Stillwater News Press


June 21, 2014

In the Garden 06-22-14

Make room for Spiraea

I was reading up on the native grass Sporobulus when I noticed an entry for Spiraea on the opposite page.

It began “Unless your garden sits in a cave or the middle of the ocean, you probably have room for a Spiraea.” Here was a gardener after my own heart—always room for one Spiraea.

The species and varieties of Spiraea are as greatly varied as are the forms and flowers of this widely planted shrub. Many don’t know it by name, but a number of varieties are blooming now in different shades of pink.

As a die-hard gardener (one who relies on plants that are not finicky but hard to kill) I frequently recommend Spiraea for three reasons:  it is tough, it is pretty and it is easy to care for.

Spring begins with an old but somewhat obscure Spiraea prunifolia. I was blessed to have this plant at my California home.

The twiggy, upright, unbranched growth would unexpectedly bloom with tiny white rosebuds. Enveloping the stems the flowers gave way to small green leaves that generated myriad of color when fall arrived.

Next to bloom, is a Spiraea, commonly known as Bridal veil. S. vanhouttii needs some room to spread. The arching branches often reach six to eight feet to create a fountain appearance. Clustered blooms of small, white flowers line the tops of the branches like frosting.

Spiraea japonica is the most commonly known. With pink flowers, this species is last to bloom. Varietal differences include size, leaf and bloom color though all have a typical shrub habit. ‘Anthony Waterer’ is in my yard now, with hot pink blooms to five inches in diameter. The contrast against the elongated, dark green leaves is striking!

Three varieties known for their foliage color are ‘Goldflame,’ ‘Limemound’ and the Oklahoma Proven ‘Magic Carpet.’ Limemound’s foliage begins unfolding yellow, maturing to lime-green. ‘Goldflame’ and ‘Magic Carpet’ emerge in shades of red, gold and orange – a trait that persists as the plants continue through the season and into the fall. The blossoms of these three are a flat pink, often taking a backseat to the foliage.

Maintaining Spiraea is as simple as a operating a set of hedge shears or hand pruners. I like to cut the japonica varieties back to 12 or 18 inches after the spring bloom. After four weeks, the shrubs return to foliage; the regular pruning helps me keep the Spiraea at the height I prefer.

Low to no care, tolerance to sun and good looking blooms – do you have room for a Spiraea?

LeeAnn Barton has worked with nurseries for more than 20 years. She digs in the dirt in Stillwater. Direct questions to her by emailing


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • In the Garden 07-27-14

    Quercus is the Latin name for oak. It is a quirky name; some believe its roots came from the Celtic word for “fine tree.” Anyone familiar with oaks knows they are indeed fine trees.

    July 26, 2014

  • Farmers Market

    The Stillwater Farmers Market is open every Monday at Stillwater Medical Center from 2-5:30 p.m. and every Wednesday and Saturday in Strickland Park at the corner of Hall of Fame Avenue and Main Street from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    What’s at market this week?

    July 23, 2014

  • Grow! 07-20-14

    Roses are a beautiful addition to any garden and landscape. They come in a variety of colors that enhance your yard. However, like other plants, roses are susceptible to disease. One that seems to hit roses the hardest is rose rosette disease caused by the rose rosette virus.

    July 19, 2014

  • Seed to Table 07-20-14

    Weed control is an important part of food production. So, I recently undertook an effort to rid my pastures of a particularly noxious weed.

    July 19, 2014

  • In the Garden 07-20-14

    Mulch is full of purpose. What it lacks in mystery, it makes up in function. Mulch contributes to healthy gardens. No one ponders or debates it, yet many do not take the time to mulch.

    July 19, 2014

  • Farmers Market 07-17-14

    The Stillwater Farmers Market is open every Monday at Stillwater Medical Center from 2-5:30 p.m. and every Wednesday and Saturday in Strickland Park from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • Grow! 07-13-14

    If you have no space outdoors for a garden, don’t despair because you can still grow something consumable. Bean sprouts are the easiest and fastest crop to grow.

    July 13, 2014

  • In the Garden 07-13-14

    “Where’s the relief?” That is what I’ve been thinking all week in the garden. I water, wondering if the mist is going to cool or cook the plants. I assumed the last thing anyone would consider this week is planting — anything!

    July 13, 2014

  • Farmers Market 07-10-14

    What’s at market this week?
    Fruits and veggies: Bell peppers, beets, blackberries, cabbage, carrots, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, green beans, jalapenos, leeks, new potatoes, onions, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes and watermelon
    Baked goods: Biscotti, cakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, muffins, pies, scones and turnovers

    July 10, 2014

  • Grow! 07-06-14

    Sometimes it can be hard to step out of your comfort zone. This is true for clothing selection, restaurant choices and even the types of plants and shrubs you put in your landscape.

    July 5, 2014

Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
Must Read