News Flash! A shocking report out of Japan: A tomato was sentenced to the electric chair.
Well, not really . . . but almost. Researchers from Kinki University, Osaka, successfully rid tomato plants of powdery mildew by zapping them with an electrical charge. And the plants were not harmed. Remarkable.
Perhaps someday we will easily zap away every plant disease. Until then, in my organic garden, I try to avoid problems at the outset by buying hardy, disease-resistant plants. I also favor plants with multi-seasons of interest and fragrance. (Intense fragrance if possible, in order to compensate for one’s likely diminishing sense of smell with age.)
Abelia mosanensis (Fragrant Abelia) possesses all of these attributes and more:
Fragrant Abelia, a native of Korea, is an extremely cold-hardy (zone 5, maybe 4) deciduous shrub. For about a two-three week period in May-June, it produces masses of small, very fragrant flowers with pink buds that open white. (Photos below.) The delicious perfume travels on the air through the garden.
I should mention that the plantsman, Michael Dirr, has cautioned that “the plant is bedraggled by late summer in zone 7 . . . and does not prosper in zone 7 heat.” Maybe so, in southern zone 7 where he gardens. Not so for zone 7 in the Northeast where I garden. In fact, far from it! Here, when the flowers fade, whorls of showy green calyxes (sepals) take center stage and the vibrant plant appears to be covered in charming green flowers, with just a hint of pink, that persist until the leaves drop in winter. (Photos below)
On the other hand, I should mention that while some sources report that the shrub’s foliage turns red-orange in the Fall, sadly mine has had little to no autumnal color to speak of.
Abelia mosanensis will thrive in sun or shade, in moist, well-drained, acid soil. It’s an easy-care, disease-resistant plant with many virtues. Plants are available from Camellia Forest Nursery. For easy access to their website, go to LINKS and click on.)
A Happy New Year to all!