Saturday, May 10, 2003

Both butterflies and people like this shrub


Gardening

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About this time of year, readers ask me to recommend a flowering shrub that requires little care, is hardy, disease-resistant and will attract butterflies and bees. My answer: the buddleia.

TIPS FOR NOVICES
Be sure to give buddleias generous space to accommodate growth.

Plant in full sun.

Prune to ground level after fall's first hard frost.

Buddleias grow in ordinary soil, but provide good drainage.

Many years ago, buddleias were found in practically every back yard - along with lilacs - but as gardens grew smaller, the large plant lost its popularity.

In recent years we have seen a proliferation of compact border buddleias with new traits, including magnetism for butterflies and blooms midsummer to fall.

Recent cultivars available at most garden centers and by mail-order include:

• B. "Raspberry Wine," a heavy bloomer with 12- to 15 inch trusses of rose-mauve, fragrant flowers. It is impervious to disease and thrives in ordinary soil, drought and humidity.

• B. "Black Knight," rated as one of the best buddleias, producing 8-inch blue-black flower panicles.

• B. "Honeycomb," considered the best yellow, has a strong fragrance and long blooming season - June to November. It's drought, pest and disease-resistant.

• B. "Dartmoor" a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Merit and a First Class Certificate winner. It's 12-inch flowers have a tantalizing raspberry scent. It grows to a compact 4-6 feet.

Contact Tim Morehouse by Web site: www.getmoregarden.com; mail: c/o Cincinnati Enquirer. (If writing, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.)



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