Opening up the mail bag

It’s the last of the month, which means garden questions and
answers again! You may e-mail me questions at [email protected]
Or you can mail me questions in care of this newspaper. For a
faster, personal response, please include a self-addressed, stamped
envelope.
Q. I was recently in the Gilroy area to visit a relative and
came across your informative column. I’m now home in sunny Perth in
Western Australia! Can you help me with regard to my lemon tree
that I planted three years ago. I can’t remember what type of lemon
it is. I am sure it’s either a Meyer or Eureka. How can I be
certain?
– L.D., Perth, Australia
It’s the last of the month, which means garden questions and answers again! You may e-mail me questions at [email protected] Or you can mail me questions in care of this newspaper. For a faster, personal response, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Q. I was recently in the Gilroy area to visit a relative and came across your informative column. I’m now home in sunny Perth in Western Australia! Can you help me with regard to my lemon tree that I planted three years ago. I can’t remember what type of lemon it is. I am sure it’s either a Meyer or Eureka. How can I be certain?– L.D., Perth, Australia

Congratulations! Having written this column in area newspapers for 19 years, yours is the first garden question I’ve received from Australia! And actually, your question is easy to answer. Meyer lemons are quite different from standard lemons, such as Eureka. Fruit is rounder, more thin-skinned and more orange in color. Meyer lemons have a tangy aroma, are very juicy, but with less acid than standard lemons. Like Eureka, Meyer also bears fruit year-round. Enjoy your lemon!

Q. This past summer I purchased a flannel bush. I live in Prunedale, and planted this bush in full sun. I watered it very well and had it on a slow drip-irrigation system where it received water once a week. In reading up on the flannel bush, I found that it should receive no water once it is established. My question is when do I know it is established? – C.G., Prunedale

The flannel bush is also known as Fremontodendron. It is known for its drought-tolerance and eye-catching lemon yellow flowers during the summer. The bush is native to our coastal regions and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. What you read about them not needing water after they are established is completely correct. Your flannel bush may, indeed, already be established. I would water your bush very rarely this season. This translates to maybe once every two or three weeks since it is still only a year old.

One big tip: If you see a lot of yellow leaves, you’re watering too much. Simply neglect this plant and they will usually get along just fine.

Q. The hot weather we had late last summer raised the dickens with my shrubs, including euryops, escallonia and raphiolepis. What should I do about sunburn on the leaves? I don’t see anything in my Sunset Western Garden Book. Also, can you recommend something I can plant in a pot on the side of my entrance vestibule that gets very little sun or reflected light? – K.M., Morgan Hill

Hopefully, your sunburned plants have recovered by now with new growth that has covered up the damage. Truthfully, there isn’t much you can do about scorched leaves other than to wait until new growth comes along to cover it up, or prune away the damaged leaves. Either alternative will leave you with some rather unsightly plants for awhile. As for shade-loving plants in a container, consider ferns, jasmine, podocarpus, holly, ivy and a host of others. Check out the local garden center for even more possibilities.

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