LANDSCAPE - WOODLAND EDGE
A hillside can become part of your landscape even if it tapers off into the distance. These homeowners live near a wooded lot that slopes down toward their yard and house. They limbed up the trees, to create a clearer view, and underplanted with true woodland plants such as maidenhair ferns (Adiantum) and mayapples, as well as tough workhorses like hostas and foamflower (Tiarella). The effect is almost a fairytale setting that sets the house as a destination.
The Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica), however, will continue to turn heads come winter. With vivid fall color, winter blooming flowers and stunning summer foliage, there is hardly a moment you don't appreciate this tree. "It has some of the best fall color around," notes landscape architect Christopher Yates. "The form of the tree is gorgeous" even without its leaves. Parrotia persica Save Email Botanical name: Parrotia persica Common names: Persian parrotia tree, Persian ironweed, Persian ironwood USDA zones: 4-9 Water requirement: Regular; do not overwater Sun requirement: Full to partial Mature size: 20-40’ height and spread Tolerances: Urban conditions, drought, heat, cold, wind
Persian Ironwood in Winter... In mid January, even before the tree leafs out, profuse blood-red blossoms arrive. While the individual flowers aren’t much to look at, the volume of buds which populate the bare winter branches can be spectacular. Late spring beckons new purplish-red foliage, which transitions to a glossy dark green.
resurrection fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides) is a native found throughout the Southeast. It is also commonly called miracle fern. It embeds itself into the bark of hefty tree branches, usually in the shade of large live oak trees, and curls up when dry. Then, miraculously, the curled fronds will resurrect themselves in response to rain. The resurrection fern in this photo is on an orange tree in central Florida just moments after an afternoon shower. Native resurrection ferns can be purchased at local botanical gardens or through mail-order catalogs.
Botanical name: Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’ Common name: Bird’s nest spruce Origin: The species is native to Northern Europe, but Nidiformis is a garden variety. Where will it grow: Hardy to -50 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA zones 2 to 8; find your zone) Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade Water requirement: Average (1 inch of water per week until well established) Mature size: Slow growing to 2 feet tall and 8 feet wide Benefits and tolerances: Resists deer, rabbits, insects and disease; drought resistant once established Seasonal interest: New growth appears in midspring as light green tips, providing beautiful contrast to the dark green mature foliage; Nidiformis earns its place in the winter garden when its low, round form contrasts with the winter landscape. When to plant: Spring or fall is preferable.
Bearded Iris (Iris germanica) Bold and beautiful, bearded iris features upright, strap-like foliage and large, distinctive flowers in a myriad of colors. A longtime favorite of Western gardeners, bearded iris is nearly goofproof — and deer resistant. Divide the rhizomes in midsummer when they become overcrowded, every three years or so, to ensure a strong flower show each spring.
PLANT IN WOODLAND EDGES... Botanical name: Asclepias tuberosa Common name: Butterfly milkweed Origin: Native to most of North America except for the Canadian Atlantic provinces and northwestern states and provinces Where it will grow: Hardy to -40 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA zones 3a to 10b; find your zone) Typical plant communities: Oak savannas, prairies and woodland edges Landscape by Holm Design & Consulting LLC Holm Design & Consulting LLC Water requirement: Medium to dry, well-drained soil; sand to loam Light requirement: Full sun Mature size: 1 foot to 2 feet tall and 2 to 2½ feet wide Benefits and tolerances: Requires well-drained soil free of compaction or clay Seasonal interest: Vibrant bright orange flowers in late spring; seedpods are held erect when developing When to plant: Spring or fall
Ruby Vase Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica ‘Ruby Vase’) When space is limited, I expect a lot from any plant allowed into the garden. Ruby Vase Persian ironwood has become a favorite of mine for its winter flowers, interesting bark and unique foliage, which constantly changes color from spring until fall. Le jardinet Origin: The species is from northern Iran. Where it will grow: Hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (zones 5 to 7) Water requirement: Average Light requirement: Full sun or partial shade Mature size: 30 feet tall and 12 feet wide, but I have not seen any grow this wide Benefits and tolerances: Low maintenance Seasonal interest: Year-round When to plant: Spring or fall Planting notes: Plant it in moisture-retentive but well-drained soil.