A Yellow Spring Flower Shaped Rather Like A Trumpet Beauty and the Beast – Trumpet Vine, Rose of Sharon, Sumac – Why Grow These Shrubs? It’s a Paradox

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Beauty and the Beast – Trumpet Vine, Rose of Sharon, Sumac – Why Grow These Shrubs? It’s a Paradox

Trumpet vine, Rose of Sharon, Sumac. Why plant these shrubs in the landscaping of a pond, patio or outdoor living space? Each of them is a beast that can never be fully tamed, a beast that will require effort and persistence to control and keep at bay.

The answer to this question lies not in their beastly qualities but in their beauty. This is a paradox worth examining.

Beauty and the Beast is a classic fairy tale based on paradox. Paradox is a literary term defined as the juxtaposition of two conflicting or contradictory images or ironically contrasting or non-contradictory ideas; Conversely, contrasting terms when taken together create a surprising new perspective on their subject or truth. Beauty Belle and the Beast shouldn’t fall in love but they do and their love sheds new light on relationships and the nature of love. Paradox, however, is not just a literary term; It is a reality of life, a complexity that adds interest and beauty to any aspect of life. That reality includes the landscaping of the outdoor living area.

Yes, trumpet vine, rose of Sharon, and sumac are all creatures, but they are also beautiful that can be useful for conflict. However, it is important to understand the dark side of their nature before committing them to any landscape project.

All three of these shrubs have the same animalistic tendencies. They are hunters with a pack mentality who want to expand, conquer and dominate new hunting grounds. In plain words, they will spread everywhere if allowed. They will grow outward from the original planting site; They will spring up fairly far apart all over the yard, even where they are least expected or even desired. Allowing it to establish in any new location would make it more difficult to control. Constant vigilance has to be taken. It is not a war that can be finally won but a battle that will be fought again and again. However, remember that gardening, like life, is a journey and its greatest rewards come from overcoming obstacles along the way, not reaching the final destination.

So, why grow trumpet vines, roses of Sharon and sumac? Quite simply, because each is a beauty and each is worth trying.

Trumpet vine is a climber, like ivy, that can grow on any structure. Bright orange, cone or trumpet-shaped flowers will attract hummingbirds to provide breath-taking entertainment. This vine can transform a simple chain link fence into a living privacy wall that is as attractive but less space demanding. Grown on a trellis used as a support for vines, it can be used as a room divider on a patio or deck. An inviting entryway to an outdoor living area can be created by growing a trumpet vine over a cedar arbor, or a series of these covered arbors can be arranged along a path to shade walks from one outdoor room to another. Place a garden bench, porch swing or glider part way along this walk for a romantic retreat. A portion of the poolside patio can be covered with a simple pagoda overgrown with trumpet vines to provide a shaded escape from the sun deck when desired. This covered pagoda can hold some comfy Adirondack chairs, another swing, or a dining table for poolside dining. This vine can rotate a single section to form a small, umbrella-shaped flowering specimen tree for a patio or garden. Either option makes the trumpet vine worth the struggle to control.

Further, the rose of Sharon is a small tree and a member of the hibiscus family, a poorer cousin that may be hardier. It will survive and grow in colder climate zones in northern states and Canada where hibiscus won’t. Its flowers are slightly smaller and less luxuriant than hibiscus but still beautiful and very profuse from the tips of its branches from mid-summer to autumn when many other garden flowers begin to fade. Shades of purple predominate, ranging from pink tones to pale mauve and deep lilac; Some beauties, however, are bright white with a deep red heart. Plants can be allowed to grow in the center of a yard or garden; They can be kept small and arranged in an inverted cone shape that makes them look like a giant vase of flowers when they are in full bloom; Finally, they can be grown together in a row to create an eye-catching hedge. Roses of Sharon, it’s also worth trying to include.

Finally, shout out to the lowly sumac. These fast-growing trees are often found growing in ditches and swampy areas and along and in the middle of major highways. Many consider them weeds or scrub growth, unfit for any serious garden or well-designed outdoor living space landscaping. Some of us, however, exclaim: Not so! Upon closer examination some distinctive and attractive features reveal themselves. In spring, the newly grown branches have a soft, hairy or downy texture like cotton bolls or young buck’s antlers. The flowers are large corncob-shaped clusters of deep auburn or rust color that look like tropical fruits in late summer and often last until the snow flies. The leaves are long, pointed, green ovals that grow on either side of young branches, often drooping so that they appear drooping; Fall is when the colors change, ranging from banana to orange to bright pomegranate. In summer, when these leaves are dark green and drooping, the branches resemble palm trees, or at least the closest thing to it that can be found in climates where palms do not grow. They grow so fast and often strangely that it allows them to be trimmed and shaped but according to the will of the owner, much like a bonsai tree; They can be grown like tall or small palms, or even take on a wind-blown ragged look taken from a northern lake or ridge. There are more sophisticated varieties that have been bred to have even furrier branches, split leaves like Japanese maples, and bright yellow leaves. Thus, no gardener, landscaper, or homeowner should be afraid to give lesser sumacs a proper thought before dismissing them as nothing more than weeds and nuisances.

To conclude, in his classic novel, A tale of two cities, Charles Dickens said of life in France before the Revolution: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times”—another famous paradox. Well, having any or all of these three shrubs—trumpet vine, rose of Sharon, and sumac—in a garden or outdoor living landscape can be just that: simultaneously the best and the worst. They are all beautiful and they are all animals. That duality must be embraced; The journey ahead will be its own reward.

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