A passion for parrotia

Not every garden needs a Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica, below), much less two, but then, a garden need not have Japanese maples or hydrangeas, or whatever marvelous plants if the gardener prefers otherwise. A garden of clipped hedges without a single bloom might delight one gardener, no matter that I am unlikely to give it a second look.

This garden is more about cramming as many treasures as possible into the space rather than proper design, or even function, though some small consideration is paid to both. If it is necessary to plant ‘Persian Spire’ ironwood (Parrotia persica ‘Persian Spire’, below) where it will someday conflict with a primary path to the rear garden, or to do without, so be it, somehow we’ll squeeze past, though this is done only after minutes of deliberation.

The first ironwood was planted several years ago in a spot that was clearly too shaded, but with a slim possibility that it might succeed. Indeed, the tree survived, flowered once (that I noticed), and in the shade displayed a mediocre rendition of what should be splendid autumn foliage coloring. With mounting dissatisfaction, the decision was made over the winter to expand a planting bed into one of the few remaining sunny areas, though this meant defying my wife’s edict that no more grass be removed. And, no more trees. Ever. And, I’m not joking.

The tree was dug through several inches of frozen ground, and now appears all the better for the move, which inspired planting the second, even more delightful ironwood with purple edging each leaf. Of course, there is a limit to the number of trees or shrubs, or anything that can be shoehorned into a space, and fortunately there are moments when reason successfully overrules passion. I’m in enough trouble already.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Applying logic and design to planting a yard, removes the mystery of what is around the next corner!

  2. tonytomeo says:

    I get tired of all the Japanese maples and hydrangeas. I was very pleased with the parrotia back when we grew it, but it was not popular enough to continue growing it. We barely sold what we grew before we discontinued it. I still do not understand why a small tree or large shrub with such exquisite autumn foliar color is not more popular! Japanese maples look trashy in many regions here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s