2022: Assess, Adjust, Savor: Part 1

“A garden, no matter how good it is, must never completely satisfy. The world as we know it began in a very good garden, a completely satisfying garden — Paradise — but after a while the owner and the occupants wanted more.” Jamaica Kincaid

For years my garden was an overgrown mess. Masses of volunteer Hydrangea, Viburnum, and Weigela invaded and occupied the landscape. Out of respect for Mother Nature’s gifts, I did nothing to stem the intrusive onslaught. Until now. This was a year of upheaval and positive change: Many of the large, established volunteer shrubs were dug up and were successfully transplanted or were given away. The garden breathed a sigh of relief. See photo below of a transplanted Viburnum that can now freely express itself without encroaching on a Japanese Maple and a photo of the Maple that was happy to see the Viburnum go.

copyright 2022 – Lois Sheinfeld

copyright 2022 – Lois Sheinfeld


Moreover, there is now space to add new interesting plants. If you plan to make additions to your garden, please consider:

Osmanthus x fortunei ‘UNC’ Z 7-10

copyright 2022 – Lois Sheinfeld

This large, handsome, evergreen, flowering shrub is the progeny of a perfect marriage between O. heterophyllus and O. fragrans, inheriting winter hardiness from one and fragrance that carries on the air from the other. O. fortunei UNC is a longtime valued resident of my shady, organic garden and I look forward every autumn to the abundant, small white flowers that fill the garden with their intoxicating perfume. In addition, the shrub’s showy, dark-green foliage is deer and rabbit resistant. Provide moist, well-drained, acidic soil.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Setsugekka’ Z 7-10

copyright 2022 – Lois Sheinfeld

Another floriferous Autumn treasure is this exquisite Camellia that produces sumptuous double, ruffled, snowy-white flowers and healthy, semi-weeping, evergreen, holly-like foliage. I love this plant. I bought three more this Spring. Provide organically rich, well-drained acidic soil; protect from voles; avoid a windy site and morning sun.

Calycanthus x ‘Aphrodite’ Z 5-9

copyright 2022 – Lois Sheinfeld

This deciduous shrub, aptly named Goddess of Love, produces beautiful, red, magnolia-like blossoms in summer, on old and new wood. The flowers are said to be fragrant. My plant’s flowers are not fragrant but ‘Aphrodite’ has graced my garden for two years and it took three years before her kissin’ cousin, yellow-flowered Calycanthus ‘Athens,’ released its fruity fragrance. I remain hopeful. Aphrodite’s big, glossy, green, herbal-scented leaves are deer-resistant. Provide well-drained, organically-rich soil in sun or in shade. The plant is pH adaptable.

I purchased all of the above shrubs mail-order from Camellia Forest Nursery in Chapel Hill, NC; www.camforest.com; (919) 968-0504.


NOTE: Years ago, Judge Learned Hand cautioned: “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.” Thankfully, in November, Americans voted their hearts and democracy won.