The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Number 502

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News Archive

Horticulture Issue

Bulb Planting

While reading the April, 2008 issue of Fine Gardening, Marilyn MacLean came across the above letter accompanied by the drawing below.

Editor's note: For more information on these "corkscrews" see the June 24, 2007 issue.

Gardening with Thomas Jefferson

Reader David Rock submitted photos of the "Snail Vine" (Vigna caracalla) or contorted corkscrew vine. Thomas Jefferson grew the vine at his home, Monticello, in Virginia. The plant has flowers that start out white, then they turn purply-lavender, and, finally, finish off in a golden yellow color.


Not interested in gardening but want to enjoy corkscrew greenery? At Walmart you can buy a 40" Juniper Spiral Topiary (left). Walmart describes it as "Once alive, this Juniper topiary was carefully trained and pruned to form an eye-catching corkscrew shape. Now perfectly preserved, the twisting curves of the plant will grace your house for years to come, maintenance-free. $169.97."

If you prefer a Myrtle, go to where you can buy their "Faux Spiral Myrtle Topiary in Urn." Their description "This lifelike Spiral Myrtle Topiary in Urn is a maintenance-free way to spruce up any space. This striking flower is a no-hassle, convincing reproduction made of a durable polyester blend. Sits in an elegant resin urn that stands up to daily wear-and-tear." 64" high with a 20" diameter. The price: $579.00!

Harry Lauder's Walking Stick

The Corkscrew Hazel or “Harry Lauder's walking stick" (Corylus avellana Contorta) is full of twisting twigs and branches. A slow growing ornamental tree.

Who was Harry Lauder?

From Wikipedia we learn "Sir Henry McLennan Lauder (4 August 1870 - 26 February 1950) was a notable Scottish entertainer, described by Sir Winston Churchill as 'Scotland's greatest ever ambassador!'" The Corkscrew Hazel was dubbed "Harry Lauder's Walking Stick" because the comedian used a crooked branch cane during his performances.

At left is a watercolor by artist Al Frueh (1880-1968) published in New York World Magazine in 1913.

Corkscrew Vallisneria

The Corkscrew Vallisneria is a twisting aquatic plant frequently used in aquariums. Sizes range from 6 to 10".

Ekman's Garden

At left is the corkscrew art of the late Swedish collector Ian Ekman. He presented it in 1982 and wrote "For some time I have grown corkscrews ... To grow corkscrew flowers is a rather new activity, depending on the fact that there has not been any growing advice. In my descirption there are some, but I do not know all climates, so you have to feel your way. One problem is that when talking to the flowers you do not always know from which country they come. Therefore there may be difficulty in the language."

Ian also had a corkscrew Christmas tree (right). He wrote "Due to good caretaking of my Christmas tree 200 needles have grown out. The strange thing is that last year after the top star grew out, corkscrew apples grew out this year."

Garden Sculpture

Reader Ken Hark has the perfect sculpture decoration for the garden. He writes "I am selling my Corkscrew Sculpture. It is 6 feet tall, 3 feet wide, steel, wood & fiberglass. It weighs about 300 pounds. It was the first prize winner in Punta Gorda's 'Art Around Town'."


"You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think" is a humorous quotation attributed to Dorothy Parker. Supposedly she coined this after being challenged to use the word horticulture in a sentence. It is a play on words on the familiar "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink".

Related Stories

April 25, 2003: National Arbor Day (Corkscrew Willow)

November 28, 2003: Corkscrew Tree, Saucier, Mississippi

January 14, 2007: Corkscrew Palm in Zanzibar

January 28, 2007 : Trees

July 8, 2007: Carroll's Wife's Garden

News Index

©2008 Don Bull, Editor


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