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Monday, June 28, 2010

To Tame or to Transplant

The Monday morning bulletin: A reader asked how to tame her beastly Spirea. You are not alone. You have a lot of company including me. We find a plant that we love and think we have just the spot for it. What starts as a 1-gallon stick in a pot ends up turning into a monster. A word to the wise – always inquire at the nursery about your plant’s growth habits and spacing requirements. Trying to tame a plant that needs elbow room may be an indicator of improper spacing. In Nancy’s case, I would recommend she relocate her Spirea where it has more room to expand and mature. Pruning the plant back is not the answer.

With that said, there are some variations on pruning techniques. It is best to find out the specific variety and research whether it flowers off last year’s wood or on new growth. Spireas offer hardiness and versatility, which make this shrub desirable for your garden composition. They vary in size from large old-fashion standard varieties like ‘Bridal Wreath’ to dwarf/alpine types like Spirea japonica 'Alpina'. Flower, leaf color and spectacular fall foliage is a reason that you should not overlook the Spireas. If you have full sun and average soil, you can have great luck with this shrub. Spireas can thrive in exposed locations. They are ideal for coastal environments. A personal favorite is Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’. This is a big boy with white showy flowers and lacey yellow foliage so plant it wisely.

The inspirational thought for the day is by Lyman Abbott. “Patience is passion tamed.” Gardening requires both of these virtues. If you don’t have the passion to garden, you’ll never make it to the patience part: one to inspire, the other to persevere. Nancy, hope this helps. I recommend not taming but transplanting.

Top image sent in by Nancy B.
Second Image of Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ from the Internet
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Check in for your daily share's worth of garden inspiration, landscape architecture and design tips; always original, not cookie cutter and copied. Just like our design work, we strive for unique! We invite you to contact Bilowz Associates, Inc., or to browse our portfolios. Like our Facebook follow on Twitter or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.  You can also find us back on our Google+ Business Page. (Landscape architects/Landscape Design/serving Massachusetts and New England.) Visit our landscape architectural design firm's website where creating design with balance and harmony is our story.

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)