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More Plants for Small Spaces

February 17, 2009

They’re calling for an 80 percent chance of wintry mix tomorrow. I refuse to accept this, and instead I’m thinking about spring-blooming plants. If you’re tight on space, here’s one I like:

Weigela florida 'elvera midnight wine'

Weigela florida 'elvera midnight wine'

This little beauty is called Weigela florida ‘Elvera Midnight Wine.’ In the springtime, it gets the profusions of hot pink blooms that you see on the plant above; the foliage ranges from a dusky green to a burgundy leaf, that turns to a deeper purple in fall. Hummingbirds like the flowers, and it’s a pretty tough little plant. For a max size, you’re looking at approximately 24-30 inches tall by 24-30 inches wide- a great plant for small space gardening in Virginia!

UPDATE: Commentor Tim mentions (in the comments, natch) that he believes this plant to be ‘Wine and Roses,’ not ‘Elvera Midnight Wine.’ Now, the grower sold it to us as Elvera, and when it seemed a little big, they continued to assert that it was Elvera, so I’m not sure what to think. I trust my growers, but Tim brings up a concern that we had as well. So, I’m going to leave this post intact, but I wanted to include this note that it may be slightly inaccurate as to the variety.

This just also shows the importance of knowing where your plants come from, and buying from quality, reputable sources (i.e., not Lowes or Home Depot). We bought direct from the grower, so if this IS an error in plant typing, it likely either happened with the liners (baby plants) that they bought to start the plants, or somewhere between field production and shipping/ receiving. If you buy from an independent nursery, you add one more step where something could get confused. If you buy from a big box store, you’re likely adding two or three areas where things could go wrong. So, always buy from a reputable source, one to whom you can go back and question them if a plant doesn’t seem to be doing what it’s supposed to.

Weigela f. ‘Elvera Midnight Wine’ is the dwarf version of Weigela f. ‘Wine and Roses.’ Wine and Roses gets to be about 4-5 feet tall and wide, so if your garden can handle it and you want something a little bigger that could be another good option. Also, a relatively new introduction is Weigela f. ‘Dark Horse.’ I do not have any personal experience with this one yet, but it’s reported to be everything we like about ‘Elvera Midnight Wine,’ only better.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2009 7:57 am

    The Weigela in the photograph is not Midnight Wine ‘Elvera’ but rather Wine & Roses Weigela. Midnight Wine is much smaller ~12-18″ tall and has lighter flowers.

  2. virginialandscaping permalink*
    March 13, 2009 8:22 am

    Tim, we questioned the vendor on that point, as it seemed a hair too vigorous, and they assured us that this was, in fact, ‘Elvera.’ I’m actually going to edit the blog post to note your comment, since I was told one thing by the grower, but you may well be right.

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