Monday, April 20, 2009

Dogwood season

It's dogwood season at The Park.

Since we are in the middle of an old oak and hickory forest we look for color everywhere we can. In early spring, color is primarily from budding red bud and dogwood trees.

Since the deforestation begun by the electric company I have been removing all the trash trees surrounding the house, allowing anything that flowers pride of place. The grounds have been wild for at least the past decade, all the nearby trees are spindly, top heavy things. In their search for sun they have grown up, not out.

It's my hope that by clearing space for our flowering saplings, eventually they will fill out and become truly specimen trees.

Mixed amongst the trees are a collection of azaleas and rhododendrons, which will begin to flower within the next several weeks. Each year I plant about 50 of each, which in a year or so should begin to fill in nicely. In my minds eye, I have the beginnings of a southern garden.

I next need to work on scent. My guide is a strong scent memory of the honeysuckle scented drive from Savannah to Atlanta.

Sadly, forest bottoms for miles around here are covered with an aggressive, invasive, non scented honeysuckle species. Virtually everything green in the pictures above are this plague. Adding more, although a less invasive honeysuckle may not be my answer. Any ideas?



preppyplayer said...

Although we are in the northeast, we have a similar problem with the many oaks on our property, they are very top heavy.
We have started to "weed out" the spindly, precarious oaks near the house- all we need is one, good storm and we could end up needing a new roof.

As for the honeysuckle, I wonder if there isn't some natural enemy of that type that would thwart it?

Kathy said...

Red bud is in full flower in No. Virginia, and the dogwoods are just showing up. I'm not lucky enough to live at the edge of such a beautiful forest, but we do treasure our urban trees. They suffer at the hands of the power company too. They get hacked up any old way to accomodate the above-the-ground lines.

kathleen said...

Thinning out the weed trees from your forest is a good idea. I don't have any good suggestions about the invasive honeysuckle. Maybe you could do the google and see what the experts suggest.

Of course, you could hire a small country of landscape workers to remove what they can. That should stunt it for a while.

Toad said...

The redbuds came and went over the past several weeks. Last weeks rain pretty well finished them off. Thus far the citizens of a small nation who remove honeysuckle is me.

After a while it becomes rather therapeutic. after bagging it last week, it looks like I'm on a roll again.

Gladys said...

I love honeysuckle. It reminds me of my grandmother's house. Do you have any Wysteria? I really miss Wysteria.

I have trimming and pruning on my agenda for tomorrow. Unfortunately it's not at my place but at the Taj Mahal Kahuna is building. I have planted 244 plants and still have some ground cover to go. This being a lady of leisure is killing me.

Toad said...

Sadly, I am a tad too north for wisteria. I love it, but have never seen it grown around here.

Kathy said...

I live near a perfect specimen of wisteria and will post a picture when it's in its glory.