Rodger Whitlock
Mon, 02 Aug 2004 11:12:17 PDT
A couple of points:

1. Paeonia cambessedessi (and I may have miissssspellllllled that)

No one has mentioned Paeonia cambessedessii from the Balearic 
Islands. Those of you in warmer climates might give it a whirl. Dark 
beet-red foliage overlain with a metallic cast; flowers of horrible 
magenta, but scented of cloves.

A small plant, admittedly, but worth treasuring. Here in Victoria, 
it's too tender to overwinter without protection of a greenhouse.

2. Peonies in Los Angeles

I once read of an LA gardener whose success with an ordinary peony
made her the envy of her gardening friends. The secret? Every night
she and her husband would have a cocktail before dinner, and
afterwards she'd dump the ice cubes around the base of her peony.
Quite possibly an urban legend.

3. Plants and Pests from China

After reading about the removal of feeder roots from tree peonies to
hide nematode infestations, I suggest that gardeners boybott plants
imported from China. Socially, China continues to have a serious
problem with corruption, so Chinese phytosanitary certificates are
not worth the paper they're written on. With active measures being
taken to disguise the presence of pathogens, there's simply too much
risk of getting a serious pest into your garden from Chinese plants.

Some years ago, the Canadian authorities put an absolute ban on plant 
imports from China because of the prevalence of pests & disease, esp. 
nematodes, notwithstanding phytosanitary certification. (I do not 
know how long this ban was kept in force.) It is surprising that the 
US, which has cracked down on seed imports, allows anything in the 
way of plants to be imported from China. The latter, or so it seems 
to me, presents much greater risks.

Those of you who have already planted out Chinese material might do 
well not to distribute plants from your gardens among your friends.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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