A sad tale

On this morning of the third day following seven or eight inches of heavy, wet snow I have trudged through the garden to further survey damage, and the results are disheartening one moment, encouraging the next. My immediate impression on the morning after the storm was that injury would be more prevalent, and more significant than from the deeper, but drier (and thus lighter) snows from the previous winter. Today, my initial observation was confirmed, though the damage appears less severe for evergreens, and much worse for deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves in the winter months).

Branches of tall evergreen junipers and cryptomerias have been bent under the weight of the heavy snow, but with some melting over the past days most of the snow has been shed. The branches are beginning to spring back to their regular form, and I suspect that most will regain their upright manner without requiring elaborate pruning or tying (see ‘Split and Splayed’ from March 2010).

Evergreen magnolias (above) suffered considerably last winter, and again they are a sad sight, with numerous broken branches and central leaders. Of three southern magnolias in my garden, two were substantially broken last year, while one escaped with only minor injury. This year this smaller magnolia has had its top broken, as well as several other upright growing branches. The other two magnolias are several years away from recovering from last year’s damage, and have had more inflicted by the recent snow. I will prune the broken branches once milder weather returns, then evaluate the damage to see if the trees will remain or must be discarded.

Damage to shrubs and small evergreens that remain buried is still to be determined, and I will not risk further injury by attempting to excavate snow from around fragile branches. These were buried for several weeks in February last year, and with the exception of shrubs that suffered catastrophic damage when large sheets of snow fell off roofs, there was little permanent injury. I expect the same to be true this year, and it is more likely that branches will be broken while snow is being removed, rather than letting it melt.

A year ago I commented that deciduous trees were spared the brunt of damage, though some weeping forms of Japanese maple suffered splitting at the tree’s crown. In some instances this damage could be repaired by pruning, or by bolting the injured parts together. An internet search for “snow damage to Japanese maples” will yield information, and some helpful videos that might save a severely damaged tree. I fear that soft wooded Japanese maples might suffer inordinately again this year.

The ground beneath the large, upright growing ‘Seriyu’ Japanese maples is littered with broken branches, and if the trees’ canopies were not so full I would fear that they would be severely diminished. The dense branching is likely to have contributed to capturing sufficient snow that the weak wood would not withstand the weight, but I am confident that once the broken branches are removed the tree will fill in adequately this spring.

Through today, I have not been motivated to venture out into the cold, except to shake the snow from a few of the trees and evergreens in the garden, and I don’t plan to address the injuries until a warmer day. Besides the battered magnolias, I fear that the most severe damage is to a variegated ‘Silver Cloud’ redbud (above), and I will have a few days to consider the severity of this split trunk. The break is deep, and with the structure of the redbud’s branching I don’t see that it will be practical to bolt the injury. Cutting the damaged branch away will leave a considerable wound, so that I am not optimistic at this point. Perhaps I will be more inspired after a few days to figure a way to save this tree. 

On the morning after I gently brushed snow from the ten foot tall ‘Arnold’s Promise’ witch hazel (above) that was bent to nearly knee high, and today it has sprung back to its original form. This was encouraging, but I was further delighted to notice the first signs of color from bloom buds that will open to brilliant yellow ribbons in only a few weeks. Damage from last year proved to me that no matter the severity of damage, the garden will rebound more fully than is possible to imagine at this juncture.

As soon as a warmer day or two arrives, I will return to show the process in repairing damage to these trees, and also to check on the progress of shrubs as they emerge from the melting snow.

Snow damage tips

At a glance, the heavy, wet snow from yesterday’s storm appears to have damaged trees and shrubs significantly, perhaps more so than the storms of last winter. In particular, there seems to be more damage to deciduous trees, those that drop their leaves for the winter.

In my own garden I see numerous broken branches where wet snow accumulated and branches bent to the breaking point. The snow from January and February 2010 was much lighter, and most injury was to evergreens rather than deciduous trees.

Here are a few tips to minimize damage to your trees and shrubs, and in the next days I’ll follow up with tips on repairing broken branches.

1. First, be safe. At the edge of my garden are mature maples and poplars, and though entire trees have not fallen, there are numerous large branches littering the ground, and others that are tangled with other branches that could fall at any moment. There is no amount of damage to ornamental trees that justifies risking your personal safety.

2. My neighbor’s large, twenty year old maple split near the base, with half of the tree toppling onto a large dogwood. The maple is beyond repair, but the half that fell onto the dogwood must be carefully removed to minimize damage. My neighbor is competent using a chainsaw, but this is not a task for everyone.

3.
Most damage is already done. I took a quick run through my garden carefully knocking the snow off my prized Japanese maples with a long handled steel leaf rake, but I don’t think that I was accomplishing much. I saw large broken branches on Japanese maples and redbuds, but this injury occurred overnight, and there’s probably no reason to bother at this point.

4. If you want to knock the snow off your trees and evergreens it is important to do it carefully, so that you don’t inflict further damage. By gently lifting or shaking branches with a long handled tool much snow will fall through and lighten the load. Too much force might break branches that would spring back without damage once the snow melts.

5. Temperatures are rising, and the snow is melting, so the weight on trees and evergreens might be lessened significantly in another day or two. In last year’s snow the huge accumulations bent branches for weeks, so that once the snow melted branches were bent permanently. With much less snow from this storm, it is likely that damage to bent branches will be much less severe. If you decide to venture out to brush snow from your evergreens, do so gently so that branches are not broken.

For a few of my evergreens that were tilting under the snow’s weight I was able to dislodge the heaviest accumulations by pushing the branches up from the underside. If the snow melts in the next few days this will have been wasted effort, so there is not an immediate neccessity to clear the snow from evergreens or deciduous trees.

In the next several days the extent of damage will be more readily apparent, and I’ll do my best to give the  most horticulturally sound, practical advice for protecting your landscape. I will address issues relating to pruning and repairing snow damage, and much of this information can be found in archived blog entries from February 2010. Through the blog I will answer any questions, or you can send an email through Meadows Farms’ website.

Be safe. Don’t overdo it. Last year, when it appeared that the garden would be a disaster, I was confident that the damage would be less than it initially appeared, and by late in April the injury was hardly apparent.

A low maintenance garden?

I suppose that I could learn to love planting, just planting, and not having to bother with the untidy chores that follow. No doubt there are gardeners who will say that they love pruning, transplanting, deadheading, dividing, mulching, and composting, and even some who find weeding to be therapeutic. I prefer to plant and forget, to spend my spring afternoons lounging and admiring nature’s handiwork, but, of course, this is only accomplished by paying someone to do the dirty work, which is not a consideration.

I love to dig, and am content to plant the day long. But when the digging is through, I am fortunate to have sufficient motivation to discard the day’s debris, or even to set tools back into their proper place. Eventually, much of what must be done is accomplished, but at a deliberate pace, and perhaps after weeks or months.

To be reasonable, a measure of garden maintenance is unavoidable, and procrastination will too often result in thrice the effort to set things right again. After twenty years I have figured out that if I will pull a weed or two as I walk through the garden each evening, seldom does this amount to enough to be considered “work”. Still, there are times when a task seems overwhelming, when weeds appear to outnumber the desirables, or ivies and hostas have grown to cover the stone paths.

Wherever a spot of soil is left unplanted, there will be space for a weed to grow, so I am determined to fill each nook and cranny to prevent as much labor as is possible. Planting trees, even small Japanese maples, dogwoods, redbuds, and such, will create shade that will eliminate a surprising number of weeds. As an added benefit, now you have trees, and with proper selection there will be marvelous blooms or colorful foliage.

Beyond the shade of overhanging tree branches you must plant shrubs, and there are a multitude of choices for every circumstance, to fill areas wide or narrow, tall or short. In the gaps between trees and shrubs there will be space to jam in perennials, and if suitable selections are made the result will occupy an area that might otherwise be a weedy mess. If all goes well the result could even be attractive.

I am seldom bothered by bugs or other pests. For a time deer feasted on the garden, but now I spray a repellent late spring through early autumn, and only occasionally do I see any more than a broken twig. I don’t worry at all about beetles and caterpillars, and suffer only slight injury from slugs and other beasts.

To my delight, I have discovered a labor-saver to keep paths clear of offending branches and flopping perennials. My wife becomes quite perturbed when the stone paths, front entry walk, or driveway are obstructed, and on the occasions when she prowls about the garden, she is not long before detouring back to the garage to pick up her pruners. She will snip away for hours, and though I will heartily protest her untrained efforts, the deed is done, and any minor damage she has inflicted will grow back shortly.

