Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Watsonia , kin to Gladiolus

Watsonia doing it's best to cheer me up Posted by Hello

Great color from this plant; a hot pink center with a deep salmon peach.
These dandy plant are originally from South Africa, but mine came from my friend's parents garden in Sonoma County. I call them Ruth and George plants.

Ruth had a great patch of watsonia growing along the backside of her home. Good gardeners are always generous. She offered me some and of course I accepted. Free plants always have a home in my garden. I planted them, perhaps 10 years ago. They naturalized very easily, but took a few years to bloom. Beside this vivid pink/orange, I also have them in true white.

George and Ruth had 5 acres in Sonoma, outside Healdsburg. They lived their since the 1970's, before Healdsburg really gussy uped and became the next Napa.

In the late 80's, I volunteered to pick grapes at George's vineyard. We picked his second crop, which was considerable that year. Originally, he grew Gamay, which he sold to Gallo. But as the wine and grape business improved , he t -budded over to Merlot which he sold to Kendall Jackson.

Back in the day of Gamay, his daughter and I and our dates thought it would be fun to pick grapes. It was fun for the first hour, while we joked around and got use to using the short sharp knife. The second hour we lost interest and by the third hour we gave up. I know why tall people don't usually pick grapes. It really is back bending work. Harder work than, I was ever raised to do. I admire the grape pickers. Watch them some time, if you ever get a chance.


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