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Full Sun

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Partial Shade

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Full Shade

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Drought Tolerant

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Picture Available

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Drawing Available

(PPAF) = Propagation of this plant prohibited without a license.

Hardiness Zone Map


Clethra

Summersweet

Exhibiting the four-season fanfare of its deciduous eastern U.S. relations, this adaptable low-maintenance Clethra offers additional enticements: a more compact, smaller scale habit plus nearly twice as many blooms! Shiny serrated dark emerald foliage hosts the abundant summertime creamy-white flowers. Cherished by butterflies and bees, dazzling nectar-rich 4 to 6 in. long blooms form upright, close-knit cylindrical spires that waft a delectable spiced-honey scent. Autumn brings glowing golden-yellow leaves, while the densely woven brown branches etch winter’s landscape and persistent dark cocoa-hued seed spikes nourish songbirds. Appreciative of bright shade coupled with somewhat acidic, moderately moist sandy soil, ‘Hummingbird’s winning rounded character is tailor-made for containers, streamsides, shrubby borders, massed plantings or woodland gardens, where it heroically abides clay, deer and full shade as well as wet conditions.

 

Blooms August–September

Size: 2' 0" – 4' 0" high x 3' 0" – 5' 0" wide.

Zone 3b/4.

<i>Clethra alnifolia</i> ‘Ruby Spice’

A friend to gardeners, butterflies and bees alike, ‘Ruby Spice’ celebrates a compact well-groomed habit plus long-lasting rosy pink bottlebrush-like flower spikes that sweetly perfume the dog days of summer. Lustrous, deep green serrated leaves develop yellow, gold and chocolate autumnal hues, while the delightful narrow upright panicles morph into intriguing dark brown seed capsules. Discovered in 1992 as a sport of Clethera alnifolia ‘Pink Spire’, this attractive deciduous cultivar exhibits outstanding easy-care versatility, tolerating both full sun and full shade. Whether massed, displayed as a specimen or hedged, it is invaluable for patios, smaller spaces, woodlands, cottage gardens and mixed borders.

Blooms August–September

Size: 4' 0" – 6' 0" high x 3' 0" – 5' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Clethra arborea (S-0729)

Each $14.25

AVAILABLE 2022

<i>Clethra arborea</i>

A resident of the Madeira Islands, this winsome evergreen is densely attired in lustrous coppery green 4 to 6 in. long leaves. Copious small white fragrant flowers, resembling Lily-of-the-Valley blooms, embellish large showy rose-tinged panicles that cluster at branch tips from summer to fall and sustain our interest with round long lasting auburncolored seed heads. Tailormade for narrow sheltered spaces, Clethra arborea's wellgroomed upright frame requires protection from hard freezes and savors moist, freely draining acidic soil.

Blooms August – October

Size: 15" – 20" high x 8' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

Just like candles on a birthday cake, the larger, more upright flowers of this superlative Michael Dirr selection are a splendid sight. A glossy late spring flush of tooth-edged leafage in emerald hues sets the stage for the abundant creamy white flowers. Made even more dazzling by their spiced-honey scent, the 6 in. long blooms form nearly horizontal, close-knit cylindrical spires.

In autumn, foliage matures to a pleasing yellow. Strongly vertical, slightly downy brown branches and persistent seed spikes etch winter’s somber landscape. With a compact mounding habit, this Clethra offers a winsome presence in small spaces, and is a choice feature for a patio pot. Give this easy-to-grow shrub moist, slightly acidic soil and, where summers are hot and dry, shade each afternoon.

Blooms late June–July

Size: 2-1/2' high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Athyrium ‘Ghost’

Feathery-fine ferns, Refresh your summer border, Summer Shipping!

Characterized by delicate-looking fronds...

the deer-proof ferns, which are featured above, unfurl spritely new fiddleheads every spring. All are deciduous save for the lustrous Polystichum, otherwise known as Tassel Fern. Varying shades of green, metallic silver, russet, bronze and burgundy imbue their artful foliage. Second-to-none for shady alcoves, these easy-care perennials can be planted as specimens or grouped in shade gardens, mixed borders and woodland settings. Their filigree-fine features lend sophisticated accents to patio containers or cut arrangements. Ferns will flourish in cool , well-drained moist nooks enriched with compost or well-rotted manure.  

Refresh your summer plantings...

During the month of July, gardeners sometimes wonder how they can perk up their summer gardens. Sunshine-hued blooms, golden leaves and crisp white flowers lend lively accents. They can be sprinkled amid a mixed border, perennial bed or other plantings, melding well with flowers that include a broad color spectrum from blue-violet to purple and lilac, as well as clear pink and darker rose hues.  

Apart from adding more plants, there are a few simple maintenance techniques that will help your garden maintain a fresh appearance during the summer. The addition of a chipped-bark mulch or well-rotted compost early in the season, not only reduces water requirements throughout the warmer months, but promotes vigorous growth and peppy-looking foliage. Many perennials, such as Nepetas and Geraniums, can be trimmed in June or July. This midseason cut back ensures a tidy stature and more blooms, often all the way ‘til frost.

We hope some of the plants in this newsletter spark some interest and beckon you to dig them into that empty spot in your garden.  

 

 

 

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