Garden Trees

Not all gardens can support the bulk of forest trees, yet it is still feasible to achieve a very satisfactory winter landscape in miniature. Various forms of Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum, even grown in pots will soon develop the mushroom-like, slightly windswept outline which makes them excellent plants for the heather or rock garden.

Sixteen years ago I planted a few specimens of the arboreal alpine to add height to a corner of the heather garden. Now the plants 4 ft. high and the soft green foliage on erect is seen in contrast to the bare branches of the birch woodland beyond adding a touch of some green to the inhospitable winter scene.

Conifers make all the difference to a winter escape. There are varieties of all sizes from use suitable for growing in a window-box to the largest suitable for property many acres in tent. Remember, however, that it is easy to err plant and render the landscape formless. All mention only two groupings as examples of hat for me are meant by garden silhouettes. The groupings like so many other garden features are with one shrub, a specimen of Chamaecyris pisifera plumosa, conical in outline and with very green foliage.

Gradually over the years the picture was filled in first by adding Chamaecyparis lawsoniana wisselii which forms a narrow dark green column and then by planting, just to one side, a maple with its intricate twig pattern.

Finally, in the coolest corner of the acid soil, I planted a Mitchella repens. This has proved almost too invasive, the procumbent stems rooting as they grow. However, the flowers and foliage are so quietly charming that I permit it to be rather more freedom than would be allowed to a lesser personality.

Because this setting lacked a certain buoyancy I planted a silver birch behind and now find a great deal of pleasure from what is in effect a simple composition.

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