Archive for May, 2007

Wrought Iron Fence Fun

IMG_4771.JPG, originally uploaded by dogwood*designer.

Most fences could use a little fun incorporated into them. Here are a couple that I really like that use wrought iron nicely. Each is quite lovely and has a great deal of character.

The one above is in upper NW DC, a couple of blocks west of Connecticut Circle.  I definitely wanted to look inside.

You have to look closely at this one below since I took it out of my car window in morning rush hour traffic. The actual place is an apartment house on Wisconsin Ave accross from the Cathedral in Washington, DC. I really like the modern combination of simple and square iron with the bricks. It makes a lovely window to the courtyard behind.


Cornus x ‘Rutban’ | Aurora Dogwood

IMG_7381.JPG, originally uploaded by dogwood*designer.

Cornus x ‘Rutban’ | Aurora Dogwood

This is a neat hybrid – one of the “Rutgars” hybrids – of C. florida and C. kousa. As I am not sucha fan of kousa, mainly because I’m very much in love with florida, this might be an exceptabel substitute if needed. It doesn’t have the aligator skin of florida, but the blooms come out earlier than kousa, so you still get that great srping time effect. The leaves do start to emerge while the flowers are in bloom but, not so much as kousa. Also the blooms are more rounded like florida. Aurora is also more resistant to anthracnose, which is definitely a plus. I would reccomend it to people who aren’t as picky as I am for sure.

Cladrastis kentukea | Yellowwood

IMG_7317.JPG, originally uploaded by dogwood*designer.

Cladrastis kentukea | Yellowwood

Yellowwood is a small tree, with yellow wood on the inside of the bark. The outside is very light gray. It has zero pest problems and is native. It’s pretty bloom racines dangle in late May when not much else is blooming. This versitile tree can even be good neighbors with black walnuts. It’s an unusual (underused) choice. The very simple folliage is a lot like Kerria japonica, and can be id’d because it is alternate while K. japonica is opposite.

Syringa vulgaris | Lilac

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Syringa vulgaris | Lilac

Lilac can look a little shabby up close, but stand back and let yourself succomb to naustalgia and the wonderful fragrances. Grandma loves purple and I hate to admit it, but so do I. One third of entire plant should be pruned to the ground each year to keep it vigorous. Don’t be kind, take the biggest branches. Your cruelty will pay off. If you have Lilac, powdery mildew will be part of your life. It covers the plant but doesn’t really hurt it. But maybe it’s not a good idea near hydrangea.

Podophyllum peltatum | Mayapple

IMG_7109.JPG, originally uploaded by dogwood*designer.

Podophyllum peltatum | Mayapple

Mayapple is a cool native groundcover, which has little yellow flowers and an actual apple that hangs down below the leaves, believe it or not. It doesn’t stick around long, gone by June. Though this pinwheel is known to be a bit aggressive.

Spiraea bumalda ‘Goldflame’ | Goldflame Spirea

IMG_7078.JPG, originally uploaded by dogwood*designer.

Spiraea bumalda ‘Goldflame’ | Goldflame Spirea

Oh my gosh this stuff is beautiful, the chartreuse folliage with the warm red new growth makes me feel good. It works in dry-ish soil, but best to cut it back every 2 years to 6″ high. Watch out for aphids and and powdery mildew.

Other cultivars are ‘Limemound’ which doesn’t have any red; and ‘Anthony Waterer’ which has dark green folliage with white and pink mottling.

Lonicera x heckrotti | Goldflame Honeysuckle

IMG_7511.JPG, originally uploaded by dogwood*designer.

Lonicer x heckrotti | Goldflame Honeysuckle

Goldflame is not the aggressive plant that it’s sister, Lonicera japonica, is. I wonder if you can sip the nectar. Either way, it’s quite pretty and can be planted to use as a small bush as well as a vine. I have one in my yard that has taken a 3 years to get going, actually, but it seems to be gaining strength.

Styrax japonicum | Japanese Snowbell

IMG_7702.JPG, originally uploaded by dogwood*designer.

Styrax japonicum | Japanese Snowbell

Another great small tree for the shade garden, makes a good companion for a rock wall. The bell shaped blooms hang below the leaves and branches.

Weigela florida ‘Variegata’ | Old fahsioned Weigela

IMG_7765.JPG, originally uploaded by dogwood*designer.

Weigela florida | Old Fashioned Weigela

An old-fashioned beauty, especially this particular variegated cultivar with variegated leaves. The multicolored blooms can brighten up a shadey corner. You can even put it at the front of your yard by the road to welcome your guests.

These beauties are VERY drought tolerant, almost like a sedum, and so qualifies as “sustainable”.  See this great article by my colleague, Susan Harris.

Deutzia gracilis | Slendar Deutzia

IMG_7759.JPG, originally uploaded by dogwood*designer.

Deutzia gracilis | Slender Deutzia

This is so pretty. I’ll definiately be using this in my shade garden. Chartreuse leaves pop up through white blooms in May.

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