Monday, August 8, 2011

Rose of Sharon

I lived in the city when I was growing up. There wasn’t much room for growing things in the summer. My backyard consisted mainly of a paved driveway and a small slab of concrete, room enough for a couple of chairs that were never sat on. The tiny plot of grass was home to an outdoor clothes dryer. By contrast, the front of my house seemed almost lush. There were rows of white, purple and red portulacas on either side of the walkway leading to my house, a few hedges, and an exuberant Rose of Sharon shrub. Each time I left the house, the flowers would surprise me. They were so out there, bursts of pink that greeted the day and lasted until they closed and fell at night. They didn’t seem to mind that they were growing in a limited space or that they were far from their tropical roots. Each day was new and they made the most of it.

Now I have my own Rose of Sharon. It was a gift from my daughter’s in-laws who have a yardful at their home. They warned us, though, that it can take over. They were right. We remove any outcroppings we see around the bush but somehow the seeds made their way to the rear of our yard and they are now challenging the privets we have back there. It doesn’t seem to matter that they supposedly prefer full sun (they are in full shade) or that they like well-drained soil (we have marl that can be quite swampy). Sometimes they need reining in but I can’t help admiring them for their joie de vivre.

It is a boost to my spirit whenever I see them. There are so many reasons in our world to focus on the negative, to allow joy to withdraw or wither. These bushes thrive no matter what and express themselves in beauty and persistence. They are a vibrant life-force, as enticing as I remember. Seems like a good example to follow.

Being a member of the hibiscus family, Rose of Sharon is easy to grow. Take a look:


  1. Hmmm, now you've got me wanting to run to the gardening center to buy a Rose of Sharon. But I think I'll wait until tomorrow or maybe next spring.

  2. Some love Rose of Sharon, others not so much. they do tend to take over but they are lovely all the same.