Saturday, May 18, 2013

Three Dwarf Trees for my Cottage Garden

Around the pond we have added three dwarf trees: a dwarf cutleaf maple (Acer palmatum) to shade the waterfall, a weeping Norway spruce to provide evergreen interest at the opposite end of the pond, and a lovely, weeping snowfountain cherry.

The dwarf Japanese maple was a gift from our daughter to mark our 25th wedding anniversary. It is a smaller, slower-growing cousin of the upright Japanese maple (Acer japonicum). It has feathery, fine-toothed leaves. This variety will only grow about 5 feet tall.  The brilliance of its leaves will provide a stunning autumnal show I believe, and because of its weeping habit and lush color, my new dwarf Japanese maple makes an eye-catching statement. I love the mounding, cascading sweep of its branches which in time will provide shade for the waterfall.

Dwarf cutleaf maple Acer palmatum

The weeping Norway spruce (Picea abies 'Pendula') is a dramatic specimen with dark green needles and a pendulous growth habit. The weeping branches remind me of cascading water and it looks wonderful at the edge of the pond. The ultimate height of this plant is determined by how high it is staked.

New growth on Picea abies 'Pendula'
As a weeping tree, my Snow Fountains Cherry features cascading branches that eventually will dip all the way to the ground, giving it the appearance of a white fountain when covered with pure white flowers in early spring. This cultivar is known by several different names, including 'Snofozam' Weeping Cherry and 'White Fountain' Cherry. It will grow 6’-12’ in height and 5’-12’ in width. During the summer the leaves are dark green; in the fall they turn gold and orange before they are shed. This tree is striking when in bloom in late April. It is said the small, white and 5-petaled flowers are butterfly and hummingbird magnets. I don't see many butterflies or hummingbirds in April, but maybe this tree will attract some earlier visitors to my garden. I was careful to plant this cultivar in full sun where it gets plenty of air circulation to ensure disease free growth.

Snow fountain cherry Prunus x 'Snofozam'
You may remember my mother's home in England is at Cherry Tree Court, and we planted a cherry tree there in her honor. Now I, too, have a cherry tree as a reminder of that beautiful lady.

Let's take a walk around my garden and see what other blooms are there on this beautiful May day ...

Violets, forget-me-nots, and primroses
The main cottage garden bed is abloom with violets, forget-me-nots, and primroses. The creeping phlox are beginning to display their purple flowers and the peonies have large buds.

The display of flowers on the weeping redbud is beginning to fade. This is a stunning specimen.

Weeping redbud 'Lavender Twist'.
'Lavender Twist' blossoms

In the kitchen garden, the peas and lettuce are sprouting. Hurray!

Rhubarb is providing us with some excellent pies and crumbles.
 The crabapple tree on the other side of the fence is magnificent ...

The old pear tree at the edge of the Woodland Walk had lots of blossoms this spring, but we know its days are numbered. Pear trees have a short life normally, but amazingly this one has survived for at least 60 years and is usually loaded with small hard pears that the deer love.

A visitor to the garden, the pileated woodpecker, is hastening the pear tree's demise by pecking a large hole in its trunk.

There are some beautiful blooms in the shade garden. I really think the shade garden comes into its own in springtime. Brunnera is one of my favorite plants.

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'
Next to the brunnera, on the right, the hellebore is still blooming.

One of the most beautiful combinations is the primrose, grape hyacinth, and the golden flowers of the false strawberry ...

The hostas are shooting up ...

Vibernum on left will soon be blooming.

Finally, let's go indoors for a seed-starting update: The card table in the dining room is still set up as a seed station. This year I started cabbage, broccoli, zinnias, and marigolds in Jiffy peat pots.

Table holds seedlings and starter plants. Tea cart is utilized for organizing seeds.
I purchased some tomato plants and pepper plants. I don't start these from seeds because I only need 2 or 3 of each.

Pepper plants, seed potatoes, and zinnia seedlings waiting to be moved into the potting shed.
The potting shed was insulated and I finished painting the inside walls. This week we moved all the stuff back into it. I am pleased with the result ...

I painted the shed's inside walls a warm yellow.
I covered the potting bench with green oil-cloth.
I found a place for my tiny-hedgehogs collection.

Antique garden tools.

Belatedly, I am linking to May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  I haven't participated in any memes lately, but can't resist this chance to visit gardens from all around the world to see what is blooming now that spring has sprung (at least in my part of the world). Won't you join me on Carol's wonderful site?

Wishing you happy, happy gardening!

Pamela x

Dude and Billy enjoy the spring weather.

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. Oh my! The inside of your shed is just amazing. Not just the colour but it's reeeeeeallly tidy. I want to go out and paint the inside of my shed now.
    Thank you for the lovely pix of your pond and garden, it's so nice during these cold days here to get a feeling of the summer just round the corner.


