I recently weeded the shrub row, so took some pictures of the plants. They are not very big yet – most were planted last year – and they are not blooming. Once they are in bloom, I will post pictures in separate entries. I figured that since they are not blooming, I might as well plop them all together here.
The shrub row was designed partially as habitat for the birds, and also to block out the neighbor’s ugly fence. It will be a few years before either of those aims are achieved, but the plants look great regardless.
The fragrant osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) did not bloom last year, but it supposed to have a wonderful fragrance (hence the name). I hope it blooms this year!
The indigofera (Indigofera amblyantha) doesn’t look like much at the moment, but has really sweet delicate blossoms later on. I took a picture of a few leaves to try to convey the delicateness of the plant, but I am not sure that it worked. EDIT: since I took this picture it has leafed-out some.
This Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’ is a funny little plant without a common name. Yes, I see people using “five-leaf aralia,” but I am not sure about that, since it is only in the aralia family and not an aralia. It was bought for the variegated foliage.
There is one nursery in the area that always underestimates eventual plant size on their signs and tags… the Chilean myrtles (Luma apiculata ‘Glanleam Gold’) are such a situation. There are two of them, and they are apparently going to get huge (although not very quickly, as I’m not sure that they have grown at all).
The variegated butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Monrell’) was a fun find, because variegated foliage is always appreciated. However, I’m a little scared to prune it down the way that many, including Ciscoe Morris, say to do, as I’m afraid that it will come up again unvariegated. As it is I’ve had to cut off unvariegated branches. So maybe it will get huge and woody instead.
This locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Lace Lady’) is right in front of the shrub row, and actually might get moved. I think right now the plant has more leaves than in these pictures. It is lacy and twisty – what more could one want? The locust might even get its own post sometime, once it is totally foliated (if it intends to do so).
I don’t think that the mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia ‘Raspberry Glow’) bloomed last year. It is evergreen… and I can’t give much more assessment because I haven’t seen it in action. Mountain laurels are related to rhododendrons.
They call Calycanthus floridus “Carolina allspice” because it is native to the east coast. It is a scented plant, and the co-gardener and I saw it for sale at a nursery several counties away. I had read about it and knew that it was scented and had attractive dark red blooms, so we picked one out that had buds but was not quite blooming. Well, I went home and read in the trusty Sunset book that one should only buy the plants in bloom, because some smell better than others. It does not smell bad exactly, it is just a really unusual smell. I think it grew on me a little… witch hazels have a sort of odd fragrance, as well.
Last year I got a book from the library about scented plants, and got it in my mind that I needed a scented rhododendron and a scented hydrangea. So when we were at the big rhododendron nursery last year we picked out a white scented one, ‘Polar Bear.’ It did not bloom last year, and it looks like it will not bloom this year. That happens sometimes with certain types of rhododendrons – it can take years and years for them to bloom. On top of it, this plant is a weird shape (I think it flopped)… but it is putting on new growth so hopefully it will turn itself into something a little more, reasonable?
There are two pittosporums in the yard. This one, Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Marjorie Channon,’ is in the shrub row. It is variegated and supposedly has scented blooms, but I don’t really remember it blooming last year. The other pittosporum, which will show up in a later post, definitely has sweet-smelling white flowers which smell like orange blossoms (thus called a Japanese mock orange). This one gets pretty big, so we decided to stick it in the shrub row. It is evergreen.
Ok the Wine and Roses (Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’). This was purchased bare-root (bare-root is always cheaper), and we didn’t realize how weird it would look when it foliated. All of the leaves are towards the top. I have since seen the same type of plant in nurseries, and I always comment “this one is not as weird looking as ours…” I think sometimes bare-root is a risky business, unless it is for something that is typically sold bare-root, like roses. The term “bare-root” means that the roots are loose, without being imbedded in a ball of soil, are typically kept in sawdust at the nursery, and the plants don’t have leaves yet. Once home, bare-root plants should be planted within a few days. Last year when we looked at this plant, I reminded the co-gardener that there had been interest in a variegated weigela, but the co-gardener figured that this one was so inexpensive that we could have both. Upon arriving home, the Wine and Roses weigela got a really great spot in the backyard. Once it turned out to look like it does, we lamented it for awhile until finally putting a much lovelier variegated weigela there instead, and moving this one to the shrub row. I think that we are going to cut it all the way down after it blooms, hoping that it will develop a more attractive shape. However, whenever we talk about not having space for something I remark “we could always get rid of the Wine and Roses.”
I picked out this mock orange (Philadelphus ‘Snow White Fantasy’) after it had bloomed, so have not yet seen it doing its thing, but it should have nice white scented blooms.
This evergreen viburnum (Viburnum japonicum ‘Variegatum’) is mostly for its eye-catching variegated foliage, but it should also bloom and have berries. As I recall, the blossoms were marketed as being scented, but the smell was slight. I could be confusing it with a different variegated viburnum (it will be in a future post).
The co-gardener really wanted a doublefile viburnum, and we ended up with two last year. This one, Viburnum plicatum tomentosum ‘Summer Snowflake,’ is more upright than they typically are, and last year the blooms continued for months and months – much longer than the ‘Mariesii’ variety on the other side of the yard (which will be in a later post).