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Monday, 3 November 2008

Lovely 'Golden Spirit"

I am a die hard fan of Smokebush .. I love the leaf structure .. the growth habit .. that fantastic plume of smoke flowers when it comes into season. Best of all the colours of these different cultivars are becoming so awesome I know, no matter what state my garden falls into I will have at least two of these beauties. My first was "Royal Purple" or Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' if we have to get technical .. this amazing 'shrub" or tree depending on your taste and ability .. (mine is out of hand right now .. smokebush that is .. well OK .. abilities could be that way too ) but come Spring it will be clipped back to compare with my newest one "Golden Spirit" and grow more so in tandem, along side each other. I had this insight a while back, that the striking contrast colours of these two sisters would be beautiful together .. now the trick is to have them grown and pruned almost twin like, to suit my imagination of how they would look like in my head ? Scary isn't it ?
Meanwhile this little beauty is showing off it's gorgeous colours here and now !

12 comments:

Gail said...

They are really lovely! The local native plant grower recommended Cotinus coggygria "Grace" for our dryer soil. Have you seen or heard of it? I have seen them growing on the sides of cliffs on the interstate in Tennessee! But not in my garden! I am getting way tired of that phrase;-) gail

tina said...

I like the blue. I have both of these cultivars. Planted Golden Spirit last fall. Actually posted a picture because I was so excited to find it. I was very pleased with it in the spring but you know what? It now looks just like Royal Purple. Sigh. Yours has some nice coloring still.

Karen said...

I'm a big fan of cotinus too, and also started with a 'Royal Purple' but just bought a golden one this spring. It isn't in the ground yet, still looking for the right spot. I like your idea of the two together, but don't they grow really big? I've seen tree-size ones here in Seattle.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Karen .. yes these can become "standard" tree form .. but I am a pruning nut and have kept other shrub/tree plants in shrub form .. my garden is not that big so I have to be careful with the size factor. I hope to get these two in tandem with each other this Spring. They are such pretty shrub/trees ? : )

Tina .. was it tagged as "Golden Spirit" ? .. it can revert to green from the gold but to turn purple .. I haven't run across that before .. you have stumped me girl ! .. if it was a nursery or garden center you go to regularly I would speak to them about it !

Gail .. good grief woman ! you have such a "short" list for plants that will tolerate your garden ! that is so frustrating for you. I have seen Grace .. she is on the smaller side with numerous plumes of smoke flowers .. it is even kept in large pots .. there are more cultivars here http://www.connon.ca/list5.php?genus=COTINUS&category=
One called Pink Champagne that has fantastic colours for Fall .. I'm eyeing that one now : )
I think Grace would make it in your garden .. you should give her a try !

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

Such subtle yet defining colors.
Brenda

Gail said...

Joy, I might give it a try. My neighbor has cut down two trees and I am going to take another down so there might be more sun for Smokebush. They are gorgeous. Thanks for the link, dear! Dry shade is the majority of this garden...if I clean up the Garden of Benign Neglect the world of possibilities opens up! Gail

perennialgardener said...

See now that is something I don't have in my garden Joy. Shame on me! lol Another wish list plant that I saw in your garden first. :)

GardenAuthor said...

Your 'Golden Spirit' is handsome in its fall raiment. My 'Royal Purple' was moved this spring, to a raised, circular bed - after severe top and root pruning. It sat there all summer, trying to choose between life and death, despite all my watering, feeding and cajoling.

It defoliated early, so I'm rather pessimistic about winter survival... it went so well with my burgundy shutters, that I'll replace it, if necessary.

It sounds as though yours are doing well, responding to your pruning techniques. They're such great plants. /Deb

tina said...

Definitely Golden Spirit. A designer shrub with a designer price. Comes out gold in the spring but then darkens. My two are planted side by side too:)

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi again Tina .. you have me wondering what kind of price it was now. I know I paid an almost reasonable price here (and believe me they can be outrageous .. the line is drawn at a certain level when I will WAIT another season darn it !) .. as they mature they should look stunning ... because I SAID so damn it ! haha .. No really that is what I am picturing in my mind : )

Deb it might just surprise you and come back gang busters (if it were still close to Halloween I would naturally have said "Ghost Busters" ... sigh !) .. I pruned down my two beautiful Ninebarks after moving them and I am so curious to see what happens in the Spring myself .. I don't think there is a gardener out there that hasn't gone through this type of thing .."wait and see" JEEZ !

HI PG ! Did I do that to YOU AGAIN girl ??? haha .. and I haven't even started my 2009 Plant Hunt on the web yet .. that is how Pinky Winky started from last winter .. I wonder what I am going to MAKE you buy next for your garden ??? LOL

Gail ... Girl, OPEN UP that impossible / possible garden !!!
I really was surprised to see new cultivars of smokebush I hadn't seen before .. I was drawn to "Pink Champagne" just on the name alone ! haha
Go for it woman .. it (Grace, or any choice of smokebush) will look lovely in your garden !

Viooltje said...

I don't think it's scary. Your imagination is absolutely fabulous!! For me, nothing more magical than raindrops sparkling all over Smokebush leaves.
After I first read about the 'Golden Spirit' you mentioned some time ago (and I didn't even know it existed), I got a wee baby of me own, to grow along its vigorous, older Purple sister. And while the Royal Purple is being Royal in every meaning of the word, the Golden seems to have lost its Spirit. Then again, it might just be too young to compete with sister's glory, and I just hope it's not one of those wicked diseases.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Violet .. take heart about Golden Spirit .. it needs to 'grow up" a little yet .. Royal Purple is such a hearty cultivar that GS is a little bit behind in show .. I'm sure it just needs some time to come into its own glory.
YES ! those pictures of rain drops on their leaves .. we both had some gorgeous ones eh ? .. they fascinate me .. they look like tiny universes of their own .. can't ever have too many pictures of them ! : )