Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weigela 'Eyecatcher'


I never had much truck with weigelas; they seemed old-fashioned and unwieldy. As I've matured in my gardening, tho, I've come to appreciate them, especially the new cultivars, such as 'Eyecatcher', shown here in its second (or is it third?) year in my Front Walk Garden.
Why the appeal? First, color in the garden demands use of flowering shrubs, and weigela comports to my wishes by blooming after the latest of the lilacs and before the spirea and waaay before the clethra. Also, the smaller cultivars are a manageable size ('Eyecatcher should top out at some 2') for the smaller gardens of today. Though it has no discernible scent, this is balanced by the fact that, at least in my garden, weigela is not eaten by deer, chomped upon by groundhogs, nor nibbled to death by slugs.
Admittedly, it needs a haircut, and it'll get one this week as soon as it finishes blooming, which is the best time to prune many flowering shrubs. (If we wait, we chance pruning off next year's flowers.)
The chartreuse of 'Dreamcatcher' is one of many spots of this color I now place in my gardens. Other examples are humulus 'Aurea', kolkwitzia 'Dreamcatcher', hosta 'Golden Friendship', and many more. As a young gardener I refused to employ this color, believing it made my plants look ill. Now I understand the punches of color chartruese provides, the counterpoint to the many pinks and purples I use in my gardens, and the simple happiness of such a bright hue.
Weigela 'Eyecatcher'. In my book, it's a showcase plant. Put it where all can see.

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