Sunday, February 3, 2008

Staring into the Blue Mist

I've been perusing many catalogs over the past several days trying to figure out what seeds to get. I finally wrote down the vegetables the other day but while looking at the plethora of pictures in the catalogs I found a perennial shrub that intrigues me. I've seen it before but the catalogs' pictures make the Blue Mist Shrub come alive. Its blue blooms would make an awesome addition to our yard. I could easily see it in sweeping masses along our backyard slope. Its blooms flush out in the mid to late summer. Caryopteris has several varieties like 'Longwood Blue' or 'Dark Knight' (Caryopteris x clandonesis). I wonder what Batman would think to have a flowering shrub named after him?

It would make a great border plant for one of our existing planting beds or lining a pathway to one of my future garden zones. Edit: See an update on the Caryopteris row!


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Photo from Wayside Gardens

9 comments :

  1. i bought the longwood blue last year on clearance. i am looking forward to some nice stuff from it but am reserving judgement to see how it does. i will take some cuttings this year if it comes through ok. i've tried before with no success. nicely recommended plant though, maybe it is just me.

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  2. I'll be looking for this one in the stores this spring. I wonder how readily it seeds and if the seeds would amount to something

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  3. do you know if it is supposed to self seed? i didn't know this, but it would be a nice surprise.

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  4. No I really have no clue if it does self seed. But I definitely agree it would be nice if it did. I just figure that to make so many varieties of it that it must seed. Once I find one I hope to take some cuttings and make a few more.

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  5. My Caryopteris 'Longwood Blue' self seeds a few new plants every year in zone 7B (Northern Virginia). I pluck up the little plantings in the spring and replant elsewhere in the yard. Butterflies and bees love it, it seems to do best when I trim back to 1-2' in the spring. One plant I keep manicured in such a way since it grows right along a path.

    It's happy in both full sun and partial sun BUT seems to prefer no extra care. It blooms throughout August into September, sometimes it blooms in late July depending on the weather. It did extremely well last year through the drought.

    Enjoy!

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  6. I'll be looking for some babies then anonymous!

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  7. Zone 5 gardener here in Canada having great success w Caryopteris clanadonesis. "Kew Blue" is the variety I've planted, both in a very exposed front garden (on hill, facing NW winds) and protected back garden. It definitely gets more water in the back garden and seems to thrive on both that, and the added protection. Bees adore it... right now it's getting cold out in the evenings (down to 3C) and the bees often opt to just hang onto a bloom and stay there until they're warm enough to get to business again the next day.
    I've had 'em 3 seasons, and have always had to cut them back hard in spring (leaving about 2-4 inches, depending upon where I strike greenwood.)
    Fragrance of crushed leaves is very spicy, to my nose. Slight eucalyptus component too.
    Go for it, Dave. You won't be disappointed!

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  8. Thanks Anonymous!

    Since posting this I purchased 4 'Longwood blue's from our local nursery and so far have been very pleased with them! I only paid $1.99 for each one so I consider them a bargain. They are doing great for a summer purchase. Hopefully in our climate they won't need clipped back but if they do I'm sure they will come back strong just like yours have!

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