Pucker Up for Dogwoods

Cornus stolonifera Pucker Up in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Colorful Cornus stolonifera ‘Pucker Up’ (Photo by: Kathy Diemer)

I’ve been a fan of shrubs for decades, they add architecture and color to the year round garden while helping keep maintenance to a minimum. Many shrubs offer additional benefits of vibrant foliage, beautiful flowers and luscious fruit. And a few offer extraordinary attributes wrapped up in a petite package, minus the bow. One such shrub is the North American native, Cornus stolonifera ‘Neil Z,’ commonly known as the red-twig dogwood ‘Pucker Up.’     [Read more…]

Winter Bones

Weeping katsura, hemlock and grasses in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Weeping katsura, hemlock and grasses provide a variety of forms and colors (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

For those of us enduring long periods of dormancy in our seasonal landscapes, winter bones help to keep our outdoor environments lively and inviting.  Structures popping out of the snow and forms drizzled in frost create artistic objects that we may gaze upon and enjoy during the coldest days.  For no matter the season, and even without the benefit of green adornments, our gardens can be incredibly beautiful and interesting with the simple addition of living framework.  Andrew Wyeth said it best: “I prefer winter and fall, when you can feel the bone structure in the landscape-something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”  [Read more…]

Meet the Twigs

Cornus alba 'Elegantissima' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’ with garden mates (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

If this little twiggy went to market, it would come home with lots of easygoing cornus brethren to make your acquaintance.  Because many are native, twig dogwoods (cornus cvs.) tolerate a variety of conditions, making them extremely versatile for garden plantings. They love moister soils and lots of sun, but will accept dry spells and partial shade without much ado in zones 3-8. During the spring and summer months these gems fill out with lush green or variegated leaves (Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’), in a dense shrub form that melds nicely with any landscape style.  The majority produce white flowers in summer, followed in fall by blue or white berries that are quickly gobbled up by our feathered friends. Although I love my companion twigs for their many cheerful attributes, it’s the vibrant winter’s bark that make me go ‘gaga’.  Only revealed when the cold weather arrives, twigs offer hues we’re longing to see during the brown months of winter.  Bright stems range in a plethora of shades: red (non-native Cornus alba), yellow-actually chartreuse-and red (native Cornus sericea), and burgundy (native cornus racemosa and amomum), so they provide razzle-dazzle during the dormant months, and carefree style the rest of the year. [Read more…]

A Garden for All