A Winter Walk

An early afternoon walk today at Duke Gardens was invigorating. The air was chilly in the shade but in the open sun the day felt fine.

A long row of Edgeworthia Chrysantha (Chinese Paper Bush) made a striking winter accent at the base of the terraced gardens.

Edgeworthia Chrysantha (Chinese Paper Bush)

Edgeworthia Chrysantha (Chinese Paper Bush)

 

Edgeworthia Chrysantha (Chinese Paper Bush)

Edgeworthia Chrysantha (Chinese Paper Bush)

Specimens in pots near the visitor’s center held more Edgeworthia, one of which sported a couple of flowers just beginning to open.

Edgeworthia Chrysantha (Chinese Paper Bush)

Edgeworthia Chrysantha (Chinese Paper Bush)

The state’s warm spell from earlier in the week teased a few buds into bloom on a Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ (Autumn Higan Cherry), offering a spirit-lifting glimpse at the promise of spring.

Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis' Autumn Higan Cherry

Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ Autumn Higan Cherry

31 thoughts on “A Winter Walk

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Cindy, I learned about it last year through my garden club, but it has been in my local public gardens for a while apparently. I checked a reliable source that says Edgeworthia chrysantha is winter-hardy (below 0 degrees F).

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Cathy, these silvery buds show up in December when the leaves fall. Its bloom period is mid-January to early April. I read it is a member of the daphne family. It is supposed to have a magnificent scent, but I’ve never really been around one in full bloom.

      Reply
      1. Christina

        Yes, I know what you mean, a warm sunny day plus a bulb flowering or some blossom on a tree and I am ready for it to be spring even though it might only be January.

  1. Julie

    I have only recently started to follow your blog and was not sure where Duke Gardens was, so googled and have found the website, this looks like a thoroughly wonderful place to visit, I hope I get the chance one day.

    Reply
  2. Chloris

    I love Edgeworthia chrysantha, it is a beautiful plant and how lovely to have a row of it. It is not hardy in the UK I have found out to my cost. Things that bloom in the winter are extra precious.
    Chloris

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hi Chloris. Too bad Edgeworthia doesn’t thrive in your area. It is growing on me. I have yet to see one in full bloom, but will make a point to return to Duke Gardens to check on its progress. My own garden could use some winter interest.

      Reply
  3. bittster

    We had similar weather here yesterday, it was great to get outside and not have to worry about freezer-burn! Signs of spring are much scarcer here, which is a good thing! We still have far too long to go and I’m always getting a way too early case of spring fever…. Love the edgeworthia!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      You’re right it may be too soon for dreaming of spring. Glad you had some agreeable weather for enjoying the outdoors. Ours has been all over the place. Today we’re in the middle of getting two inches of rain.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I hesitate to buy one because they seem to grow quite large, but I liked these smaller specimens all lined up. April-May is my favorite time at Duke Gardens. Perhaps you’ll let me know when you’re coming again.

      Reply
  4. P&B

    I’ve never seen Edgeworthia Chrysanthia before. The flower looks very unusual, fuzzy little thing. When you mentioned ‘magnificent scent’ it made it even more appealing. Very tempting. I will have to check it out.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I imagine that is a gorgeous area. Just learning about Edgeworthia so I’d better study up on the requirements. Happy New Year to you Annette! Susie

      Reply
  5. Flora Weather

    The Edgeworthia look so big and healthy. I planted a leggy one this year. The shurb itself is very lovely, it has long dark green leaves that stand out nicely in the landscape. Mine does not seem to be doing too well. I inspected the flowers and they seem to be shriveled and are breaking off. There appears to be only one the seems fine. I hope that it survives the winter and blooms.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Flora, I haven’t grown Edgeworthia myself so can’t offer any tips, but I do hope yours will be ok. Perhaps it needs another year to get acclimated to your garden.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I’ll have to return to that garden soon. I wonder how the buds are holding up against the weird weather we are having. Possibly in the 60s F. today before falling to between 5-10 F. degrees tonight.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Stepheny, I haven’t been back to Duke Gardens to see how the Edgeworthia held up during the cold, rainy weather of late. Hope you find a nice one.

      Reply
  6. garden98110

    Dear pbmGarden. Today we poked around at our favorite plantsfolk, under the pretext of chasing plants’ names. Promising ourselves, with a reminder that deferring gratification is often healing, only two helleborus. Lo! We could not get the Edgeworthia chrysantha from our mind. Like a puppy in a window! A plant of ancient cultivation with remarked properties. Thanks pbm, for the serendipitous encouragement and discussion. Wonderful and useful snaps. Edgeworthia chrysantha is reputed to be easier to grow than Daphne, but like Daphne, has preferences for sun and time of day. If I am not mistaken, it has been in American test gardens only about 50-75 years. – The Healing Garden gardener

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for the information. I didn’t know when it was introduced, but Edgeworthia has become popular in the last few years, at least I see it referenced more frequently. If you decide to grow it I hope it works well for you. I haven’t returned to Duke Gardens lately but wonder how it is faring in the very cold winter. Susie

      Reply
  7. garden98110

    At Kew Gardens, Edgeworthia chrysantha has been cultivated about 100 years. Many years ago we kept a garden North of London. The climate is very similar to the climate of the Healing Garden in the Pacific Northwest. It is snow hardy there, and reportedly so in parts of the US. If you are unable to see the flowers this Spring, there may be someone at Duke who will shoot a snap for us. The Edgeworthia chrysantha the Healing Garden gardener knows of is behind Museum No. 1.

    For consideration, the bark of Edgeworthia chrysantha is used in making the highest quality paper in the world. A few years ago, the Japanese government switched to a manila-based fiber for its bank notes. The commercial value of Edgeworthia chrysantha declined. In China, it is valued as a folklore healing remedy. It’s obscure rare beauty makes it precisely the plant for the Healing Garden. – The Healing Garden gardener

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.