September 2, 2010

To the East, to the West

The east side of my house and yard is rarely visited or seen.  There's no reason to be over on that side.  No walk, no path, no garden (well, there are foundation plantings, but bleah).  And there, sitting quietly with no notice and no expectation of constant admiration, is this beauty:
She is a Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus 'White Chiffon'.  She is late to emerge in spring when I am all taken up by flashier, earlier sprouting shrubs and flowers.  Kind of a heap of twigs in winter, she doesn't add much to the snowy landscape.  And as an old garden standby in everybody's yard, Rose of Sharon suffers from being way too common.

But then one summer day I saw her peeking into the dining room window.
And there she was, so pretty, blooming constantly in the heat of August.  White, pristine, lovely.
She is about 5 feet tall, but will get larger, maybe to 7 or 8 feet.  And when she does, the blooms will then fill the dining room window, calling attention to the view out the east window, and making herself noticed with a little "ooh" as we look up from dinner.
'White Chiffon' is sterile, so invasive Rose of Sharon seedlings all over the garden are not an issue.  She's just well behaved, more compact than others, quiet, self effacing and pretty much unnoticed until you take a look one day.  Then she delights.

The west side of my house is where all the action is.  The walk, the gardens, the plantings are all there and I pass them every day.  Roses, daylilies, grasses, shrubs and some new trees vie for attention.  Then, in August, the caryopteris blooms, exploding with vibrant color.
The color is unclassifiable.  Not blue, even though the common name of this guy is Bluebeard.  Not purple either.  Amethyst perhaps.
Bluebeard has a quality that the camera won't capture.  It's a bright sparkle that makes these flowers look like jewels in all light levels.  The cool grayish foliage helps to set off the intensity of the flowers.
The west side of my yard is full of foliage and bloom and structure and interest, so it takes a pretty bold fellow to get noticed.  Caryotperis has that quality in abundance.  In the late summer garden he shows off, demanding attention. He holds up sparkly gems to entice the bees and me, and I am captivated by his shameless charms.


  1. Your 'White Chiffon' is gorgeous! Rose of Sharon is not common here so I have fresh eyes for this beauty. :)

  2. Garden Ms. S, thanks. I thought Rose of Sharon was common everywhere! We see it in old yards all over the place here.


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