Hardy Hibiscus

by Patrick on August 21, 2012

I’ve been watching you, my fellow bloggers, post wonderful blooms on GBBD over the last three years but there have been  few opportunities to find worthy enough to create a meaningful post here at Trinity. Until now! Native American hibiscus (H. moscheutob) and its progeny have to be some of the showiest perennials in the garden at this time of year when other plants are on life support, this year more than ever.  John Bartram (1699-1777) was the first to  herald this native to the gardening world. In the 1950’s the first major hybridizer, Robert Darby, introduced the still widely grown Lady and Lord Baltimore.

I have been privileged enough to see the native hibiscus in my boyhood home of Australia, the showy yellow hibiscus in Hawaii and for over thirty years now our native species and its resulting hybrids. Don’t back me in the corner in a hope to hear of a favorite. The flowers here at Trinity Nursing and Rehab are found in a huge expanse of kentucky blue and rye grass on the east side of our campus.

I assume they were planted by the former Lutheran owners of TNAR who are responsible for their vestiges and so much more that  I enjoy so much every day. Why they are untethered from any nearby planting or landmark I will never know or the kind people who planted them.


These images bring to mind my beloved Sydney Opera House. I sang as part of a boys vocal choir. Didn’t realized at the time what a honor this was. 

The prettiest are the pink, which although fewer , would be the ones to get the attention of nearby walkers and runners on the Turkey Creek path. Unlike the white, the over layering petals form more of the traditional circle you’ve come to know and love.

Big Red, the name I bestowed upon her, is the flashiest on the near hedge in the lawn. She emblazoned too bright in the midday sun to see much definition (When you have only one functioning hand, you can’t be picky about the sun exposure when you can snag a volunteer.)

And now for something completely different; I’ve used Sunoatiens around here for several years now in the windowboxes, so while in a hospital bed it occurred to me that a few in the ground  with 8 Dragon Wing hanging baskets above would be da bomb. Let’s just say technical difficulties stopped the successful execution of my grand idea. But say it with me, there’s always next year.

Finally, rarely do you see a good bloom day centered around just one family of plants. My high-school buddy from Family Tree identified the last of my beautiful be                      . This shrub is almost pinned between one glorious ashe and a side wall except for a huge enough break  on the eastern side to beam in the light required to sport these little beauties on a 12′ plant. From my wheelchair view up it reminds me of my beloved camellias. Is it unfair for me to selfishly hope global warming will warm up the climate in my zone to grow my favorite shrub. Only a gardener would have to take pause then answer his own questions with of course it is selfish.


So now I know what it’s like to be a participant in the noble effort to share joy with other bloggers on this continent and beyond. I’ll have to do this again, real soon.

Patrick's Garden

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