If it looks good…

Despite my wife’s pronouncements, I am somewhat disciplined in my plant purchasing habits. With unlimited space and funds this would not be the case, but the limitations of a reasonable budget and the small spaces open in this thirty-four year old garden demand careful consideration prior to each acquisition. If not careful, at least consideration. Admittedly, boundaries are crossed on occasion, and perhaps frequently, but risks are calculated and many purchases are considered and denied.

Flowers cover the foliage of Chinese dogwoods in mid May.

The quest for new plants never ends. In recent weeks I’ve considered redbuds and styrax for a spot in the lower, rear garden, but a recent order of a pendulous Chinese dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Elizabeth Lustgarten’) has reduced the urgency to obtain one or the other, or both. I’m undecided about pursuing the other trees. Where would they go? But, nothing’s final, and if ones of reasonable size become readily available I must consider where they could be fit.

Sod has recently been removed and boulders added to extend the planting area beneath the ‘Okushimo’ Japanese maple (shown in May).

A few days ago a space was carved out for another pendulous Japanese maple (Acer japonicum ‘Green Cascade’, below). Weeping forms are under represented in the garden’s Japanese maple collection, and this should fit nicely beneath a tall ‘Okushimo’ maple. Two small boulders must be dug in to extend a line to create a raised area for the maple. The entry from the small rear lawn onto a stone path has been narrowed, and perhaps someday this will become too narrow as ‘Green Cascade’ spreads, but for a good while this will be ideal.

Other plans for the garden will come and go until the reality of March arrives. Smaller fillers demand less thought. A few orders of hostas and rock garden plants have been placed, but much of spring’s planting will be picked from the garden center’s offerings.

I’m grateful for the few minutes of labor on a recent chilly afternoon digging to expand the space for the maple and placing boulders. Every shovel of dirt and every plant order are steps towards spring. As the calendar slowly turns closer to February, and as witch hazels and more hellebores come into flower each day, I am pleased that the garden will again be improved in this new year.

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