Gardener's Notes

Sweetshrub 'Aphrodite' - A Sneak Peek of 2018 Shrubs

February 25, 2018
Blooming Flower

As I get older I appreciate the plants in my garden that provide interest and beauty with as little work as possible.  To this end, there are some fantastic flowering shrubs that provide long seasons of beauty with no upkeep whatsoever.  Calycanthus 'Aphrodite' is one of my favorites.  It is a Native cultivar, that thrives in the Cincinnati area.  

Aphrodite is a tough, easy to grow shrub and deer resistant.  It is large, and after 5 years it will be 7 ft x 7 ft.  It does well in full sun and also partial shade.  The bloom time is the month of June here in Cincinnati, so it takes over blooming just as most of the Spring blooming trees and shrubs are finishing. The Aphrodite in the picture here is in half day sun (morning only) and is planted under black walnut trees.  As you can see, in partial shade the leaves get huge and lush and it just blooms and blooms  (it blooms on old and new wood).  And unlike many shrubs, the flowers are nicely fragrant.  It is a great addition to a privacy border or planted with other flowering shrubs that have different bloom times.  This one is planted with a lilac, and a Spiraea. 

blooming shrubs

The only drawback of the Aphrodite, is that you will rarely see pollinators on it.  So plant this one for yourself and pair it with one of these other blooming shrubs for the bees!

Top blooming shrub Families (that will be at Greenfield this year)
Spiraea                                    Vitex
lilac                                        Philadelphus (Mock Orange)
Itea                                         Hypericum (St Johns Wort)
Witch hazel                             Kerria
Magnolia (Shrubby)                  Abelia
Clethra (Summersweet)           Viburnum   
Seven Son Flower                    Weigelia
Rose of Sharon                        Hydrangea