TB: HYB: REB: CULT: OT: et. al.
Well, lots of rebloom with our warm California December. All the Byers things
(especially Stingray), Perfect Couple, Best Bet, a pathetic CeeCee, Wearing
Rubies, Cast of Characters, Double Vision (again!, but as always a weak
stalk), Timescape (a lovely surprise; one of my old favorites, it never
rebloomed for me before. Large, ruffled lavender and white blend). Without a
job to drive to every day, my feet are getting much better.
I was over a month behind on the maintenance in my garden, then two weeks ago
I broke my right thumb. Finally this week I went out one-handed to clean up
my year 2000 acquisitions bed, the most neglected of the lot. Hideous
yellow-and-brown leaves due to nesting aphids (farmed by ants). Lots of
stripping and clipping, now it looks healthy although somewhat sparser. Of my
5 louisianas in that bed, four were filthy with rust fungus. For some reason,
Garnet Storm Dancer (with three rebloom stalks, disappointingly tiny flowers)
was clean. Pulled up or clipped off every affected leaf. Sprayed the worst
of the aphid pockets with insecticidal soap. Spread out 10 lbs. of Bayer Rose
Care fertilizer (with the systemic insecticide that discourages the aphids).
Watered it in a bit. Put Fung-away and malathion together and heavily sprayed
the whole bed. I've been lucky; one dot (literally) of leaf spot in the whole
I really need to line out the seedlings I planted last spring; the 3" deep
trays don't give them much of a chance. The healthiest tray right now looks
like Double Dribble x (SA luminata seedling). Only a half- dozen 5" fans
(they can't grow big in the trays), but healthy-looking. Stage Lights x (the
same seedling) has a dozen of the tiniest fan-sprouts of all. One cross made
onto both Best Bet and its child CeeCee proves Best Bet genes to be more
robust, at least in my climate. I now have 2 nice seed pods ripening on my
wild SA reblooming plicata seedling, and the reverse cross onto Double Vision
also produced two smaller pods, attractively stained red-purple.
I actually had a little help in the garden today, so we also planted a
trailing Camelia and a line of Irish moss Always wanted to try that stuff,
thought it would look great between stepping stones and along shady edges.
Let's see if it lives. A couple of weeks ago we moved two of our bouganvillas
outside the fence. My wife loves them, weekly trimming the rapid growth with
2" thorns was not my favorite task. We added an arbor for our hardenbergia;
shredded it a bit in the process of untangling the vines. Destroyed half the
developing blooms too. Hope it fills in the top half of the arbor next year,
it looks naked now. I love creating a beautiful garden, all our visitors are
surprised to see the results of our landscaping efforts. I just wish it
wouldn't take 10 years for the trees to mature. The Fuji apples (a dozen or
so) are ripe now, and delicious.
John Reeds, in 9b San Juan Capistrano, southern CaliforniaGet more from the
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