Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Cold Hardy Files: Leptospermum scoparium
As we continue to feature the sturdy and foundational plants of winter's garden let's have a look at Leptospermum scoparium New Zealand Tea Tree (or Rose). She's beginning to add some splashes of rosy hues among the evergreens. In order to qualify for the cold hardy files around Hoe and Shovel a specimen must also have the vital classification of being 'drought resistant'. Possessing those two qualities all at once is a huge accomplishment. A plant that does well both in our absurdly humid summers as well as maintaining form, function, and vigor in our frosty and/or below freezing winters deserves some accolades. I first introduced these shrubs (here) as I built the northside berm last Jan/Feb. We were in the middle of a brutal winter when I began digging out that area that was newly planted as the seasons began to transition. At the time I felt it was a bit of a risk to plant them. I'd never seen New Zealand tree rose before and I didn't know anyone who had any experience with them. But it's always fun to give something new a chance to show us what its got. Three of them are positioned next to the (also cold hardy) (1) Chamaerops humilis european fan palm and in front of (also cold hardy) (7) Ligustrum sinensis 'Variegata'. NZ tea rose happily fill in a layer behind the Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata' Flax Lily that serves as a border to the berm. Once established, the ultimate test was to see if they endured through our summer and give us another season of blooms. They've only just begun to pop out with with buds and a few blooms in the last few weeks. Right in the midst of our freezing temperatures. Unshaken. One year later New Zealand tree rose continues to perform as wished. I wouldn't describe her as overly showy but rather more subdued in her humble, quiet beauty. Likely she will appear in another blog post or two now that she has proven her stability and worth. I'm looking forward to seeing her when she completely flushes out in bloom but for starters she is adding some much needed color to the GREEN of winter.