Thursday, January 31, 2013

Winter Vegetable Harvest

Carrots and Turnips in Gary's Winter Garden

Via MG Gary Ankney's Facebook Page, comes this picture of carrots and turnips dug from his garden on Wednesday, January 30, 2013.
Picked these today - who says gardening stops in the fall? And if you've never tasted winter-sweetened carrots and turnips, you don't know what you're missing.
The MG's at the Universtiy of Maryland's Grow it! Eat it! Blog are celebrating 2013 as the Year of Root Vegetables.

All year we'll be celebrating the crops that grow edible parts below the ground. Some of them, in fact many of them, grow edible parts above the ground too. But think roots, tubers, rhizomes, corms, bulbs, etc. - we will try to talk about them all!
I plan to follow along.  Their blog address is on the list to the right, as well as in the link above.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Grooming Brooming

Witch's Broom on Norway Spruce
Picture courtesy of Garden Professor Bert Cregg
A commenter over at the Garden Professor’s Facebook page linked to this article about Witch’s Broom, and the intrepid conifer enthusiasts who climb trees, risking life and limb to harvest them, with the hope of finding a source for the next great dwarf cultivar, so beloved of Railway, and Fairy Garden enthusiasts, and even home landscapers wanting a slower growing, denser leaved, and smaller specimen for their landscapes. From the article:
Hermsen and Larson are part of a tiny group of plant fanatics — they estimate they number about 200 nationwide — who traipse through forests collecting witch's brooms. The term, which dates to the Middle Ages, refers to tree mutations made up of dense masses of shoots growing from a single point. They look like balls of twigs woven together and can grow to several feet across. Each is the only one of its kind in the world. They are genetically unique.

They were dubbed "witch's brooms" in Medieval Europe because it was believed witches placed them high in trees, and even rested in them.
Intrigued, I started googling around, and found some interesting stuff about Witch’s Brooms.

Here’s Garden Professor Bert Cregg:
Witch’s brooms are growth anomalies that occur on various trees, most commonly conifers, Brooms can be caused by a variety of factors including diseases, aphids, environmental stress and random mutations. In some cases the growth defect is only present when the causal agent, say, a pathogen is present. In others, however, the growth mutation can be propagated by grafting scion wood from the witch’s broom onto a regular rootstock. In fact, this is the origin of many forms of dwarf and unusual ornamental conifers. Because of this, brooms are often a prized commodity and ‘Broom hunting’ is an active past-time for conifer enthusiasts such as members of the American Conifer Society.
Here’s his Fact Sheet on Spruces, and some of the cultivars originally gleaned from a naturally occurring Witch’s Broom.
‘Nidiformis’, the Nest Spruce, which itself was a witches’ broom that had been found on a Norway Spruce. Photo Credit Bill Barge
Whenever someone walks through a collection of dwarf, contorted, drooping, variegated, or otherwise unusual conifers such as the Harper Collection at Hidden Lake Gardens, one of the first questions is “Where did these trees come from?” In a few cases the trees represent relatively rare species that we don’t see often in this part of the world. However, in most cases these unusual trees represent genetic mutants of otherwise common conifers such as Pinus strobus, Picea glauca, Picea abies, Tsuga canadensis or other run-of-the-mill species. The trees we see in collections that are prized by conifer connoisseurs are the result of genetic mutations that result in unusual color or variegation, extremely slow growth rate, or loss of apical dominance. The mutations usually happen one of two ways: seedling mutants or witch’s brooms. Seedling growers that grow tens of thousands of seedlings from a given species will occasionally find individuals with unusual growth characteristics such as variegated or weeping form. Scions from these trees can be grafted onto other seedlings to propagate trees with the unusual trait. Likewise, mutations can arise within an individual tree. These are called witch’s brooms or “sports”. The unusual trees are propagated by grafting scions from the witch’s broom onto seedlings. If the mutation results in a weeping form, different forms of the tree can be produced depending upon where the scion is grafted. Grafting high on the normal tree (or standard) results in a weeping form, whereas grafting at ground level results in a prostrate or low growing form.
It’s not just conifers, either. The spotlight specimen in the Gass Garden, is a Vine Maple, Acer circinatum, first described during the Lewis and Clarke Expedition.

