Monday, April 21, 2008

Apologies to the Abeliophyllum

In my last post I was extremely miserly with my praise of this early flowering bush - and I admit that I'd completely missed the boat with the most wonderful feature of this shrub - its scent. When I was cleaning up the garden bed I took off a couple of small branches, trimmed them back and put them in a bud vase beside my bed. I was overwhelmed with the lovely sweet fragrance that completely filled the room.
Here it is growing in a dry corner bed under a large eastern white pine that has been amended with compost. It took me a couple of years to figure out how to prune it properly, but I finally figured it out. I like to select branches to remove from the base of the plant so that it remains an open natural looking shrub. Basically it should be pruned the same way as a Forsythia - no cubing, canning or muffinizing permitted!
If I had a large garden I'd be tempted to plant several now that I'm a convert. Abeliophyllum appears to want to sucker and left alone would probably provide a pretty white/pink thicket of flowers that would look terrific against a evergreen border - or naturalized in an open forest situation.


Garden Gnome said...

looks like some kind of cherry blossom?

Barbarapc said...

Does doesn't it! However, it's from the olive family rather than cherry; and like other plants from the olive family doesn't seem to have any problems with pests and disease. Disease can be problamatic in anything from the cherry family around this part of Ontario.