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.

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