I love spireas! I feel awful guilty about saying that too. Terribly guilty. Spirea japonicas are listed as a significant threat by the Tennessee Exotic Plant Pest Plant Council. Significant threat means that the plant possesses invasive characteristics; not presently considered to spread as easily into native plant communities as severe threat. This fact makes me watch my spireas closely for self seeding tendencies. My spireas have never self seeded in my garden but do tend to spread by rooting along the plant. That is a good thing for divisions but if a gardener is lazy the plants can take over a select area. Nonetheless, I love my spireas and will not garden without them. I've removed ALL other invasives on the TNEPPC list but am keeping the spireas. Can you see why?
The spireas shine and are so easy to grow. They are not fazed by drought, floods, clay, sand, or anything else in the garden. They bloom on and off all season and even when the shrubs are bare of leaves in the winter the shrub provides structure in the form of dense twiggy growth. The growth of spireas is a perfect mounded shape that spreads to about four feet wide by three to four feet high. No trimming is needed but a good haircut in the early spring may help the spirea to push out more blooms. This was the first time I have given my spireas a haircut and they sure are rewarding me with lots of blooms.
Spireas can be added in mixed borders or can be used as foundation plants. They are best used in my garden as weavers. That is they are the glue that ties together plantings. Their pillow form is a form that can fit in anywhere. Spireas are not fussy about conditions so using them in inhospitable spots is a bonus I take advantage of. I have spireas planted under trees, alongside a driveway, and in a shady border. All locations are diverse but work for the spireas.
The blooms this year have been fabulous. I have several cultivars including: Double Play Big Bang, Goldmound, Little Princess, and Dart's Red. I also just received a shipment of Proven Winners plants to trial and advertise recently that included two new spireas. They are: 'Big Bang Gold' and 'Big Bang'. I am ever so excited to add them to my garden and they are tucked into good spots on either side of a Japanese kerria in my Secret Patio Garden. I'll be sure to let you know how they do but for now those spireas are simply spectacular.
Also from Proven Winners are some daylilies called 'Going Bananas'. I already grew several of these daylilies in my garden but when my box arrived from Proven Winners it included another 'Going Bananas' daylily. I like this sunny diminutive daylily. It is a repeat bloomer and does well in my garden. The Proven Winners says this daylily "intermingles well with other plants" and I have to agree. I have it planted in my Front Sidewalk Garden right behind a 'Homestead' verbena. The yellow and purple combination rocks. Speaking of going bananas. At one time I grew some really REALLY tall hardy banana trees. This marker stone is a relic of those days and I thought it appropriate to include it in this post for you all to tie in with my Proven Winners daylilies.
Another few lovely plants in my box from Proven Winners this spring were some calibrachoas (Superbells). The two varieties pictured here are Sweet Tart and Cherry Star.
The 'Sweet Tart' superbells are the pink ones while the 'Cherry Star' ones are the bright red ones with the yellow star. I am not usually a container type person but decided to fill a few planter boxes with these Superbells. The superbells are doing great. I have another one in a hanging basket that only has the moss on the outside (allowing water to drain through quickly) and that one is doing just as well as these ones and I haven't even watered it! I received a few other plants from Proven Winners but will post on them at a later date.
And one last picture is of my beautiful golden retriever/lab mix dog who came from our local shelter ten years ago. BJ is an old man now and feeling every single one of his years. Like me he creaks a bit when he walks and sometimes just doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning. Here he is looking at me longingly because he feels he should not be locked up. He is perfectly able to wander around with me in the front yard but the evil dog (Lady) feels that if BJ is able to wander around then so is she. She will jump over our four foot tall chain link fence and leap high hurdles to follow BJ. So my poor BJ is relegated to the backyard when Lady is outside. BJ has been on my mind lately because he has a bad urinary tract infection and prostatitis. Poor guy. We are getting him better though. Note the ball right next to him on the ground? BJ is of course my avatar picture on my profile. He and I share many of the same traits and I find him to be a great friend so I borrow his picture for this part of my world in blogging....
in the garden....
One last announcement for my local readers. The Tennessee Yards Done Right workshop is scheduled for this Saturday. Call Karla Kean at 9316485725 to register.
Note: I had this post all ready to go and then last night the worst thing happened, the Ramsey's best friend and faithful companion for the past ten years, BJ, passed away suddenly. We are heartbroken and will miss him dearly. This last picture was taken the day before he died and shows him as he truly was-a beautiful and happy dog.
I will be hit or miss on the computer as we grieve. We went through this last year with our dear dog Link so we know we will get through it but the pain is so real. The good part is that he did not suffer and all three of us were with him at the end. We are thankful for these small miracles to aid us in our daily lives because if we can see the good parts then perhaps the bad parts are not so devastating....
in the garden with my dear friend BJ.
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden