MORE FALL FRAGRANCE

 A beautiful fall fragrance from the tiniest of blossoms on a shrub described by Dirr as a “genuine horror ….. long shoots wander in disarray from all areas of the plant….. fast, does not adequately describe the speed with which it grows.”

                                                                                   

Elaeagnus pungens, often refered to as ‘UGLYAGNUS ‘ emits a fragrance that  is incredible, somewhat reminiscent of Gardenia.

 The very first time I encountered this plant was with my (then) new friend Tara Dillard,  at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The fragrance was so marvelous,  notes were immediately made to acquire this shrub; then Tara gave me the lowdown on this ‘weed’.

Years later I discovered the variegated Elaeagnus  (Elaeagnus pungens ‘Maculata’  or ‘Aureovariegata’) … smaller, slower growing, I was told, a perfect garden shrub.

                                                                                          I succumbed… they lied!

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THE FIRST CAMELLIA

The first camellia to bloom in my garden is Camellia sinensis, the Tea Plant.

                                                                                  

No big drumroll for it is not the showiest, but then neither are crocuses, yet we delight to see them.

 This plant is my introduction to the Camellia Season, and yes, this is the plant from which tea is made.

                                                                                             

Fast on its heels is Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’. 

                                                                                        

 Camellias and hydrangeas have the same cultural requirements; below, another  good reason to plant them in close proximity.

                                                                                              

This was taken in the ‘Circle of Friends’ so you can see this area is really non-stop beautiful throughout the year.

                                                                                   

A bit blurry, but you get the idea.

 BTW my Camellia sinensis has provenance. It was gifted to me from Penny McHenry but it was a seedling from the garden of Martha Tate.

IT’S THE BERRIES!

There is so much colour in the garden now… it’s the berries!

                                                                                     

Viburnum dilatatum ‘Erie’  Orange red berries 

                                                                                     

Viburnum dilatatum ‘Mt. Airy’ more what I call ‘Christmas Red’

                                                                                       

Viburnum dilatatum ‘Michael Dodge’ yellow berries

                                                                                              

  Purple Beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Issai’)

                                                                                       

American Beautyberry,  the white form. (Callicarpa americana’Lactea‘)  There is a more common purple variety which I do not have ….yet.

 All of the above shrubs are exhibiting their second season of beauty. The viburnums will add to their show with fabulously coloured foliage, all the while retaining their berries. Viburnum berries require several frosts to make them palatable for the birds, so they have a long season. Between the flowering & berry show, they serve as supports for clematis.

FABULOUS FALL FRAGRANCE

It’s blooming….  As soon as I walked out the door I caught the fragrance. Osmanthus fragrans, known in the south as ‘ ‘Tea Olive’.

                                                                                    

Tiny but abundant cream coloured blossoms emit the most remarkable and penetrating fragrance. 

This is a beautiful, pest free, evergreen shrub that matures at 10 to 15  feet, and blooms TWICE a year; fall & spring.

To quote Dirr* “to not try the plant is to cheat one’s garden.” I so agree, and cannot recall a garden design where this plant was not included. It also makes a remarkable evergreen hedge.

This spring, at the suggestion of my friend Marsha, I acquired a new selection (Osmanthus aurantiacus) that blooms only once in the autumn, and the flowers are ‘pale orange’.                                                                                          

 It’s hard to say how fragrant it is because I have Osmanthus fragrans  planted much like Margaret Moseley* advised with gardenias, every 25-30 feet or so ,where an evergreen was required and the conditions are favorable, so the entire garden is permeated with the fragrance. I have followed her advice on this with almost every fragrant shrub in the garden. Something you might want to try if there is a fragrance you are particularly fond of.

I don’t take lightly any advice given by a 95-year-old gardener. Clearly she has much more experience than I.

*Dirr, Michael, Renowned woody plant expert. Author of the textbook A MANUAL OF WOODY LANDSCAPE PLANTS.

*Margaret Moseley, famous Atlanta Gardener.

CHANGE OF HYDRANGEA

In a recent post  I bemoaned the fact that my “interesting hydrangeas’  had no impact in the July landscape. Today, however, the ‘ interesting hydrangeas’…

                                                                                 

 are still interesting…

                                                                                          

whereas the July impact hydrangea… not so much.

                                                                                   

So, I will stay with the interesting ones in the circle of friends & plant the babies that I propagated, in the cutting garden next spring. One cannot have too many fresh hydrangea stems.

My Mother always said..  ” If a little bit is good, a lot is MUCH better.”  That certainly rings true when assembling a bouquet. Too little plant material can look so stingy, and I don’t mean a single blossom or stem in an appropriate vessel.

                                                                                    

The July  impact hydrangea (above) was fabulous in fresh bouquets with lilies (and Lily below) earlier in the season. The flower has substance and lasts a while in a vase.

                                                                                  

The Annabelles are still looking superb … I cannot imagine my garden without them.

                                                                                 

That Chartreuse is divine! Cut now & dried, they will probably retain their colour into the new year.

                                                                                 

These are also great if you are one of those crafty people inclined to spray paint.

ELECTRIC POKE

I love the electric  poke weed! How can I cut it down?

                                                                          

How can I leave it?!

How can I cut it down?!

                                                                                  

It is brilliant with the yellow berries of Viburnum dilatatum ‘Michael Dodge’. I’ll deal with it when I deal with the Purple Perilla… Both are thugs!

The No- show at this party…the purple clematis.

SURPRISE CLEMATIS!

Just as I thought the garden was winding down, look what I found…

                                                                                

  two surprise clematis!

                                                                                  

This little darling  above is Clematis odoriba … below, Clematis texensis  ‘Catherine Clanwilliam’.

                                                                            

What joy!!

 Clematis odoriba, is not covered in any of my books (and I have many).  Enter my super knowledgeable friend Lyndy Broder… (the Clematis Queen). She informed me that this plant was  bred by the late Mr Ozawa in the 1990’s  in Japan. It was only  introduced in the early 2000’s.

Mr. Ozawa crossed  two native American clematis,  Clematis viorna and Clematis crispa and created this beauty.

                                                                                        

 In Japan, these are grown extensively for the cut flower industry as they are favored in flower arrangements for the Tea Ceremony.

That got me thinking… I have a small collection of miniature, museum  reproduction, Japanese porcelain vases. They are the perfect size for a small sprig of  flowers… so..

        

Love the shadows, below…

                                                                           

She is wonderful close-up.                                                                                        

 The other Clematis that is blooming now, is Clematis texensisCountess Catherine Clanwilliam’.

I have posted about her several times (see categories), including an anecdote about  being contacted by an employee of THE Countess Catherine Clanwilliam. 

 In my garden she is one of  the all time winners,

                                                                                 

 blooming throughout the summer, and now she is blooming again. Not a big show but so appreciated  this time of  year.

Guess it comes as no surprise that both these super-acheivers are natives.