Sunday, April 08, 2007

Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'

The Daphne, Carol Mackie I ordered from Park Seed unfortunately arrived rather quickly. The weather is miserably cold and I don't dare plant it until it warms a bit. The new shoots are already somewhat wilted although I've kept it in the unheated garage and put it out in the light only when the temperatures are above 40 degrees F. I had bad luck with the one I bought previously, an almost full grown plant which upon transplantation promptly withered and died. Luckily I was able to recoup my loss as it was guaranteed for a year. So I hope this tiny plant proves tougher than the big one. Though I bought it for its fragrance, I love the leaves rimmed with gold. This is supposed to be one of a few that can take a zone 6 winter.

An interesting bit of information from the Wayside Garden site: "A genetic mutation, or chimera of Daphne x Burkwoodii Somerset, it was discovered and originally propagated by avid gardener Carol Mackie in her New Jersey garden."

Another tidbit of information about Carol Mackie. Gleaned from the NY Times Paid Notice.
BRETT, CAROLYN S. (MACKIE) died April 24, 1999.
Her name was not Carol Mackie but Carolyn. She married Roger Brett and her married name was Carolyn S. Brett. Born in 1908, Englewood NJ. Lived in Far Hills, NJ 1946-67. Moved to Rancho Santa Fe, CA 1967-92. Died in Carlsbad, CA after a short illness.


Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Ki, have you ever experimented with using anti-transpiration sprays like Cloud Cover or wiltpruf? I've heard them advised for transplanting broadleaf evergreens, but haven't any personal experience yet.

You will need the fragrance of the Daphne to balance the aroma from those Ramps!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

8:30 AM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

So it's kind of like it's coming home (to New Jersey)... :)

4:40 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Annie, I meant to get the foilar sprays for the evergreens because our Douglas firs suffered badly the other year with the dry cold winds but I didn't think to use them on broadleaf evergreens. Do you think it will work? I'll have to do some research on this. Thanks for the tip.

We eat so much garlic and onions the ramps are mild in comparison. Funny how here in NJ they think spicy is cooking with or eating raw onions! Such wimps. And chili peppers, fugetabouit. We were talking to an Indian restaurant proprietor who had three tiers of hotness. Regular, meaning mild with nary a trace of heat, hot, just a hint, and Indian hot which could be tolerable to incendiary. Guess which we chose?

4:53 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Sort of weird, huh, Kim? The old cliche what goes around ...

4:57 PM  
Blogger Gotta Garden said...

Good luck with this one, Ki! I grew one for several years and then the voles (sigh) took it out. I think one of the secrets is no root disturbance. If you want to plant anything else near it, do it when you plant it...not later!

All the best!

6:04 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Ki, if you ever get to Austin you better come by Philo & me... the man goes through garlic and hot peppers the way some NJ people might eat buttah. And from business trips to Korea he developed a taste for Kim chee.

The antidessicant spray advice is something I'd seen in print but also heard from John Dromgoole, who has a call-in gardening show on local radio.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

6:25 PM  
Blogger Kylee said...

I've had one of these in my garden for two years now (purchased at a reputable local nursery) and it just hasn't done very well at all. I'm hoping it has made it through our despicable winter and crazy spring, but no signs of coming out of dormancy yet. :-(

I saw a gorgeous one of these in a local garden last summer and if mine ever decides to get its act together, it will be one of my favorites.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Thanks for the information about not disturbing the soil Gottagarden. I think I'm gonna need every bit of help with this one. Too bad about the voles killing your plant. We have several wild cats which we leave food for and our own bad boy so the voles and mice stay clear of our yard. You can tell because we get presents left on the door mat. Almost stepped on one today. :)

Thanks for the invite. If we come your way you can bet we'd stop to say hello. Philo is our kind of person Annie. Kim chee, yum. But that gets to be an expensive habit if you don't make your own. We tried making it several times but somethings missing...maybe fish or shrimp sauce. We lived next to a Korean woman who used to give us a quart every once in a while. We would practically eat the whole jar that day!
I'll have to look for that spray.

