Late May


Two Chinese dogwoods (Cornus kousa) with variegated foliage are flowering sparsely. ‘Samaritan’ is shaded on all sides, and in recent years it has flowered only on uppermost branches that peek into sunlight above a holly, two Japanese maples, and a much taller ‘Ivory Silk’ lilac. The wide spreading ‘Wolf Eyes’ (below) often flowers heavily, but there are fewer this spring. 

Weather is almost certainly not the cause of the diminished flowering since other Chinese dogwoods are more floriferous in late May. ‘National’ (below) is a vigorous dogwood with an upright form, and large flowers almost cover its green foliage.

The yellow leafed ‘Little Honey’ Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Little Honey’, below), planted several years ago, has been a mild disappointment with few flowers and foliage color that by early summer appears more sickly yellow than vibrant. This spring, there will be more blooms, but fewer than other Oakleaf hydrangeas in the garden.  

‘Nikko’ and ‘Chardonnay Pearls’ deutzias are exceptional, compact flowering shrubs. ‘Magician’ is taller growing, with exceptional flowers that begin as other deutzias are fading.

The Japanese hydrangea vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’, below) has not flowered in this shady spot, but its foliage is exceptional.

New growth of ‘Katsura’ pieris (Pieris japonica ‘Katsura’, below) is much darker than other pieris in the garden. ‘Katsura’ is moderately susceptible to lacebugs that feed on the undersides of leaves. 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Bonnie C. says:

    I would LOVE to see any flowers at all on the variegated Kousa dogwood I planted more than a decade ago. It gets about a half day full sun & a half day shade, which I thought would be suitable for it, but it still seems to be barely surviving. Isn’t much taller than the day I planted it, & deer predation doesn’t help either, which is something I’ve never seen happen with a dogwood. Deer normally seem to leave them alone.

    That said, I did enjoy seeing the blooms on yours – lol!

  2. The English Gardener says:

    thank you for the vast variety of plants you show us. Some I have never even heard of!
    I’m surprised to hear about the Kousas ( they are my favorites), as they are magnificent this Spring down here at the base of the Shenandoah mountains.
    Because I am so fond of them they catch my eye as I drive around and I am pleasantly rewarded as it seems that more people are planting the Kousas.
    Even my nearest Lowes has them lining the perimeter of the property, a sight to behold for me.
    What might the problem be? From my brief research I gathered that they are tolerant of most conditions and are quite disease resistant.
    The English Gardener

  3. tonytomeo says:

    As much as I enjoy dogwood in home gardens, I did not enjoy growing them on the farm. They are much hapier in the ground than in cans, and they are susceptible to mildew and mites, which I never see in the landscape trees. They happen to do nicely in redwood forests. I never saw them do that well when I was growing them.

  4. Ruth says:

    Thank you Dave. Wonderful pics as always, and I’ve never even heard of deutzias before! Happy Memorial Day. 😀

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