I know that patience is a virtue... but c'mon... this drought and heat of summer was an absolute kill joy when it comes to being enthused about what to plant in my garden... so I am supposed to get you excited... and I'm gonna do it come hell or high water because this too shall pass and next year you will thank me! Whew... English teachers... don't look at that sentence... please... its a thought ok????
Plant of the season... here it is : tada... drumroll! Caryopteris! You are going to flip over this one! I did, you can't kill it. It's a great perennial. It likes shade. It likes sun. It likes dog pee. Some call it Blue Spirea... this delightful late bloomer (blooming now - people!) is a magnet to butterflies and a big asset in the late summer border. Caryopteris has a true blue flower and is truly hardy. Oh I know, you've heard me say this before. Ok... I may have said the same thing about chicory... no... I don't think I said the same exact thing. I would never compare! Ok... I'm rambling. I do seem to like blue plants... do you think I am a bit blue... perhaps I should check my mood? hmmm.... Back to Caryopteris...and perhaps some Chaka Khan music!
The Caryoteris in our gardens are hybrids of several Asian species. The flowers Are generally blue, although pink forms do exist. Butterflies and bees love them and are attracted to the flowers. The flowers are said to have a slight scent, although I have never noticed it.
Reseeding Caryopteris, is somewhat difficult, therefore it is usually purchased as in plant form. They do well in shade and full sun. The plant is hardy from Zone 9 to at least Zone 5. In Zone 5 Caryopteris may die back to the ground, but make substantial growth in the spring and will bloom by late summer. Caryopteris blooms on new wood, so all winter damaged wood can be safely pruned off in early spring without losing the flowers. They begin blooming in late summer and continue until late frost. Keeping dead flowers trimmed off on the plant prolongs bloom. I like to have them bloom as long as possible... the last hurrah so to speak!
So there you have it... My favorite variety is Longwood blue. It has nice silvery gray foliage. Sunshine Blue has golden leaves and deep blue flowers. Pink Chablis has Pink flowers. There are several other varieties you may find at the nursery. These are my picks!
Next week I will talk about fall clean up in the garden and how we can put the mess to sleep... what we can salvage and what we can spruce up. I am hoping that my leaves turn golden and beautiful this year and not just fall off the trees brown from lack of water. Do your rain dances people! Peace out!