Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My favorite plant of the moment

Being an admitted plantnerd, it's easy for me to dork-out over almost any new shrub that comes to the nursery. But sometimes it can be hard for me to appreciate the more ordinary shrubs at first glance.

This was the case with Mardi Gras Abelia. Compared to
'Kaleidoscope' it isn't as golden and bright. Compared to 'Confetti' or 'Silver Anniversary' it isn't as crisply white-edged. As they sat there in the parking lot after we received them for the first time, I doubted if they would ever sell as well as the others. But ever since our Nursery Manager talked me into planting three Mardi Gras at my mailbox last winter I haven't been disappointed.

This is how they looked by June when they were starting to flower. Their variegation was fairly understated but the peachy pink highlights were really nice.

By early September they had exploded into a shower of lightly honey-scented blooms and, to my delight, those peachy pink tones now dominate the shrub. Every morning as I leave for work, the early morning sunlight makes the whole thing glow.

The flowers themselves aren't even the best part. It's the flower holders (or calyces) that provide the real show. And like most other Abelias, they'll stick around through winter, looking like little rosy stars, to remind me that spring, and a whole new set of blooms, is never that far away.

(I'll have to post another picture for your viewing pleasure then)

So now, nine months after planting it, I absolutely adore my Mardi Gras Abelia that I had to be talked into. Thanks Steve :)

by Christina, Assistant Nursery Manager

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