I have not convinced her to rake leaves or muck the ponds, so my weekend schedule will be full from March through the start of May. Some days are wonderful, with a warm sun and daffodils nodding in the breeze. A day spent raking leaves, cutting ragged perennials to the ground, and cleaning up disasters left behind from the autumn can be joyful. But, there is work to do, and it is folly to imagine the garden that could be called low maintenance.

No more plants!

On a dreary January morning a thick fog has settled over this low lying garden nestled between foothills at the western edge of Virginia’s Piedmont. Today, temperatures will be slightly above the seasonal average, with the slight cover of snow and ice melting quickly in the relative warmth. My rambles through the garden are more infrequent in the winter months, though a time or two each week I’ll visit to check on the emerging buds of hellebores (below), late winter flowering bulbs, and the witch hazels (further below) which will often begin to show a glimpse of color early in February.

The mail order seed and perennial catalogs have begun to arrive, and I am scouring each page preparing a list of plants that I can’t live without once the garden centers open in March. I will not consult my wife! I have been working this garden for more than twenty years, and probably fifteen years ago I first heard her command, “NO MORE PLANTS!” Now, in most cases I am a good listener and obey without question, but, be reasonable, there will never be a time when there are too many plants.

The problem this year, as always, is that there are more plants that I “must have” than there is space available. I have given up on planting more trees, there really isn’t enough room, though I would be delighted with a few more Japanese maples, and a couple more dogwoods and redbuds. One day, early in the spring I’ll fill a truck with goodies from the garden center, unload them on the driveway, and then try to figure where the heck they’ll all fit.

Of course, this is not the proper way to go about planning the garden, and through the years I’ve made more errors in my haste than I care to recall, requiring much labor in digging, pruning, and transplanting to set things right. Occasionally, the corrections are realized far too late to save the innocent plants, which are engulfed by a neighbor, or must be cut out with a chain saw.

Ignorance is not my excuse. I’m aware of what should go where, but I suppose that I’m guilty of over exuberance. More is not always best, and if I live long enough perhaps I’ll learn that lesson.

In a case of “too little, too late” I have drafted a design of the garden (not to scale), but of course this has been accomplished after the fact, and only serves to show the jumble that the garden has become. I have drawn this as an aid for readers who have commented that they have become hopelessly lost as I describe the route as I wander through the garden. I appreciate that anyone cares at all to follow along, though I have doubts that the design will be of any assistance. Certainly, I will pay it no attention when I plant in the spring.

The property is nearly an acre and a quarter, and the house sits quite close to the street, which from the start was the reason that my wife and I selected this lot. Less snow to shovel off the driveway, and more garden behind the house. The house faces the south and east, and with a large beech the front garden is sunny only for a short period in the morning. Along the southern border of the property there is a stand of mature forest, close enough to the back corner of the house that I am relieved that the kids have grown and moved out, so that when a maple crashes through the roof one day no harm will be done, except to the house.

The sideyard to the south, sandwiched between the tall structure and the forest, is quite shady, and the soil poor and cluttered with roots from the maples and poplars. A stone path winds from the front between shrubs and hostas that flop about to a small pergola at the top of the rear garden.

The upper portion of the rear garden is the most congested area, and the design gives barely a clue to the jungle it has become. In this area there are three ponds, and a stream that has been constructed to run along side of another stone path. There are two patios, one of Pennsylvania bluestone flagging, and the other of slate, and both are roughly circular, though long established plants blur the edges considerably.

Below this jungle is a section of lawn, left to remain as grass since the septic field lies beneath. Redbuds, fringetrees, and spring blooming magnolias are planted along the periphery.

Beyond the small swath of lawn is the summerhouse, a term not of grandeur, but for lack of a better description for a modest metal structure with a solid roof to keep the rain out, and four posts. The floor is travertine, and below is a small stone patio and fire pit that leads to the swimming pond.

Because of the dense plantings in the upper garden the swimming pond cannot be seen from the house, but once in the rear garden the summerhouse and pond are the focus of the design, and small trees, shrubs, and perennials radiate from this point.

