Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bare-bones beauty


I go through plant phases every year or two. There are some that I will forever be drawn to, like Hebes, grasses or the beautiful Magnolias. This year my obsession is twofold, trees and shrubs, mostly due to the lack of height and year-round appeal of my gardens. Thank goodness the NW Flower and Garden Show was on hand for me to drink in the many options. My penchant for red was nicely fed at this year's show, but I especially ogled this Vine Maple "Pacific Fire." It was a main feature in "A Garden's Story in 100 Words" by Pamela Richards Garden Design. Vine Maples are native to our area, so this is a "twofer" in my book. It puts on yellow-green leaves in spring and summer, which would go nicely with my garden's color scheme. Add it to the list!

Another one creeping up the list count is Viburnum "Dawn" spotted in Adam Gorski's "A Garden I Love." Truthfully, I probably wouldn't have noticed it (his display also had Pacific Fire) but I overheard him chatting with a couple about the lovely scent this beauty gives off. I've been wanting to add Viburnum to the yard because I enjoy the veined leaves. But I read that this one not only has sweet smelling flowers in winter, its leaves also give off a citrus scent when bruised. Gimme!

Ahh, the Magnolias. "Purple Eye" caught my attention out of the gate as I wondered around "Get Away to it All" by Michael Hancock and created by Modern Shed and Serene Scapes, Inc. The plant's late winter attraction clearly is the fuzzy pods, but soon those would burst with large white fragrant flowers that fade to soft purple at the base of each petal.

Another warm and fuzzy option would be this Weeping Pussy Willow spotted in Heidi Skievaski's design "At the Water's Edge." I enjoy the weeping habit, brought home a weeping cherry because of it. I've read this one will reseed itself everywhere, so there's that drawback.

Also in the display was a plant I've long admired for it's unique profile as well as its many aliases. Whether you know it as Contorted Filbert, Corkscrew Hazel or Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, it's just plain cool. It does tend to have suckers that come in "straight," which would defeat the plant's purpose. I also read on Dave's Garden that these are no longer allowed for sale in Oregon because it is susceptible to Eastern Filbert Blight. Hmmm, perhaps I'll just admire from afar.
UPDATE: Grace Peterson, an Oregon resident, says the ban has been lifted. Yippee!

The epitome of bare-bones beauty. You can't help but admire the delicate structure of bonsai trees. This Japanese Maple is an impressive specimen featured in "Collaborating with Nature," designed by Tony Fajarillo. What a wonderful way to escape the chaos of the day and become lost in nature.

11 comments:

Gail said...

You are so right the Japanese Maple is the epitome of garden bones! Beautiful~~ I like your Pacific Fire maple, too! C&L could use a little verticality...Must start paying attention and see what is offered at the garden shows this spring. Don't you love the garden shows! gail

Darla said...

Fantastic plants here. Thank you for sharing these.

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I took some of the same pictures :) That 'Dawn' Viburnum was so pretty! I also really liked the Weeping Pussy Willow. I really like that a tree or shrub can be that interesting bare.

Heather said...

I wish I had not missed this event. Looks like all the pictures I have seen showed beauty in abundance. I am glad you went and I hope it will be around for me to go to someday.
-Heather

tina said...

Bare bones beauties indeed. Love the vine maple. I hope you bought one of each:)

Grace Peterson said...

Great photos. I'm sure there was lots of inspiration to be gleaned. FYI the ban on the contorted filbert has been lifted.

I can vouch for the Viburnum bodnantense 'Pink Dawn.' The leaves have a dark red tint to them as well as the petioles. I've had mine for about ten years. Very little fragrance but a reliable bloomer. I wouldn't be without mine.

Karen said...

Hi Melanthia - Great choices. Do you know how to propagate from cuttings? I don't, but am game to try. The reason I ask - I have both that viburnum (have put it in a few posts, its habit is fairly ugly but those blossoms are amazingly sweet) and the Harry Lauder's (which currently features... many straight suckers which I need to prune out!) and would be happy to share if we could figure out how to do it and you didn't mind waiting for them to grow.

Aerie-el said...

What beautiful photographs! I'm so glad to see what I missed at the garden displays. I spent almost all my time cruising vendors and doing my part to stimulate the economy. :)

ryan said...

It's gotta be really hard to get stuff in bloom for the show so early in the year. It's hard enough to have a garden looking good with established plants in the ground. Hard to take photos in there, too. The maple looks great.

Genevieve said...

WOW, that Vine Maple is awesome. I've never heard of that one before. Thank you so much for sharing; now my clients won't have to choose between their coral bark maple and going native. Awesome, awesome!!!

Kathleen said...

You really did find some "bare bones" beauties Melanthia! My favorite is the weeping pussy willow although I'm partial to magnolias too. Looks like it was a nice garden show. I hope you can find some of these to bring home to your garden.