Thursday, May 23, 2013

Today in the Garden

As the woodland plants start to slow down other more vibrantly coloured plants begin to shine. Right now my redbuds are in full flower and they are glorious.

Cercis canadensis

These were planted four years ago now. A couple of things surprised me, the first is that they put on quite a lot of growth quickly. The second, is that my redbuds both have dead branches after winter. Minor branches for the most part. But it makes me wonder if this is normal.

The tiny new leaves of the redbuds are smaller than my thumb nail.

Quite the show right now. I want more!

On another vein, I have managed to identify a viburnum that has been in the garden since we moved here. If I am wrong in my identification I would appreciate being made aware of the error. However I believe this is Viburnum lantana or the Wayfaring viburnum.

I looked up the definition of Wayfaring hoping to better understand the tree's behaviour, but it actually leaves me stumped. (Notice the puns!)
Wayfaring means going on a journey on foot. Another definition is a caprifoliaceous shrub, Viburnum lantana, of Europe and W Asia....So now I had to look up caprifoliaceous which means,
belonging to the Caprifoliaceae, the honeysuckle family of plants.
V. lantana flowers
In my garden this shrub does not wander or journey. It retains the same footprint it had more than ten years ago.  Perhaps it behaves differently in your garden?

Last in my thoughts for today is the alternate leaf pagoda dogwood. We have had ups and downs with these beautiful shrubs. I blame racoons for breaking off the lead stems on this particular shrub which has left it somewhat lopsided.

We planted a second one beside the first only to have it die the first winter. So, not to give up that quickly I planted another. This second dogwood had some dieback this winter and we lost two main branches, but the rest of it looks healthy.
Then, last weekend hubby discovered two pagoda dogwoods growing in the far back of the garden. One is about a foot high and the other only inches.

As you can see hubby has over- protected the baby dogwood, however it should prevent us from stepping on it. How we ended up with these two additional dogwoods I can only guess; maybe birds excreting the seeds, maybe wishful thinking. 



  1. Love the Pagoda Dogwood! What a great shrub, and how fun that it showed up in a different spot! I'm jealous that your Redbud is still blooming--mine is past peak. I noticed it wasn't as glorious this year, either, and had several bare branches. Maybe it's because of last year's drought. And hopefully the branches will have foliage, event if they didn't bloom. I'll let you know, and please keep me posted on yours, too.

    1. You must have your redbud sited in a warmer spot in the garden. Mine gets some sun but our garden is primarily shady. The blooms on both trees this year are great!

  2. Hello Patty girl !
    I love that redbud tree .. it is so colourful and amazing to watch it transition. I also love the dogwoods .. so pretty when they bloom.
    Viburnum was too tricky for me .. "rust" .. so I had to get rid of a few plants that kept the cycle going and going. Sadly that was one of them ... but live and learn right? LOL
    Joy : )

    1. Oh I am learning Joy. Learning to plant more of what works. It has only taken years to achieve this wisdom :)

    2. My grower won't even grow redbud. He says they are too temperamental on conditions and siting. I have speced them, but they are very well protected.

    3. Donna, Maybe you are just that little bit colder than us or maybe your temps fluctuate more. Mine are sited in a fairly open position, so far so good. Good luck with yours.

  3. What a lovely tree Cercis canadensis is! I had to look it up as I didn't know it, turns out you can buy it anywhere here in Britain and it is perfect for any sunny open position here - that is if you have any open space left. I'd love to have one, but after buying 2 magnolias earlier this winter I just haven't got room for anymore trees I think!

    So nice to hear about your pagoda dogwood seedlings, hope they do well and become big, strong and healthy. I have found tree seedlings in my garden too, but only plane tree, definitely not what I would want in my tiny garden. We have them out in the street, huge trees around 130 years old so I guess that’s where the seeds come from. I have been hoping my Acer palmatum would make some seedlings for me, it flowered 2 years ago, but I haven't seen any yet. Patience, patience :-)

    1. Hi Helene, I have a friend whose Acer palmatum keeps making babies. So many now that she doesn't know what to do with them. I am sure you will have some soon.

  4. Beautiful shrubs. I especially love viburnums. My Japanese maples also self seed.