Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

New England

August, 2004
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)
In late summer, the sweet fragrance of summersweet or pepper bush (Clethra alnifolia) perfumes the garden and attracts the gardener as well as butterflies and bees. This shrub grows up to 6 feet tall and carries its upright flower spikes above the foliage. 'Ruby Spice' is a deep reddish pink, 'Pink Spire' is light pink, and 'Hummingbird' is a dwarf variety reaching only about 3 feet tall.

Summersweet likes rich, humusy, damp soil in partial shade, where it will bloom for a month or more in fall, then turn brilliant yellow or orange. These shrubs make lovely additions to borders of rhododendrons and viburnums.

Shows & Events

Fall Plant Sale
The Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, MA will holds its annual woody plant sale for members on September 19 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. If you're not a member, you can join at the sale and receive free plants. For information call (617) 524-1718, or visit:


Today's site banner is by EscondidoCal and is called "Water Hibiscus"