Sunday, June 01, 2008

Faves: 'Carol Mackie' Daphne

When you find a shrub that will grow in fairly consistent shade, and has interesting foliage, and will flower, and on top of it all will flower fragrantly, you need to crow about it. Hence this homage to Daphne 'Carol Mackie.'

I was first introduced to Carol Mackie in a fantastic garden during the Riverdale Garden Tour, a few aeons ago. I don't have the room they did for a swimming pool with waterfall and hot tub. Carol Mackie, however, is another question.

This relatively compact semi-evergreen shrub grows to about 4' across, with whorls of deep green leaves edged in cream. Small gardens like mine need leaf interest to stick around after perennials quit their bloomin' blooming, and this Daphne makes a lovely anchor to my garden bed.

As it's in the fairly shady northeast corner of the house, it does get a little leggy with a tendency to flop, especially after being weighted down with a ton or two of snow this winter. Once it's finished blooming, however, I do intend to prop it up for next year.

Every May, sometimes going into early June, as this year, small bunches of pink (fading to white) [yikes! I mean white (fading to pink)] flowers open up -- and fill the garden with a heady scent.

The large image that begins this post shows it paired with the statuesque Hosta 'Striptease' whose variegated strip down the centre of each leaf contrast nicely with the cream-edged daphne leaves. On the other side of the bed, a blue-leaved Hosta 'Halcyon' and Japanese painted fern make another kind of picture with the leaves. White bleeding heart peeps over the top of the shrub.

An all-round winner. Remember that name: Carol Mackie.

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