Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pagoda Dogwood

Now that I'm a member of the Arboretum, I can order plants through their Member's Only Sale.

One of the items I'm eyeing is the Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia ‘WStackman') they are selling in 1-gallon containers. It's an understory tree, will get 10-12' high and 7-12' wide, likes partial shade and a fairly moist soil. I have 2 areas it might be perfect for...

1) The east side of the house where we removed the Apple Tree (the tree in this photo). It only gets morning sun here and is near a downspout. I wanted a tree here that wouldn't really get taller than the house. Cons: I don't see this part of the yard too much and it's a pretty tree. Also, against the house, would it not be able to spread?
2) In the Southwest garden where I pulled out the Lilac bush (was not enough sun after the trees grew in more). It would definitely get partial shade here and be a companion tree with the serviceberry and I can see it from my window. Plus I wanted something tall for the back. Cons: It would have to be watered more here, and I'd want to built up the back a little more just to ensure good drainage. (In this photo is would go amidst the ferns, the old lilac branch is still there).
Any thoughts?

Winter Interest Plants

I am a Garden L-O-S-E-R. I have not read a garden blog in ages, posted only 2 posts all winter, and have not walked in my backyard unless going to compost. It's hard to think about gardening when your yard looks like this (the view from my front door).

I haven't been completely garden-free this winter. Today was my last of 3 classes at the Arboretum called "Landscape Plants --Winter Plants" --where we looked at plants with winter interest (a requisite for the horticulture/home gardening certificate).

If I learned anything, it was that I have no winter interest in my yard. 2 boxwoods in the front do not winter interest make, plus I don't have a lot of evergreens (unless you count the 2 enormous blue spruce, which I don't). This beautiful dwarf blue spruce shrub near where I take classes calls my name every time I walk past. I would love to add this to my yard. I just love the blue color against the sedum 'autumn joy'. And it looks great even now in the winter (especially with the dead sedum heads).

My favorite plant I learned about in class is this one, the Oregon Grape Holly (Mahonia aquifolium) . I love the leaves, the shape, the color, and the fact that in winter it's still evergreen and changes to a lovely purple-shade. The specimans at the Arboretum were lovely but were in sun. It says it tolerates shade, but also needs acidic soil. Now I need to check my soil.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Grrr, Smith & Hawken

I just smallowed a bitter pill - watch out!

I've been eyeing this bench for ages. But at $399, I thought it was pricey, but I love the "look."For Christmas, my aunt and uncle gave me a $100 gift card to S&H and I've been debating whether or not to get the bench... I would still have to pay $300, so I've been teeter-tottering.

Now I just went on-line and they've raised the price of this bench to $449. Do they think I wouldn't notice?! $50? I wish my salary would increase by this percent. Nope, instead we just went through a series of layoffs and I'll most-likely be out of a job before the summer hit. And I'm sure my company got some huge tax breaks to help the economy. Me? I'll probably get that stupid $1200 which they hope I'll spend out there .... like, say at Smith & Hawken.

Nope.Won't do it. Oh well. So long bench.