Monday, March 3, 2008

Florida: Pinus palustris bed

This is an island bed that we created in December 2006. It is a mixture of natives and non-natives. Pinus palustris, now only 3' tall, will be the dominant plant. If it is not the most beautiful pine in the world, it is in the top two. Vast stands of this pine were historically the dominant feature of much of the SE coastal plain, but without fire as part of the cycle, those areas are eventually taken over by hardwoods. The sun loving pines disappear. On public lands throughout the south there are regularly scheduled "programmed burns" and the numbers of Longleafed pine are increasing.

Its a good tree for a garden because not only is it beautiful, as it matures it lets a lot of light through so there is enough sun for a wide variety of underplantings. You can see a variegated agave, a nice structural accent, and a host of other specimens. We were last in this garden in early January but we're going back in about one month! Interestingly the dry season in Central Florida runs from early winter to mid-spring so it will be exciting to see how things have done.

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