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RE: Higher elevations

Marte wrote:

"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 

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