My neighbor left for a week and asked if I would pick up her mail and keep an eye on her home. I learned that you could live next to someone and never realize what they have planted in their yard. I knew she had roses, and a pomegranate bush. In all these years of living close to her, I didn’t realize that she had a tree/shrub that was one of the most beautiful flowering plants.
The shrub had reached a height of about 7 ft. It was at the corner of the garage and trailed downward with the most beautiful flowers. The flowers were white with a slight pink color. It was as if someone had a can of pink paint and tossed the paint onto the flowers and the paint dripped downward and gave the flower a pink splash. Maybe because pink and purple flowers are some of my favorites, I fell in love with the shrub.
I went home and did my research. My determination is the tree/shrub is an Althea or Hibiscus syriacus. My knowledge of hibiscus is that they are not winter hardy in this region. This tree/shrub had been there for about twenty years, and is winter hardy.
My quest for obtaining the new specimen began. As a gardener I enjoy plants more than the average person. This means that I am now on the hunt for this plant.
It is called the Aletha, Rose of Sharon, or the marshmallow plant. You can keep it trimmed and it will grow into a large shrub. If you want to have a tree, allow the limbs to grow upward. The tree will grow to a height of 8 feet or taller. The colors are varied from purple, blue, red, pink, and white.
I am searching for one called peppermint, double flowered. Once I find it, it will be planted in full sun, and a spot that has good drainage. No wet feet/they will rot.
What’s a plant that you’d like to find for your yard? Happy hunting!
– Jane Slone writes articles on gardening for EllisDownHome.com. Jane grew up in Dallas, and moved with her husband to Ellis County 25 years ago. She opened three flower shops, operated, and eventually sold the shops. She taught Microbiology and Anatomy & Physiology at the college level and retired 26 years later. She loves to garden and has become a Master Gardener. Her joy is teaching others about gardening!