Can’t find the tag for this one, hopefully it will turn up and I can add proper name and variety info. This was another late, late addition in 2009 that we got cheap and are crossing our fingers about. Hopefully it’ll winter-over okay, because it’s an interesting looking specimen. It has an interesting weeping form and should stay fairly small –about 8 feet tall, I believe. Here is a picture of it in the snow now. If it makes it, the corner of the garden it occupies will be stunning in spring. It, the weeping redbud, and the Sugar Tyme crabapple are close to each other and should bloom simultaneously. Can’t wait to see it!
Franklinia alatamaha January 10, 2010
Franklinia alatamaha: We were able to get our hands on a Franklin tree at the OSU Chadwick Arboretum auction in May of 2009. Also known as the “lost Camellia” or the” lost Gordonia”, the history of this tree is as intriguing as the tree itself! Apparently, back in 1765, colonial naturalist John Bartram found a stand of these trees in the wild somewhere in Georgia. He named the tree after his good buddy Benjamin Franklin, collected samples, and sent the samples and seeds back to the Bartram family residence in Philadelphia. The trees have never been found in the wild again. Just poof! Vanished. All existing trees have been propagated from those samples gathered by Bartram back in 1765. Which is really pretty crazy and mind-blowing. It also makes the trees kind of delicate (not enough genetic variation I suppose) and rare.
And we have one. Hooray! It even bloomed for us, very pretty. I’m really, really, really hoping it will live. Supposedly, once established, it’ll have bright red fall foliage, and sometimes it will still be flowering with its lovely creamy white camellia-esque blooms at the same time it is showing its fall colors. Too cool.
My husband tackled some big projects in the yard in 2009. First up was removing the ginormous forsythia in the front yard. It was one of the few plants that was already in the yard when we bought our house. Although undeniably striking while in bloom (practically like a second sun!) it was not the plant we wanted in the space that it occupied. My husband gave it hard prune in 2008, but it was so well established that it was back to its full size by the end of the same summer. We decided that what we really wanted in that spot was the Japanese tree lilac my mom gave us. So Keith toiled, dug, hacked and hauled that old forsythia out of its spot.
There is a happy ending for the forsythia, though: we took one of the huge root globs and gave it to my parents. They planted it and I’m pleased to report that by the end of the summer a nice little forsythia bush had sprouted from it. The tree lilac is a seedling from a massive one from my parents’ back yard, and it seemed a bit shocked but mostly okay…we’ll see in the spring!
I’m posing by the forsythia back in 2006. Keith is with it in either 2007 or 2008, not completely sure. This forsythia was one of the few plants originally in our yard when we bought the house. It was huge and kind of crazy, and became the object of one of my husband’s projects during 2009.
Cercis canadensis ‘Lavender Twist’: Back in the fall of ’08, we got totally lucky at the Keller Farms season-end plant sale. We purchased a lovely Lavender Twist weeping redbud tree, for the bargain-basement price of $58. Such a deal!!! We saw some at the Clintoville Oakland Nursery during the ’09 season for over $200 a piece, so score. It is a wonderful tree so far, and my only regret is that we didn’t buy two.
It is a rare-ish cultivar, although it is becoming more and more readily available. Compact and lovely, it tops out at 8 feet tall. It adds interest year-round (IMHO): blooming in spring, pretty heart-shaped leaves spring/summer, yellow leaves and interesting seed pods in the fall, and the interesting contorted weeping form of the tree gives great winter interest, too. Here are some pics of ours:
Here is the Paree Fru Fru peony that we have. It did better this summer (’09) so I think maybe the trouble was not that I planted it too deep back in 2006 like I initially worried but rather that it has just taken some time to get established. Not mad blooms like the Pink Spritzer, but coming along and totally worth the wait, look: