Deutzia

Like Philadelphus and Weigela this is an arching, caney, deciduous shrub which flowers profusely in mid-spring.

Possibly the most robust in our climate is Deutzia scabra, with a sumptuous display of single, star-shaped white blooms (ht 2.5-3m). The cultivar 'Candidissima' has double white, bell-shaped blooms, while those of 'Pride of Rochester' are tinged with pink. Smaller shrubs - probably at their very best in cooler, elevated suburbs - include Deutzia x rosea (ht 1.2m) with pink-tinged flowers, deeper pink outside; Deutzia gracilis (ht 1-1.5m) with white bells; and D. x hybrida 'Magicien' (ht 1.5m) with lovely pink cup-shaped flowers, striped with deep pink and white on the outside of the petals. The smallest of all is Deutzia crenata var. nakaiana 'Nikko', only 50 cm tall which grows almost as a groundcover up to a metre wide with dainty white thimbles, useful where there is no room to grow a larger shrub.

As with similar sorts of shrubs, they need to be pruned right after flowering, removing one-third of old flowering stems at the base of the plant and lightly trimming the remaining branches. They need at least half sun, and some moisture in their early years. Once established, however, they are quite drought tolerant, often surviving in old country gardens without additional watering.

Flowers in October, November.