Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Landscaping Time is Fast Approaching

Spring is the time most of us think about relandscaping or starting from scratch.  I will try to share with you some of my mistakes and some successes.  The more I garden, the more I believe it is important to have more than just one season of interest in our landscaping materials.

I am not a fan of Winged Euonymous even though it turns a beautiful red in the fall.  It seems to be a favorite of landscapers but is susceptible to scale which can kill most of the bush before it's noticed.  A better choice would be Cranberry Virburnum (trilobum'Bailey') which has interesting shaped leaves and is a brilliant red in the fall.  I have learned to stay away from Spiria because of the care they take in pruning and clearing out all of the dead wood they seem to have each year.  However, Goldflame Spiria (pink flowers in summer) is a more carefree one and is a beautiful color for three seasons. 

I still see many Purple Plums planted in our area, but it is not recommended by the Morton Arboretum, very disease prone.  A spectacular multi-stemmed tree is the Redbud (cercis canadensis).  It is really a four season specimen heart shaped leaved and magenta flowers, large green leaves all summer, stunning yellow in the fall and a pleasing vase shape all winter.  It is considered an understory tree or shrub (meaning it does well planted under large trees or closer to the underhang of the house).  There is a tree form of the Redbud also, but it is not as pleasing of a shape as the multi-stemmed variety.

The White Birch is also prone to disease, so take a look at the River Birch, will take a moist area, and looks beautiful in the fall.


Anonymous said...

Dear Eileen, An interesting and informative posting with some very useful ideas for anyone considering replanting or. as you say, starting from the beginning.

I do hope that you will forgive me when I say that Spiraea japonica 'Gold Flame' is my pet most hated shrub. Somehow I cannot reconcile the golden leaves with the pink flowers. However, I do acknowledge that it is highly popular, particularly in the UK, so it is I who am out of step!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Edith,

I do not plant Spireas at all on my property. Some people insist on them, so better to pick one that is easier to manage. I once had Little Princess Spiria, it was a nightmare constantly pruning out the dead wood. There wasn't much left of them when I finally dug them out.


Carolyn gail said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Eileen. I totally agree with your opinions in this post. I know shrubs and trees very well, having worked at Gethsemane Garden Center for the past 7 years.

I love the Goldflame Spirea and plant it in some of my landscape projects.

Redbuds are a big seller at the garden center. My personal favorite among their many specimens is the Forest Pansy with its deep red/purple leaves which makes it stunning all season.

The purple plums look good for a year or so but seem to decline rather fast.

I, too, am not a big fan of the burning bush but there is a spectacular tree form of it in my neighborhood that is very nice all year.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Carolyn,

I have been to Gethsemane Garden Center some years ago - beautiful plants. I am familiar with Forest Pansy and I love the color of the leaves.

I has a beautiful Burning Bush at my previous house and I almost put the picture on my blog. But, it looked so good I didn't want to promote it and then have them lose it because of scale.

Tammy said...

We have had 2 White Birch , and lost them both. Nice to know its probably NOT something I did, lol