Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A road trip and a new plant



Michael and I did something this past weekend that we haven't done in a long time - we took a road trip. We decided to drive up to Memphis to visit our friend JoAnn with an alternative agenda which was to stop at a huge concrete statuary place along the way. Well, it figures that the statuary place was closed. We drove on to Memphis and had a good time. JoAnn took us to some places that we don't have in Florence, like the Davis Kidd bookstore, the Whole Foods grocery store and some really cool (and expensive) gardening shops. I had spied a nursery before we got to her house on Poplar St. called Trip's so we headed back there.

As I was surveying the rows and rows of plants, I came across a pomegranate and knew that it would be coming home with us. For some reason, pomegranates have been popular here lately. People had been asking me if I'd seen that gorgeous orange shrub blooming here and there and when I tracked down what they were describing, it was the pomegranate. I'm sure they are not hardy plants and I suppose our recent string of mild winters have really let them do their thing. I had seen some at a local nursery but when I decided I wanted one, they had already sold out.

I have really become enamored with orange plants this year and I don't know why. I'm working on an orange and blue themed garden on the north side of the house (so far the results have been nothing to write home about). The pomegranate will get very large, assuming that it makes it through the winter, and requires sun so I'm planning on putting it in the southern most border that gets the most sun. I can't decide now if I should go ahead and plant it in these 90+ temperatures or hold off until fall. If anyone grows it, send me your suggestions.

18 comments:

  1. I too love pomegranates. I am not positive on what zone you are in, but guess that it will be hardy for you. I am in 8a, but I know of several old specimens in 7b, maybe it is a coastal thing. In years past we have sold maybe 15 pomegranates a year, but like you I have noticed that they are very popular now. People do not want the ornamental ones, they are looking for the fruiting types. It could be the anti-oxidants. Anyway, we sold close to 100 this year and had to re-order.

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  2. It's funny, the pomegranate scent in bath & body products is very "in" now too.

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  3. Nice photo, Phillip. I grew up with pomegranates in Arizona--I always thought that they were some kind of citrus and needed really warm weather, so I was surpised to hear that they do well in Virginia. Maybe a new addition to Salix's orchard? Dave's says they are deer resistant . . .

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  4. I've always loved those bright orange blooms. My mother loves pomegrantes and when ever I see them I instantly think of her.

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  5. Love the plant...there is nothing like a road trip and finding new plants!

    Gail

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  6. I have not yet seen a pomegranate tree in full bloom! Love the fruit and the flowers are hot! Your previous post made some of the common flowers, i.e. daylily, look uncommonly good!

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  7. Hi Phillip, we had a pomegranate when we lived in Southern CA, it was a dwarf and very cute. I would love to have one also, but for ornament, rather than to harvest. Maybe they are so popular right now because of those healthy eating lists. They always include the juice, which is very expensive. On the David garden tour in Austin during the spring fling, they had an exquisite specimen of the pom tree in their front garden. I want one. I will be watching to see how your does, even though you are a zone warmer than us. Microclimates can be found!

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  8. Les, I'm in zone 7b. I've seen very large pomegranate shrubs growing around the neighborhood.

    Frances, I will be growing it for the flowers as well. I'll keep you posted on how it does.

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  9. I love the color though I'm not sure how I feel about he fruit. By the way, the pic of the Lily on your last post was gorgeous. Oh..I wish we had a whole foods grocery around these parts..but I'm just lucky to have a grocery store within a decent distance..LOL

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  10. Phillip, pomegranates will grow here, I'm just down the road from you in Moulton, we left one at our last house and it had gotten maybe 5'tall. We write for the same magazune, I have the wedding garden. See my blog at //GillespieGardens.blogspot.com and come see it sometime

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  11. phillip, if you can't get to my blog at the above address, try leaving off the//
    I loved the quality of your photo's in the last issue, I'm having trouble sending mine, when Shane gets them, they seem to be too small

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  12. Hi Phillip,

    Elizabeth Lawrence talked about pomegranates, saying they grew throughout the Middle South, and that she grew them in North Carolina. My pomegranate made a few flowers this spring but didn't set fruit.

    I'd like both - hope yours does well for you!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  13. The Spanish brought them to California and planted them at every Mission. Unfortunately, they need more summer warmth to fruit than I can provide in my garden. The flowers are nice tho'.

    They can take any kind of pruning, which is nice in a small space.

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  14. Oh, and Memphis is a groovy town. I've been there.

    Corky's BBQ!

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  15. Phillip,
    Like you, I also stop at nurseries on road trips and always find a "must have" plant. To heck with regular souvenirs...plants rule. Good luck with your pomegranate...I suggest you plant it now and keep it well watered and mulched. That should give it time to get well established and set fruit next year. There are some great ones around town here in Vicksburg and they make beautiful specimens planted alone in full sun. Jon at Mississippi Garden blog on 7-13-08

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  16. Go ahead and plant it! I'm in zone 7b as well, and there are several in our neighborhood, many of which are very large shrubs now. I have the dwarf variety (hardy for 10 years so far), and I just planted "Nochi Shibari", which is another double variety which has paler orange petals with a white edging.

    Here's the listing at the PDN website:

    http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Current/Detail/06659.html

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  17. Hello!

    I found your blog while doing some research to see if I could grow a pom tree here in Memphis. I grew up in SoCal & used to pick them on the way to school. Looks like I can! Glad you like our town!

    Chuck b., next time you come to Memphis, try Neely's BBQ instead of Corky's. Much more Memphis.:)

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