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 healthy dose of unique travelogue, mixture with the best books on bulb becoming 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 received a name as one of many world's preferable specialists on infrequent and weird bulbs: Juno irises striped like unique birds; gem-like corydalis; dusky, brooding fritillaries. for many years, Ruksans has been scouring distant and unsafe areas of Europe and Asia to carry again seed of the botanical treasures that he deals via his nursery, frequently contending with corrupt govt brokers, armed rebels, drunken drivers, or even (before the autumn of the Soviet Union) the KGB. when you learn Ruksans' bills of his broad travels, you will by no means examine a flowering bulb within the similar 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 though event abounds in Buried Treasures, there is a good deal extra for the gardener looking reliable info. 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 different because the crops it describes, Buried Treasures will open your eyes to the sweetness and fascination of the area of bulbs.

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This changed my daily routine drastically. During the previous winter I had produced a page and a half, but now I started working twelve-hour days, including weekends. I began in January and put down the last full stop at the end of April. This, however, was when the real work began. Gunta Lebedoka and Mārtiņš Erminass spent uncountable hours translating my Latvian English into something more fluent. Gunta confessed later that it would have been easier for her if I had written the book in Latvian so that she could have translated it without having to change the word order all the time.

I didn’t want to waste my time with such nonsense, so I waited until Latvia regained its independence to pursue my doctorate in biology. In 2003 I received my degree from the Latvian Academy of Sciences and became a member of the academy. While working at the botanical garden I started to write my first articles about bulb growing. 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.

So the trials and tribulations of plantsmen in the former USSR did not only occur on expeditions. J 9 10 FOREWORD Considerable benefits for gardens and gardeners have accrued as a result of Jānis Rukšāns’s expeditions. Apart from introducing many bulbous plants previously unknown or extremely rare in cultivation, he has discovered a number of new species and has helped greatly to widen our knowledge of variations within populations, resulting in a better understanding of species limits. Additionally he has selected, bred, and introduced considerable numbers of attractive cultivars in many plant groups, including tulips, Juno irises, and crocuses like Crocus korolkowii.

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