And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days.
~ James Russell Lowell
Inspired by our friend Billy Goodnick, creator of Crimes Against Horticulture: When Bad Taste Meets Power Tools, Things That Make You Go Hmmm… is a lighthearted look a the things we do in the name of landscaping and gardening.
It seems that being homesick can sometimes have its advantages, and such is the case for Waldo Fleegleflort, noted plant breeder and nurseryman.
Mr. Fleegleflort, raised in the midwest in small town america, experienced a major lifestyle change during his late teen years when his family moved east. Waldo found himself living the suburban lifestyle, and missing the simplicity and character of small town america. Yearning for the sights of his youth, Mr. Fleegleflort began to channel his energies into his growing nursery and plant breeding business, and in the 1960′s began introducing the gardening world to new and exciting cultivars.
One such introduction is ’Water Tower’ Dogwood* (Cornus kousa ‘Water Tower’*). Water Tower Dogwood elegantly mimics the potable structures of Mr. Fleegleflorts youth. Needing very little maintenance (aside from an extensive pruning regimen), and relatively free from disease and pests, this cultivar adds a wonderful “cylindrical” interest to the garden, and as an added bonus, we get flowers! Well done Mr. Fleegleflort!
*Portions of this story may have been made up (#allofit). Furthermore, we believe that ‘Water Tower’ may actually be the result of either poor pruning technique, or Mr. Fleegleflort’s experiences with the 1960′s counter-culture. Neither can be confirmed at this time…
~ Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday was talking about money when she wrote “God Bless the Child” with Arthur Herzog in 1939, but it’s a sentiment I find could easily describe trees, and the homeowners lucky enough to have them on their property. Here in the northeast trees are often taken for granted, often being the first things to go when a homeowner wants to make landscape improvements. It seems that most of the marketing for the green industry is aimed at either growing a perfectly manicured lawn or creating a garden full of sun loving perennials. In both cases, trees get in the way.
But if you look past the marketing bias, you’ll find there are many benefits to having trees in your garden. Let’s take a look…
The most successfully designed gardens are those that provide year round interest. They give something to the visitor long after and well before the showy blooms of spring and summer. A tree in a garden adds complexity during the season and stark beauty during the bleak months.
Trees give the designer tools to define space in a garden both in vertical plane and horizontal. With upright narrow growth, trees such as Fastigiate Hornbeam and Columnar Blue Spruce act as walls to define the borders of property and garden rooms.
Perhaps the best reason to use trees in a garden is drama. Drama found in the form of fall color, exfoliating bark, high canopy, or amazing blossom.
The beauty, depth, and richness, of a shade garden can only be created when large trees are present, providing canopy to a space. Senses awaken and the connection is visceral.
When considering your next landscape improvements, please friends, look to the trees as assets, and let them provide the tools to create an amazing space in your garden!
How are the trees in your garden of benefit? I’d love to hear about them, leave me a comment. And, please visit the other blogger’s of the Roundtable with the following links, and see how they value trees.