I do not object that flowers of the ‘Stellar Pink’ dogwood (Cornus ‘Rutgan’, below) are barely shaded in pink, and most blooms appear nearly white in color. The same is true of the supposedly pink flowered ‘Satomi’ Chinese dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’). I’ve witnessed both with deep pink flowers in the much cooler northwestern states, and while there’ve been one or two cool springs in the past twenty when the color was somewhat deeper in this garden, I don’t expect it. But, I thought, the past month has been cool and rainy, and perhaps there’s a chance this year. Nope, barely pink.
If there’s a complaint on my part, it’s that both ‘Stellar Pink’ and ‘Satomi’ are in areas so densely planted that flowers on the lowest branches are now far above head. Whose fault is that, I wonder?
Two ‘Venus’ dogwoods (Cornus x ‘Venus’, above) were planted when there was much talk about its salad plate sized flowers. Wrongly, I expected that with such a garish floral display ‘Venus’ would be the next big thing. One was planted near the ‘Stellar Pink’, but evidently in deeper shade where it barely grows and rarely has more than a flower or two. Maybe it’s a slow grower, you’re thinking. Nope. The second, planted in nearly full sun is three times the size of its shaded kin, and by mid May every spring it is covered in large white blooms. However, rather than being consistently salad plate sized, the flowers vary each year, though they are always larger than other dogwoods.
I am somewhat concerned that a red horse chestnut (Aesculus x carnea, above) will outgrow its space. This again is my mistake, or could eventually be my mistake since at this point the tree has not outgrown its boundaries. Someday, I figure, the relatively slow growing tree will reach a bit too far in width, and it’s likely a few evergreens in its shadow will be lost. But, in determining this possibility when the tree was planted to replace a Seven Son tree (Heptacodium miconiodes, below) lost in a storm, I figured that the few evergreens were expendable if such a treasure could be planted.
Decisions on replacing prized trees such as the Seven Son that are occasionally lost are not made without hours of thought. At first, I thought the Seven Son would sprout sucker growth from the undisturbed roots. The tree is practically a weed, and I’ve seen crape myrtles send up multiple canes after the tree is dug and moved. I expected the same, but it didn’t happen, and nowhere could a replacement of suitable size be found. So, I went looking for a tree that could be a focal point, but not grow too large. Well, at least I found a focal point, a darned good one, so why complain?
I am disappointed, though it does no good to complain about damage from recent freezes. Most damage was minor, though a few late arriving, prized perennials are in question, but most distressing is damage to emerging blooms of the Chinese fringetree (Chionanthus retusus ‘Tokyo Tower’, above). Several native fringetrees (Chionanthus virginicus, below) are a few days behind in flowering, and these will be fine, but blooms of the columnar ‘Tokyo Tower’ are irreparably damaged. Oh well, I enjoyed the emerging flowers for a few days before they turned brown. In any case, I prefer the flowers of our native, though the dense growth habit of ‘Tokyo Tower’ better showcases the blooms.