Entries in spring garden (14)

Sunday
Mar272016

Late March in the Garden, 2016

I know it's Easter time again,
I feel it in the air.
The breath of spring with woodsy tang,
And new life everywhere.
And spring glides on with magic touch
O'er mountain side and glen;
And wakens all the sleeping plants
For Easter time again.

from "I feel it In the Air" by Edna Reed

It is an enchanted time in the garden when winter's darkness has fallen away. Spring light washes over the landscape and draws fresh life out of brown earth and gray branches. I walk in my garden and breathe in the fragrance of damp earth, clean air and velvety blooms, and I am swallowed by the exuberance of creation around me.

Trees at last are unfurling young leaves, and we are moving into mid spring with its marvelous mix of colors. Japanese maples are opening their bright leaves in the front garden.

Azaleas are blooming in shades of pink, purple, orange and white.

I am planting more woodland phlox, Phlox divaricata, this year. I have visions of drifts of this native flower floating through the woodlands. I have about a dozen plants now. I need lots more!

On this Easter day, the world is troubled and dark in many places, but my prayer is that God will bless you and fill your heart with hope proved true by His resurrection.   Deb

Sunday
Mar202016

Growing Loropetalums 

This has been a marvelous year for loropetalums. Loropetalum chinense, or Chinese fringe flower, is in full bloom, and every neighborhood in my area seems to have at least a few lovely specimens. The pink flowered varieties with purple leaves, Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum, are especially eye catching.A member of the Witch Hazel family, Hamanelidaceae, all of these shrubs have clusters of delicately scented, fringe shaped flowers. The green leafed cultivars have white to ivory flowers, while the purple-leafed ones have showy pink blooms.

Lorapetalum 'Carolina Moonlight' is a white flowering cultivar that grows to about 6 feet tall and wide.

Loropetalum 'Purple Diamond' grows in my own garden. It will reach 2-5 feet tall with a spread of 3-5 feet.Loropetalums will bloom heavily in spring, then again sporadically from summer into fall. All are evergreen, keeping their leaves through the winter, though some purple leafed ones may become greener during the summer.

Loropetalums come in various sizes to fit your needs. Selections vary from dwarf and low, spreading cultivars suitable for groundcover to selections that will grow up to 15 feet tall and wide. Loropetalums in Atlanta Botanical Gardens.In fact, there are some century old plants reported to have reached to 35 feet tall. The larger varieties may have their lower limbs removed to create lovely tree form specimens. Select larger shrubs for a tall hedge or as a backdrop for smaller plants. 

These are easy care shrubs that generally require little maintenance. They grow well in USDA hardiness zones 7- 9. They flourish in full sun and rich organic acid soil that is moist but well drained. Most are fast growing. Fertilize in early spring with fertilizer designed for acid loving plants or for evergreens. Choose appropriately sized cultivars for the location to minimize the need for pruning. If pruning is desired for shaping or to control size, prune after spring flowering has ended.