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Friday, March 6, 2009

Flowering trees yield great returns in these tough times

Whether you have a few containers, a small front yard or a large property, planting a tree will improve your outlook, give you something to look forward to (watching it grow and change with each season) and help improve air quality. Not only will you have immediate satisfaction, but you also will be making an investment in your future that won’t depend on the state of the economy.

As for timing, March is an ideal time to plant hardy trees, shrubs and perennials. The trees you select provide the framework for your garden. There are many excellent small- to medium-sized trees that bloom in spring or summer and offer beauty during the rest of the year, too.

Stewartia pseudocamellia, Japanese stewartia is an elegant tree that offers year-round beauty. Its distinctive buds open in summer to reveal white saucer-shaped flowers (somewhat like a camellia, this tree belongs to the camellia family). In autumn, the dark green foliage turns brilliant shades of red and orange, and in winter the bark is like a patchwork quilt of tan, brown and rust.

Last summer, when I visited the Polly Hill Arboretum on Martha’s Vineyard, many of their stewartias were in bloom, including the tall stewartia, Stewartia monadelpha, Stewartia ovata and Stewartia pseudocamellia. It was hard to pick a favorite, as they were all beautiful. This planting of mature trees in various stages of bloom made for a dramatic scene.

Read on

The Painting is by Byun Shi Ji

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