Luther Burbank, the prominent American horticulturist, once said, “Flowers always make people better, happier…they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” So true. Here are two fabulous flowering plants to savor in your own backyard:
Halesia carolina ‘Wedding Bells’ (Carolina Silverbell z.4-8)
Halesia carolina is an enchanting, native understory tree, requiring rich, well-drained, moist, acid soil. For over fifteen years, in my shady garden, it has been a reliable and profuse May bloomer with no pest or disease problems. The cultivar ‘Wedding Bells’ flaunts larger snowy-white bellflowers than the species and to my mind is a showier performer. In the Fall, the tree produces interesting 4-winged seed cases which carry on the show until frost. I also grow a pink-flowering Halesia but while the flowers are lovely, the tree lacks vigor.
Nemesia fruticans ‘Opal Innocence’ (z.9-10)
As soon as I saw this annual dazzler, I was a goner. Moreover, in addition to its incredible color and irresistible charm, Opal is fragrant and in constant bloom from Spring to Fall. Grow in sun or part shade in the ground or in containers. That is if you can find it— I think I bought them all. ( Mine came from Halsey Farm & Nursery in Watermill, N.Y.)
Addendum to Post,”Beauty and the Bees: Going, Going, Gone?”
If you invite your bees over for brunch, be sure (bee sure?) to serve coffee. According to a recent scientific study, reported in the British publication, The Garden ( May 2013), bees feeding on nectar containing caffeine—present in the coffee plant’s flowers—have dramatically improved memories: They are three times more likely to remember a flower’s scent, and thus remember a good nectar source. ( A great tip—for the bees. Would that coffee had a memory improving effect on me. I certainly drink enough of it.)