Gaura

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Gaura
« on: October 12, 2011, 08:18:09 AM »
A chance for me before Oron comes in!
The first is Gaura lindheimeri and the second is Oenothera speciosa - I hope.
Later note from Alisdair: to see the photo Hilary posted, of the pink form of G. lindheimeri, which prompted this discussion, click here.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 03:48:39 PM by Alisdair »
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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oron peri

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Gaura
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2011, 09:46:23 AM »
Correct ;)
Just to add that the Gaura's pink form is named 'Siskiyou Pink'.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 09:49:57 AM by oron peri »
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Living and gardening in Tivon, Lower Galilee region, North Israel.
Min temp 5c Max 42c, around 450mm rain.

Hilary

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Gaura
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 10:31:51 AM »
Fleur and Oron,
many thanks
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Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care

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MikeHardman

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Gaura
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2011, 10:38:27 AM »
Gaura often tempts me in garden centres, and it was on my wants list.
...Until I read an MGS article that suggested avoiding it as it can become invasive.
Which is somewhat supported by Wikipedia - "most are perennials with sturdy rhizomes, often forming dense thickets, crowding or shading out other plant species" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaura)
And "Several species of Gaura are regarded as noxious weeds"…"removing existing infestations is difficult, due in large part to the plants' ability to reproduce from bits of rhizome left in the ground"  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaura)
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

David Bracey

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Gaura
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 11:13:32 AM »
Mike do not believe all you read!  Nothing like hands -on ; great plant in all its forms.  Be on the look out for the short, very dark form of "Siskiyou", its an absolute winner.  At the end of the season all the Gauras are easy to remove by hand; they can spread rapidly but a bit of Round-up goes a long way.

Who writes the stuff in Wikipedia.  I wonder if they have had much experience of our climate?

David
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 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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MikeHardman

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Gaura
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 11:40:43 AM »
Yes David, 'take nobody's word for it', and all that.
There is the MGS article, though I did not note which one it was.
And the Wiki article did, I have to say, draw on a more scientific source - the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Their page on Gaura provides quite a lot more info - http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/ipc/weedinfo/gaura.htm. Actually, therein I was interested to read 'Establishing competitive vegetation may prevent new seedlings from becoming established. However, these species are well adapted to grasslands and can persist in competitive healthy grassland environments.' I can imagine a field of mixed Gaura lindheimeri and grassy seedheads, going very nicely together; prairie community. (I love the prairies when in flower; I remember spending many hours photographing them west of Calgary, though the incessant breeze (swaying the flowers) tested my patience!)
I concede, however, that the CDFA page does not include G. lindheimeri, so extrapolation may bring errors.

Actually, your comments, with special note of dark "Siskiyou", have caused me to put it back into my wants list. I would like to try it on a difficult steep dry slope which needs stabilizing. Rhizomes running amok, supplemented with seedlings sounds like it could prove very effective at holding the soil.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 11:44:03 AM by MikeHardman »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

ezeiza

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Gaura
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 01:17:34 PM »
We have grown several species of Gaura and they are weedy AND weeds (flower wise). G. lindheimeri does seed around too freely and hundreds of seedlings can be found around large plants. This in a climate with good rainfall. Perhaps drought would keep it at bay in a Mediterranean climate?

Now there exist several variants of the pink form, some very deep, most close to a cherry red.

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Gaura
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 02:25:22 PM »
I find the red gaura very polite. Here's a self-seeded one in a thyme. It's just going over but it flowered all summer and was very unnoxious. Also I think that a stand of white gaura with their tall flower stems moving in the breeze it a thing of great beauty.
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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Alisdair

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Re: Gaura
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 03:56:40 PM »
We find Gaura lindheimeri equally well behaved in Greece and in SW France, where as Alberto suggests the hard summers do indeed seem to control it, and in the UK, where by contrast the climate seems just about mild enough to allow it to grow without encouraging it to get out of control.
In Greece it does produce a few seedlings, but no more than one might want or can easily remove. There is never a problem with bits of root regrowing there.
As John J points out, this is yet another case of where stuff on Google, written perhaps with quite a different climate in mind, may not have much relevance to mediterranean conditions. that's where this forum should really score, by collating people's direct experience in mediterranean conditions, or indeed giving references to sources that are directly relevant.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

David Bracey

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Re: Gaura
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2011, 08:17:25 PM »
Gaura is now being used as a bedding plant here in the Haut Savoy.

I agree with Fleur, Gaura lindheimeri is a great garden plant.  It flowers from early spring to October and maybe longer.  It is a tremendous host for bees who work it from early in the morning. Lindheimeri does seed freely.

I`m not sure that Gaura has rhizomes but rather fleshy roots.
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

Umbrian

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Re: Gaura
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2011, 05:34:06 PM »
Gaura lindheimeri is one of the most rewarding plants that I have in my garden and never fails to draw comments from visitors. It can self seed very freely but young plants pull out easily and any potted up and grown on are always greatfully received by the aforementioned admirers. For me "Siskiyou Pink "does not perform particularly well but I do get some interesting colour variations on the flowers of self sets. I agree with Fleur that a stand of mature, naturalised Gaura gently waving in the breeze is a wonderful sight.
I also value them in the autumn and winter when the stems of older plants turn a vibrant red and on damp misty days when each remaining seed along the end of the slender, elongated flower stems,collects moisture and looks like a jewel especially when the sun breaks through.
Here they certainly add to the autumn colour in the garden as illustrated in accompanying photo.
With regards to David's comment that they are being used as a bedding plant in the Haut Savoy........I nearly ran into the car in front of me last year when I first saw the planting on a new roundabout central area in our local town.I am used to very unimaginative planting here in Umbria mostly heavily watered to keep it going or else left to die miserably as the weeds encroach. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw Gaura and Perovskia planted as specimen plants and surrounded by gravel! What the locals made of it I don't know but it certainly gave me hope for more suitable planting in municiple areas in the future.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 07:33:22 PM by Alisdair »
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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John J

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Re: Gaura
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2011, 06:24:16 PM »
At the AGM in Mallorca Sally took us to a 'White Garden', virtually every plant in the entire place was white. In one area they had a mass planting of Gaura. The photo is not particularly good but might convey something of the size involved.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

HansA

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Re: Gaura
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2011, 12:18:00 AM »
You are completly right, Gaura is a fantastic addition for the mediterranean garden, here two pics of the same planting - first taken in August, second in the begining of October.
There are hardly any perennials which are so floriferous such a long period of time.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 12:22:37 AM by HansA »
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Alisdair

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Re: Gaura
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2011, 07:21:53 AM »
And your pictures show how well careful siting makes this utterly foreign plant suit a Mediterranean scene. The flowers dance with scarcely a breath of wind, which brings a lovely illusion of a cooling breeze, too (my sister rather unromantically calls it the Office Toy Plant, like those desktop toys that you set swaying about).
In our part of Greece you see Siskiyou Pink far more often than the regular white form; the pink is a nice plant, but if I had to stick to one it would always be the white.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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MikeHardman

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Re: Gaura
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2011, 08:30:54 AM »
Very nice.
In the top photo, with all the sense of flow, somehow the white flowers mimic specular reflections of the sun dancing on  the surface of a lake.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England