At the southern edge the large pond rises several feet above grade, and a dry stacked stone wall has been constructed to retain the soil so that a path can be accessed between the pond and the garden shed. There is another area of lawn in the center of the back half of the rear garden, and this area my wife insists must remain open for croquet, or some other nonsense, but probably just to be ornery. In any case, this lawn gets a bit smaller each year, and it would  not be surprising if it would disappear entirely some day.

Mid-winter, and counting

Today, a dusting of snow remains over much of the garden, but by good fortune the more severe parts of winter storms have veered to the north or south. My son in Athens, Georgia reports seven inches of snow from the recent storm, but with little snow (or rain for that matter), this garden in northern Virginia is noticeably dry.

Without adequate moisture the foliage of nandinas (Nandina domestica, above) exposed to sun and winter breezes has browned, though this is more typical when overnight lows drop closer to zero. By early March I expect that the leaves will drop, and the stalks will be bare until late in April. Nandinas are semi-evergreen, so there is no surprise when leaves brown and fall, and no damage is done.

In mid-January shaded ‘Winter Sun’ mahonias (above) continue to show some cheerful yellow blooms, though they have faded from their peak a month earlier. In full sun the small cupped flowers on arching stems have nearly disappeared, with grape-like fruits to follow in several weeks. On a sunny afternoon many birds are seen in the rear garden, and the fruits will not last for long.

Birds stripped bare the red berries of the native dogwoods (Cornus florida) by early in December, but abundant holly and nandina berries remain. Walking through the garden a few days ago a cluster of berries caught my eye, the American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens, above) evident in the tangle of brambles at forest’s edge as birds perched to pluck the berries.

The late autumn flowering camellias were stopped in mid-bloom by the chill of December, and with a brief spell of average temperatures late in the month buds began to swell. Nothing came of it, and I don’t expect to see camellias blooming until late in March. The hybrid ‘Winter’s Interlude’ will bloom during extended warm periods in mid-winter, but these occur rarely, and I have not seen flowers on this camellia for several years.

The blooming buds of hellebores have become evident, but the flowers are not likely to open prior to late February in my low lying, cold-natured garden. Last year the hellebores were snow covered until the start of March, and the blooms opened a few days afterward (above), arriving with the late winter blooming bulbs that also were delayed under the snowy blanket.

‘Arnold’s Promise’ witch hazel flowers dependably by mid-February, regardless of snow, and with seed and perennial catalogs arriving daily I am counting the days until these early blooms arrive.

Gardening in dry shade

Under the shade of tall pines camellias and hostas grow lush, unscathed even in the blazing heat of August. The soil beneath the bedding of pine needles remains moist through short periods of drought, and shallow rooted shrubs and perennials grow contentedly. Unfortunately, I have no pines in my garden, only densely rooted maples and poplars that challenge the gardener to dig a hole through compacted clay and matted roots that drain every ounce of moisture.

I suppose that I shouldn’t complain. Gardeners in the arid southwest have a more difficult lot, and I cannot imagine living with the short growing season of northern climes, but my property sits astride a mature woodland with sparse undergrowth where multiflora roses and brambles struggle for survival in dry, dense shade. Gardening under the shaded canopy and at the forest’s edge is troublesome, but I have managed in a little over twenty years to assemble a decent patch of trees, shrubs, and perennials.

There are two problems with gardening in dry shade. First, the shade, but rarely is shade so deep and dark that plants will not survive. The more bothersome issue is root competition that robs soil of available moisture and affords little space between soil particles for roots to flourish.

The reasonable presumption for planting in such conditions is to simply add soil or compost so that new plants are planted above the horrid, root filled soil, and this will work for a time while plants are allowed to gain a foothold, but after a short period the greedy roots of maples will search upwards. Thus, the plants that we choose for dry shade must be tolerant of these conditions over the long term or they will quickly perish.

I have experienced considerable failure in my shade plantings, mostly as a result of a lack of attention to watering, and often within days of planting. I am easily distracted by this or that, and I’m likely to be lazier than the average gardener. A new plant will often be forced to survive without assistance, and if rainfall isn’t adequate there’s little chance for its survival.

Perennials and ground covers require more immediate attention to watering when planted in dry conditions, but are often more successful in dealing with shallow rooted neighbors. Shrubs and evergreens require more diligent oversight when planted in dry shade, and though I have yet to find any that thrive in this situation, there are a few that survive without too much care.

