Callistemon viminalis 'Slim'
Callisemon at the LA arboretum
After admiring the many mature Callistemon viminalis at the LA Arboretum, I thought it would be lovely to have one here in the garden. It was good luck to find a selection called 'Slim'.
I hope 'Slim' will be the perfect replacement for a long-miserable Euonymous 'Chollipo'. The Euonymous always struggled with insufficient water (it wanted a lot). Given a modest amount of water, hopefully the Callistemon will both thrive and be yet another nectar source for the hummingbirds.
This Callistemon has potential as a tall-ish narrow hedge, 10' tall (3 M) and 3-4' wide (1-1.5 M), trimmable to 60 cm (2') I'll update performance as it grows. It will likely be more xeric than the Euonymous.
'Slim' is having a great spring bloom. The weight of so many flowers is bending over the young, soft stems, but they should strengthen as the plant matures. It hasn't needed much water or care. I like this plant!
I still have two other 'Chollipo's. One of them is doing better with a bit more water and a half day of shade (almost full shade in winter). When I clean out the koi pond filters, it gets a good dose of nutrient-rich dirty pond water, and looks decent, if not glorious. It screens the pond equipment from one of the neighbors--or it will when it bulks up more.
I was hoping 'Chollipo' would be a holy grail of sorts as a narrow, vertical hedging plant. Here it needs plentiful water: it grows and looks its best after several heavy rains (which we have not had for a long time). The other remaining plant is a short round shape currently. Last summer I cut it almost to the ground and was going to remove it. A long period of extreme heat chased me out of the garden and so I left the shrub stitting. It actually looks better than it did:
Update 3/26/2016: due to the drought, I dug up and discarded the above 'Chollipo'. The other still remains, for now.
We've had brutal heat all week--86F, 88F (31C), 89F, 92F (33 C). Today was a little cooler at only 86F (30C), but humidity was only 11%. Rosa 'Bishop's Castle was later than the rest of the roses, which are now all between flushes. This week, 'Bishop Castle' was in full display--well, not any more.
The Sweet Peas are blasted and near death. At least we got a few bouquets. I was out at dawn this morning looking for the best to pick for the vase, plus a few roses. There's no use leaving roses in the garden in this kind of heat, as you can see by the previous photo. That's the 'Ebb Tide' rose, somewhat toasted, but what a color!
'North Shore' sweet peas with a Drakensburg Daisy:
Poor toasted plants:
'Rouge Royale' and 'Evelyn' roses. Cutting them for the vase means the plant doesn't have to try to keep them hydrated on a hot day.