top of page
  • Greg Graves

Canopy part 2

Amelanchier x grandiflora in spring

Amelanchier x grandiflora in spring

This is a continuation of the blog from last week about that in-between layer in the garden canopy. I was fortunate that there were already a few nice small trees already on the property. The first one being Serviceberry, Amelanchier x grandiflora, This small tree has a profusion of white blooms in spring and wonderful dark fall color. Planted not far from it was a Spindle Tree, Euonymus sachalinensis. This also has nice white flowers in spring and amazing seed pods late summer that look like little orange and red parachutes followed by excellent fall color.

Cornus alternafolia 'Golden Shadow'

Cornus alternafolia ‘Golden Shadow’

In the beds where I had removed many of the maple seedlings I started to add some of my favorites from the Miller Garden. The first was a Dogwood, Cornus alternafolia ‘Gold Bullion’, This small tree, 10 feet in 10 years, sports bright chartreuse leaves in spring followed by white summer flowers and yellow fall color. Next in line was a very textural plant. the Big Leaf Magnolia, Magnolia macrophylla, This tree grows to about 35 feet and has very large leaves, up to 24 inches long and 12 inches wide. In fall they turn a brown color but paper thin so as to expose the veins in the leaves. The third tree in this section of the garden was another good tree for fall color, the Sourwood, Oxydendron arboreum, It has bright red leaves in fall but also blooms late in the season so often also has chartreuse clusters of flowers along with the red foliage.

Further along this same bed in the garden I planted a Japanese Snowbell Tree, Styrax japonica ‘Pink Chimes’. This tree is straight out from my living room window so I wanted a focal point. It is covered with small pink bell shaped flowers in early summer. It also has good yellow fall color. Directly behind it is a stand of the native Vine Maple, Acer circinatum, which get good red fall color.

Canopy part 2

Oxydendron arboreum - Sourwood

Oxydendron arboreum – Sourwood

Along the road I wanted to create a little screening with smaller trees so I was able to add another Sourwood two more Japanese Maples and two Stripe Bark Maples, Acer tegmentosum. The white stripe bark on the Acer tegmentosum is a real eye catcher year round. Further along the fence line close to the driveway I wanted a showy specimen tree so I planted the Esk Sunset Maple, Acer psuedoplatinus ‘Esk Sunset’. It’s foliage is cream, pink and green on top with a purple underside. It has pink fall color.

Acer japonica 'Attaryi'

Acer japonica ‘Attaryi’

Because of an ice storm nine years back, which brought down a couple big trees in the middle of the garden, I was able to put in some additional smaller trees. I planted two stunning Japanese Maples, Acer japonica ‘Attaryi’ and Acer palmatum ‘Arakawa’. Attaryi has larger leaves and turns orange in fall while the Warty Bark Maple, Acer palmatum ‘Arakawa’ also is a reddish orange fall colored maple with a very warty texture to the trunk which makes it interesting year round. Not far from this same area and very visible from the house I planted two Paper Bark Birches, Betula jacquemontii. The white trunks look great in winter.

Betula jacquemontii

Betula jacquemontii

Not many people have the opportunity to plant a couple dozen trees in their garden. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to know the trees before I planted them. Some have been in the garden for about a fifteen years now so are looking well established and no longer like a newly planted tree. The birds and bees are happy and so am I. They look even better in my minds eye a little further down the road.

Magnolia macraphlla 'Ashei'

Magnolia macraphlla ‘Ashei’

Acer tegmentosum 'Joe Witt' bark

Acer tegmentosum ‘Joe Witt’ bark

Acer palmatum 'Arakawa' bark

Acer palmatum ‘Arakawa’ bark

Acer pseudoplatinus 'Esk Sunset'

Acer pseudoplatinus ‘Esk Sunset’

Stewartia pseudocamellia

Stewartia pseudocamellia

Euonymus seed capsule

Euonymus seed capsule

Acer palmatum 'Arakawa'

Acer palmatum ‘Arakawa’

93 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page