If I had room in my tiny garden for a crape myrtle or two, I’d buy them right now, when we can see exactly what color they are. I never trust the photos on the tags or even less, the images online, which vary all over the place according to the monitor you see them on. So whether it’s 100 degrees or not, I’d wait to buy these summer bloomers until they’re in all their glory.
But wait – Behnkes’ shrub-buyer Miri tells me crape myrtles aren’t just for large gardens that can accommodate 35-foot-tall specimens. There are varieties now available as short as 2 feet – love those breeders!
The other shrub I can’t resist when I see them in bloom are panicle hydrangeas, like PeeGees and Tardivas. In my former, much larger garden I had just one Tardiva and it must be putting on a grand show about now. My next-door neighbors had a whole hedge of them in tree form in their front yard and pedestrians stopped to ask about them.
And like most hydrangeas, the blooms look good for months. Below are some Tardivas already looking gorgeous on the Behnkes lot, and next to them, the treeform of PeeGee Hydrangea, which I’d love to see full-grown. Anyone got one in their garden?
Posted by Susan Harris.