There are two mahonia varieties in the garden, the early winter blooming ‘Winter Sun’ (above), and spring flowering Mahonia beali, and both grow well in dry shaded areas, though somewhat slower than in full sun. Even in periods of prolonged drought I have seldom seen any sign of struggle, and the sharply spined evergreens are quite resistant to injury from deer.

Slow growing plum yews (Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Fastigiata’, below) are also deer resistant, and adapt well to dry shade. The spreading plum yew has arching, dark green, fern-like needled foliage, and the more upright types add a bit of evergreen mass that is often lacking in shade plantings.

A splash of yellow brightens the shady garden, and variegated aucubas (Aucuba japonica ‘Gold Dust’, below) are wonderful, low care evergreens, though they will wilt a bit when the ground is dry. Established plants recover quickly after irrigation or rainfall. In my garden aucubas are a favorite of deer through the winter months, but a single spraying of deer repellent late in the autumn takes care of the problem until spring.

Though camellias (Camellia ‘Winter’s Joy’, below) require more attention to irrigation through the summer in the first year or two after planting, the dark glossy leaves and large blooms are a delight, and worth the bother when rainfall is lacking. The late autumn blooming hybrids flower when there is little color in the garden, though I don’t hesitate to recommend the spring bloomers. In dry shade camellias grow slowly, but reliably.

Growing under thirsty maples I have had good fortune with only a few sturdy rhododendrons, and evergreen azaleas are likely to fail quickly. I have had better results with deciduous azaleas (Exbury azalea, below), and their bright orange and yellow (often fragrant) blooms are more evident in deeper shade.

The mahonias, aucubas, plum yews, azaleas, and a few Oakleaf hydrangeas are planted where I could find sufficient space between roots of the large maples and poplars (and a lone native Black Gum) at the border of the garden. Where a bit of soil could be found between massive surface roots I have planted ferns and perennials, and though they would prefer a better circumstance they survive without care. Japanese Forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, below) has held up well in this inhospitable environment, slowly spreading its arching clump of striped gold leaves.

Before I established a monthly program of spraying a deer repellent there were a hundred or more varieties of hosta (below) in the garden, and now that they are protected from damage many have returned vigorously, though they grow more slowly than in deeper soils, and with smaller leaves. Yellow, blue, and variegated leaves brighten the shady garden considerably, and a few years ago, when I was resigned to giving up on them, my wife demanded a solution to our deer problem rather losing these treasures. Today, I add new hostas without hesitation.

While clumps of hostas and ferns, barrenworts and liriopes expand slowly I have been pleased that Black Mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus “Nigrescens’, below) creeps along, making its way along a stone path in thin, dry soil. A few sprigs that were transplanted a few years back have spread to cover an area five feet square, and the impact of the dark foliage in the shade is surprising.

Euphorbias are most often planted in sun to part sun, but Robb’s Wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Robbiae’, below) is content to grow in deep shade, spreading quickly through matted tree roots. I have transplanted a few hostas in its path that would have been overwhelmed, but its more aggressive nature is welcome in this difficult area, and the brightly colored bracts persist for months. The sap that oozes from a broken branch of euphorbia is caustic (though I have never had a problem), and because of this it is reliably deer proof.

While euphorbia spreads underground, the population of hellebores (below) in the garden has increased by seedlings that pop up nearby. I happily transplant the young plants, and the eagerly anticipate the late winter blooms. Hellebores seem not to mind the shade or poor soil, and they are dependably deer resistant.

I have planted variegated ivies (Hedera, below) in a few difficult spaces in the garden, and though they are considered to be invasive, ivies will produce seed only when they have begun to climb and develop a distinct adult foliage. Green leafed types spread more quickly than the variegated sorts, and occasionally must be pruned to prevent climbing walls or trees. I have not seen the variegated ivies climb, flower, or go to seed in my garden, though I will watch closely. I have seen ivy in areas where it has escaped cultivation into the forest, and more frequently see ivy in gardens that requires frequent pruning to keep it under control, so I hesitate to mention that ivy handles dry shade easily.

I have found that periwinkle (Vinca minor, below) is better suited to dry shade than pachysandra, and though both are quite common, the variegated vincas are a bit more interesting. In competition with shallow tree roots either will slowly spread to make a lush carpet, so that the dry shade need not be abandoned to brambles.

