In this case, my failure to move must be because I was moving and planting too fast to notice that this appealing little tree was just sitting there – outside the kitchen window. I enjoyed looking at it and idly wondered why it hadn't bloomed. It looked happy, good-looking foliage, good growth, but not even a bud, ever.
|At Long Last, and Worth the Wait|
Last year, I began questioning whether, despite its appearance, there might be just a bit too much shade for the plant; the spot got sun but less after we added a room to the house. And, while the literature includes partial shade as OK, I began questioning whether it depends on what you mean by partial.
The questions got louder, and in mid-summer, when I should have been seeing those white camellia-like blossoms, I dug stewartia up and moved it to a sunnier spot.
Bingo! It bloomed this year, despite warnings that this tree is difficult to get established; maybe this move was considered a lateral move, not a disturbance, because it was just to the other side of the house. In any case, it sure was a changed tree, growing many buds that began opening in June and continuing as I write, threatening to bloom into August. Not a simultaneous show of blooms but one or two at a time; they don't stay long, but each gives a fine little show before dropping to the ground.
I understand that the blooms will be followed by pointed brown seed pods; maybe I'll see them, maybe the birds will get them first. No matter. I'm just glad I didn't make my move too late. That move proves that gardening can be a matter of feet; a little distance can make a big difference. It proves, too, that gardening often is a matter of trial and error.
Or, as my father cheerfully told his garden-magazine-writing son: "You learn more from your own mistakes and successes than you can learn from gardening magazines."