Beauty Bush, Kolkwitzia amabilis Ilona Erwin Nov 10, 2007 No Comment

Dream Catcher after two years growth

While out shopping, of course I couldn't resist checking out the sale shrubs that were left in a store that happens to have a very fine nursery during the growing season (Andersons). There were very few to pick from, but lo, and behold, a shrub that I had wanted to obtain for years: Beauty Bush. So I am the owner, at a bargain price of a new variety of Kolkwitzia amabilis, 'Dream Catcher'. Five dollars less in my pocketbook, and I now need to find the perfect spot for my new shrub. It will grow quite large, and is graceful in habit, so I don't want it to be crowded along with other shrubs, maybe I will put it near the aronia, where the sweet gum, of recent memory, used to be.

Here are the stats on beauty bush:
This is a hardy and reliable shrub accomodating to even the most negligent gardener.

*Hardy in Zones 4-9.
*Deer resistant.
*Grows in a well-drained, average soil.
*Requires light shade (filtered to partial) for Dream Catcher -otherwise full sun.
*Fertilize in late fall and early spring.
*If necessary, time to prune is right after flowering.(in spring)

Propagation: Soft-tip cuttings in spring and summer, semi-hardwood cuttings, in late summer
Flowers: White to blush-pink flowers, late spring
Fragrance: Faintly perfumed

Good bush for hummingbirds :)

"Kolkwitzia amabile! (The beauty bush). It does seem a pity about the name, doesn't it? But there it is! I don't think there could be a sweeter shrub. The arching sprays of pale, pale pink flowers in late spring please everyone that sees it, and it most obligingly surrounds itself with rooted pieces (suckers, if you will) that enable one to share them with one's friends and increase one's own supply of beauty."

-from "Letters to Garden Lovers", Australian Home Beautiful, October 1943.

Dream Catcher's claim to fame seems to be the golden foliage color which deepens in the fall to provide far more seasonal interest for a shrub that was often faulted for its one season interest of spring bloom.

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by Ilona Erwin

A gardener, blogger, writer, who has been blogging here since 2004, and writing for my website, Ilona's Garden since 1998.

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