RE: Higher elevations
"I hope to get a chance to try Arilbreds soon -- they are wonderous in
the photos I've seen, have yet to see any in the flesh, so to speak.
What ones would you suggest for starters? And how about suggestions for
Wow. There are so many I hesitate to recommend particular ones. But I can
tell you that the first ones I got that bloomed came from very local
nurseries, so I knew they should do well under my conditions. Then I got
braver and figured I could try some from Richard Kiyamoto in Connecticut (or
was it Vermont?), on the basis that anything that did okay in New England
should make it here. That was a good guess, and I still have most of those
varieties (SHONDO, JAMITA, BUZZ FUZZ, to name a few), 15 years later. But I
haven't seen a catalog from him in many years (I think the garden was Wild
Mountain Thyme). Lately, I've thrown caution to the wind and try arilbreds
from all over. Sometimes things from warmer zones will do well here, like the
ones from Sharon McAllister, and sometimes they don't, and sometimes I'll win
a Best Arilbred at our show one year, only to have that variety die the next
season. But I keep trying, and I trade with other local gardeners who have
ABs, too (people know I always have OYEZ, and that's a good one for trading).
My best bloomers this year? Well, it was a bad year here due to late frosts,
but you should have seen SAFFRON JEWEL with its short gold standards and
purple-veined falls--wonderful! KHYBER PASS is dependable and lovely, and
CLOSE CONTACT is a knockout, even blooming rediculously short as it did this
year. And Lynn Flanagan's DESERT DAWN always, always blooms and grows like a
weed. For an arilbred, though, it's, let's just say, subtle and looks more
like a very tall TB.
This is getting to be a long answer, and I should be asleep, so goodnight for
now. I've left off a ton of great ABs, and maybe others will add to the list
(Tom, you out there?), but these are a few of the ones I've found which have
stuck with me for years.
Barb, in Santa Fe
Oh, I didn't say anything about sources. Remind me again another day when I'm