They were growing in four separate gardens, and were doing so happily.
This spring all four failed to return.
They lived in completely different parts of my garden, but this winter they got together, agreed on a plan, and all four departed.
In one single episode of plant rebellion, they left, and my garden now has not a single buddleia in it. I feel like the clueless wife who never saw the divorce coming. What happened?
There were four plants, but only two varieties, both of them unusual.
I had two of the Buddleia weyeriana 'Honeycomb', and two of the dwarf Lo and Behold 'Blue Chip'.
The Lo and Behold 'Blue Chip' were cute. They really were tidy little butterfly bushes, not at all arching or wild as the big ones. Only two feet high. The color of the bloom spikes wasn't even close to blue, it was a purply pink magenta.
I absolutely loved looking out my bedroom window and seeing the magenta mixed with a small red rose and a pop of cool Dusty Miller.
I tried one year to grow this little buddleia in a pot, but it wasn't happy there, and let me know it by stretching awkwardly to get out of the container, so I set it free and planted the whole thing in a border where it was much more amiable and made a tidier low mound.
The yellow butterfly bushes were a gift from my niece Angela, and were as big as the normal species. Although they were named 'Honeycomb' to me they were always 'Angela' shrubs and I loved their sweet delicate yellow color. A little sprawly, but the unusual bright blooms were rich and honey colored and irresistible to butterflies.
Buddleia is very late to leaf out each spring so I'm always a little anxious waiting for their emergence. But it is now early June, and there is not a single leaf bud showing on any of the four butterfly bushes.
How could all four disappear after years of success and pleasure in my garden? They came back reliably for several years. This past winter was mild, each was in a separate garden, each had been cut back as I had done every fall, and yet each one failed to return.
Where did they go?