Thursday, June 2, 2011

Spirea

My large white spirea is in bloom this week and I always love to see it because its one of the oldest bits of landscaping in our yard.

We actually have three newer spirea but they are the "lime mound" variety, which have bright yellow-green foliage and line our walkway. But this one is the species commonly known as "bridal wreath" because of its long, draping boughs lined with tiny white blossoms, looking very much like something you still might see at a wedding. It grows well here and there are many around town, but its not as much in "vogue" as it used to be. (I always find it amusing that landscaping can be "in" or "out" but truth is you can almost date a house by the species planted around it, especially here in East Hampton.If there is a large weeping willow, for instance, you know it was planted in the 1920s because they were very "in" then, but later fell out of favor.)

This bush was already fairly large when we moved into our house, which was built about 1924. We had it moved when we put an addition on because I can't bear to see trees and bushes destroyed and felt it worth the cost. It has never been my favorite thing because the blossoms have such a short life, but now I do love it, mostly because its huge - about 12 ft across - and it reminds me of the history of this house and this area of the village where my ancestors lived. I'm reminded of the care and pride they took in their homes and of the years I grew up here seeing that very bush in a smaller form.

This is one of the many things we've moved around the yard. The irises have been moved three times and the red maple once. Recently we moved a birch tree that wasn't doing well since the things around it had grown so much. But this bush is the one I seriously questioned at the time because it wasn't all that fond of it. Once the brief flowers are gone its just a big green monster. But I don't regret it now. It makes a statement and I like that.

2 comments:

Georgia Green Stamper said...

I stumbled across your blog when Googling spirea, and I'm intrigued by your remarks regarding trends in landscaping plant material. I have noticed this too. Ajuca, for example, was a popular ground cover in the 60s and 70s, but I had to push the young landscaper I now have to plant it for me last summer . . . I Googled to find out how long spirea can live. Yours apparently dates to about 1924? I have one at my parents' Kentucky farmhouse that dates to about 1950. I'm sure it was started from a cutting of some sort so its roots - pardon pun - are even older.

Georgia Green Stamper said...

I stumbled on your blog while Googling "spirea." I was curious as to how old such a shrub can grow. Yours apparently dates to about 1924? We have one at my parents' Kentucky farmhouse that dates to about 1950. However, it was started from a cutting of some sort so its roots, forgive the pun, are older. ... I am intrigued by your comments on trends in landscaping plant material. I have observed this, too. Ajuga, for example, was a popular ground cover here in the 1960s and 70s. Last summer I had to practically introduce it to an educated young landscaper - convince him that it would indeed grow in the shady problem area of our lawn.