'Annabel' Double Sun Rose
"The rose is sweetest wash'd with morning dew,
And love is loveliest when embalm'd in tears."
-Sir Walter Scott
Out by the street in an extreme low-maintenance garden we have a double-pink sunrose, Helianthemum nummularium 'Annabel.' The flowers are smaller than on single-sunroses, but very fluffy & round. The little woody shrub gives the impression of being covered all over with teency pink carnations.
It thrives without attention, rarely demanding water unless on the very droughtiest days of high summer, blooming its little heart out from late spring to mid summer, & sometimes right up to autumn.
It requires very little fertilizing to sustain its lengthy flowering time. When it is finished flowering, it is a good idea to sheer it back by three inches to sustain compact leafy growth, which will commonly induce rebloom.
It's a low-growing, spreading groundcover with evergreen silvery-grey-green foliage. It needs full sun. Hardy to minus twenty degrees Fahrenheight, at the low end of its cold tolerance it will require a winter mulch & even then will sustain considerable winter damage, but bounce back in spring. In our temperate zone it is evergreen through winter, though if it does ever sustain frost damage, it can be hard pruned & return good as new come spring.
Though only six to twelve inches tall, it is sure to spread into a two-foot wide circle even with periodic sheering, three feet if let to go a bit rangy, & can also be used as a cascade over stone walls. Three little sunroses in a square yard, annually sheered, will so completely cover the ground that no weed can poke through, though they can share their area with bulbs that will send leaves & flowers well above the sun roses' low foliage.
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