Published On: Sun, Apr 23rd, 2017

New Plants By The Old Brick Grill: Ever Red Fringe Flower and Concorde Barberry

There’s an old brick grill in the back corner of the backyard.  It hasn’t been used in years and won’t ever be used again.  Actually, the plan is to get it knocked down, one day when I finally pay up the $150 or so for someone to knock it down.  Until then, though, I decided to plant a few plants in the vicinity, though I have no idea how they’ll fit in with whatever plans I have once the grill is gone.

Ever Red and brick grill
Ever Red Fringe Flower and Concorde Barberry

I could’ve done a better job taking photos of it, but I did just enough yard work to not have enough energy to care.  I’ll get around to it later.

The robust and colorful Chinese fringeflower named Ever Red® has rich deep burgundy leaves and vivid red flowers. This evergreen shrub is compact, mildew and disease resistant and drought tolerant once established.

Asian in origin, fringe flower bears fragrant, spidery blooms from late winter to early spring and sporadically throughout the year. Its oval, burgundy leaves are leathery, rough on their upper surface and paler underneath. This selection has an upright to arching habit and offers appeal to southern landscapes all season long.

Chinese fringe flower grows best in fertile, moist, acid to neutral soil that is well-drained. Partial shade is best for good growth, though full sun and shade are tolerated. It cannot withstand harsh winter conditions and may require some winter protection in the coldest reaches of its hardiness zone. Little pruning is required but if needed it should be done after its heaviest flush of bloom in early spring. Another potential problem is susceptibility to micro-element deficiencies, particularly in alkaline soils, which can slow growth and cause plants to decline.

Ever Red® is best enjoyed as a specimen plant for containers, foundations or mixed shrub borders. It contrasts well with many other garden ornamentals—especially those with soft textures and subtle colors.

Ever Red Fringe Flower
Ever Red Fringe Flower
Ever Red Fringe Flower

Not wanting just the one bush, I also got three Concorde Barberry bushes.  Or are they shrubs?  The label said plant three together, so I did.  Originally I was going to line the shed with them, but the oak tree in the backyard has these massive roots that kept me from digging a hole more than a couple of inches deep.  The roots stretched out to where the Ever Red was, but I was able to find some soft spots to get all these plants in the ground.  Barely.

Concorde Barberry
This cultivar was selected for its small compact size and dense growth. In spring deep red-burgundy foliage emerges as small clusters of bright yellow flowers open and dangle from short spiky stems. The blooms are quickly hidden by the richly colored foliage. This barberry holds its deep color through the growing season until fall when it brightens to crimson before dropping its leaves.
Concorde Barberry
Concorde Barberry

On the other side of the grill, I had previously planted a Serotina Belgica Honeysuckle Vine.  I ordered another one, though the tag calls it a Late Dutch Honeysuckle, and planted it next to it, hoping soon that the vines will cover the fence and start blooming the honeysuckle flowers with its aromatic scent.  But, they are vines and not much to look at at this stage.  So, since I had a few extra Coral Bells, I planted four of them near the honeysuckles.

Serotina Belgica Honeysuckle Vine
Late Dutch Honeysuckle Vine
Serotina Belgica Honeysuckle Vine
Serotina Belgica Honeysuckle Vine
Serotina Belgica Honeysuckle Vine
Serotina Belgica Honeysuckle Vine
The genus Lonicera contains more than 200 species worldwide and is distributed in temperate and subtropical regions of North America, Europe, North Africa, and Asia. Most of the species are small trees or shrubs. Honeysuckle is cultivated in private gardens and in cities as an ornamental because of its large, fragrant flowers and brilliant red fruits. Much admired in Europe, this fine selection of the Late Dutch Honeysuckle impressed us tremendously at the Boskoop Trials in Holland. More compact and slower growing than the species and much earlier blooming, it produces an immense bounty of fragrant flowers from early summer well into frost. The crimson buds open to creamy white, yellow and dark red flowers, followed by translucent red fruit. Probably the most beautiful climber in the genus, it is excellent grown on trees, pergolas or fences, and ideal for screening. Hardy Zones 3-9. Mature Height: 10′.
Coral Bells
Coral Bells

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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.

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