Friday, January 27, 2017

The Star of our Winter Garden (and some supporting actors)

This is the small garden that borders our driveway near the entrance to the garage. 

Because it is our front lawn area, it was important to me that the plants in this garden have good winter interest. It contains a number of evergreen plants that I really enjoy: autumn fern, hellebores, and liriope. But the star of this garden is the paper bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha).

The paper bush (not to be confused with the rice paper bush) is an attractive green shrub in the summer. In the fall it drops its leaves to reveal its interesting branching structure. In November, unique flower buds begin to appear that resemble white bells. This time of year, small, very fragrant, yellow flowers begin to open, barely visible from the bottom of the bell. Winter foraging bees love them. On warm days, I like to sit on the bench in this garden and enjoy the fragrance.

Jack and I were walking up the driveway just after dark a few nights ago. The wonderful scent greeted us as we approached the entrance to the garage. I said to Jack, "I love that paperbush. It makes me happy all year round." He gave me one of those looks that say "I wish I had a nickel for every time you've told me that." But, truth be told, he loves it too!

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