Witches Broom of Vine Maple - Photo Credit Harold Greer for Oregon State University
There’s a dwarf cultivar of A. circinatum named ‘Little Gem’ that was originally discovered as a witch’s broom.

A. circinatum 'Little Gem' - Picture courtesy of Oregon State University
Serendipitous web surfing can be very enlightening.

2013 Herb of the Year™ Elderberry

Growth: 4-12 ft.
Culture: Sun to partial shade; moist area w/good drainage
Flowers: White, May blooms
Fruits: Dark purple/black berries early September
Hardy: Zones 3-9 (Franklin County is Zone 6)
Native - Wildlife


Selected by the International Herb Association, Sambucus spp. [SAM-boo-cus], or Elderberry, is the Herb of the Year™ for 2013. This is a description of Sambucus nigra L. ssp. Canadensis – the American Black Elderberry. The common name "elder" is from the Anglo-Saxon "ellen," meaning fire-kindler, most likely referring to the dry, pithy stems.
This perennial shrub or tree is native to the lower 48 states as well as Canada and is hardy across all zones in North America.
The shrub grows 4-12 ft. with fragrant white flowers in spring and blue to black-purple berries in late summer. This is a good, mid-size plant and excellent as a hedgerow or in a property border. This plant is often used in riparian (stream or river bank or pond edges) restoration.

It tolerates poor soil, likes sun to partial sun and does well in moist areas but with good drainage. It is shallow rooted and gardeners should use care when weeding under it. Propagation is best through seed germination but grafting and layering are also used.
Elderberry’s wildlife habit value includes food for over 50 species of songbirds and upland game birds. It provides nesting cover for small birds and the flowers provide nectar for pollinators.
Squirrels, bears and other browsers eat the berries while deer, elk and moose will browse the stem and foliage. However, the USDA notes that new growth of American elder contains a glucoside that can be fatal to livestock.

Elderberry is used in over-the-counter medicines, primarily to boost the immune system and it is a significant source of both vitamins A and C. The berries are also used as dye and food colorants.

Elderberry is cultivated commercially for the fruit. The berries are used in cooking with the most popular uses being elderberry wine, juice and syrup along with pies and candy.
Berries are harvested in late August and early September when they are dark purple. The red berries of other species are toxic and should not be eaten. Full clusters of berries are harvested and removed from the stems. If not used immediately, they should be stored in a cool dry area.
The wood from the elder plant is hard and has been used for combs, spindles and wooden pegs. The hollow stems are used for flutes and arrow shafts while the pith makes good fire tinder.
Elderberry is an excellent native plant to add to your landscape. Examples can be seen in the Native Plant demonstration garden at the Franklin County Extension Service.

Learn more about Elderberry:

Univ. of Missouri Extension Service- From Folklore to Science: Cultivating Elderberry

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Via Garden Professor Bert Cregg of Michigan State, here's another (cleverly named) Blog (Co-Horts) by the Extension Professors and Educators at Colorado State University.  I've added a link to their blog to the the list at the right.  From their first post:
We are trying something new. Well, new to us anyway (hello 21st century!). A group of horticulture agents and campus Specialists across Colorado are blogging to bring you new, timely and interesting horticultural information from Colorado State University and the local Extension Offices. This blog will hopefully benefit those with an interest in the many facets of Colorado gardening—because we know it isn't easy to have success in our sunny state. We know this because we flounder as much (or more often) as you do. The great thing is that every plant we kill, every cultivar we grow without success, every mistake we make, helps you. At least we like to think it does...

We plan to debunk myths, bring you the latest research-based information from our land grant university, give detail about specific interest areas, and explain why we have certain recommendations, all while having a little fun doing it.
Go read the whole thing.  Of course there are many differences between Colorado growing conditions and ours, but many similarities, as well.  Great to see a Turf Specialist on tap, too.  We're down to relying on only a couple state-wide here in Penn State Extension, so it will be great to have a source for timely information.  Not so sure about this Alison person, though.  Someone who refuses to eat Tomatoes is suspect in my eyes ...

Monday, January 28, 2013

‘Ascot Rainbow’ Spurge - A Year-round Delight

Here’s Master Gardener Jill Hudock on ‘Ascot Rainbow’ Spurge.

Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’
in Jill's Shippensburg Landscape
If you’re looking for an all-seasons perennial with pizzazz, check out Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’. The name certainly has flair. The common name for the genus Euphorbia is spurge. Still, it’s quite a moniker. However, this plant does deserve something special.

Discovered in 2005 growing in an Ascot, Victoria Australia nursery and receiving its US Patent in 2010, it’s been propagated, marketed and distributed widely enough to reach south central PA in two years. With that kind of push, you know it has to be good.

I bought 4 of them two years ago. And while they haven’t all fared the same, they are all still alive. The happiest one received a dollop of compost last year and is a whopping 30” tall by 4’ round mound of variegated foliage. Plus, nothing seems to bother this plant. Not the bunnies, insects or weather. ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is just as stunning in the depths of winter as in the freshness of spring.

Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’
in Spring Bloom
Narrow, 3 inch-long variegated leaves cover stalks with cream, lime and grey-green. In spring the flowers (technically they are bracts) emerge bright lime then change to vibrant yellow, tinged with red. The bracts color-echo the leaves nicely, blooming on both old and new wood. They hover above the stalk much like an airy ‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum and are suitable for cut flowers.

Just make sure you wear gloves, as the sap can be a skin and eye irritant. All parts are poisonous if ingested. Maybe that’s why the bunnies and groundhogs seem to steer clear. ‘Ascot Rainbow’ could be used as protective border, keeping those critters from munching on something they do find appetizing.

Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’
In summer the leaves always look fresh and full…healthy. The bracts maintain their appeal. Honestly, it’s almost as if this plant is artificial!

In fall the colors become muted shades of red, pink and orange. It looks great with mums, ornamental grasses and pumpkins.

In winter the leaves may droop with a frost or an ice coating but will recover very quickly to look as if nothing ever happened. I constantly marvel at its vitality. Most euphorbias hold up well throughout our area but none that I’ve seen even come close to the lasting beauty of this one. And while it’s not an all-over green shade, it is considered an evergreen perennial due to its consistent appearance.

‘Ascot Rainbow’ spurge can be found in zones 5-9, growing happily in full sun to part shade, well-drained soil with moderate watering. Once established, it will handle drought conditions easily, like most euphorbias. Last year’s flower stalks can be cut back in early spring to encourage new, long-lasting blooms.

This plant deserves to be seen in full color. It’s an easy partner in the garden. The variegated leaves play nicely with most plants and are especially attractive when viewed in front of a dark green evergreen. Try it in a container with annuals for non-stop drama. I really can’t think of a bad combination, other than placing it beside another variegated plant with the same color proportions.

Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’ will lighten up your garden all year round. So if you’re looking to bring a bit of excitement, go ahead, splurge on this spurge!

More pictures can be found at Plant Delights Nursery.  It was chosen as "Plant of the Week" by the University of Maryland's Ginny Rosencrantz in April, 2012.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

2012 Year in Review

As we start 2013, let’s look back on some of the highlights of the 2012 Master Gardener Season.


The Franklin County Master Gardener Program is part of a nation-wide volunteer effort to help Land Grant Universities fulfill their mission to bring research based knowledge of consumer horticulture to the general public. In exchange for extensive training, Master Gardeners are asked to provide throughout the first program year, 50 hours of volunteer time, selected among the following activities: covering the phone hot-line during the growing season (April 15-October 15), teaching workshops, manning information booths, assisting in research, establishing and maintaining demonstration gardens, fulfilling speaker requests, and helping with funding-raising and publicity efforts, like our Plant Sale, Tomato Taste Day, and Fall Garden Tour that help keep the program sustainable. In subsequent years, 20 hours of volunteer time, and 8 hours of continuing education are required to maintain Master Gardener status.


During the 2012 year, 80 Master Gardeners dedicated 5,904 volunteer hours to the gardening community of Franklin County. This included teaching 56 workshops and classes on topics ranging from seed starting to Japanese landscaping, and growing vegetables and fruit in the home landscapes.

9 new Master Gardeners completed their 3 months of training and are now working on their 50 hours of volunteer time during 2013 to obtain their Master Gardener certification badge.

From April through mid-October, Master Gardeners maintained the Garden Hotline and answered 959 questions on insect and weed identification, disease prevention in the home landscape, interpreting soil sample results, and general “how to” advice on growing vegetable and ornamental plants.

