Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dude, you fugly.

There is a beautyberry at the south end of the big bed in the floodplain. It is at the edge of the wilderness so to speak. The area between it and the head of the ditch is still mostly uncultivated, since until 4 years ago it was the outpost furthest from the house instead of the closest.

You can see the beautyberry (actually there are two, one behind the other) in this early April photo, left of the trellis.

The beautyberry was originally planted atop a compost pile (to smother the weeds), so although I cut it back hard every spring and it looks beautiful all summer, in autumn it takes on a mutant appearance. The branches bolt to over 6' in length and the overall effect is that of Medusa's hair.

This fall I often paused in front of it on the way into the garden and thought
from "Scarecrow", season 1

A couple of weeks ago a miracle happened: the beautyberry looked graceful and beautiful again. The result of a combination of trimming off some of the branches to cut down some of the (pesky) native bamboo underneath, the berries desiccating, and some of the berries being eaten by the resident Mockingbirds.

Lest you think it's still fugly, it used to look much more out of control. Eventually the soil will mellow and the beautyberry won't look so wild every fall anymore. The ones in leaner soil don't go through a fugly phase.

Thanks to those you answered the question I posted earlier.

(Supernatural seasons 1-5 is my newest obsession. I'm a hater of horror movies but I love stories with supernatural elements and complex storylines, and Dean's character (played by Jensen Ackles) makes me laugh. Castiel too. And Bobby...)


  1. LOL. I never knew beautyberries were lankier in rich soil. Hmmmm.... Interesting. They always do seem a little lankier in the wild to me, but somehow prettier in a garden. I love them no matter. Still need to get one in my own garden. (Perhaps when our horrid freeze kills some tropical beauty of mine.)

    I'm definitely seeing "b." Some blogs are totally set up on the left side of the screen, and I have a HUGE amount of blank space on the right half of my laptop. At least you have words going all the way across. I wonder if some readers see my photos all blown up gigantic like (a). Hmmm....

  2. I think your beautyberry is lovely nothing fugly about it.

    I an seeing b too.

  3. Sweetbay,

    Seeing 'b' as well. That is a nice beatyberry no question. Don't you hate this weather. Guess it could be worse.

  4. I wish I could grow beautyberries. They are so beautiful.

    I believe I am seeing B, although there is still a little empty space on the right. But the text does go beyond your pictures.

    Have a lovely Christmas season.


  5. I found a really scrawny one in the woods. I was thrilled to find it! I love beautyberry bushes in all seasons. I was cutting back the one in Virginia and almost jabbed my eye. It was huge!

  6. I really like beautyberry and have seen it growing a variety of ways. Mine is way too crowded and needs moving.

  7. Okay, first of all -- pahleeze stick with the videos -- such great fun! Especially that fugly choice.

    And, next up -- How can you be growing Beauty Berry and me, too? I'm significantly closer to the North Pole. :))

  8. Sweetbay, I have a few fugly shrubs that need interventions! I must find out how ti insert a video, too! gail

  9. I never see beautyberry over here. I'm sure it would grow well. I hope your compost thins and it de-fugs.

  10. A beautyberry is on my planting list for next year, but I had planned to plant it in my new bed that has a thick layer of compost on top. Oh dear, maybe I should find a different spot for it where the soil isn't so rich!

  11. I think your beauty bush looks great. Nothing fugly about it! I think that the purple berries are amazing (to someone who has only red berries in her garden).

  12. Funniest blog post title - ever! LOL

    Glad to see your fugly beauty bush is perking up. :)

  13. Agree with everyone else ~ it doesn't look fugly at all!! Quite the opposite ~ the arching branches with their berry bounty are very fetching.
    I have absolutely no idea how to insert a video into a blog post! Go Sweet Bay! Another thing to learn...

  14. My son was the Scarecrow for Halloween. He made the costume himself, it was quite elaborate and as ugly as homemade soap. He also used its image as his desktop background making my stomach churn every time I saw it. Thank goodness he has moved on to other obsessions.


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