What’s next in the new year

In early January, thoughts frequently turn to spring, and what’s next? A few acquisitions didn’t quite work out nearing the year’s end, so I still have plans to add a variegated, weeping ‘Whitewater’ redbud (below) and the purple leafed ‘Evening Lights’ styrax. An ‘Autumn Moon’ Japanese maple will be tucked into a partially shaded void on the small mound behind where the Seven Son tree (Heptacodium) and a ‘Ruby Falls’ redbud were planted last year.

Never mind that both ‘Whitewater’ and ‘Evening Lights’ were planned for the same spot at one time or the other. This will be worked out, probably when they sit on the driveway ready to plant. Both are relatively small trees at maturity, so this is helpful in working into small openings. Occasionally, I’ll shoehorn something in and regret it later, but most often this last second planning works out.

It’s possible all plans could be chucked out and revised, as often happens in the winter lull when there is too much time for thinking. For one, the ‘Evening Lights’ styrax could be nixed for the dark leafed, weeping version, ‘Nightfall’, if one can be found. It could be ideal for this spot, a bit narrower than ‘Whitewater’ with the redbud fit in elsewhere. I’m also thinking about adding the kind of dwarf ‘Ace of Hearts’ redbud that should fit in somewhere to build on the growing redbud collection. In any case, trees will be planted.

I’ll continue looking for one of two dogwoods, the variegated Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia ‘Argentea variegata’) or the similarly variegated, but much larger growing Wedding Cake dogwood (C. controversa ‘Variegata’). Major alterations would be made to accommodate the larger dogwood, but it’s unlikely I’ll find one of acceptable size. I’m getting a bit old to start with tiny trees.

As I was beginning the newest rock and gravel garden beside the greenhouse I figured while most of it is in the sun, one side would be partially shaded for much of the day, perfect for tucking in a few dwarf hostas. So, a hosta order was made and scheduled for late April, I think, though I’d prefer it earlier while they’re dormant. I snuck in a few medium growing hostas with long, narrow leaves that will fit somewhere in the garden. There are a few more of the dwarfs ordered than are appropriate for the rock garden, so these will be crammed into crevices between boulders that retain the upper slope of the more shaded, circle patio. I recall that a few more ferns rounded out the order, and of course there’s always room for a few more.

I’m trying to take it slow on the order for plants to fill gaps between boulders in the rock garden. Some larger plants will come from the garden center, but others are ordered from specialty growers. Certainly, there will be a bit of trial and error to figure ones that will thrive in our damp winters and muggy summers, but I’m anxious to get planting.

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