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Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Travelling Shrub

Our garden here at this house is not the first garden I have created from scratch.

Back in 2003, I moved out my apartment in the city and into a house in a small town north of the city.

One of my greatest joys then, as now, was creating a garden, literally from scratch. Whereas our house here at least had sod and a few bushes, the back yard in my previous house was literally a patch of dirt.

Over the five years I lived there, with the help of my parents, who visited from England, and my neighbors, I laid out a lawn and wide borders full of flowering shrubs and other plants, as well as a shady patio for a pleasant place to sit and enjoy it.

The subject of today's post, "The Traveling Shrub" was one of the most successful shrubs in that garden. It was given to my by one of my neighbors and was no more than a stick when I first got it.

They told me it was a Rose of Sharon, something that, being from England, I was unfamiliar with.

At first, I stuck it in a container of potting soil, to let it take root which it happily did. Once I noticed it was putting out new leaves, I deemed it ready to go in the garden and put it in the bed on the back side of the house, close to the patio.

The arrow in the photo below shows it, about 8 inches tall, in its new home.


A month or so later, it was 3 feet tall and filling out.

It wasn't long at all before it was covered in buds and starting to bloom.

It was glorious all summer long, a magnet for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

When Eric and I got married and decided a bigger house would be more suitable for the two of us, I was quite upset at having to leave behind this garden. 

But then I remembered how the Rose of Sharon had come to me and wondered if it could make the move to our new house.

I took several cuttings and potted them up, nurturing them until we started laying out borders in our new garden.

I planted three altogether.  The one below, indicated by the arrow, went into the middle of the back border. It would eventually be flanked by a Southern Wax Myrtle and a Flame Acanthus.  I also planted one in the border on the left of the garden and one along the fence on the right side of the garden.  Out of the three of them, the one in the back border is doing best.

It wasn't long before it was as tall as the wall and blooming profusely :-)

More seasoned gardeners than I will probably notice that the Rose of Sharon and the Southern Wax Myrtle in the photo above are too close together.  Now, three years later, they're sort of merged into one large shrub, but they both seem to be doing well.

So if the occasion ever comes that I have to move again (not that we are planning on it), I know I'll be able to take at least some of my garden with me :-)

Or perhaps I could share cuttings with my neighbors, if any of them were gardeners.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Kathleen Scott said...

Sharing is the best way to get plants, isn't it? I've followed your garden for years now and enjoy seeing the progression. You've created quite a bird and butterfly habitat.

Dorothy Borders said...

Rose of Sharon is a wonderful, old-fashioned shrub and yours is beautiful. That's quite a saga about its travels.

Lancashire rose said...

Something from not much is so incredibly satisfying, be it seed or cutting.