I've heaped so much praise on this little plant it's probably going to explode or do something (like die over the winter or become full of aphids) to make me annoyed at it :)
Plants make great gifts, especially unusual ones like this one for my relatives and the fact I don't want to dig up the entire root ball of my currently ginormous Haight Ashbury ("3-4 ft tall," it said. My bum, it's over 6 ft now!)
So, I've been taking cuttings here and there of 1.5 ft tips of the branches and stripping the stems/leaves of the last 6 inches or so to instigate root making after I pop them into old beer bottles of water.
It'll take maybe a couple of weeks or more before they decide to root up, but it's worth it! I am so fearful it won't make it in the ground over winter even after a good mulching, so this is my insurance (crosses fingers).
When I had stripped the leaves/stems earlier, I let them fall to the ground thinking to just let them "go back to the earth," rot and all that.
As I was letting them fall and noticed the great pile that was building up around my feet I day dreamed about the yumminess of the leaves and versatility of the simple syrup I make from them and couldn't do it.
It would be like letting food rot on the vine or dumping down the trash.
I had to save the leaves!
So I rinsed them, threw them into a pot and added just enough water until it covered the leaves and put that range on HIGH. When things got boiling well enough I added sugar to taste so that the sweetness didn't overpower the Haight Ashbury citrus flavor but was thick enough to constitute a syrup and gave it a tasty-taste.
Mmmm, nothing like a scarlet spoonful of sugar to make the medicine of life go down, eh?
As it was still pretty much morning, I wasn't going to be making delicious gin hibiscus martinis (the vodka ones are ok too, but really, gin is better), so I broke out the sparkling water (still sparkling amazingly after weeks being open I've found) and made myself a little Hibiscus soda!
Beautiful (and refreshing)!