Plant of the Week: LEMONY LACE® Elderberry

The big surprise from Shrub Madness Round 3? How close Lemony Lace® Sambucus came to beating Pugster Blue® butterfly bush. They were separated by just 45 votes!

Now, Lemony Lace® is a really outstanding plant. It’s not surprising that people like it. With that bright color and delicate texture, it’s a wonderful addition to any landscape in zones 3-7. Just make sure it gets adequate water, especially in full sun.

But Buddleia is a power genus in Shrub Madness. It’s quite something that an elderberry challenged it so effectively.

Even by Buddleia standards, Pugster Blue® is a dominating plant. Someone who’s married to a boxing fan might go so far as to say it punches above its weight.

Huge flowers cover this small (2-3′ tall and wide) plant. If you want maximum blooms in minimal space, this is the plant for you.

Like other Buddleia it will want full sun and well-drained soil. It’s hardy to USDA 5-9. It makes a dandy container plant, but overwinters above ground only in mild climates.

The art of distraction
I have a special technique for getting through funerals without uncontrollable crying: I find a guy with a really ugly tie and focus on that. Side note: guys, please continue to dress nicely for funerals.

I stare at that garish bit of fabric as long as necessary to pull myself together and pay my condolences to the bereaved.

Right now there are cat videos for quick breaks and a nightly movie with the family. Earlier this week we watched one of my husband’s favorites, Rocky. It’s a bit like Shrub Madness, Round 3. I’ll bet you never thought that someone would compare Sylvester Stallone to a Sambucus! Anyway, we’re getting caught up on our classic cinema, and have also introduced the teenagers to Adam Sandler. If there ever was a time for The Waterboy, it’s now.

Plants and gardens are a much better distraction than an ugly tie, so keep up your social media posts of flowers. The world needs it right now! Our own social media is shifting to a “plant an oasis in your yard” message. I think that’s a more positive way to look at the current situation than “you’re stuck at home so do something.” This podcast is a good example.

If you’ve got the energy, think about something even more interactive. Our own Stacey Hirvela (producer of our Gardening Simplified book and patient respondent to consumer questions) hosted a Facebook Live session last week that was really great.

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