Tomorrow I visit the Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Alabama), but already I’ve been inspired to add to the garden when I return home. There are not many spaces open after thirty-three years, but I’m figuring a way to plant an area beneath the canopy of several maples at the forest’s edge. The ground is solid with roots, but I can stretch out just far enough where the roots are more scattered and mound soil to plant into. It’s likely that a few lower branches of the maples will be removed to let in a bit more sunlight.
I’ve tried to figure this out for years, but today I’m motivated to plant a few more redbuds that I’ve just seen at a nursery in the North Carolina mountains, and there are a few Japanese maples I’m planning on from last month’s trip to Oregon. Not all can fit into this spot, but I can fit at least a couple, and I’ll work out the other two.
While these trips are for business, I’ve located a number of treasured plants over the years that wind up in the garden. The redbuds aren’t new introductions. I’ve seen these in recent years, but ones too small to grab my attention, and now they’re large enough. And, I’ve recently caught the bug to collect more redbuds, so here we go.
In the past few months I’ve shoehorned weeping redbuds ‘Ruby Falls’ and ‘Golden Falls’ and the multicolored foliage of ‘Flamethrower’ into the garden. These are looking great, which is all the encouragement I need to add the variegated weeper ‘Whitewater’ (above) and ‘Carolina Sweetheart’ (below), another redbud with multicolored leaves.
I think my days of planting trees are nearing an end. There are several dozen Japanese maples and a dozen or more each of dogwoods and redbuds, with one or two of many others. There will always be space to jam in a few perennials and possibly a few shrubs, but this could be the end of my maple and redbud collecting, though I’ll never say never.