Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Snow Fairy Attack

Last summer the herbaceous caryopteris 'Snow Fairy' got too large and bushy for its position so close to the walkway. I had to do some awkward chopping on the left side of the plant to keep it in bounds.

So during spring clean up activities this year I tried to dig it up, with the intention of moving it away from the walk somewhat. Just a foot or two back from the bluestone path and closer to the gravel side of this border strip.

I still wanted to keep it in the same general location. It's a plant that looks full and frothy from a distance, but really needs to be seen close up as you walk by, especially when in flower. The blooms are so tiny, they are best appreciated right where you can see them as you pass by.

And the foliage smells sharply of fresh cut green peppers when you touch it, so the plant needs to be close by where I can rub my fingers over the leaves each time I walk by. Later in summer the foliage gets whitish and frothy looking (like a snow fairy?) but earlier in the summer the leaves are medium green, crisply outlined with white edges, and best seen close up.

In the digging up process I kind of broke it apart. It's an herbaceous form of bluebeard (meaning it dies back to the ground in winter), but the root system is as woody as a shrub, and just as hard to uproot.

I really botched it. I ended up with two large broken-off pieces of bare root structure, so I planted one in the Birch Garden at the back, and one at the rear of Meadow's Edge. If they survive I'll be surprised. If not, nothing lost, I guess.

But I do hope what is still left of the original plant along the walkway makes it. I still want 'Snow Fairy' to get all frothy and billowy in late summer, and I want to touch the white edged leaves and admire the tiny flowers as I pass down the walk each day.

I didn't mean to hack it to pieces so badly. Will it survive my attack?

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