Very bushy, they are dressed in small leaves accompanied, from May to October, by a multitude of flowers in pink bells surrounded by a colored bract. We love them for their long flowering, for their tolerance to wind, spray, pollution, and for their rapid growth.
They love the sun, but tolerate partial shade. All soils are suitable for them, with a preference for those that are drained. They hardly need pruning, except to possibly help them branch out in the first year, and to remove dead wood or disturbing branches. They are very resistant to drought, and are not very sensitive to diseases or parasites. Failure ? An average hardiness, because they suffer below – 15 ° C.
Use them isolated, in shrub beds, and especially in hedges, wise or free, to protect yourself from looks and winds. These are great classics of seaside garden hedges. You can adopt them on a well-sheltered terrace, in a tub of at least 60 cm, in a mixture of soil and sand. Let the soil dry out between two waterings, and, in winter, do not put a saucer under the pot, at the risk of rotting the roots if there is stagnant water.
♦ Abelia x grandiflora, with its pale pink flowers, is the most rustic, down to – 15 ° C. Its hybrid ‘Edward Goucher’ blooms lilac pink. They are both 1.50 m in all directions.
♦ Abelia grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’. The foliage of this small shrub, 80 in height by as much in width, changes color with the seasons. Speckled with anise green and edged with yellow in spring, it becomes, in summer, bright green and pink, turning orange then scarlet in autumn. The white, fragrant flowers bloom in June. It is persistent in a mild climate. Its size predisposes it to pot culture, or to serve as a framework for a bed of perennials.
♦ Abelia chinensis is, without a doubt, our favorite. It is not used enough, and that’s a shame. It is a bit larger, easily reaching 2 m in all directions, and flowers late. With its rosy-white spikes with a bewitching scent, it accompanies the blooms of asters and other autumn flowers. Few shrubs bloom at the end of the season, especially among those that attract bees and butterflies.
It features cute heart-shaped leaves that are thick, shiny and beautifully ribbed, turning dull and tan in late fall. It goes almost unnoticed all year round, discreet but elegant, but at the end of August, when its ears, made up of small panicles of flowers in tubular bells, form, we only see him, we only smell him! Fragrances of hyacinth. The buttons, as well as the calyces, display a dapper old rose. These chalices are until November a charming asset, attractive even when the flowers have fallen. Because flowers have the good taste of falling, instead of withering ugly, when they have finished their life. It is less rustic than its brothers, and fears frost below – 10 ° C.
To discover interesting plants in autumn, here is an appointment of choice, in the middle of a charming garden:
In the Garden of La Levrette, October 17, 18
Nurserymen, collectors, artisans, talks
22350 Yvignac La Tour