Listen closely, friends. I'm about to let you in on a little known secret that the gardening "how-to" books never tell you. We probably all know that some plants bloom more abundantly on their "sunny" side, right? Well, how many garden experts actually take that thought to the next level and mention that, if we want to see bloom from our windows, we should select plants that bloom "towards us?" Or, said another way, how often are we told to orient our garden beds so the best blooms will face the house, if it is your purpose to enjoy your garden from the inside?
I was struck by this thought recently as I walked around my garden admiring a Rose of Sharon, specifically, Hibicus syriacus 'Rubis'. I have a number of different Hibicus, placed hither and yon in my garden beds, and it occurred to me that these bushes all bloom much better on the side facing the sun. Which, in this case, is unfortunately NOT the side that faces the house. As an example, compare the picture at the right of the paragraph above to the picture at the left of this one. The two pictures were taken within the time it took me to walk around the bed and snap the shutter twice. Lots more bloom on the top picture, correct? Well, this is the side away from my house, facing almost due South (the direction the back of my house faces). The opposite, or North side, faces the house and has much less bloom, depriving me of the best view of this shrub in the Autumn garden. A white Hibicus with a similar issue is at the opposite end of this bed (the whole bed parallels the back side of my house).
Of course, this whole problem is moot if we plan to spend lots of time walking around our gardens and viewing them from all angles, as we know that we should. ProfessorRoush, however, gardens in the Flint Hills of Kansas. When this shrub holds center stage in my garden, it is always during the hottest days of summer, the dog days, and I generally interact with my garden only between the hours of 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. during that period. I prefer to stay indoors and stare at my crispy garden during the remainder of the day. I would be most appreciative if breeders would select for shrubs that would bloom most heavily towards the house rather than away from it, whatever that direction might be. Is that too much to ask?