Berries of several beautyberries (Callicarpa) have turned to purple and white in recent weeks, though the variegated ‘Duet’ and two new introductions are tardy in turning. In contrast to their unremarkable, tiny summer flowers, the berries provide a long and beautiful display. Beautyberries must be planted prominently to properly appreciate their berries, but the shrubs are ordinary and green before flowering and berrying, so planting to the side or behind lower growers is best.
A white berried seedling grows above the koi pond, with long, arching branches supported by an Okame cherry. While I fully encourage a degree of wildness in the garden, this beautyberry is testing the limits. It is overdue for a severe pruning if I can somehow manage to reach branches without tumbling into the pond. Other beautyberries require only a single pruning of dead wood in late winter, but this one by the pond demands a watchful eye.
The various Blue Mist shrubs (Caryopteris) are now at peak bloom. In late spring a variegated ‘Snow Fairy’ was planted, and while it is small I am quite happy to have it in the garden again. Another, behind the seating wall by the koi pond, was lost after a long battle with an Oakleaf hydrangea. The ‘Snow Fairy’ should have been moved instead of fighting the inevitable spread of the hydrangea, and I am fortunate to have found another.
‘Snow Fairy’ will never have the heavy blooms of other Blue Mists, but now it is safely tucked into a partially sunny spot with only easily managed toad lilies (Tricyrtis) for competition. The variegated beautyberry should get a head start on growth each year, and perhaps this will not require my attention, or at least that’s the plan.
‘Sunshine Blue’ (above) has seemingly recovered from a mysterious ailment in recent years that reduced the shrub by half. With brighter foliage color than the vintage, yellow leafed ‘Worcester Gold’ (below), the blue flowers stand out even more, but all are favorites of the late summer garden.