One of the finest plantings of crapemyrtles (Ok, what spelling do I use – crape myrtle, crapemyrtle, crepe myrtle, crepemyrtle??? – I digress here for a bit….. David Byers book Crapemyrtle, A Grower’s Thoughts, Owl Bay Publishers obviously uses “crapemyrtle”. Byers, a very well-known authority and grower of these fine plants, gets into the issue of common names, adding one I had not thought of – crape-myrtle. He admits that there is no uniformity, nor agreement among the most knowledgeable plantsmen, both dead and alive. Me, I just am not a very good speller, so I may spell it with an “a” one time, and an “e” the next. So, bottomline, it really doesn’t matter a lot – it’s a great plant, regardless of what you call it.)
Okay, where was I – yes, a magnificent planting of mature (at least 25 years old), never-been-hacked-back, ‘Muskogee’ crapemyrtles can be found in the Heritage Rose Garden, located in the Southwest corner of the Tyler Rose Garden. I haven’t counted how may there are lining the southern and western perimeter of this garden, but there are at least 9 of them – well spaced, allowed to grow to their full potential. They are beautiful in bloom, but perhaps the most enduring quality is the sinuous multi-stemmed trunks.
Right now the grey bark is exfoliating in long, narrow sheets, to freshly reveal the smooth, tan inner bark. The ground beneath is littered with the shed bark, making a really interesting sight.
The Heritage Rose Garden overall is also looking great for the middle of summer, and is worth a visit at any time of year. Perhaps more on the Heritage Rose Garden next time.