The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Good Combo in the Hall with Balls

Cornus officinalis and Chionodoxa sardensis are the perfect companions in the April garden. Cornus officinalis is a close relative to Cornus mas which has showier exfoliating bark and flowers about a week earlier. I have planted it in front of a yew hedge and Pinus koraiensis 'Morris Blue' to accentuate both the bark and spring flowering. Chionodxa sardensis forms a bright bluish carpet which faultlessly compliments this extraordinary dogwood.


  1. What a beautiful combination!

  2. Dear Michael, Blue and yellow is, I believe, always a winning combination and, as is shown here, works particularly well in the spring. In addition to the Cornus, I particularly like the balls of box.

    For my part I should allow the yew to grow taller to form a dark green background to the Cornus and dispense with the Pine which, I feel, carries the eye off in an odd direction.
    But then, I do not like conifers at all [apart from yew].

  3. Tim,
    I'm glad you like it!

    Many thanks, as always, for your comment. A friend of mine says that the best gardeners are opinionated and I heartily agree with her! I also like the box. The yew hedge (the dowood too, for that matter) are juvenile and will be getting taller. I wasn't sure they were ready to sent out into the blogoshere yet but I did it anyway. I planted the hedge about 10 years ago as 8 inch rooted cuttings (Vita said that is the way to do it; my pocketbook agreed).

    So far, I like the pine. It adds contrast and a different texture and will create more privacy. I placed the it there in the bigger context of the garden as whole. It has a secondary function as a backdrop for the dogwood. I would like to think it is working. Time will tell if does....

  4. Just to add my own "two cents," I think the pine may become superfluous when the yew ultimately grows taller. For now, though, the house behind would be a major eyesore in the overall combination.

    Even if the yew grows to a much taller size, I personally think the pine adds a "sense of place," making it more New Hampshire and less generic.

    I guess that's why the world has both vanilla and chocolate....

  5. Tim,
    That is exactly why I planted it- to echo the New Hamphire white pine, but in a more refined and smaller scale. I personally like heath bar crunch! Thanks for your thoughts. I really appreciate them.

  6. I really like that kind of pinus... great privacy tree

  7. DGG,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and joining in the discussion! Another attribute of Pinus koraiensis, as a screen, is that it tends to retain its lower branches unlike many other pines.

  8. The Cornel looks like a Tree Hanukkah! I love those pom-poms! Nice effect.

  9. Chandramouli S,
    Thanks for your comment. Cornus officinalis has great timing. I'm not sure, even with the pom-poms, it could compete favorably with the the crabapples and other flowering trees that are about to bloom.



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