Friday, May 18, 2007

High Canopy... High Maintainance

The defining feature of a successful woodland garden is a high canopy... stately old trees, their lower limbs pruned by the gardener or by competition from other nearby trees leaving a fairly continuous parasol of high foliage... unfortunately, we don't all have a lovely grouping of fine oaks in our garden. Here in Iowa where we garden, we do have some oaks, but the primary tall trees (now that all of our huge elm trees have succumbed to Dutch elm) are black cherries (Prunus serotina). They can have a lot of character, with their shaggy bark and their aromatic clusters of white flowers in the spring, and they are beloved by a wide variety of vireos and warblers that sing from their high branches. However, they must be the single most prolific producer of tree seedlings; thousands (tens of thousands) of them pop up in our flower beds each year. I confess to occasionally musing how much my life would be simplified by a few hours with the chain saw. I could learn to enjoy growing red geraniums in tubs in my sunny back yard... I could.
Posted by Picasa

Don't be too sad about not having the elms in your yard, because here in my yard, elm (and ash) seedlings are my absolute nemesis. I have mixed feelings about the elms. I live in a "naturalized" little suburban alcove, and there are lots of (mostly) healthy elm trees growing in the woods. Somehow the elm seeds find their way into the tiniest nook or cranny, virtually guaranteeing that you will not be able to pull out the root. I just spent part of the afternoon in my vegetable garden trying to rid the beds of elms, so I suppose I have a bit of an attitude this evening.
Tracy... You know, until you mentioned it, I'd forgotten how hard elm seedlings are to pull out.
Hey, don't knock geraniums. As you mention, they grow in sun. But, yeah, red ones in tubs... maybe not. Except the brocade-leaf ones I picked up recently for their beautiful foliage. Otherwise, I'm kind of partial to hot pink geraniums myself (when I need container plants that are forgiving of forgetful waterers).

Well, I hope you arrive at a truce with your trees. Your garden obviously needs them, and you need your garden.
Karen... big around here is the classic look of red geraniums in truck tire planters.
Suuuure you could. Don't forget to plop a nice dracaena in the middle for contrast, and perhaps some dusty miller.

But what about the rest of us? I live (okay, I exaggerate)for the photos and descriptions of your woodland garden. And dream of what might be if I ever get the rampant himalayan blackberry under control on my land.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?