An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

February 21, 2008

An Update and Some Photos

One of the reasons I began blogging was to channel some frustrations I was having due to a plant thief-vandal that had been plaguing my garden. You can visit my first post on the topic to get the big story that was written when the sense of injustice was still burning hot. Since that time the community police officer has been by her house twice, speaking first with her husband and then, finally with her. The problem seems to have abated, and I have made a point of spreading this story around the neighborhood, especially to gardeners. I still feel a need for some kind of closure-compensation-retribution, so I printed a quote from work on what it would cost to replace the Edgeworthia she destroyed. When I saw her outside walking, I ran into the house, grabbed the papers and confronted her on the sidewalk. I told her I had something for her and handed her the $105.00 quote. I told her the money was not the issue, and if she could find a single stemmed specimen that was about 4' tall, I could take that instead. I know she won't find a plant that nice locally - I don't know where she will find one. She told me all she took were a few twigs. I left her saying she had one week to get me the plant, or the money, or I would take it to the courts. I'll let you know what happens.

Now for some pictures.
The above Edgeworthia chrysantha was shot a couple of weeks ago while I was at Bill and Linda's and it was just coming into bloom. I would have photographed mine, but someone decided she needed it more than me. I am fairly certain the one I had came from a sucker or cutting of this one that I bought at work. Edgeworthia chrysantha is a less temperamental Daphne relative that can bloom anywhere from late January into March, depending on the weather. Its common name is Rice Paper Plant or Paper Bush, and indeed in its native China it is used to make paper. It can get about 6' tall and wide, and usually grows as a multi-stemmed shrub, but can be single stem as well. The flowers have a wonderful, strong fragrance that reminds me of a sweeter, softer version of narcissus. The foliage is slightly exotic looking, similar to Magnolia virginiana both in shape and color. The autumn foliage is of no consequence, but in late fall the buds form and are fuzzy, silver and hang upside down on the bare branches. As the flowers begin opening, the bloom cluster expands until it no longer hangs down, but faces up as well. It should be hardy in zones 7b to 9, maybe 10.

Below are some other things I saw while I was at Bill and Linda's. The first two are shots of Ranunculus ficaria 'Brazen Hussy'. The flowers are certainly attractive, particularly for mid-winter, but the foliage is glossy black.

Also blooming, but close to the end of its season, was a weeping, white Prunus mume that has a nice view of Batten Bay. I am sorry, I do not know the cultivar.
I would have sat on the bench and enjoyed the Witchhazel if it wasn't so wet. I am not sure, but think this is Arnold's Promise (Hamamelis x 'Arnold's Promise).
The last shot is a close up of the above Witchhazel, I particularly like the rain on it. After last summer I particularly like rain on anything - anytime.


  1. Those are beautiful photos. I'm really sorry about your plant being destroyed. I had a rose and trellis that almost went the same way but the rose won. The person tried to take the trellis and dig up the rose with it. But....neither budged and all we had to do was prop the whole thing back up. I hope that woman has learned her lesson. She was probably jealous.

  2. Sorry to hear about the thefts. It is really disheartening when this happens. I learned not to plant any lilies in my front garden, since the flowers were always cut (never ripped, though) just when they were about to bloom.

    I love the Edgeworthia - it is really attractive as is the Ranunculus with the black leaves and pretty flowers.

    It will be interesting to see what happens next.