35 presentations were given by Master Gardeners to local groups and organizations and 15 displays were setup for county events.
Franklin County Master Gardeners again supported Penn State Extension at various regional events during the year - at the Farm Show in January, helping Penn State Extension’s Pesticide Education Team run their booth, at the Mid Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference in Hershey in February, the Pennsylvania Nurseryman’s Garden Expo in March, and the Summer Garden Experience in Landisville in July.

The Franklin County Master Gardener Blog recorded 44,271 page views for the year, for an average of 3,689 per month. In addition, our Facebook Page recorded 63 likes and 18,056 visits for the year.

Highlights of 2012

  • Harvest 4-Health – in 2012, we expanded our efforts with the Penn State 4-H Harvest 4-Health program and Kids Learning After School (KLAS), adding Ben Chambers Elementary School to the Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School effort. Additional Harvest 4-Health partners we helped with plants and growing advice, included the St. Thomas Elementary School, New Franklin Elementary School, and the Coldbrook YMCA. Harvest 4-Health is a Penn State Extension initiative to bring together multiple disciplines within Extension on a focused effort at the local level to teach the newest generation about growing their own, fresh, nutritious food by planning, planting, maintaining, and harvesting produce from their own vegetable gardens. KLAS is a year-round after school program for grades 1-6 (ages 6-12) consisting of 60 students usually broken into 3 groups of 20.

  • Patrick Gass Garden – Phase I of the Patrick Gass Garden was installed during the 2012 season. The Patrick Gass Garden will establish an educational and historical demonstration garden on the Franklin Farm Campus memorializing the leading role of Patrick Gass, a Chambersburg native son, in the Lewis and Clarke Expedition of 1804-1806. The project will present a horticultural and historical experience that demonstrates the importance of flora and agriculture in the young and expanding Republic. It will offer an educational experience for youth groups, school groups, historic groups, tourists, and public visitors. Watch this year as permanent signage goes up, and plans for Area 2 get underway.

  • Victory Garden 2012 - We documented a whole season's worth of pictures (thanks to MG Georgia Townsend) and educational material for our blog.

  • Establishment of a Drought Tolerant Demonstration Garden – Master Gardener Donna Berard and her team used their extensive knowledge of Xeriscaping to create a drought tolerant garden alongside the fence surrounding the Victory Garden.

  • Refurbishment of the Herb Demonstration Garden – the oldest demonstration garden on the grounds was given a total facelift this past year, installing new raised beds, and preparing for new plantings in 2013.

  • Spring Plant Sale – In 2012, our combined greenhouse vegetable and annual plant sale generated $10,296.85 in gross revenues.

  • An Autumn Stroll – Our annual fall garden tour took place in the Penn National/Fayetteville areas this past year, generating another $1,780.00 in gross receipts.

  • June Extension Open House – Penn State Extension of Franklin County sponsored its second Open House for the public with an afternoon event on June 20th and Master Gardeners were there to help as volunteers showing off our Demonstration Gardens - Gass Garden, Herb Garden, Perennial Garden, Drought Tolerant Garden, Pollinator Garden, and the Woodland, Meadow, and Native Habitat Garden (Wildlife Area). In 2013, we expect to finish the refurbishment of the Herb Garden, add a Bog Garden to the Wildlife Area, possibly add a Shade Garden there also, and continue the efforts on the Gass Garden.

  • Tomato Day – The 12th annual Tomato Taste Day wherein we invite the public to judge two dozen or more different varieties of tomatoes and rate them for flavor and looks, took place on August 22nd. 145 people participated in 2012, giving a red cherry variety Sakura, from Sataka Seeds top honors. Because we had a late start growing our tomato patch here on the Franklin County campus, most of the varieties for the August 22nd event came from the Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Centerr in Landisville. When the local crop came in, we sponsored a Mini Tomato Day on September 11, 2012, where Blush, a recent introduction developed by Baia Nicchia Farm was the runaway winner.
Many thanks to all the Master Gardeners who gave of their time and talents to make for a successful year.

Whimsical Winter Wonderland

Master Gardener Mary Crooks sends these pictures of her landscape after Friday's snowfall.


Hmm.  Seems to me this tree had other occupants this past spring.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Name the Series

Master Gardener Mary Crooks has come up with an idea for a Blog series - periodic quotes about gardening from poets, philosophers, founding fathers, famous people, etc.

