I am so excited about some new plants I bought this week at the Botanical Gardens Plantasia sale. As I tidy up the flower beds and prepare them for more spring planting, I’m planning places for my new additions.
Before you see those, I want to show you some of my azaleas blooming now. The larger Indica varieties are not quite in full bloom yet, but these smaller ones are probably at their peak. In the featured photo above, you see three red Kurume azaleas called Christmas Cheer. I wish they bloomed at Christmastime, but they’re pretty now.
This white Kurume is called Snow. It’s the only survivor of three I planted out front about thirty years ago. It’s lovely now, but it fades to ugly brown and is not a good self-shedder.
Azalea purists, a.k.a. azalea snobs, turn up their noses at the Kurume species, particularly the Coral Bells variety. The reason is probably because they aren’t our gaudy Indicas found in many respectable aristocratic southern gardens. They were late-comers to nurseries, bred for northern markets, and they proliferated in contractor’s twentieth-century foundation plantings. They’re more compact than the older, larger Indicas and more cold-hardy. Its blooms are much smaller, but very showy on their multi-clustered stems.
My Encore Autumn Flame or Fire (I forgot the exact name) is doing better than I’ve ever seen. I planted it about five years ago, but it has only shown a couple of blooms about three times a year. Encores are bred to bloom periodically, hence the name. This is a pretty good display on this tiny shrub.
All three of these azaleas have seasonal names that don’t match the time they bloom. It shouldn’t bother me, but it does.
Above, you see Pink Ruffles. It’s a well-behaved shrub with pretty blooms.
Now to the new plants. The pot of sticks you see on the left is a dormant Phantom hydrangea. I’m looking forward to its white blossoms this summer and the rusty pinkish color they will turn in the fall.
I love iris, but I haven’t had much luck with beautiful bearded iris in my yard. Siberian iris and walking iris do well, so I bought two new bi-color walking iris plants. I’m trying four Louisiana iris also. You can see the six new iris plants in the left collage photo with the hydrangea.
The skinny photo on the right side of the collage shows two new camellias. One is LA Peppermint, appropriately named for its white flower with red streaks. The other is a pink one called High Fragrance, and yes, it has a lovely scent.
This collage shows my two final new plants in the center. On the right is my new Japanese magnolia. The variety is called Jane, with a more vibrant color than we usually see around here. Many people call them tulip trees since the blossoms start out looking like tulips.
Do you remember my article in February on Mr. K. Sawada, who was known as Mr. Camellia? https://dottieloveladyrogers.com/2021/02/13/six-on-saturday-meet-mr-camellia/ The white camellia on the left is a variety that he developed and named Queen Bessie. She’s a lovely white with a golden crown. I am thrilled to be able to have one of his cultivars in my garden. I’m sure Jane and Queen Bessie will become good friends.
Once again, let me acknowledge @cavershamjj The Propagator who started this Six On Saturday festival. His blog is: thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com
Happy spring, everyone! Have a blessed week.