Too many trees, not enough garden

At the start of the new year I’ve begun to consider plants that I can’t live without this spring, and again the list must exclude trees or large evergreens. After more than twenty years gardening this one acre plot there is little space available beyond tucking a small shrub or perennial here and there, and certainly insufficient area for additional trees, no matter how dwarf.

The front garden (above) is largely consumed by a large purple leafed beech, several dogwoods, Japanese maples, and magnolias so that there is sparse sunlight available for any but shade loving perennials. The rear garden (below) is more heavily planted, a jungle of assorted Japanese maples, evergreens, and flowering and weeping trees. As I have added to the garden through the years I have first planted trees as focal points, and then arranged the garden around them. I don’t regret the results for a moment, but there are many trees that I crave.

If space were not an issue I would be happy to plant another handful of Japanese maple cultivars, with many hundreds to choose from. I cannot imagine having too many of such a splendid tree. There are twenty or more maples in the garden, red leafed, yellow, green, and those with variegated foliage, tall growers and short, and each is treasured.

Though difficult to find in a reasonable size, a Dove tree (Davidia involucrata) would be delightful, though there is barely twenty inches to cram a plant into, much less twenty feet. I am quite certain that if I were to start the garden anew, I would require a Dove tree, no matter how small and difficult to obtain, and knowing that I’d likely be dead and gone before it reached maturity.

Armed with a bulldozer to wipe the slate clean (and an unlimited budget to play to my heart’s content), I would joyfully keep the native dogwoods (Cornus florida), which are wonderful throughout the year with spring blooms, brilliant autumn foliage, and bright red berries. Also, I’d steer the dozer to preserve the Chinese dogwoods (Cornus kousa) and Rutgers’ hybrids (‘Stellar Pink’, above), particularly the hybrid ‘Venus’ with eight inch white blooms in mid spring.

To find space to shoehorn the lovely Persian Witch Hazel (Parrotia persica) into the garden I’d reluctantly consider giving up one of the flowering cherries, but only the double pink weeping cherry that was mangled in a storm a few years back. Banish the thought that even one of the crapemyrtles (Lagerstroemia, below) will be harmed. If  more space were available, I would be overjoyed with the addition of another, or three.  

The soft wooded Franklin Tree (Franklinia alatamaha, below) has suffered repeated injury as its long branches sway in strong breezes, but though it has been chopped and hacked on, I would never consider its removal. The long lasting, late summer blooms are a favorite of butterflies, and the autumn foliage colors are marvelous. Franklinia is rarely found through nurseries, and transplants poorly, so I’ll muddle through with the one in hand.

The Seven Sons Tree (Heptacodium miconioides. below) is nearly a weed, a fast growing, shrub-like, multi trunk tree with coarse foliage, and peeling bark that is not so ornamental as crapemyrtle or Stewartia, but still is of interest in the winter months. Clusters of small white blooms cover the tree late in the summer, and are favored by bees and butterflies. The autumn foliage is an ordinary yellow, but the flowers are followed by pink-purple bracts that are equally beautiful so that the tree is quite colorful from August into November. 

I cannot imagine the garden without the Seven Son, and though Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia, below) was quite slow to become established, and for several years was a great disappointment, it has grown to become a favored tree. Its branches bend under the weight of white blooms late in the spring, and the mottled autumn foliage colors are exceptional. 

I realize that I have determined more trees to be keepers rather than suffer before the blade of the bulldozer, but there is no doubt that the redbuds must stay. ‘Forest Pansy’, ‘Hearts of Gold’, and ‘Silver Cloud’ (Cercis canadensis “Silver Cloud’, below) are treasured for their early spring blooms and colored foliage, and I would rather add than subtract from their numbers.

I suppose that I could drag this on for a good number of additional paragraphs. Nothing has been said yet of the Bigleaf magnolia, the southern magnolias or their early spring blooming, deciduous kin, or fringetree (Chionanthus virginica, below), or the weeping beech, katsura, or hornbeam (or the tall growing beech, katsura, or hornbeam for that matter). 

Of course I have failed to clear the slate, the garden remains full to the brim, and no new space has been opened for the Dove tree and Parrotia, or the new crapemyrtles or redbuds. Too many trees are favored, so unless a tornado roars through the garden I must be content with what I have.