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Flowering Shrubs

>> Monday, May 30, 2011

My husband hates our bridal wreath spirea bushes.  I mean, he absolutely loathes them.  I think it's mostly because they're high maintenance - they grow so damn fast that they always look unruly, and we spends many hours of our summers pruning.  They're also prone to disgusting aphid infestations, such that the plants completely disappear under writhing sheets and piles of aphids.  Most years, they are the only parts of our garden that we don't manage to keep organic, just because I haven't found any organic product that will work on those kinds of quantities of aphids.

But, I mean, really.  How can anyone hate these?  Look at the glorious things!!  They do this every year, but what with all the rain and now three years of careful tending, they have been exceptionally decadent this spring.

And, if you recall, a few short weeks ago I vowed to yank out our rhododendron this year, as soon as it's done blooming.  It's been sitting there looking pathetic for three years, and all my efforts at protecting it from winter harshness and feeding it have amounted to nothing.  It hadn't grown, and gave us only a couple of scraggly blossoms each year.  Worse, it's got these pale green and yellow leaves that make it look sickly, no matter what I do.

Apparently, it heard my threats.  Out of nowhere, it suddenly did this:

Well, crap.  Now I can't just pull it out without feeling very guilty.  It's trying, for once.  Shall I keep it for all 12 months of the year, yellowy and scraggly as it gets, just for the one week each spring that it is capable of doing that?  Oh, heck.  Probably.  I hate killing things, even plants.  I'd be riddled with guilt.

And I had such plans for what I was going to do with that space, too.


The Contented Naturalist June 8, 2011 at 5:21 PM  

Those spirea do look lovely, and your photos of them are amazing. But how does the spirea smell? I mean personally, I love how Bradford Pears look, but I think they smell like cat pee. So if the spirea and even your rhododendron aren't nice to smell, I could see why they're not worth the fuss for a single week of bloom. Just a thought.

I'm right there with you on feeling guilty about removing plants, by the way. I have a hard time even thinning my carrots-- they worked so hard to sprout, how can I cruelly uproot them before they've achieved their purpose? Sigh.

Anonymous September 14, 2013 at 5:05 AM  

Well, crap. Now I can't just pull it out without feeling very guilty. It's trying, for once. Shall I keep it for all 12 months of the year,flowering shrubs

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