Why we do what we do

No doubt there are rewards in the garden on the bleakest winter day, though a bit more effort is required to find the scattered blooms or whatever it is that pleases the gardener. On this marvelous April afternoon, following a string of days that would satisfy any gardener, there are blooms at every turn. And, in the few spots where there are none, there is foliage that is equally pleasing.

Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is a little out of the ordinary, but an exceptional small tree.
Flowers of Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) are not large and bold, but scented and ideal for the woodland garden. I look forward to the flowers each year.
‘Athens’, the yellow flowered sweetshrub flowers several days later than the red flowered native.

This garden was begun thirty years ago, and on this splendid spring afternoon there is not a care in the world, no weed or dead dogwood to bring the day down. Of course, trouble lurks around the corner, but that’s to worry about another day. Negatives are banished until July (or at least overlooked).

Several new Solomon’s Seals (and False Solomon’s Seals) were planted in autumn. These are just coming up, and do not put on the show of this variegated Solomon’s Seal.

It seems ridiculous, but I most often claim that the best days of the garden are in the third week of May. But, how could that be? Today is best, though it is possible tomorrow could be better.

Amethyst Encore azalea often has scattered flowers late in November or early December, and buds that don’t open are often the first azaleas to flower in this garden.
The Chinese snowball viburnum has grown into a huge fifteen by fifteen foot shrub, covered by rounded white blooms.
The native chokeberry (Aronia) must be sprayed with deer repellent of it will be chewed to the ground.

Two fragrant viburnums, Carlesi and Burkwoodi (below) have an unmistakable scent in early spring.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. C says:

    Yep, those Chokeberries must be sprayed or the deer will browse them to death. 2 out of 3 of my Red Chokeberry shrubs were salvaged from the deer by surrounding them with large cages – they are finally approaching 15 feet; the 3rd is struggling as it was in a more vulnerable location – it’s alive and not bad at 4 feet, but not a specimen any more. Damn those sweet doe-eyed critters!

    1. Dave says:

      I’ve missed spraying the chokeberries several times, so they’re tall and lanky. I hope to do better this year to give them a chance.

      1. C says:

        So, too, are my tall ones. I ponder …. What should we do about ‘tall and lanky’? Prune? Lower? Leave them to rise to the heavens?

      2. Dave says:

        I will probably prune mine in half after flowering to try for a stockier plant.

      3. tonytomeo says:

        They are almost unheard of here. We tried growing them years ago, but discontinued growing them because we could not sell any. I really want to grow them for fruit, but was guessing that the deer would get them if outside the fence. Now I know.

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