Re: [IGS] In Bloom


San Diego is still in love with Lord Butte and Apple Blossom Rosebud too.  Of
the two, LB is the most difficult to find, and whenever any are available, we
have lots of members scrambling to get one for their collection.  ABR is one
of the best sellers at our sale.  This year, however, we're going to have
Happy Apple Blossom Rosebud, which is supposed to look the same in flower, but
have a yellow "butterfly" on the leaf.  I can't wait -- I have a spot in the
garden all picked out for it!

I've not tried to make ABR into a standard, but I have done scenteds.  I put a
gangly plant into a one gallon pot as quickly as I can move it along, and grow
it in a rather shady location, rotating the pot every couple days so it
doesn't lean to one side.   However tall the pot the plant is going to end up
in, I cut a bamboo stake that is three times that length and insert it next to
the plant stem.  I use strips of nylons to tie the stem to the stake every
couple inches and start picking the leaves and secondary branches off the main
stem, leaving the top third of the plant still growing.  As soon as the plant
grows to the top of the stake, I pinch out the main stem to keep it from
getting taller and then remove all the leaves and branches that I don't want.
It's personal preference as to how big of a "poodle" you want on top, but
about 1/3 of the height of the stake that is above ground looks good to me.
If you're doing double poodles, make them a bit smaller.

I think it looks really neat when you use a 2" wooden dowel instead of a
slender bamboo stake and wrap the stem around it as it grows so you have a
really neat corkscrew stem when the plant is mature enough to pull the stake
out.  The herb topiary book I was reading about this in said this form is
called a "barleysugar".

I also have a l'Elegante growing in a hanging basket.  It's under a lattice
roof, but still gets quite a lot of sun and I keep it as dry as I can so as to
keep the leaves nicely pink.  Actually, its very pink, which I think means
that I'm torturing the poor thing!  Mine keeps trying to revert to pure green
leaves though and it's a constant battle to keep them plucked off.  Does yours
do this or is mine protesting the lack of water?

I'm not very knowledgeable yet about species, so I printed a copy of your
letter to take to work with me along with my PoSA 1-3 so I can look up the
names you mentioned and see what they look like.  I also have the two books on
hardies so I can read up on them this summer and see what it is that I'm
missing.  Too many books and too little time!

I went to hear Christopher Lloyd, the British garden writer, speak last night,
which was most wonderful.  While he was signing my books, I asked him if he
had pellies in his garden, and he said that he did, but they weren't in bloom
yet when he took the slides that he used in his program.  He has a delightful
sense of humor and an absolute refusal to use the colorwheel method of
gardening.  He said that he wants his garden to stand up and get his
attention, but not slap his face to do it.  I think that means he would pull
the Incanum that self seeded itself in with the nasturtiums this year in my
garden.  It does sort of make your eyes water.  ;-)  I figure that it lives in
California and people here wear sunglasses for a reason -- right?


P.S.  What type of citrus is a "Chinotto"?

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