Thursday, May 31, 2012

Garden Sight Lines

     My garden is big enough and fortunate enough to have a number of different sight lines in it.  This is the view from the patio which is on the south side of my house. The tree with the large leaves which is the focal point of this sight line is Magnolia macrophylla, the bigleaf magnolia. Many people are surprised when I tell them that this is a magnolia because they are only familiar with Magnolia grandiflora, which is an evergreen tree. M. macrophylla is deciduous and has some of the largest leaves of any tree native to temperate climates. It also has large white flowers on it, but I wouldn't grow it for that reason. On my tree the flowers are usually so high up and so few and far between that they don't make much of a statement. No, the reason to grow this tree is because of its enormous leaves. I personally planted this tree about 18 years ago, and it has grown very nicely in this location. It is not too close to other trees so it has not grown in a lopsided manner, which I have seen it do in other locations. Also it gets enough light that it has not grown in a too stretched out a way which I have also seen it do in other locations.
     The red flower cutting across the upper left hand corner of the photo is that of Beschorneria dekosteriana. This is a plant I got a long time ago and have grown in a large pot ever since. I will be having a future post about Beschornerias, but suffice it to say that they make great evergreen and hardy pot plants in our climate. This one blooms reliably every year and is a magnet for hummingbirds.
     The grey leaves in the left of the picture are those of the weeping willow leafed pear, Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula'. This is an ornamental pear, although it does, in fact, produce tiny small hard pears. I have had visitors to the garden argue with me and try to tell me that it is a willow and not a pear! It is one strange willow that produces pears. Those are the kind of visitors that one wants to have an eject button for--if they say something like that, they immediately get booted from the garden. I will also have a future post on this small tree.
     The big shiny leaves of the plant in the lower right hand corner of the picture are those of Myosotidium hortensia, the Chatham Island forget-me-not. This is one of my favorite plants and I will also have a future post on this.

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