Got An Answer! Thanks, Jim.


A very kind blog visitor identified my Mystery Shrub as Ruttya fruticosa. Found some cultural information here and here.

Apparently it’s easy to propagate by seeds or cuttings, so I may try that down the road some time. Got too much other stuff going on right now to deal with it.

Yesterday we went to brunch with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and his son and wife. We don’t get to see them as often as we’d like, so it was a nice visit. After we ate, we went to the BIL’s house for a “plant consult.” I answered my SIL’s questions, and took some cuttings from some of her plants.

Years ago, when they first built the house, my BIL planted some ordinary red geraniums in a little garden spot next to the shed, in memory of his grandmother who used to grow them. More than 10 yrs. later, the geraniums have grown into a huge geranium bush, as we have had no hard freezes to kill them. Unfortunately, they’ve also grown long woody stems that flop over and look very untidy. It does have new growth coming up from the roots, so I told her to just cut the woody stems down to the ground, and let the new growth have a chance.

Weird thing is, most of the geranium is red, but there is one stem that produced a mutation and grows pink geraniums. Anyway, I took cuttings from both stems, which I hope will grow. Any geranium that will survive 10 yrs. with minimal care is one tough plant!

I also took cuttings from two shrubs she has. One has pretty dark blue flowers that butterflies and bees just love; I just saw one at Home Depot the other day. Name starts with a “D” but I can’t remember the rest of it. Hers gets huge, and they have to cut it back every year to keep it from eating the house and garden. I’m going to keep mine in a container, assuming the cuttings take.

The other one only blooms in spring, with tight bunches of tiny white flowers that have the most heavenly spicy scent. Have no idea what it is, and she doesn’t remember, but I will find out eventually. Just have to do some googling. I took softwood tip cuttings and some from more mature wood, so we’ll see if they take.

Other than watering baby basils and peppers, and checking on flower seeds, that’s all I did in the garden yesterday. I did play with Monster Mud yesterday; the rosemary pot is finished, I think, with the exception of leveling the bottom so it stands up straight, and touching up the rim to make it look smooth. After it dries about 24 hrs, I’ll waterproof again. When that dries, I guess I have to decide what color to paint it, or maybe just leave it as is.

I also put another layer of Monster Mud on the styrofoam thingy, as it was still too light. Wind’s blowing today at 20 + mph, as it has been for the past day or so and will be for the next couple of days. If I put a beer cooler outside in this wind, they’d find it in the next county very shortly! I think it may be heavy enough now, especially after I fill it with soil and a shrub…

That’s it for now. Got laundry to do, a house to clean, and dinner to think about. No clue what to cook yet. Anybody got any ideas?


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