Rose chinensis minima and hardy hibiscus for Martie (photo heavy)

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)September 28, 2007

My little roses sort of retreated a bit in bloom production in the worst of the drought in August but have got their second wind now that night temperatures have cooled down with heavy dew in the mornings plus a small bit of rain. The oldest ones are in the herb bed where they mix happily with such things as lavender, sage, blue oatgrass, a blue butterfly bush and Calamintha nepeta var. nepeta. This is what they looked like there this morning:

In 2005 we created a new small bed on the front lawn for a Blanc Double de Coubert rose. I planted the 2005 batch of Angel Rose seedlings under the big rose. They do nicely together:

And the Russian sage in the bed looks great with everything:

Hardy hibiscuses are odd plants in some ways. I find them to be a bit of a chameleon plant. They seem to start off for the first couple of years looking like soft, fleshy perennial like the one in your picture. After 2-4 years they then seem to become more shrub-like in appearance  the stems look woodier and the leaves get coarser. They still die back to the ground and take their sweet time about getting up in the spring though! Here is what the Disco Belle one in the driveway border looks like this morning as it is in seed-setting phase  this one flowers primarily in August although it still produces sporadic flowers until frost:

Setting seed:

TodayÂs flower just opening first thing this morning:

Some flowers from August 15 Â prime bloom season:

To show how shrub-like these ones are, below is a view of the north side of the driveway border from this morning. The hardy hibiscus blends right in with the potentilla shrubs in terms of size and density.

When they are all at peak flower production in August, they make a nice show together. This is not a very good picture but itÂs the best one I have - from August 13:

I think you should persevere with growing hardy hibiscus and put some somewhere in the park. They come in such a wonderful array of colors. The ones below is a seedling of the pale pink ones above. I also have ÂLuna Blush (white with a red eye) although I donÂt like that color combination as much as the pale pink ones. I just added three ÂPinot Noir dark red ones a few weeks ago so I hope they survive and do well next year. They are such great late summer flowers  a burst of exuberance when the garden is starting to fade a bit.

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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Beautiful Woody!!!! I just love the hibiscus with the Russian Sage combination.

Deanne

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 4:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes, the pinks, lavenders and blues are still showing off in front of your home. Looking wonderful Woody! Is that Veronicastrum in the last photo on the right?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 5:05PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

You still have lots of beauty in your yard. The last picture is my favorite too. I have failed, with at least two tries, to grow Russian Sage. I used to have lots of lovely hardy Hibiscus...all started from seed, but they have almost become a thing of the past due to a combination of factors. The one potentilla that I have does well here dispite all the drawbacks. I should add lots more.
I would be really hard pressed to find that much beauty in my yard. Thanks Susan.

Marian

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 7:01PM
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michelle_zone4

Lovely! I only have a few hardy hibiscus but I really like them. I wintersowed some Disco Belle this spring and they are blooming right now. How fun is that? Your roses sound like they are fun to grow as well. Thanks for sharing your beauty with us.

Michelle

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 11:31PM
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ctlavluvr

WOW Woody. Thanks so much for posting this.

Yes, I am saving seeds and some gifted ones have already started in a friend's greenhouse. They are such an ancient plant, and I'm so thrilled to carry on the tradition of sharing seeds.

Darned if my hibiscus isn't blooming this morning! Should've complained about it months ago. LOL

Thanks, Woody, this means a lot.

Martie

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 10:07AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Thanks for the glimpse, Woody! It's nice to see hardy Hibiscus doing so well. I have Hibiscus sawfly here and have given up trying to grow them.

Sue

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 8:52AM
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lmcilhargie

Very nice Woody! Love the combo in the last picture. My angel roses didn't do as well this year as they usually do, actually none of my roses did. You're hibiscus are lovely, enough to make me want to try some again.

Eden

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 11:50AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I would be very sad if I had to give up the hardy hibiscus because of pesky bugs of some sort Sue. I am concerned that a deep red one that I bought as an end-of-season bargain last year went limp just after it started blooming a week or so ago. It looked like some sort of wilt disease but I did a bunch of searching and couldnt find anything about diseases that may affect them. It wasnt insect damage and, when I cut the stems down today, the pith was white and didnt look diseased at all. Im hoping it just got too dry or something.

The last picture (the best one) with the Russian Sage and Veronicastrum is actually from last year. Randy took that one all the good pictures I post are always his! The drought this year resulted in a somewhat reduced peak bloom for those hibiscuses so I didnt take a picture of that view this year. Interestingly, the hibiscus, sage and veronicastrum in the foreground are about 10-15 feet away from the hibiscuses in the background. Randy is clever at taking pictures like that.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 7:31PM
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