The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Going for the Green at the Arnold


A sunny winter day is the perfect time to scour the Arnold Arboretum for evergreen plants. I was there last weekend and I went from green shrub to green shrub. I photographed each and then its ID plaque/plate. Once I got home, I tried to figure out which plants might be useful for my own garden.

Here's what I found:

Ilex pedunculosa aka Longstalk Holly Zone 5 One of the hardiest of the evergreen hollies. Grows about 15 feet tall. I'll need a male and a female. It was used near the entrance to the Visitor's Center. I will keep on a list.

Berberis julianae 'Nana' aka Wintergreen Barberry Probably hardy to Zone 5. Very nice long foliage.  It gets a nice bronzy-red foliage in winter but is susceptible to leaf burn in windy conditions. Major league spines. 'Nana' grows to 5 feet. It doesn't appear to be invasive. On the maybe list.

Ilex glabra aka Inkberry Zone 5 I have tried this one before, without a lot of success. A native holly, looks great at the Arnold. Some sources say that it might be a bit fussy about moisture so I don't think I will try again.

Ilex ciliospinosaaquifolium x pernyi 'September Gem' Zone A Triple cross holy. It had really beautiful foliage. I didn't think the habit was particularly nice. It looks like 6 so probably not in the running.

Ilex aquifolium aka English Holly. Zone 6ish. It looks a lot like the previous plant in habit. I think hardiness makes it a no.

Prunus laurocerasus 'Otto Luyken' Cherry Laurel Zone 6. This plant was very pretty and I think its lack of hardiness explains why I am not very familiar with it. Sad to say probably won't be happy in NH.

Ilex crenata 'Helleri' Japanese Holly Zone 5 or 6 depending on who you read. I have been toying with trying a Japanese holly for a while. This cultivar only grows to about 4 feet. There may be a place for a hardy cultivar in woodland garden because it can tolerate shade.

Rhododendron carolinianum x laetevirens 'Waltham' Zone 5 Looks like it would be hardy (-20F) can handle dry shade. Low growing. Pink flowers in May. R. carolinianum is a hardy native. My neighbor has R. x laetevirens or Wilson Rhododendron in her garden. It is really tough and has nice foliage. The flowers are pretty subtle so maybe 'Waltham' would be worth a try in the woodland garden.

Ilex aquifolium 'Blue Prince' Same as the English Holly above. Probably not hardy enough.

I am still on the lookout for some evergreens in my woodland garden but Ilex pedunculosa, Berberis julianae 'Nana', Ilex crenata, and Rhododendron carolinianum x laetevirens 'Waltham' have gotten my attention. My search for a nice evergreen in the woodland has not ended. If anyone has some suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dublin Trail

The other day, I hiked Mt Monadnock, the majestic 3,165 foot mountain here in southwestern New Hampshire.  I chose my favorite route, a 2.4 mile long path on the North side of the mountain called the Dublin Trail. I started out with snow shoes but enough people had already been on the trail that boots with MICROspikes (a sort of portable, pocket-sized crampon-like traction device) was all that was needed. I like hiking in the winter and experiencing the, sometimes harsh weather. In this case, it was a clear day about 28 degrees F.

Whenever I am hiking, I am always looking for inspiration for the garden. I liked all the bark interest on the birch trees about half the way up the trail.

The vertical trunks against the snow--something to emulate in my evolving woodland garden

This tree had a great trunk with character

In the early 1800's a series of fires denuded the upper part of the mountain of most of the vegetation

There are still wind-blown red spruce and scrubby shrubs as you approach tree-line

The Dublin Trail and the Marlboro Trail merge near the top of the mountain

A view of the Pumpelly Ridge on the northeast side of the Mountain 

The Peak of Mount Monadnock

When I got home, I took this shot of Monadnock from my garden. I continued to be inspired by my hikes in New Hampshire. Right now, at this time of year, it is the combinations of conifers, trees with interesting bark, and the structure of the shrubs that remind me of all that the garden can offer in the long winter months here in New England. As much as I love (and often incorporate into the garden) all the enticing exotic woodies that I discover at places like the Arnold Arboretum (a future post) I remain committed to making the woodland garden feel at home here in New Hampshire.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

All Hands on Deck

Ice Art Installation, Grove Street Bridge, Peterborough, NH

by Anonymous Artist


Related Posts with Thumbnails