Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A neon sign of fall in the garden

In spite of the yucky weather today (low 40s, cloudy and drizzle) I ventured out into the garden, figuring there might be some fall color to enjoy, and I was right.

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Ever since we took down two medium-sized sweet gum trees a few years ago, this part of the garden now sees full sun much of the day. The bright yellow/orange shrub in the foreground is Fothergilla major ‘Mt. Airy’ with of course Burning Bush in the background with a few Nandina. If one were to ask me what my favorite shrub is, that would be a difficult question to answer. But my top five would certainly include Fothergilla…it’s a native shrub that tolerates full sun, part shade, heat, drought, and both clay and sandy soil. In spring, before it leafs out, it produces copious amounts of small white bottlebrush flowers that fade to green.

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The fall color is very dependable in part to full sun and last for several weeks before all the leaves fall. This shrub has a rather irregular rounded habit and gets about 3 to 5 feet tall and wide, and suckers a bit from the base. In winter, one can enjoy the structural interest of the bare stems.

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