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CULT: favorites list

From: "Dell Perry" <Dellp@gwmail.plano.gov>

Hope its not too late to give a favorites list.   I was busier than a one armed paper hanger last week preparing for our Boy Scout troop's 4th annual Thanksgiving Campout - I'm in charge of the turkey dinner - this year for 40 people. 

I live in Plano, Texas  right on the line between zones 7 and 8.  Summers are HOT and DRY ( not unusual to have 45+ days over 100 and no rain), winters are strange..60 degrees one day, 30 the next, dry cold followed by rain followed by cold again. Springs are wet. Falls are alternating periods of summer and winter.
I also seem to think like Tom Burseen - plant 'em, water once, and let them be.  No shade cloth, no drip system. This will change next year, as I now have the rebloomers fairly concentrated in one bed and can put them on drip. 

Native soil is black cement over limestone, the kind that dries up and makes cracks big enough to swallow cows. All beds, except one, have been artifically created using 'imported dirt' - a loam heavily sanded and infused with cotton seed hulls, leaf mould, compost, etc. I just finished translating the last bed this month. I do use alfalfa, with good results. 

Currenty I grow mostly bearded varieties...Siberians do not like me....Spurias do just fine......the LA's are waiting on the pond going in, hopefully next spring. The garden count is in excess of 500 different cultivars ( I live on a city lot!)

Some of these are not the newest or fanciest, but they GROW, often in less that optimum sun, BLOOM and INCREASE well for me.  I have other favorites, but they are ones I put up with their problems because I love the blooms (like, to name a few, Navajo Jewel - it blooms evers 2-3 years, if I'm lucky, and Kekionga - big dark red flowers - blooms almost out, leaving tiny sprouts to bloom again in 2-3 years, and Impersonator - a 6 faller that is soooo slooow to increase.)  

I'm writing this from work, so I don't have all my notes on hybridizers/years, so if Igoofed or forgot, please forgive my 'mentalpause' moment. Just 25 really is a rough assignment.  I did not include any really new ones, they just haven't  had time to decide if they want to become Texans or not.

CANTINA - Byers '90 - vivid murky purple with a neon shine - hard to start but really goes to town after that. Reblooms.
DANCERS VEIL - Hutchison '62 - don't know why, its short for a TB, smallish flowers, but there is something about the flared falls on the white and violet-blue peppered plicata that I just love. Grows well and blooms early.
FUJI SKIES - Tompkins '90 - large orient blue flowers- clumps well for a TB - very garden polite 
LADY FRIEND - I think this garnet red one is on most people's list. 
PHENOMENON - Byers '89 - blooming and increasing fool that can't decide if it wants to be yellow, peach or orange.
PINK STARLET - Wood '95 - heavy substanced and ruffled pink. Tall.
POINT MADE - Innerst '88 - wild gold, white,plum plicata - long bloom period, rapid increaser.
QUITE QUAINT - Burseen - prolific grey-white and well branched. Has won best white for me two times 
RED LION - Hager '86 -  IMHO the best red out there - wonderful large-flowering red that is hardy,  increases like a weed and is pretty sun proof. Has won best red more than once for me.
SMOKE RINGS - Gibson '72 - don't let '72 fool you.. it is good form, and unique, a cream grounded mauve rimmed smoky orchid plicata.
SOUL MUSIC - Meeks '78 - flourescent dark red-violet-black with bronze beard and shoulders.
THORNBIRD - Byers '89 - What can I say**it is finicky to start, but stand back.
THROB - The brightest and most intense gold-yellow I have ever seen. It is back from the street, and people stop to go see it.
TOM JOHNSON - yes it grows and increased fairly well for me. Deep black-purple with red beards.
VANITY - Hager '75 - I like her much better than her sister, BS (too much orange).

None grow outstandingly enough to make my list (yet)

BOLD PRINT - Gatty ''82 - Classic plicata in white and purple.
FREELY GIVEN - Black '92 - vibrant velvety gold-yellow bitone. Vigorous is an understatement 
HI - Byers ' 90 - white with blue horns - long bloom season and will rebloom.
LEVITY - Aitkens '91 - pert horizontal falls on this steel blue plicata. Polite clumps.
OBLIGATO - Stahly '86 -  fine orange IB. good increase
PINK KITTEN - Wood '77 - blued pink  - usually beats most of the SDB's to bloom, and finishes with the TB's.

MTB's ( they do fine here once established - they do not like to be moved)
ABRIDGED VERSION - Hager '83 - Smoky orient pink with tangerine beards.
MADAM CHEREAU - Lemon 1800's - dainty, almost aril-looking (recurved falls) white and purple plicata with purple hemstitch.
WELCHES REWARD - bright little yellow over red with a yellow rim. Quite an eye catcher.
( FYI - BUMBLEBEE DELITE - will not grow for me here.)

MANHATTEN BLUES - Nichols '91 - tailores medium blue that will get out of the foliage after 1st or 2nd year.
WELL SUITED - Black '90 - dark purple black bitone, looks like its ready to go to the opera.

With very few exceptions, they do not bloom here - although I can get bloom on ZIPPER - I placed it in a cinder block so it could get all of whatever cold we do get, and it seems to work for it - others have not responded to the same treatment.

OK, OK, so I listed 26 - sue me!!!



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