Sunday, January 23, 2011

The days are getting longer

It seems to me that those extra few minutes of sunshine each day signal the coming end of winter. While it is still cold, the gloom of winter is slowly giving way. Besides the snow drops that were blooming last week the Mahonia buds are opening too. I've got four different varieties and all are in various stages of bloom. This first one is a couple of years old and about 2 feet tall and spread, it should double in size as it matures. The second is a 15-20 year old a leggy variety about six feet high.
Every gardener has a problem spot or two. For 25 years I have been trying to find the right plants or shrubs for this spot beside the sidewalk leading to the front door. I initially tried Pyracantha but there wasn't quite enough sun. So then I tried a Clemantis which did well but it only looked really good for a couple of weeks when it was in bloom. Next I installed a wrought iron basket about four feet long on the wall. I tried different plants and color combinations but none seemed right. This fall I took the basket down and planted a Camelia shrub that I plan to espalier on the wall. It showing some new growth so hopefully it will do well in this spot. This is my first attempt to espalier so I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. Hopefully it is the right plant for this spot--time will tell.

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