Here's Master Gardener Kathy Engle on the writer Karel ńĆapek, The Spirit of a Gardener, for example.

I put up a poll to the right which will stay there for the next 10 days or so, with some of the suggestions for naming the series.

Once named, there will be periodic blog entries with the quote.  And if you come across an appropriate quote to include, just send it to any of our editors, along with proper attribution so we can credit the source.

Cast your vote!  Any and all can participate, but the poll will only allow one vote (per computer).

If you have another suggestion for the name of the series, put it in the comments section.

Update: February 5, 2013 - 9 votes were cast, with three options garnering 2 votes each, and three options getting 1 each. I let Mary Crooks, who came up with the idea, decide, and she chose “Thoughts and Meditations on Gardening”, so watch for a continuing series on the blog with that as a title. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Winter Interest, Part 10 - Coral Embers Willow

Coral embers willow (Salix alba ssp. vitellina 'Britzensis') - nothing special in the gardeners' world, just a fast-growing, hardy, colorful shrub for a large area - is a real delight this time of year.

When the leaves fall in autumn, it shows off its branches for the winter: yellow, orange, red in varying degrees all over...and it really stands out in a winter landscape.  Add some snow and you will really appreciate it.

It's inexpensive to buy, it's vigorous (grows 2-3 feet a year), gets large (my 9 year old specimen reached about 13 feet this year), gets woody (you need to trim it back), serves as a great nesting place for all kinds of wildlife (I've seen it all), and looks really cool when it snows especially.

Important:  it needs to be trimmed back as far as possible into the current year's wood EVERY year, or it gets very large.  So, in Feb-Mar, before leaves start to come out, go out and trim everything but an inch of the colorful stems off.  The new growth will start from here, and the further you cut it back, the more colorful it will be the next winter.

It serves as a great screen shrub, and you can pick it out in the winter from quite a distance (if you happen to have trouble finding your house).

If you are interested in starting one (or a hundred), call me and let me know - I will save you a bunch when I trim mine.  I stick them in a bucket of water and once they root, plant them in the ground, and they seem to do just fine.  They are not fussy about soil, like sun, and after a year will start giving you a colorful winter backdrop.

Learn more about Plants with Winter Interest:

Winter Interest in MG Iris Master's Landscape and Other Penn National Gardens
Nandina - Heavenly Bamboo
Landscaping for Four Seasons of Interest
Plants With Winter Interest - Part 1 - Partridge Berry
Plants With Winter Interest - Part 2 - Snowdrops
Plants With Winter Interest - Part 3 - Stinking Hellebore
Plants With Winter Interest - Part 4 - Native Jewel Orchid
Plants With Winter Interest - Part 5 - Lavender
Plants With Winter Interest - Part 6 - Witchhazel
Plants With Winter Interest - Part 7 - Paperbark Maple
Plants With Winter Interest - Part 8 - Eastern Teaberry or Wintergreen
Plants With Winter Interest - Part 9 - Harry Lauder's Walking Stick

Saturday, January 19, 2013

From Acorn to Oak

Beautiful time lapse video of an Acorn to Oak by Neil Bromhall sent to me by MG Carol Kagan

Check out more of his work by clicking on his name above.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

4-H Robotics Club of Franklin County

Looking for a great way to promote your business? The 4-H Robotics Club is putting together a Sponsor Book to help cover costs for their educational programs and competitions throughout the year. The book will be handed out to the public at 4-H Robotics Events including ChamberFest, Franklin County Fair, and many others. Sponsors may submit a 1/4 Page Ad for $10.00, a 1/2 Page Ad for $20.00, 3/4 Page Ad for $30.00, or a Full Page Ad for $40.00. You may also be listed as a Robotics Friend for $5.00, which would just include your name or business name. FOr more information about becoming a sponsor, please call 717-263-9226 and speak with Jason Goetz or email him at

The Summer/Fall issue of the Penn State Ag Science Magazine has a cover story on Robot Dreams, where you can read about 4-H Robotic Clubs efforts across the state.  
The connection between 4-H and robotics might not be instantly apparent. “Robots aren’t warm and fuzzy, and you don’t sell them in a sale,” said Patty Anderson, Penn State extension educator for 4-H youth development and science curriculum.

