Re: [IGS] San Diego Show
Sorry it's taken me so long to answer your e-mail. It's taken me awhile to
get all my plants back into their normal places and caught up on mundane
things like housework and paying the bills. Well, paying the bills anyway.
It was a pleasure to meet you at the show, and I hope you can make it to the
meeting in June to hear Dr. Jim Sefton speaking about the history of
geraniums. He's a wonderfully informative speaker ... he says it's from all
his years as a history professor keeping the students awake in his class! I
was really impressed by the historical information you e-mailed out in
reference to the zonals. What source did you come across? I don't recall
that I've ever come across that type of information in my reading to date, and
I must have missed something good!
As for growing things in pots, a lot of the people I know do grow their
pellies in pots simply because the plants stay smaller and you can fit more of
them into the same amount of space. The biggest factor, however, is that the
plants in pots can be transported to the show for display, whereas the plants
that are planted directly into the ground are simply harvested for blooms and
leaves to be added to arrangements, specimen displays, etc.
My experience has been that hardy geraniums and the scenteds do better in the
ground and sulk in pots if left there for any length of time. If you keep
pinching them back, you can, of course, convince them that they have no choice
in the matter. The zonals and regals that I put directly into the ground
produced much bigger, better plants than the ones that I kept in pots, so I'm
in the process of planting most of my collection directly into the ground. I
suspect I'm going to end up with a geranium hedge, of sorts.
For some reason, I usually see species grown in pots. Maybe because of their
different soil requirements? I have seen Gibbosum planted directly into the
ground, and it became a veritable forest that was approximately 10' across and
about 3-4' high. Not a neat growing plant at all. It sort of slouched up
against a lath fence and slithered alongside the path.
Where to see pellies planted directly in the ground ...
There is a nice display garden at the Wild Animal Park in Escondido. It's
about midway into the park, on the far side of the herb garden. The herb
garden is marked on the map that they give you at the entrance. If you don't
have a pass to get in without paying admission, and you want to go check it
out, e-mail me with your address, and I'll mail you a ticket or two. The
tickets have to be used before the end of June, though, so there's a deadline
on the offer. (I get complimentary tickets with my yearly membership card)
There are also some scenteds and species planted in the Heart of Africa
exhibit, and all of them are marked, you just have to keep your eye out for
There is an enormous planting of Peppermint in Balboa Park that is very near
to our meeting room, which if you attend in June, we can walk over and see.
Cedros Gardens is on Cedros near the Del Mar Fairgrounds, and there are
several large Maderense planted in her garden that were in bloom a couple
weeks ago. They might still be. You could look her up in the phone book and
call before you drive out. The owner's name is Mia, and she has a lot of nice
plants, not the usual run of the mill plants either. I think she also had
some in pots for sale.
Jerry Stewart owns and operates New Leaf Nursery on Foothills Drive in Vista,
CA, and he probably has the largest display of directly planted pellies in
this area. Zonals, regals, scenteds, ivies, you name it, he's got it planted
in the ground. It's really eye catching. Particularly where all the
different ivies are creeping together to form a flowering carpet on the
hillside just before his nursery. The nursery is also listed in the
phonebook, and you can get hours and directions from the answering machine if
Jerry doesn't answer the phone himself.
If you end up going to Vista this weekend, make sure you pop over to the
Farmers Market on Eucalyptus (right off of Encinitas Drive, which is the exit
you take off of 78 to get to Jerry's) on Saturday morning. Carol Roller will
be there with her plants, and I'm sure you'd like talking with her. Carol's
nursery is called C's Blue Geranium, but she does not open the nursery itself
to the public, you have to catch her at a show/sale or at the Farmers Market.
The Farmers Market is open real early on Saturday, but will be closing down by
11:30 a.m. or so, so you have to go in the morning. It's not open on Sunday.
Jerry's nursery is open on Friday and Saturday, so you can catch them both on
There's also an herb festival (next weekend?) at Quail Gardens, and Jerry will
be set up there with his scenteds, etc.
The Orange County Geranium Society is having their annual sale this weekend at
the Huntington Beach Mall, Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 5. I'll be there on
Saturday helping out. Most of their plants are member grown, so you never
know what you will find for sale.
Hoping to see you soon,
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