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Community Advocate • Summer

Plants that offer lasting interest By Michael Arnum Marketing Director at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston While it may be relatively easy to select plants with spring owers, what about after the tulips have faded and the last dogwoods have bloomed? Beyond bedding annuals, can there be hope for the “dog daysâ€? of summer? At Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, the answer to that question is an emphatic “Yes!â€? Here are ďŹ ve trees and shrubs with lateseason interest for the home landscape.

False Camellia (Stewartia pseudocamellia) Despite the name, there’s nothing false about this lovely small tree. A contributor to every season, the Clethra is a popular, hardy and striking selection for False Camellia has the backyard. beautiful, smooth, they open in succession over a mottled bark, remimulti-week period in June and niscent of a tortoise shell in its July. False Camellia trees can patches of dierent shades of also have striking fall color - a brown and beige. Its camelliamix of yellow, orange and tints like owers (hence the name) of red. 20 to 40 feet in height. are white with a bunch of yellow stamens in the center, and

Seven-Sons Flower (Heptacodium miconioides) Few trees garner as much attention as the Seven-Sons Flower when it is in bloom in September. A large shrub or small tree up to 20 feet in height, its many white, lightly fragrant, daisy-like flowers open in late August through September - they are magnets to bees and butteries that are anxious for that last bit of nectar before summer’s end. The show continues into October after the white petals drop and showy red sepals become apparent. This is also a Cary Award winner. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

Sweet Pepper Bush (Clethra alnifolia) The common name of this native shrub is derived from its persistent seed pods which are reminiscent of peppercorns, and it gets the description “sweetâ€? because of the delightful fragrance of its white, bottle-brush like owers that are born in the heat of July and August. These plants can grow along a streambed, yet they are very adaptable to average garden conditions as well. A

striking pink owered variety called “Ruby Spiceâ€? was selected for the prestigious Cary Award. Impatient gardeners should beware that these plants are slow to “leaf-outâ€? in the spring, so don’t worry if it appears that nothing’s happening after other plants have started to grow.

Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata) Lilacs do indeed come in a variety of shapes and forms, and this one is a small tree that sends up plumes of white owers in July that do not have the perfumy fragrance of the common lilac, but smell more like privet owers. A valuable street tree or accent for the home garden, the Japanese Tree Lilac has shiny bark that resembles that of cherry trees.

Guide • Friday, May 20, 2011• 5

It is very adaptable and could be successfully used as a patio tree. Its leaves are dark green in summer, and can have yellow to purple fall color. It ultimately reaches a height of about 30 to 40 feet, with a 12 to 25 foot spread. Autumn-flowering Cherry (Prunus subhirtella autumnalis) Now here’s a tree that doubles your money because it blooms not just once in the spring, but again in the fall. The owers are rose pink, semi-double and quite showy. Considered to be the most cold-, heat-, and stress-tolerant of all the cherries, this moderate to rapidly growing tree is easy to transplant. It ultimately reaches a height of 20 to 40 feet, with a spread of about 15 to 30 feet. Michael Arnum is the Marketing Director at Tower Hill Botanic Garden at 11 French Dr. in Boylston. All of the plants mentioned may be seen at the Garden; more information is available at, or by calling 508-869-6111.

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Summer Guide P. 05 052011  

• Certified Professional Staff • Music Program Community Advocate • Summer Guide • Friday, May 20, 2011• 5 By Michael Arnum Marketing Directo...