September 12, 2010

Glossy Abelia

It's supposed to bloom all summer, starting in May.  It has clear pink tiny blossoms to complement the spring and early summer garden.

Did it bloom in May?  No.  It did not bloom in June.  Nor July.  Not in August.

But it did in September just as the Autumn Joy sedum started to get rosy and the stalks of blackberry lily dried up, their shiny black seedpods long gone:

It burst out just as the Itea's leaves above it began to turn rusty red:

This mounding arching shrub with the pink flowers is Abelia grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', called glossy abelia because of its small glistening leaves.  It has been the slowest, tardiest plant to get going in my garden.

I planted Edward Goucher in 2007, but lost the first one over the winter in 2008.  Kevin at Farmington Valley Nursery, where I had bought it, replaced it for me at no cost, no questions asked. The second one came back in 2009, but barely, and remained a rather empty hole in the garden although it did survive.  This year, in 2010, it slowly filled in, but I had given up on any blooms after the entire summer had passed.

But then it took off in late summer, and by September it was a show to behold!

To be fair, abelia is not hardy here.  It's a zone 6 plant, and I am growing it in my zone 5 New England garden.  So it dies back to the ground each year, and that sets it back quite a bit.  That's a good thing because it won't ever get wildly large and rangy as abelias in the south can.  But it does delay the flowers by months.

I have been looking at an empty space in the garden since 2007, and was none too pleased with puny Edward.  But patience has been rewarded, and after four years this beautiful 2 foot high filler with its glossy leaves, arching stems and late season display is a now keeper.


  1. And they say nice guys finish last! They are the keepers. :)

  2. Garden Ms. S, and this abelia really is a nice guy!

  3. Patience is a virtue ... sometimes. Congratulations on your reward.


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