Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The Daily DuBrule
It's the second week in September and I have the sweetest, softest combination of flowers blooming in my courtyard. While the rest of the world is turning to reds and oranges and golds, I find myself admiring my Phlox paniculata 'Tracy's Treasure' (which has been in bloom for a month) next to Leptodermis oblonga. I wish this plant had a catchy common name because the scientific name sounds like some kind of skin ailment. Anyway, this is probably one of the most carefree little dwarf shrubs I have ever grown. It sits in my sunny courtyard, started blooming this year in late June, and is still growing strong. It blooms on new wood so I cut it really hard in the spring and take out some of the old wood from the inside. Since it is only about three feet tall and wide, this is not hard to do. It cycles in and out of bloom and if it ever stops for too long, I snip it back a bit.
This is not a plant that you will notice from a distance, nor is it something that will turn heads right away. But it fits the criteria for my courtyard: easy care, relaxing, soothing, and light colored so I can see it in the evening when I am hanging out. I don't want plants that force me up out of my seat to work on them when I finally drop down into a chair and relax at the end of a long day. Leptodermis, my little buddy, fits the bill. Anyone got any good ideas for a pretty common name to match?