Plant Preview

Welcome to Plant Preview, a blog dedicated to helping gardeners learn about gardening techniques and preview new plant cultivars. Read about new plants here first and hear how your "comrades in compost" are making use of new plant introductions in their gardens and landscapes. Blog author Geri Laufer is a life-long dirt gardener, degreed horticulturist, author and former County Extension Agent. Plant Preview is copyrighted by Geri Laufer.

Showing posts with label Spirea betulifolia Tor White Frost Queen of the May Bridal Wreath flower crown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spirea betulifolia Tor White Frost Queen of the May Bridal Wreath flower crown. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

White Frost™ Birchleaf Spirea Invites History to the Garden

Now and then the landscape gardener comes across a must-have shrub that fits nicely into smaller scale urban and intown gardens. First choice this spring is White Frost™ Birchleaf Spirea from Garden Debut®. White Frost™ is named for the fountains of white flowers that cover the plant each spring like a beneficent late frost. Flat-topped corymbs composed of tiny white flowers envelope the shrub’s arching branches and closely resemble another Spirea known as Bridalwreath.

In days gone by, brides cut the arching branches of Spirea and wove them into bridal crowns that lasted only a day. Since Spirea and Hawthorn were annually in bloom around the first of May, they were often selected as the flowers of choice. The flower crowns were employed still earlier in the Celtic festival of Beltane, a spring-time festival of optimism mid-way between the Spring Equinox and Midsummer Night.

A Queen of the May was crowned on the church steps each year, with the ritual circular crown signifying both virginity and the unending cycle of the seasons. Fertillity of crops and livestock was an important aspect of the agrarian society, and  the hanging of May Boughs on the doors and windows of houses and barns and in farmyards was observed, often composed of Hawthorn or Mountain Ash. In the garden the flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, pollinators and birds.

Bring history into your garden with White Frost™ Birchleaf Spirea, a compact, mounded, dense shrub maturing at about 3 feet tall and wide. This tough-as-nails, spring-flowering shrub is also known for its striking fall color. Enjoy a second season of color each autumn with its long-persistent bronze, purple, yellow-gold and red fall foliage colors. Landscape uses of this durable, romantically old-fashioned shrub include low hedges, foundation plantings or containers.

Visit Garden Debut® Retailers Page and click on your state to find a retailer nearby who is carrying White Frost™ Birchleaf Spirea.