Last week’s post focused on trees and was very green. I promised some color for the next post. A promise fulfilled below.
1. Throughout the garden Althea, also called Rose of Sharon or Rose Mallow in the UK, provides white and purple hibiscus flowers in a range of shades. Hibiscus syriacus is a non-native originating in Korea; in fact it is the national flower of South Korea, but it is certainly popular and at home in the US Southeast. Generally, it is cold-hardy, rather drought tolerant, and very easy to grow–so easy that I spend considerable time removing seedlings from under and around larger shrubs. I admit that there have been times when I have considered them all but a trash plants. They provide weeks of color, though. They grow in shade. They grow in sun. They grow on hills. They grow in pots. They grow in poor soil. They grow next to each other nicely, creating colorful hedges. They grow successfully on their own. And, I seem to feature them at least once a year.
Most of the shrubs have purple blooms; however, there is a considerable, albeit sometimes subtle, range in the shade of purple.
But, there are, as I mentioned above, a few shrubs that flower white and one that produces blooms that develop is a rosy pink and open to a pale pink, nearly white.
2. A few Japanese beetles have arrived to feast on the hibiscus flowers. Unfortunately, the ones pictured below were too far off the deck for me to remove by hand. I prefer the bees who drop by to gather pollen.
3. As long as I am dutiful with watering, the garden has some attractive color growing in pots. I’ve used this combination for two years now, and it has a nice “pop” in the sun. The coleus needs daily watering, but the wave petunias, and the coreopsis love the sunlight.
4. A few weeks ago the hostas–of which I have many–bloomed, providing purple to white funnel-shaped flowers throughout the garden. One remains in bloom. Another non-native from northeast Asia, this foliage plant is as popular in Southern gardens as the Rose of Sharon–and even more popular with deer and bunnies.
5. There is some color on the patio outside the front door, too: impatiens, geraniums, begonias, and caladium in pots set out among other hostas. Some of the spent hosta scapes can be seen in the pot by the post.
6. I’ll end with an update on the progress of oakleaf hydrangea transplants from this spring on the right below. They are doing well, a few of them approaching the size of last year’s transplants on the left.
For more garden updates (and guidelines for joining in), visit The Propagator: my plant obsession. Gardening readers will enjoy the images, comments, and conversations found there.