Gardener stumped by color

By far one of the most adaptable summer flowering shrubs is the Rose of Sharon – glossy foliage, beautiful bloom, easy care and quick to fill a space. It’s an Indiana summer staple. And I had to have one.

Throughout the years, time and again, I would go to purchase one for my garden and get stumped on color selection. Every time.

White, purple, blue-purple, pink . . . what’s a girl to do? Years passed, gardens evolved – minus the Rose of Sharon.

In catalogs I would see “Tri Color Rose of Sharon!”, like it was some hot commodity which meant it was trending and that’s not my style, so I’d pass. What’s “hot right now” is of little interest to me.

Then one day I was working in a yard of a friend removing some plants to put in three good sized Serviceberry. Part of the removal included some one-foot-tall volunteers from a nearby Rose of Sharon, of which I had no clue the color. On a whim, I set them in a bucket to take with me. There’s no crime in that – right?

So, home I toted two decent starts of the unknown Rose of Sharon, planted them in the corner of my garden and watched them grow, green and perky, to about three feet that first year. Next summer, to my delight, it bloomed in two colors – white and purple. It couldn’t be more appropriate.

Now every year I look forward to seeing my “bi-color” surprise Rose of Sharon, and retelling the story. No more indecision and angst. Like closing your eyes and dropping a finger in the phone book, I threw caution to the wind and left it to chance.

And now it’s all mine. Sort of.