C is for Clethra alnifolia, otherwise known as sweet pepperbush. It was one of the first plants I put in my new, and very wet, garden last summer. It has everything I need: is very hardy, likes some shade, tolerates clay soil, likes a wet so much that it can be used in a rain garden where there is occasional flooding.
Clethra is also the right size for my garden. It will grow between 4 to 6 feet tall with a 4 to 6 foot spread.
Shrubs are my answer to Gardening in Place as I age, and clethra will not only like my site, it is a substantial size, and the cherry on top is the fragrant summer bloom. AND it is very attractive to bees and other pollinators as well as butterflies.
Clethra is native to the northeast US. I bought mine at Nasami Farm, the propagating wing of the New England Wildflower Society.
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I have a couple of these that I bought for my wet area, but I do not find them very impressive. Maybe it’s because the huge hostas dominate the area.
Another pretty plant that I didn’t know about!