Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Rose by the Name of Sharon

When I originally landscaped my garden in the mid-1970's, I planted Rose of Sharon.  I always enjoyed their blooms in my mother's garden.  For my own garden, I chose white flowers with red centers.

1976:  The small shrubs at center left are Rose of Sharon (and a good example of how old prints fade).

The shrubs grew and bloomed for years.  Twenty-three years later they looked like this:

White blooms covered all the branches.  And then one spring, they looked like death.  My neglect in pruning had caused the lower trunks to rot and break.  The leaf-out was sporadic at best.  I decided to bite the bullet and save what I could. 

I removed one large bush, that looked like it would survive, to an open area in the back yard.  It made it until last year, when I cut it back to the ground.  It is now making a valiant effort to send out new shoots.

There were two other young plants that I transplanted.  Both of them have been having struggles with the deer, stripping the bark and chewing the foliage and flowers, but I think they will finally make it.

One of these is true to the original flower color, but has single instead of double flowers.  The buds are just opening and the flowers are small, but pretty.

The other seedling started out as a lovely little tree, but after the deer removed the bark, I cut it to the ground and it is now a shrub about two-feet high.  The flowers are a sort of pink-purple and are double.

I have one more young plant that I found growing behind my fence last year.  The buds are yet to open, but I am excited to see what they look like.  I will post a picture when they do.

I'm all for saving whatever I can in the garden.  Many of my shrubs are from shoots that rooted off larger plants.  And I always try to rescue plants that have older stems that are dying off.  Of course, if I gardened as conscientiously twenty years ago as I do now, (all it takes is free time), those Rose of Sharon's would still look like the originals and I wouldn't have these lovely little shrubs.


  1. It's amazing what you can do when you have a little time. The flowers are really pretty. Have a great weekend!

  2. Nice post, I enjoy rose of sharon too and have linked back to your page from mine.


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