Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Growing as a Gardener

The gardening books said this would happen. I thought that I’d be forever fascinated with only non-woody perennials, but I’m becoming more and more interested in trees and shrubs. It started with a sweet bay magnolia, then a butterfly bush, and then a weigela. I may have planted 300 perennials this season, but I also planted 14 shrubs and 4 trees. A peek at my wish list will show you that I have designs on planting even more.

I’ve been disappointed in the amount of coverage trees and shrubs get in most gardening books. Last night, though, I read a great shrub and tree book: Continuous color: a month-by-month guide to shrubs and small trees for the continuous bloom garden, by Pam Duthie. Although it doesn’t cover my current coveted item, Laburnum (which is probably too big to fit into the “small tree” category), the book is a fairly exhaustive list of trees and shrubs to add to your landscaping. The absolute best part of this book, though, was the photos of THE WHOLE PLANT. Most websites (particularly those that are trying to sell you something) only show close-ups of the pretty flowers or variegated leaves. Those pictures, while nice, give you no idea of the overall effect the plant will have in your landscape. I recommend Pam Duthie’s book as one to add to your collection for the photos alone, not to mention the sheer number of trees and shrubs addressed. I’ll be purchasing one for myself after I return my copy to the library.

I am still not a fully evolved gardener. Once I had finished lingering over the blooming and scented shrubs and trees that fill the first part of the book, I quickly flipped through the conifers and other trees and shrubs recommended for their foliage. My focus is still on flowers and scent. However, I predict that if I continue to “develop,” I’ll be adding hemlocks and boxwood to my wish list next.


Blogger Brit said...

This is totally off point but I was thinking about people mailing you plants in the mail and then I was remembering being at the post office last week and someone was mailing LIVE BIRDS. Doesn't that make you wonder....I mean who mails live birds..and to whom. Food for thought

9:02 AM  
Blogger millionbells said...

I thought it was part of a gardener's evolution to despise boxwoods and other generic foundation plants. :)

10:20 AM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

Brit - that is TOTALLY WEIRD. I wouldn't think the birds would be "live" once they reached their destination.

Millionbells - Almost every gardening book I have pictures a clipped boxwood hedge somewhere. I can't imagine myself wanting something that formal, but who knows?

4:52 AM  

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