  2. What a fabulous tour of your beautiful garden. I enjoyed reading about your trees and I share your opinion of Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' - it is a wonderful plant. The crab apple blossom is astonishing, isn't it? I suspect everyone will want a potting shed like that - it must be a lovely place to spend time.

  3. Hi Pam,

    Lovely blossoms; there's nothing quite as beautiful as them!
    I'm glag spring has arrived for you now. When I look back over the months it's hard to believe that just a month or two ago the borders were amost completely bare!

  4. Pam How Lovely! Your garden is so Prettty! I also happen to love Eastern Red Buds because of their gorgeous purple blooms! Japanese Maples are another of my favorites!

    Very Nice!

  5. Pam your garden is just beautiful...I love all the blooms and the new trees around the pond...and your veg garden is so wonderful too...then I see your shed and I just adore it....such a wonderful garden in every aspect!

  6. Hi Pam,
    Glad to see your garden in the springtime. This is the first spring I've had a brunnera, and it is so charming. I want to plant a few more!

    Plus, your shed is so inviting! My husband is still working on ours, so not only is there gardening stuff in it, but lots of tools and parts as well. I did some organizing in it this week but it is still quite a ways from tidy.

  7. Hi Pam...I really like the new trees you've added. Your kitchen garden is so neat and orderly..I love it! I also love your shed...I want one for my garden...maybe later in the year I'll get one. Great shot of the Woodpecker!

  8. Not only is your garden sensational but your potting shed is prettier inside than many peoples homes. I love it.

  9. I've never heard of weeping blossom trees - that snow fountain cherry sounds exquisite. Your shed is lovely painted yellow, it looks good enough to live in.

  10. Hi Pamela, Your potting shed is beautiful. Love your pond, too, and the three trees you've placed are great additions. Your garden beds are looking beautiful!

  11. Oh Pam, it's all so pretty! I love your pond with the dwarf trees around it, that maple is going to look amazing as it grows. I'm completely envious of your potting shed too and I love the pretty wreath on the door.

  12. Lovely blog. Wish I could visit your garden, but all your photos make me feel like I have!

  13. I love your shed, as for your blooms they are all lovely but I especially liked the lavender twist blooms and even though the woodpecker is damaging your pear tree he is very handsome

  14. Your potting shed, Pam, is the envy of us all. I love it. The plantings are coming right along, aren't they? Spring is such a special time because there is something new to see every day. I've been seeing a similar woodpecker in my garden. I know he likes the sweet gum trees but now he's checking out the pear tree. Hmm... such a pretty bird.

  15. I love dwarf conifers and many look great in Japanese gardens like do the maples. They look good as you plant by water to for the reason you mentioned. I just drove by the Poconos and was going to stop in and see my Uncle. It is a great time of year where you live. I may get my cousin to drive back for a visit.

  16. I really like your three new trees. And I love the weeping redbud, too. I've never seen one before! But the crabapple is amazing. So many blooms! You have some lovely trees, which are such an important part of a garden.

  17. Thinking of moving into your potting shed...

  18. We share a love for lots of the same plants, Pam. The Brunnera is lovely, newly planted in my garden, but I'm hoping to add more. Your new selection of trees are wonderful, and your potting shed...well, I could live in there, it's gorgeous!

  19. I love the trees you've chosen for your pond setting, they're going to look fabulous once they've settled in and establish themselves. Dwarf trees are so useful for so many different scenarios, I have dwarf fruit trees planted up in containers as my garden isn't really big enough to plant full sized trees. I enjoyed the rest of the tour of the garden, there's so much to see, and your potting shed looks fabulous.

  20. I enjoyed the tour of all your flower and vegetable gardens. I especially like the pond - beautiful!
    Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog.
    Lea's Menagerie

  21. Beautiful blooms but it's your garden shed which has blown me away. I just love it. So cosy and beautifully decorated.

  22. Thanks for the tour Pam. I really like your shed, it must be a joy to be in.

  23. I'm so envious of your garden shed, Pam, and I think the yellow walls make it deliciously inviting. You have created a beautiful landscape.

  24. my Japanese maple has to be carefully tucked IN the shade, where the sun cannot fry its leaves. Your garden shed looks so inviting. Ours is Folie de MMIX, built in 2009, folie = a house in the woods.

  25. Everything looks so beautiful, Pam. I really like your choice of trees. I have a weeping Norway spruce, and I love it. Great selections!

  26. that crabapple!!!! wow!! took my breath away. what a tree. brilliant idea to have a seed station. I've been in and out and in and out of the house, looking for a packet here and there. What should I be planting, what have I forgotten? I need your organization skills :)

  27. What a lovely blog! I'll be back to read your older posts. Thanks for the lift on this rainy day.

  28. Your Japanese maple is lovely. Crab apples are amazing when in bloom. Unfortunately because we live in Apple orchard country we are not allowed to grow them as they are a host for pests. My loss:(