But it doesn’t take Anderson long to make a case for robotics being an exciting way to introduce engineering to a generation that is hooked on computers, video games, and other forms of digital entertainment. “Our kids are in an environment where things are changing faster than ever because technology is taking us there,” she says. “They have no fear of technology,” she says. “They’re the ones embracing it. They’re the consumers that the apps are being driven for. And if they don’t get what they want, they make it.” In other words, their comfort level with technology primes the pump for an interest in engineering.

As a way to address what 4-H leaders see as a declining trend in the nation’s science, engineering, mathematics, and technology workforce, the organization has set its sights on engaging one million young people in science by the year 2013.
Here's a way to support our own Franklin County club.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter Weather and Deicers

Ice-laden trees provide an icy wonderland effect

Waking up this morning to a beautiful but icy wonderland, it was a reminder to find the bag of “salt” in preparation for the next winter event. It’s not really salt in the bag but calcium chloride.

Icy surfaces can be hazardous to your wintertime health so removing snow and ice is a priority. You don’t want to be quoting the Muppets all day – “Watch out for the icy patch!”
Although safety first, gardeners also want to consider run-off damage to lawns and gardens. A special challenge is for plants near roadways, sidewalks and other hardscape areas so gardeners might consider a salt tolerant garden. The Penn State Extension Service in Montgomery County has a demonstration salt tolerant garden with more information on their Website.

Salt Tolerant Garden near Roadway
Chemical deicers come in various forms - pellets, flakes and liquids - but research shows that pellets from 1/16" to 3/16" work faster.  Regardless of the type, overuse causes problems. Only use as much as necessary.
Don't overuse deicers
Sodium chloride, also known as rock salt, melts ice down to 25 degrees and is inexpensive but it can burn plants as well as corrode metal and concrete. It is the most harmful, seriously injuring or killing plants near sidewalks or paved areas. Additionally, when it washed into storm drains, it is a nonpoint source of pollution to waterways impacting fish and marine life.

Rock Salt Damage to Grass

Other chemical choices include calcium chloride which melts ice down to -25 degrees. Overuse can harm plants. Potassium chloride is effective to 12 degrees and is a fertilizer; however, overuse can be deadly to plants. Urea, ammonia and carbon dioxide, works down to 15 degrees. Although used as a fertilizer, high concentrations can harm plants. Calcium magnesium acetate, a salt-free deicer using dolomitic limestone and acetic acid, is effective down to 5 degrees and is particularly useful in environmentally sensitive areas.

For areas where deicers can't be used, sand or kitty litter can provide traction but also can be a source of nonpoint pollution.
Learn more about deicers and plant damage:

Poor Poinsettias

Via Garden Professor Holly Scoggins of Virginia Tech:

I linked to earlier pest control information of a new invasive species from the same source here.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Winter Interest Part 9 - Harry Lauder Walking Stick

Growth: to 10 ft.
Culture: Sun to partial shade; drought tolerant
Flowers: Unremarkable
Grown for unusual twisted, corkscrew branches
Hardy: Zones 4b-8 (Franklin County is Zone 6)
Winter interest plant

This intriguing shrub (Corylus avellana 'Contorta') lends plenty of winter interest when sited to show off its silhouette with twisted, corkscrew branches. Every Harry Lauder's Walking Stick was propagated from a single plant that was discovered in an English hedgerow in the 19th century.

Not its best feature, it does have textured green leaves that fade to pale yellow in fall. Hardy in zones 4B-8, it has a slow growth rate and can reach 10’. It has a high tolerance for drought, likes sun or part shade and does well in most soils.

A member of the hazel family, it produces flowers called catkins which may hold on into winter, though it does not produce nuts. Usually grafted onto Corylus colurna rootstock, gardeners need to prune off any suckers to prevent the plant reverting to the rootstock characteristics.

Sometimes an icy coating gives this shrub as spectacular winter display.

You want to know why the name, don’t you? Presumably it was named after Harry Lauder, an early 20th C. English vaudevillian who carried a crooked walking stick with him on stage.
In real life, he also collected crooked walking sticks which were sold at auction for very high prices.

When planning your landscape changes, consider this plant for sites that will show off its winter interest.