Hypericum – Popular Shrubs for the Garden
, usually referred to as Rose of Sharon, and often looked upon as almost a weed, is a useful plant for clothing dry banks, for those places under trees and shrubs where little else will grow, or for the tops of double walls. Its bright yellow , with a big brush of stamens in the centre, are a familiar sight in many gardens and in railway cuttings in the chalk of the southern counties.
There are better, much more aristocratic kinds than this, however, fully worthy of a place of honour in the garden. the hybrid Hypericum ‘Hidcote’, for instance, bears large, saucer-shaped flowers freely from July to autumn and grows to 5-6 feet tall.
‘Rowallane Hybrid’ is somewhat better as it easily reaches 6 feet in the milder counties and has flowers that may be 3 inches across. Unfortunately it is not hardy enough for the open garden except in warmer places and elsewhere it needs the shelter of a wall or a protected site.
Other good kinds include ‘Elstead Variety’, about 4 feet tall, patulum henryi, about 3-4 feet, with good autumn leaf colour, and patulum grandiflorum, about 3 feet tall. In addition there are several dwarfer forms suitable for the rock garden, ranging from the 6 inches of Hypericum polyphyllum to the 18 inches of Hypericum kalmianum.
All these shrubs are sun-lovers and they do well in hot, dry situations, particularly on the chalk. H. calycinum, an evergreen should be trimmed over with shears. ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Rowallane Hybrid’ may be hard pruned in spring but others need little attention except for the removal of dead wood.
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