Wednesday Vignette – all the options

Last summer, something odd happened. My big, beautiful Edgeworthia suddenly collapsed. Just like that. For a while, I simply let it be, made sure it got some water here and there – just to see if it would bounce back. For the most part, it didn’t, so one weekend not too long ago, I ventured out there and started cutting it back, starting with the most dead-looking branches. One by one, the shrub shrunk. I soon realized that I didn’t even really need to cut most of them – they just broke off at the base with minimal prompting. – it had rotted. So, I kept breaking them off, until there were only two big, still healthy branches left. They had nice, fat flower buds, so I let them be. Three are already blooming – something I noticed today of all days – on the day we got this winter’s first snow.

This photo is from September. Here you can see the collapse on full display – or should I say full splay? I have no idea what caused the collapse to happen, but heard that several others had the same thing happen to theirs, too. Probably some kind of environmental change it didn’t like, we were guessing, as none of us had made any real changes in treatment or care. It just up and died.

Anyway, until my rough treatment of its spready girth, this was a big shrub. In summer, its blue green, oval leaves made a perfect privacy screen for my hammock. Not having it there will no doubt make next summer’s lounging experience far less protected unless I fill that hole quick. But with what? I’m leaning toward moving my Shefflera delavayi into this spot. Or, I could put a Mahonia eurybracteata there. I have one in a pot I have been nursing along for a while. My only worry is that it might not get enough sun to be happy there. (It gets some filtered southern light, but is also shaded from above by a windmill palm.) Besides, the Shefflera is bigger, and would provide a more instant gratification.

Another available option is a Sarcococca orientalis – which may not sound all that exciting, but I like its skinny, pointed leaves. Plus, it’s not overly happy where it currently is, and it’s fragrant. I also have a somewhat suffering Kiringeshoma that might enjoy that spot. Except, it’s not evergreen. Moving an Abutilon or a Fuchsia into that spot is another deciduous option that might work too – except deciduous. Either sure would look fab spilling over the wall… As would a really, really big fern. Ferns look good anywhere. What would your choice be? A combo of some of the above? Or something completely different? I’m getting lost in all the fabulous potential…


About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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9 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – all the options

  1. bergstromskan says:

    All those names were over my head-but I guess, that’s where you want them to be? Over the head

  2. Kris P says:

    Maybe a combination of an evergreen and a deciduous plant would do the trick for you. Sarcococca has a lovely scent that I’m sure you’d enjoy when in your hammock but you might want to add some excitement to give you pleasure when it’s not in bloom. My WV is just pretty pictures of harbor views this week:

    • annamadeit says:

      Good point, Kris – except it blooms in winter, when the hammock isn’t used very much. I have so many beautiful, homeless options, I guess I’ll just have to play with it, and see. I like the idea of planting both an evergreen and a deciduous. Hmmm…

  3. I have heard of this happening, and not just this last year but over many years of talking with other gardeners here in Portland. It sucks! I can’t wait to see what you decide to put in that spot. I bet it’s not one of these…

    • annamadeit says:

      It was crazy sudden… I suppose it IS a Daphne relative, so a little capriciousness is to be expected. But still – it was such a spring highlight. I will miss its cheery, yellow abundance. And the fragrance…

  4. Pingback: No Fairy Ring Here | My Gardener Says…

  5. Tina says:

    One thing definitely in your favor, Anna, is that your good gardening eye will choose something that will be just right. I wish I could weigh in, but our gardening experiences are so different. That said, ferns rock! (So, I guess I did give some advice!) Here’s my WV for today–hopefully, I’m back in the game!

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks for the confidence, Tina! (Oh my, the pressure is ON…) A fern there would be totally stellar – I just know it! Then again, I’m such a sucker for fabulous shrubs. I will have to think long and hard about this one…

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