Hardy Hibiscus

by Patrick Muir 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

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Alistair August 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm

They are an absolute knockout Patrick, little chance of them blooming in our cooler Summers.


Patrick August 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Finally, something an Englishman would covet as opposed to all the plants you can grow that we would die for.


Laurrie August 24, 2012 at 5:10 am

I have to say the white ones are my favorites. Their forms are offset by a delicacy of color and tinting and I like the simple, more open petals. I love those. The flashy pinks are too much for me : )

Your previous post on flammable potting soil was a real eye opener. Yikes.


Patrick August 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I like the red eyed one with the little green visitor.


Layanee August 24, 2012 at 8:23 am

Love them. They really add some happy color to that green expanse.


Patrick August 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Hey girl,Yrs they have even more effect where one sees them in person. I’m working on finding a company to donate enough mulch to surround them to create a garden bed appearance for even more impact.


Donna August 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Hi Patrick, Donna here from Garden Walk Garden Talk. I am just visiting from my other blog. The Hibiscus is lovely, I agree. I like the little spider stealing the show too. I really like the last one and the one with the very pale pink center. So pretty.


Patrick August 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Hey Donna,
Glad to hear from whatever blog you on because I so admire your work on both blogs. Sometimes I wonder why you’re so prolific on most blogs. You must be a real achiever in anything you work in.


Jennifer@threedogsinagarden August 29, 2012 at 7:26 am

Hi Patrick, I am sorry it has taken me so long to return your visits. Even though I take a few hours each day to pay visits, it takes me awhile to get around to say hi and see how everyone’s garden is growing.
I am so glad that you were able to participate in a Bloom day! It is fun to visit gardens from all around the world isn’t it. I am always impressed and humbled by the beautiful gardens I see.
The hibiscus at Trinity are lovely. My favourite has to be those bold pink ones with the maroon center.
Last year I added a Rose of Sharon to my own garden and was thrilled to have it make it though a tough Canadian winter. Unfortunately, all types of hibiscus are a favourite food for the Japanese Beetles that have invaded parts of North America, so my poor little bush has flowers that are a bit less perfect than the ones at Trinity.


Patrick August 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Impressed and humbled are my reactions as well.

Since I will rarely get the travel anymore, GBBD is an excellent avenue to help me see the world. A beautiful world, indeed.

Didn’t realize those dreaded beetles had made it up to your area. They just arrived hearer. There goes the roses. They were nice while they lasted.


Dee Nash (@reddirtramblin) August 30, 2012 at 7:03 am

Patrick, they are so lovely. I’m growing a red Texas star hibiscus, Hibiscus coccineus, in a pot this year, and it has wowed me with its color, shape and bloom size. I also grow Moy Grande and another I love. They seem to be happiest in the full sun and are important plants with the hotter weather we’re experiencing. Thanks for all your kind comments on my blog. I look forward to them.~~Dee


Patrick August 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Texas Star sounds beautiful and is beautiful after googling it just now.

BTW I must confess before we go much further with our relationship, the only thing I ever thought of OK too much and if I did it was the bane of two tired joke

Why doesn’t TX fall into the sea? Because OK sucks!!

Only things two things in OK are steers and queers, and I don’t see no horns.
Officer and A Gentlemen

But now the thing that will always come top of mind are you and your bountiful gaden. Drip irrigation i a wonderful thang.

What’s your initial thoughts???, my friend!!!


Stacy August 31, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I first encountered hibiscus when I lived in Florida — the deep red ones — and thought they were incredibly exotic and jungle-y. Kansas doesn’t look much like a jungle, but those hibiscus still look exotic and vibrant! It’s a pity gardens haven’t been documented like building blue-prints. Wouldn’t you just love to investigate the history of those plants and reconstruct why what went where?


Patrick September 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

No Kansas won’t be tropical until global warming just about kill us all. I’d ,make as terrible detective,



Shirley September 2, 2012 at 9:38 am

Those are stunning and do lend a bit of tropical feel to a decidedly non-tropical Kansas. They do well here in south Texas, actually so well that the deer love them too.

Happy (belated) GBBD!

I thought I had signed up for your updates, but your recent posts did not appear in my reader. Off to check that now.


Patrick September 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm

If you signed up under bloodspot, it won’t work in WP.


Kimberley September 7, 2012 at 8:58 am

Oh my, I thought I already had commented, but I guess not! Well, the hibiscus are lovely, even if they do seem a bit out of place there in the middle of the lawn with nothing to anchor them. I read in one of your replies to another commenter that you’re hoping to get some mulch donated so it can become a proper bed. I think that would be a fine idea so that it will look much more intentional. Be sure to share with us again on another Bloom Day!


Patrick September 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Always count on getting a very thoughtful comment

Praying for mulch. I’ll be back for GBBD, you can be assured of that, my friend.


Ray @ A Leafy Indulgence September 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I have posted some weeds at GBBD in the past when nuttin’ is in flower here – hey – blooms are blooms! We have a native hibiscus here called swamp mallow. I especially like your white hibiscus with light pink center – never seen it before. Thanks, carry on.


Patrick September 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Weeds are just flowers with a bad rep. Am I right or am I right?


Alana (@RamblinGarden) September 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Hi, Patrick, from a fellow GBBD’er living in upstate NY. I’ve never been to your part of the world, or off the North American continent, for that matter. The hisbiscus here had a banner year. I loved the white ones with the light pink center- they look like nothing I’ve seen in the area I live.


Patrick September 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Never been Upstate but I’d kill to see your fall. You’re the first to take note of it.


Liz @ Sit With Me In My Garden September 21, 2012 at 9:35 am

Thank-you for your visits to my blog Patrick. I’ve been meaning to stop by and say hello.
The hibiscus is a lovely flower and I enjoyed mine this year too.
Thanks for the note about ragweed vs. goldenrod. I don’t think I ever realized there was a difference.
I could not reply to your comment through email- There is a setting to fix that.


Patrick September 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Hey Liz, posts
Always love delayed posts because they’re a nice surprise. Wish more people knew about the maligned solidago. Such as pretty flower late in there summer deserves respect.


Jason September 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm

The hibiscus is beautiful. I would pick the white over the pink, though.


Mike October 19, 2012 at 5:30 am

You have a great eye for photos. It was a genuine pleasure meeting you this morning. Be well. God Bless.


Patrick November 24, 2012 at 7:54 pm

It’s so nice to have met someone who leaves a comment. I miss the freedom to take my own pix but I try to describe what I want then review on the camera and make adjustments. But it takes a friend with great patience to work like that but I have some kind people like that in my life.


Gardens at Waters East December 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Great photos in this posting. Glad I visited. Those plants would look great here at the lake. Jack


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