plant. Show Classes: these are as modern, but seem to have been assigned on 2 principles: 1, if the cultivar was mentioned in Dauthenay's Les Geraniums it was "therefore" Zonal; 2, if it wasn't described as anything else it was "therefore" Zonal. In my experience from the books of the time, Zonals were often given between gardeners but rarely thought worth book-space; at this period the "fashionable" plants were pseudo-Regal hybrids. I can't say that Zonals are fashionable now, either, the attitude being "oh those plants - everyone has those."

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9781899742486: Decadic Pelargonium Cultivars

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ISBN 10:  1899742484 ISBN 13:  9781899742486
Publisher: Geraniaceae Group, 2000

9781899742523: Decadic Pelargonium Cultivars: 1840-1959 Pt. 5: Based on the Spalding List of Pelargonium Cultivar Names

The Ge..., 2001