It is said that “form follows function” and this is a sound guideline for garden design too. When choosing trees and shrubs for your yard, decide what purpose you need the plant to fulfill. Then, decide which plants will get the job done. Finally, decide which plants appeal to your taste aesthetically. Although most plants have one or more attractive features, some are down right artsy. Read on to learn about some of our favorites:
Although northern catalpa is native to Nebraska, it looks like it belongs in the tropics. Each heart-shaped leaf is up to 12” long and the large white flowers look like orchids. The flowers are followed by long slender pods that remain through the winter, giving the tree a somber, macabre appearance. Grows 50 feet high and 30 feet wide.
Pagoda dogwood gets its name from the branches arranged in horizontal layers. In late spring, tiny white flowers appear to perch atop each layer and give rise to green berries that turn pink then finally dark purple. The dark mahogany branches create a striking winter silhouette against the snow. Grows 15 feet high and 20 feet wide in part shade.
Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ & ‘Red Dragon’
The branches of this large shrub are tightly twisted and contorted, resembling an old man’s walking stick. The branches are showiest in winter, but in spring, catkins can be seen dangling down. The variety ‘Red Dragon’ has burgundy foliage. Give this shrub full sun (part sun if exposed site) and plenty of room, as it grows 8 to 10 feet in height and width.
Much like the catalpa, the Kentucky Coffeetree has a strikingly coarse winter silhouette. The bark has an interesting scaly texture and large, leathery pods can be found on female trees. A large shade tree, it reaches 50 feet high and 40 feet wide and tolerates poor growing conditions.
Japanese White Pine
Pinus parvifolia ‘cvs.’
Japanese White Pines are trees that have an irregular outline, looking like a large bonsai tree in your yard. The blue and green needles are evergreen and the bark is a light powdery gray color. Performs best in full sun and well-drained soil with some protection from winter winds. Slowly grows to 25 feet high and wide.
Weeping and Columnar Forms
Weeping trees are useful in design as a strong focal point or to draw the eye down to the ground plane. Conversely, upright trees and shrubs draw the eye upward and make strong vertical accents. Evergreen and deciduous varieties of both types are available. Stop in to see the current inventory!