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Showing posts from April, 2018

The Lure of the Sheltered Corner in the Landscape

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We all love to sit in a protected corner looking out to a view. This is why people seek out the proverbial “table in the corner” in a restaurant. It provides the sanctuary that I call, “the lure of a sheltered corner.”

This is also true outdoors, in your garden. I write about this in my garden design book, 'Heaven is a Garden'. If you create a rectangular patio and provide an outdoor seating area in a corner backed by bushes, a wall or a slope everyone will want to sit in this cozy spot! And if you provide a view of some sort then it will be even more appealing. 
You can create a protected corner next to your house by using the rear wall as one side of the corner and a low hedge as the other side. This combination makes a wonderful niche for a small table and chairs.









Fothergilla - A Great Woodland Plant for Spring and Fall

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Iadore Fothergilla gardenii Mt Airy. (wonderful photo of fothergilla leaf from Quercus Design blog)

Fothergilla is native to the Appalachians, is deer resistant  and sports fragrant, early spring flowers before the leaves come out.

The flowers are white, bottlebrush spikes that light up a sunny to partial sun woodland corner. The flowers are followed by blue green, heavily textured foliage.


Photo from Robs Plants Website - http://www.robsplants.com/plants/FotheGarde


photo by Laura McKillop
'Mt Airy' is a dwarf form and got its name from the Mt. Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio. When compared to the native species, Mt. Airy Fothergilla has more vibrant multicolored foliage in shades of yellow, orange and red in October through mid-November.

This fall color is the best! It is spell binding in the garden....


 Photo for Monrovia by Doris Wyjna

Photo by Plant Introductions, Inc
 I like to use 'Mt Airy' in combination with Fargesia, Manhattan Euonymus, hakonechloa, ferns and viburn…

Ivory Silk Tree Lilac - A Great Small Tree

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Years ago I moved to Northern Vermont  (Montpelier) and worked as a landscape designer for a design / build firm there. 

 I had to learn about cold hardy plants - and fast.

One of my favorite cold hardy discoveries that has remained a favorite of mine is the ornamental tree, 'Ivory Silk' Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata "Ivory Silk" ).


This small flowering tree, which grows no taller than 25 feet, was selected by Sheridan Nursery of Ontario, Canada in 1975 as a compact cultivar of Japanese Tree Lilac. It needs full sun and is hardy to USDA Zone 3.

I love 'Ivory Silk' because it flowers later than other flowering trees and has spectacular creamy white, fragrant flowers borne in abundance in 6" - 12" long clusters. In my part of the world it blooms from June to July.  The fragrance is similar to a common lilac.

photo from Colesville Nursery
I also admire its lovely upright oval form. This is quite different from the spreading habits of the other small flower…