Not every garden needs a Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica, below), much less two, but then, a garden need not have Japanese maples or hydrangeas, or whatever marvelous plants if the gardener prefers otherwise. A garden of clipped hedges without a single bloom might delight one gardener, no matter that I am unlikely to give it a second look.
This garden is more about cramming as many treasures as possible into the space rather than proper design, or even function, though some small consideration is paid to both. If it is necessary to plant ‘Persian Spire’ ironwood (Parrotia persica ‘Persian Spire’, below) where it will someday conflict with a primary path to the rear garden, or to do without, so be it, somehow we’ll squeeze past, though this is done only after minutes of deliberation.
The first ironwood was planted several years ago in a spot that was clearly too shaded, but with a slim possibility that it might succeed. Indeed, the tree survived, flowered once (that I noticed), and in the shade displayed a mediocre rendition of what should be splendid autumn foliage coloring. With mounting dissatisfaction, the decision was made over the winter to expand a planting bed into one of the few remaining sunny areas, though this meant defying my wife’s edict that no more grass be removed. And, no more trees. Ever. And, I’m not joking.
The tree was dug through several inches of frozen ground, and now appears all the better for the move, which inspired planting the second, even more delightful ironwood with purple edging each leaf. Of course, there is a limit to the number of trees or shrubs, or anything that can be shoehorned into a space, and fortunately there are moments when reason successfully overrules passion. I’m in enough trouble already.