emerging flowers of Mt. Airy fothergilla in mid-April
The first fall that we lived here I went with my neighbor/plant guru to a few nurseries to pick through the end-of-season leftovers to get some woody bones for our infant garden. I was looking for viburnums, which we found, but my neighbor pointed me towards a Mt. Airy fothergilla. I'd never heard of it but bought it on his recommendation. I'm so glad I did. Thought to be a cross of fothergilla gardenii and fothergilla major, this shrub has thrived in full sun in rather poor soil, rewarding us with its year-round show.
I love the mix of opened, opening and unopened flowers in late April
This week it's fully open
Mt. Airy fothergilla is admittedly a background player in the summer, with its tasteful-looking blue/green leaves reminiscent of witch hazels, to which it is related. It is in fall when it steps to the front and takes another solo. The autumn foliage is a mix of yellow to orange to near red as seen below. Winter exposes its intricate branching structure. Now that I've grown it for four years, I can't imagine being without it.