Kylee, I thought Ohio, especially NW Ohio zone 5? would be too cold to grow Daphnes? But if you saw a large one growing well there I have hope that it will grow here. I guess if Carol Mackie (whose real name was Carolyn Mackie then Carolyn Brett when she married Roger Brett)who lived in Far Hill NJ could grow them north of where we live, I should be able to do so too, right?
I hope yours will break its dormancy soon. Yes this was a nasty spring, all our magnolia blossoms are brown and drooping. Thanks for stopping by.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Ki, I wish you much luck with the Daphne and hope that the weather improves to the point where you can plant it and not fret about frost.

I loved reading about Carolyn Brett... knowing the history of a plant is one of my favourite things.

... which is why I was excited this morning to discover that the book I had reserved, 'The Naming of Names' by Anna Pavord, had arrived at my local library branch. It talks about the history of plant names...
(I am still in major reading mode because the snow continues to fall at an alarming rate!)

10:29 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kate, thanks for wishing me luck with the Daphne. Tomorrow is probably the first day that the morning temperatures will be above freezing so hopefully I'll be able to plant it and all the other plants bought earlier and kept in a holding area next to the house to keep them from freezing in their pots.

I've heard about Carol Mackie so often I decided I'd try to find some information about her. I didn't know if she was still alive. Apparently she was quite a plantswoman and was the 1st VP, Garden Club of America, from 1965-67. She also graduated from Smith college.

Getting calls from the library that the book you reserved is in, is like receiving a gift. Good reading!

My heart goes out to you when the promised early spring turned out to be a protracted winter instead. Hope it stops snowing soon.

6:14 PM  
Blogger DWPittelli said...

Daphne 'Carol Mackie' is listed to Zone 4 in my Wayside Gardens catalog. Also, I have seen several established specimens in the northern half of Berkshire County -- the west-most, mountainous end of Massachusetts, which is zone 5.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi DWPittelli, thanks for the hardiness information. I didn't know the Carol Mackie was such a tough plant. For some reason I always thought that Daphnes were quite tender.

3:44 AM  
Blogger Kylee said...

I see small signs of growth now (I just had to go out and check again), but just the start. I'll try to get a picture of the beautiful one I saw last summer. I don't know the homeowner, but I did stop and talk to her one day and tell her I admired her garden. She didn't even know that the daphne was what it was! Don't you hate that, when someone has a treasure like that and they don't even know it to appreciate it fully?

12:32 PM  
Blogger Digital Flower Pictures said...

You sure like the finky ones, don't you? ;-)

This seem to grow better in a lean soil. This winter the leaves got burnt off all the 'Carol Mackie's. Generally the have proven to be root hardy here on the edge of Zone 6 and 7. Daphne culture can be a little frustrating sometimes. It is a wonderful plant when it works.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kylee, non-gardeners tend not to appreciate unique plants because they don't know what it is... I think. I must confess that i was blissfully ignorant that we had a fairly rare plant too, shame on me. So lump me in the clueless category. It really is a shame she didn't know she had a daphne when here I am, struggling to grow one. ;(

Chris, unfortunately the good plants seem to be always the most recalcitrant ones to grow. Self flagellation is good for the soul. I read somewhere that daphnes like a fast draining soil so planting it on a mound would be good. I just want to be able to harden it off and plant it before any more bad weather comes our way.

10:51 AM  
Blogger DWPittelli said...

Daphnes are hardy, but they're known for dropping dead, without warning, and regardless of cultural conditions.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi dwpittelli, Well I have first hand knowledge of that trait. I got a healthy big specimen and it promptly died. At least I was able to get my money back.

I still haven't planted the Carol Mackie. I keep taking it out when it's warmer during the day and take it into the garage at night. I'll finally be able to plant it outside this weekend when the morning temps are supposed to be in the mid-high 40s. It's not looking so good but young plants are sometimes more resilient than bigger established ones I find. Thanks for the information.

5:19 AM  

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