Best Landscape Trees

While I have no intention of getting into any long drawn out discourse on the value of trees in every landscape, I must say that I am surprised to see so many landscapes, even on new home sites that are practically naked so far as trees are concerned, even after landscaping has been completed.

Like all other plants used in the plan, they must be serving a real purpose and I think this is the most important point I have tried to emphasize. While I have stated many times that the lawn is the canvas upon which the landscape picture is drawn, that in itself would be little more than a miniature pasture patch if nothing more was done in the way of planting.

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I think we face two problems when we consider this very important matter of deciding on which trees or shrubs to use in our basic landscaping. First, where the new homeowner is also a newcomer there is always that bugaboo of looking back to what one has used in previous locations. Repeating what I have said on countless occasions, the selection of basic landscaping material such as shrubs and trees should be made wisely. Should it be that the homeowner is not too familiar with the countless number of items in the shrub-tree family, he should consult with his nurseryman before making any decisionn on purchase and especially on planting.

The flowering tree I want to feature today is little known to the average homeowner. I am referring to the Koelreuteria, commonly called the Golden-Rain Tree it can really be a most interesting item in the landscape. This tree is deciduous, will grow to about 25 feet at maturity but can be kept somewhat in hand by very light pruning. The tree produces half-inch flowers in panicles about 12 to 14 inches long and very snowy. In as much as the tree is not yet available at nurseries (as far as I know), I do know that it is available in limited quantities.

In selecting any tree for the garden, always give serious forethought to the reason why you are purchasing the tree and what you expect the tree to do for you. In the case of the average homeowner where space is usually somewhat limited, try and use material that is easy to care for, is colorful and requires only the minimum amount of maintenance. Locally, we have quite a choice here.

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I expect that we will have quite a bit of cloudy weather through into the latter part of June so take advantage of that possibility, and if possible, complete all heavy planting of shrubs and trees by the end of this month if you can. I have always believed that the homeowner should select shrubs and trees that will supply color throughout the entire year. This means that you have to select material that will bloom at different times of the year. However, never buy and use any shrub or tree simply because it blooms at a certain time of the year. It must serve a purpose in the overall landscape.

If you are not sure, consult with your nurseryman before buying. Turning now to what might be termed the “lesser” chores, it’s time to get all flower borders completed so that you can relax and really enjoy your home and garden during the summer months. I have to admit that while shrubs and trees set up the frame for the garden picture we might have in mind. I think that personally I derive more pleasure from the flower borders which seem to do so much for us over such a long period.

If you are a beginner I would like to have you use those plants which really do well in your area and are interesting to all gardeners, both beginners and even professionals. I have two in mind right now, the annual dahlia and the vinca. The dahlia mentioned is actually grown from seed and is extremely interesting to beginners. You never know what you are going to have in the way of flowers and in as much as the plants actually develop small tubers you can save the tubers for planting next year or even leave them in the garden over the winter months.

The Vinca rosea (periwinkle) is actually a perennial and the one I am referring to now is commonly called the Madagascar periwinkle and if you want to have a blooming workhorse in your garden, use this one liberally. Left alone in the garden it will go on blooming usually through most of the winter in most areas.

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