Clethra

Summersweet

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 C. 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.

<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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Latest News

Garden Design 2019 Trends Report

Deborah's arrangement was featured in the 2019 Garden Design Trends Report! Check out the article here.



Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Asarum splendens

Fantastic Fall Foliage, Last Hurrah Sale!!

Fantastic Fall Foliage.... The arresting foliage of these easy-care, low growing perennials remains tidy well into November. Adequate water, mulch and a mid-season trim help ensure their staying power.

November's last hurrah.... The shorter days and cooler nights of November have set the garden ablaze with eye-catching foliar color. By planting an assortment of woody plants as well as herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses, which promote late season allure, a last hurrah is easily achieved. Each of the plants included in this newsletter bestow either plump berries, late blooms, compelling foliage or artful branching patterns. Happy Digging!

Digging Dog's Early November 2018 Newsletter Link
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