Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weigela Envy

My Mom has a variegated Weigela that has to be 5 years old if its a day, and despite its Sun/part shade position and never having been pruned, it is gorgeous - just loaded with bright pink sweet smelling tubular flowers. A showstopper. My husband, who generally is appreciative, but silent on my gardening efforts, handed me a bloom during a recent visit, and said, "We gotta get one of these! Or a few!" That's about the incentive I needed to stop at the garden center.

I didn't tell him that we already have a Weigela Midnight Wine cultivar in our landscape. Midnight Wine is a dwarf of Wine and Roses, and I have used mine for its interesting foliage. Though it does bloom hot pink, it hasn't been a great bloomer for me. The lack of blooms could be because I've moved it twice in 3 years and still haven't found the ideal spot for it. It still gets too much shade.
But as I mentioned, I was given permission - no, instructed - to purchase one of these things. So off I went. Though I didn't find the 'Variegata' that my mum has, I did find two plants that looked really healthy; Weigela Dark Horse (below from Planthaven's website) and Shining Sensation (above photo from Novalis' flickr site). Dark Horse has almost maroon foliage, with striking lighter green veins while Shining Sensation's foliage starts green, and matures to a dark red. Its leaves have a polished leathery sheen hence the 'shining' in the name.
I plunked the Shining Sensation in a key spot at the top of the deck - I'm hoping at maturity that it will offer some screening. Its from Novalis' "Plants that Work" line and it claims to 'work' in the shade. The deck is the shade, so we'll see. The Dark Horse, a relative dwarf compared to the Sensation, is offering a nice color contrast to the Quick Fire Hydrangea in the new back garden.

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