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Carolina Allspice: “Hartlage Wine"

There is something sentimental about this flowering shrub. We were out exploring different areas of my home state of Oregon 6 or 7 years ago, wondering if we were ready to leave the city, and stayed in a nondescript inn that was immediately adjacent to a small arboretum of sorts. For the life of me I cannot remember which town it was in, but I remembered how we fell in love with the gorgeous flowers of the sweetshrub, also known as Carolina Allspice.

It wasn't until after we'd left farm life that I happened upon it in a local nursery up in the Emerald City where we'd downsized to for a couple years, and I immediately snagged a dwarf version of the Calycanthus for the side yard that ultimately did pretty well in the odd part-sun (or part-shade?) vibe of the side yard/garden I was updating to put in a colorful varied hedge of sorts to provide a bit more privacy from the nextdoor without eliminating the ability to chat when we saw them. Up here in the Valley, having a significantly larger lot and back garden enabled me to pick out WAY taller shrubs, so this Hartlage Wine variety, which reaches up to 10' in height, well it spoke to me in no uncertain terms on one of my initial mega-planting ventures last fall. It survives the cold, it doesn't seem to be bothered by aphids or rust like some other plants in the vicinity, and hey - how about those red flowers?

Now, if only it actually delivered allspice seeds...


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