Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A shrubbery!


Ask not for whom the bell tolls; I can assure you it tolls for 3 rhododendrons, installed at considerable expense as part of a front garden redo about 5 years ago. Try as I may, these shrubs simply will not thrive. They’re not terrible; they’re just not great. The picture above shows them in flower; you can see the discolored leaves and the fact that the branches are not as fleshed out with leaves as they should be. It’s too bad; the flowers are very nice, and long-lasting.


So I brought in my favorite garden consultant, the fabulous Sally Cunningham from Lockwoods, a local nursery, and she recommended leucothoe Rainbow (above), an evergreen with variegated leathery leaves and white flowers in spring. They’ll be going in Sunday. They’ll be a bit puny at first, especially when compared to the full-grown shrubs on either side of them, but if all goes well, they’ll fill out. The wall behind them is not an eyesore in great need of covering, so that helps.

I wonder if I’m becoming a shrub person. My interest in them has grown, especially in hydrangea, viburnum, and another newbie to my garden: pieris japonica.

BTW, If you’re wondering why I don’t have a Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post today, I do: it’s here.

8 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Shrubs are great. It is a good thing to have plenty in the garden.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

An appreciation of shrubs and foliage is the sign of a mature gardener. It's all about the structure.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Did Sally give you any tips for the Leucothoe? I tried (and failed) with 2 different kinds before throwing in the towel... but man, if I could give one another try, I would. They're so pretty!

Nan Ondra said...

You could consider setting one slightly higher so you get the two-level effect with a little path running down the middle. Or not. The Pythons weren't well known for good landscaping advice.

Miss Daisy said...

I love shrubbery, too! Sweet that you have a gardening consultant to help out! Lucky you.

EAL said...

Kim, Sally has advised on the installation--4 bags of compost will be added to the soil. She knows my space and did not anticipate a problem, but I know where to find her! If there is trouble-shooting to be done, I will share.

Thomas said...

Have you thought about finding new homes for your rhododendrons? Maybe they'd be happier across town. It's always a bit sad when the plants you've nurtured don't make the cut.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I'm fascinated by this, Elizabeth, because no way can I grow Leucathoe (it hates wind, among other things) but I do just fine with rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas. Maybe it comes down to what's available locally for Rhododendron cultivars and classifications?