Garden Clippings for June 22, 2019

The later the flower the longer the flower.  So it is with most bulbs, most perennials and most flowering shrubs.

Crocus and snowdrops are the first bulbs to bloom in spring.  If we are lucky, they will give two weeks of bloom.   Late blooming tulips begin flowering in the middle of May and with colour that lingers into the second half of June.

Hellebores and Candytuft area among the earliest perennials to bloom, putting on a splendid show for a few short weeks.  Summer flowering perennials such as Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Yarrow and Lavender hang on to their flowers for nearly two months.

The popular Forsythia shrub blooms in April, but only flowers for a few weeks.  Lilacs bloom in late May and are still going strong.  Weigelas flower in June and this year’s cool and damp weather is keeping them colourful for several weeks.

Weigelas fill the early summer time slot with loads of colour.  They bloom after the majority of flowering shrubs like Forsythia, Snowball, Redbud and Mock Orange but bloom before Hydrangeas and  Rose of Sharon.

Weigela, pronounced Wi-Jeel-ah is also the most misspelled and mispronounced flowering shrubs.  Even expert horticulturists slip up by calling them Weigelias.

Hummingbirds can’t resist visiting Weigelas, darting from flower to flower, enjoying the sweet flavour of trumpet shaped blooms.  Flowers range from white to pink to bright red.

As with many flowering shrubs, Weigelas come in many sizes and colours.  The oldest and most well known is the bright red Weigela ‘Bristol Ruby’ growing to over 6 feet high and wide.  Pink Weigela ‘Florida’ is also a garden staple, growing to the same size, making it a good choice for a shrub border.

In the last few decades plant breeders have come up with many new Weigelas that are smaller and slower growing than the old standbys.  The new varieties are perfectly suited to give a splash of colour in smaller landscapes with smaller lots.

‘Spilled Wine’ grows to only 2 or 3 feet and has deep wine-coloured foliage with bright pink blooms.  ‘Wine and Roses’ has similar coloured leaves and grows to about 5 feet.  ‘Midnight Wine’ is very low growing and has dark burgundy foliage with pink blooms.

For a lighter coloured show, ‘My Monet’ has true pink blooms and variegated foliage in light green edged with white.  Czechmark ‘Sunny Side Up’ is an abundant bloomer with white flowers and yellow throats.

Weigelas grow best in a sunny or partially shaded location.  They appreciate fertilizer in mid spring and they may want to be pruned lightly to keep a tidy shape.  Water well during summer dry spells or apply a layer of mulch over the root zone in order to preserve soil moisture.