Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Daphne odora...

A number of days ago I said that I would do a post about my Daphne bushes, so here it is! Not too long after moving to North Carolina, I was wandering around the plant section of a store when I smelled a most amazing fragrance. Of course, I had to hunt it down. And, then, of course, I had to bring the plants home with me. Not one, but two small Daphne bushes. One had white flowers and one had pink flowers. I have to admit, I hadn't heard of Daphne before. And I bought the plants without knowing a thing about growing them. When I got home, I looked them up in my Southern Living Garden Book and found out that they had a reputation of being picky prima donnas. Ooops! I felt doomed and decided then and there that I would not ever again buy a plant without researching it first.

Until I was ready to plant them, I put them out under some trees with other plants waiting to get planted. I forgot to water them. The wind blew them over so not even the rain fell into their containers. They wilted. I up-righted them and watered them. Then I repeated the whole process. Probably for about a year. Yup. And then they bloomed! Would you believe it? I was accidentally giving them what they needed: not too much water. When I finally did put them in their pots, I mixed sand in with the potting soil to make a very well drained soil for them. Just about the only water they get is rain. I also planted a living ground cover to shade their soil; I used a Campanula that I brought from California.

(The plant started to tilt so I used the brick to hold it upright.)

They are on the east side of the house and when the shadows shift in the Fall, they get a little more sun than usual and end up with their leaves sunburned. And even though I am supposed to feed them each year after they bloom, I always forget. Did I mention that I have had them for five years now? Despite my neglect, or maybe because of it, they continue to bloom every winter for me. And their fragrance is absolutely wonderful.

Have a beautiful day!

No comments: