Thursday, October 29, 2009

Winter Red Holly

Yesterday afternoon the sun was shining and, while out tagging trees for an order, the Winter Red Hollies caught my eye.  These hollies, in a #3 container, have been in this location at the nursery for a couple of months.  Now that the foliage has dropped for the winter, the fruit really stands out.  I loved the contrast of the bright red fruit against the stone wall.  The shadows were an added bonus! 

Winter Red, Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red', is a deciduous holly with green leaves all summer long and colorful fall foliage.  It matures 8-10 x 8' and is pollinated by Southern Gentlemen (available in a #3 container).

Remembering that we also have ball and burlap Winter Red Hollies, I stopped by the b&b shrub block on the way back to the office.  They were even more spectacular!  

Deciduous hollies can be used for screening or as a specimen plant for a location needing some winter interest.  The persistent fruit will attract songbirds to the garden. They do best planted in sites with full sun to partial shade and adequate moisture.    

Here's another article on hollies:
Boy Holly + Girl Holly = Fruit?
Selecting the correct pollinating Winterberry Holly is important for fruit production.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just as I had hoped

A couple of years ago, Larry stopped by the nursery to pick up some plants and showed me a Weeping Ginkgo he had in the back of the truck from his own garden center.  I had to have one.  Unfortunately, I forgot to ask how much.  A couple of weeks later, he dropped one off for me.  He was in a hurry and said I could pay later.  Again, I forgot to ask how much. 

When it arrived at home, my family couldn't understand why I bought a crooked tree.  My daughter thought it had personality.  My son assured me that we could stake it and with time it would grow straighter.  My husband was certain that it was one the nursery was throwing away because it was ugly and, therefore, it was free.  Fortunately, I still didn't know how much. 

Now, a couple of years later, the arching form drapes over a metal disc on the fence.  There are Bearded Iris along the base.  A bench is close by.  And, the Ginkgo's yellow fall foliage glows on sunny days. 

How much?  It turns out that it really didn't matter.  Not with a payment plan option.  Besides, it is just as I had hoped. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An evening viewing of a garden

The garden transformation has been in the works for just over a year with this Johnson County garden. Laura Stack, Creative Consulting for Outdoor Spaces, and the homeowners recently shared the garden with friends and neighbors.

A Pot/Trellis Garden was added to the back of the house. Sections of trellis break up a wall and create a backdrop for the Variegated Vinca to climb. Not only do the panels of trellis echo the window panes, the shadows that are created against the white backdrop are a welcome feature in the garden.


Plants in the Knot Garden Retreat include Germander, Lavender and Santolina. Ogon Sedum are the bright yellow plants in the picture. Mexican Heather, Cleome, Diamond Frost Euphorbia, Blue Salvia and Asiatic Lilies are also in the garden.

Many of the guests enjoyed the Fire Corner Patio. Cushions on top of the low wall added seating but most preferred standing and chatting around the fire.

I really wish the quality of this photo was better. Sometimes I just get too excited and forget to focus. I love the view of the statue through the slit in the brick wall. Though the neighbors were confused during the construction of the wall, it all made sense when it was completed and landscaped. From the walkway off the driveway to the backyard, this wall breaks up the view yet allows a glimpse of the garden beyond.

The side of the wall is softened with a white tree rose, Variegated Liriope, Green Velvet Boxwood and a container with red flowers.

Jerry Cicero, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, was also at the garden party. He set up many different fixtures to demonstrate the dramatic impact of outdoor lighting.

Since we were all well behaved, I'm hoping they will have another tour in a couple of years to show the next phases of the garden transformation!

Colorful Shade Trees

The fall color at the nursery has been beautiful and the blackgums are especially amazing. Nyssa sylvatica, commonly known as Black Tupelo and Blackgum, is available both single stem and multi-stem. It is adaptable to a wide range of conditions including poor drainage. Mature size is 35 x 25'.


Green Mountain, Acer saccharum 'Green Mountain', Sugar Maple has yellow and orange fall color. Avoid wet sites and sugar maples will do well. Green Mountain matures 45 x 35'.


Several of the oaks will also add color to the fall landscape. Scarlet Oak, Quercus coccinea, is a tough tree that matures 50 x 40'.


Not a shade tree but colorful and useful for screening, Crimson Spire, Quercus alba x robur 'Crimschmidt', is a columnar oak that matures 45 x 15'. A cross between White Oak and English Oak, it has mildew resistant dark green summer foliage with red fall color.