Honor Mom by "blooming where you're planted" with these sure-to-succeed varieties.
Sunday is Mother’s Day. Just a reminder for those of you who make the mad dash for the last supermarket rose to save face.
Mothers certainly deserve a day of recognition. After all, none of us would be here without them. And, if you’re like me, you put yours through more than a few trials and tribulations.
Some of us had more of a Joan Crawford than a June Cleaver experience, but if you’re still blaming your mom for your problems 25 years later, save yourself a few hours on the shrink’s couch and let it go. More than likely, she was doing the best she could with what she had to work with.
My mom and I didn’t like each other very much, but she taught me lots of valuable lessons. Some of them even involved horticulture and gardening.
Other than a few years in Texas and Washington, D.C., my mom spent her life trying to grow plants in the rocky red clay of the North Carolina Piedmont. This didn’t stop her from attempting to grow lilacs and hybrid rhododendrons. Despite her heroic efforts, these garden projects inevitably led to failure. The lilacs seldom bloomed and only provided a host for white peach scale. The rhododendrons threw out the occasional bloom but otherwise looked irritated to be expected to live where the summer nights seldom slipped into the 70s.
I experienced this same attitude almost 30 years ago in south Florida. Amid the year-round tropical beauty, gardeners there lamented that they couldn’t experience the spring glory of azaleas and dogwoods.
It’s human nature to want what we can’t have. But, I hope you will take this Mother’s Day weekend to “bloom where you are planted.”
Southeastern North Carolina is a challenging place to grow plants, but the mild climate means you can have something blooming year-round.
Autumn is filled with re-blooming azaleas and sasanqua camellias. Add an osmanthus for the best garden scent this side of gardenia to perfume the late October trick-or-treating.
Follow those with the show-worthy blooms of common camellia and bee-friendly mahonia. Add some pansies and violas for consistent winter color.
By the time you’re thinking that spring will never arrive, hellebore and daffodils will restore the faith. And what can rival the spring show of azaleas and dogwoods, but star and saucer magnolias and loropetalums?
Warm weather brings the creamy white blooms of the native southern magnolia. And when the temperatures flirt with the triple digits, crape myrtles will put on a show so spectacular in shades of pink, white, red and purple that it just might make you forget the no-see-ums and mosquitoes.
And, even though it’s not the perfect climate for them, who can argue with the artistic beauty of the Japanese maples? As the late Dr. J.C. Raulston suggested, no garden view should be without at least one Japanese maple.
Honor your mom with one of the Oso Easy shrub roses, a long-blooming perennial like shasta daisy or a tough Japanese maple like Emperor or Sango Kaku.
Even if she isn’t around, I’m sure she will appreciate that you have embraced the challenge to bloom where you are planted.
Al Hight has more than 30 years of experience as an extension agent, landscape and irrigation contractor and consultant. Contact him at email@example.com.