Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We had another Tulip Poplar removed from the area beside the GCA Circle

That's two from a fairly small space that contained seven  two years ago. Their wood isn't particularly strong so they're subject to storm damage; both of the trees we removed were damaged.

Liriodendron tulipifera has always been a useful tree for Washingtoniansbecause their canopy retreats far up into the air, the resultant high shade is a great place for our "classic" DC gardens: azaleas, flowering dogwoods, hostas, bluegrass, and maybe yews or cherry laurels at the foundation.

High shade would be nice in this location but with seven trees in such close proximity the "high shade" became deep shade. Nothing much happened underneath. The thick groundcover is pachysandra and those are (old) dwarf boxwoods in the foreground. The site has always been a "calming" space. If the profusion and variety of the rest of the garden became overwhelming, this green view was always there. Your eyes could rest on the ground cover and the vertical trunks and your mind could stop trying to process particulars. Whether by design or happenstance this space is on the outside of a curve in the trail so, walking from either direction, one's gaze is naturally directed towards it. We added the Fargesia robusta (clumping bamboo) and the Fatsia japonica a few years back. They both seemed to fit the serene mood of the spot.

Something has changed. This last removal opened up the back of a mature Cornelian Cherry, Cornus mas (top center). With all the extra light from removing two canopies, it'll fill out nicely and in early spring or late winter the bright yellow blooms will be visible from the trail I'm standing on. That'll be pretty colorful of a calm green glen. Hmmmm. Those flowers will only be around for a few weeks so maybe not so much has changed. But no. There's more light and a more open look. We're going to have to reassess the space.

Reassessing, or reacting to change outside our control. is a part of gardening that I didn't think about much for my first twenty years as a gardener. Honestly, these sort of disruptions annoyed me; they were monkey wrenches in my well laid plans. Now, after forty-odd years in various gardens, I almost look forward to them, maybe not change for change's sake, but opportunity is an exciting thing. So I'm parking this space and it's issues in my mind and going on with the other tasks and challenges that this gardening year will present. If I'm lucky when I return to the subject maybe this summer, my mind will have some suggestions, or maybe an inspiration.


MulchMaid said...

Interesting that the Fatsia japonica will survive in your zone. I would have thought it would be too tender. I love L. tulipifera trees, except for the aphid spit. I guess a bed is the perfect place for a few (but not seven, I agree.)

ChrisU said...

Most of us here at the Arboretum were also skeptical about the hardiness of Fatsia, but after years and years without a single loss, I'm a believer.