Abelia x grandiflora 'Edward Goucher':  I mostly forget we have this plant in the garden.  I only remembered yesterday when I was getting a picture of the little fig tree and 'Edward' got in the way.  Three of them live on a very steep very dry slope, where they bloom all summer and grow--quite vigorously--without pests or problems.   Their flowers feed hummingbirds and bees.   The growth habit is exuberant fountain, long arching stems shooting from a center, growing ever larger and denser with time.  A  few years ago I cut them to the ground, and they came back perfectly and without complaint, to be a fountain once more.  Extreme heat will create some bare stems; those I remove to the ground.  There are plenty more to replace them. 

Abelia flowers:
Abelia flowers

I have another more glamorous Abelia,  Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope'.  The leaves are variegated green, cream, and yellow, with touches of apricot, and sprout from arching red stems. 

Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidescope':
Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidescope'

'Kaleidescope' is quite a bit smaller than 'Edward', perhaps 2'x3'.  'Edward' will get '8x8' or thereabouts.  While 'Edward' must make do with steep dry slopes and hard whacking, 'Kaleidescope' has a prime spot by the front gate.  Such is the indulgence I make for variegation. 

Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidescope', against a background of Calocephalus brownii:
Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidescope'

The neighbors have their Abelias trimmed into buns.   They look quite splendid in their own way, though most of the flowers are lost.  Their bougainvillea gets the same treatment,  but not quite the same beauty.  Abelia looks quite fine sheared, while bougies are only flowerless--what's the point of that?  Mere neatness.

Abelia buns:
Abelia buns

All in all, Abelias are a plant so tough, uncomplaining, and yet graceful, that while I always forget it lives in our garden, I am glad it does.  An unsung hero!

Speaking of heroes,  the Amaryllis belladonna are reaching their peak...
Amaryllis belladonna

Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated EncyclopediaDirr's Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates: An Illustrated EncyclopediaManual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses


  1. Those belladonnas are beautiful

  2. ah, Abelia x grandiflora! That's what I saw at Huntington that was in such a charming fountain shape! Thanks! I'm tempted to put one on my sunny dry spot that I don't want to have to "deal with" too much.

  3. Thanks Sheila!

    aimeekitty, it's been very reliable. It does need water to get established, and mine now well-established have single dripper that gives them a small amount. That works out very well.


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