King of the Garden

4 Jul

At the center of every flower bed, I have one focal flower. In Garden 3 (G3) that flower is a Hibiscus (Kopper King), and when it is in bloom, it commands attention. This year, it is more than 5 feet tall, though it didn’t start out that way. In fact, the first spring after I planted it, I thought I had killed it.  I dutifully cut it down in Fall 2010 to about 8 inches above the ground and let it settle in for the winter.  And then in Spring 2011, nothing happened. All other plants were emerging, but not the Kopper King.  I was about to dig it up in defeat one day when I noticed tiny shoots emerging around the old wood from the previous year. And those shoots took off. Kopper King may be a late bloomer, but it makes up for it with warp-speed growth.

In the lower left of the left-hand photo you can see the Kopper King on May 1, 2012. Well, actually, you can’t see it; the new shoots are still microscopic at this point. But you can see the upside-down flower pots I put around the old wood to keep Schnauzer 1 and Schnauzer 2 from trampling the new growth in their squirrel-chasing rampages through the flower beds. Two brand-new (2012) lilacs are in the background against the fence. The photo on the right shows the Kopper King one month later, in early June.  In less than a month, it grew to the height of the fence. Note the lovely copper-colored foliage.

   

Within a few weeks, the buds had emerged, and then began to open:

  

And voila, on July 4 — a flower the size of a dinner plate, one of many to come from a regal plant that more than earns its place in the garden.

2 Responses to “King of the Garden”

  1. Veronica July 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Love it! Thank you for sharing them with us!

  2. jessegarden July 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Thanks for sharing, We used to have lots of these flowers growing up in Vietnam (it’s similar, but different in colors).

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