small trees

Thuggish. Isn’t that a great word! I have been poking around on a very fun site called Growing with Plants and came across it. I have been thinking about plants and consequences quite a bit lately so it really struck me.

I don’t know if you read the post about the new garden I am creating but it is a small, in-town and supposed to be somewhat low maintenance. So, as usual, I am trying to make the plants somewhat pushy to keep out unwanted volunteers and deciding on plants that won’t have to be unusually pampered to make them love/fit the space.

And that last is where I have run into a little cramp in my style. I am used to gardening on large estates where you have all the room you could desire… and more. But here I have a little less than 11 ft to fit in a little loose row of trees and I have a hankering for big ass birches. I know some people just plan to take birches out at some point when they get too big and replace them but that solution strikes me as being not only wasteful but very un-elegant.  Perhaps I am just being too weeny and there wouldn’t be any problems with a large birch but I’m not really willing to chance it.  And the thing is is that Betula Nigra ‘Little King’ and Betula Pendula ‘Youngii’ (which can become huge given half the chance) just aren’t doing it for me… but I am still considering them.

So some alternatives: cherries, ornamental and otherwise, other dwarf fruit trees, and dogwoods. I am aiming for Maine woods-ish so the Stewartias are out, as are the lilac standards and the client is not fond of the Staghorn Sumac, Rhus typhina, type vegetation, and that includes Sorbaria Sorbifolias.

There are other options but I have discarded most of them for one reason or another: I found the bark boring for winter, the tree is overly fond of water, it doesn’t do well next to the road, and when I had a sneaking suspicion that the tree would really prefer to be a shrub.But I am persisting…

I came across another interesting site called The Plant Farm when I was wandering around thinking about ornamental cherry trees with their lovely red bark and really enjoyed reading the list of Mary Archambault’s New Year Garden Resolutions, check it out, she is a really good writer.

All of this mental perusing is to avoid the thought that I have been unable to go to work and get my daily professional gardening fix, so I have finally decided to go back even though it has been forever and I am still not well. I told everyone to avoid me like the plague and I think I’ll take Jack’s advice and think seriously about coming home at break. He said, “You don’t pace yourself.” I would like to object but to quote Carrie Fisher’s character in When Harry Met Sally (does that date me or what?), “You’re right, you’re right, you’re right.”


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