Look Ahead to Fall Day 5

Yellow Twig Dogwood

This week, GardenWise concludes its five favorite  Garden Delights, in no particular order, for Fall 2011.  Yesterday we looked at the strking Aster, heated things up with the Dwarf Burning Bush, and earlier marveled at both the Toad Lily and Pink Muhly Grass.  Today we’re showing off the Yellow Twig Dogwood.

Many know of the Red Twig Dogwood, which is a beautiful shrub I enjoy for the fall.  In fact, I have some on my own property, but my Dogs don’t play alone — they have companions.  They play with the lesser known Yellow Twig Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera,)  which provides a beautiful yellow color, and makes the list of “must have” garden delights for Fall 2011. 

I like the Yellow Twig Dogwood for its bright yellow branch and twig color which are also fantastic for Winter.  This shrub develops in great clumps and is a wonderful contrast against any Red Twig.   Oval-shaped green leaves turn to orange-red in Fall, followed by white fruit tinged with green. The Yellow twig dogwood will tolerate wet soil, and can be grown in full sun or part shade.  Some companion plants for the Yellow Dog is a variegated hosta, or something with a dark green larger textured leaf, such as Helleborus ‘White Lady’, also one of my new favorites. 

I have to mention an additional variety of the Red Twig Dogwood — the Variegated Red Twig (Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima) which has  a very bold  variegated leaf that will add interest to your garden year round.  I have two clumps in the front of my property that makes my front yard with its predominately all white garden flowers is a strong statement that passersby always stop to ask about.

GardenWise on Winter Garden Preparation

Winter Gardens

Well, we’ve had our first snow storm for the 2010/2011 season!   The snow came  early this year, so it’s important for all gardeners to prepare their flowers, trees, shrubs, and other plants for winter if you haven’t already done so.    

Many plants can be  vulnerable to our chilly and snowy winter season, so take the necessary steps to protect them to ensure a healthy spring and summer blooming season next year. It’s  important to carefully look at the various trees, shrubs, bushes, flowers and other plants that make up your landscape to determine the care they will need.

The feeding, fertilization, watering and care of each plant will vary, so it’s  important to give each plant what it needs now to prepare for winter.  Some plants will need to be pruned to create even borders in the snow, while others will need a healthy dose of fertilization to survive the winter.

Proper fall garden preparation can lessen the work necessary in the spring, and will cut down on the cost considerably.  It can also make your garden a year-round source of inspiration. 

Check out some beautiful winter gardens we’ve designed over the past few seasons

DC’s GardenWise on Multi-Season Gardens

I design our gardens with multi-seasonal interest, which is very important since we experience all the seasons here in the DC-area. Creating a garden that will display great visual appeal each month of the year is GardenWise’s goal, so I was excited when I read this story in The English Garden called ‘A Plan for All Seasons’ and wanted to share this multi-seasonal garden in action. 

“Clockwise from Top left – In winter, grasses such as Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ and stipa, and the yew tower give height and form; red tulip ‘Queen of Sheba’ nectaroscordum and ruby Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fern Cottage’ at the far end; alliums and Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus in late spring/early summer; in late summer and autumn the bed is packed with blue Eryngium bourgatii ‘Picos Blue’, veronicastrum, yellow hemerocallis and notable Kniphfia ‘Timothy’ and K. ‘Tawny King’. ”