Saturday, September 14, 2013

Weigela and the Bee

Our house was built in the late 1980s,
so much of the shrubbery planted around the foundation
is creeping past two decades in age.
Lately I think about pulling them out and starting with something
more compact in size, but there are too many other things to attend to.

However, there is one lone weigela planted near the chimney  
which we did attempt to do away with because it is so ugly.
Besides the fact it had gotten huge and blocked the water faucet, 
it was pretty dreary once its tiny pink trumpet flowers came and went.

Photo credit: David Fenwick,

Cheryll Greenwood Kinsley of WSU Whatcom County Extension
expressed my exact thoughts on the type of weigela we have,
an early cultivar, not a newer hybrid, when she wrote:

Weigela was once considered something of a bore 
because of its one-season show—
its trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of red, pink, rose, and white 
were admittedly spectacular in the spring 
but when they faded, 
the shrub offered little but nondescript leaves 
on tangled twigs during summer and fall. 

Translation: it was an ugly, scrubby, tattered mess.
So my husband chopped it off to the ground.
And now it is back and already about a foot tall and three wide.

Yesterday I noticed a wall of weigela shrubs along the parking area
of my dentist's office. I was parked close enough to witness
dozens of black and yellow bumble bees 
going from flower to flower,  treating themselves to weigela nectar.
It was mesmerizing. I thought about being on my grandparents' farm
and listening to the bumble bees buzzing around their apple tree.
A nice memory.
Probably not a nice enough memory 
for me to keep the weigela, 
but you just never know ...

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