This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Monday, May 30, 2011


Finding someone to sell you a laburnum tree in Michigan is nearly impossible. I have plenty of reasons to presume it's a common enough ornamental in Great Britain, but the nursery industry doesn't produce it for us mid-westerners -- too obscure?, not cold-hearty enough? -- not even Gee Farms routinely stocks it.

Well, I paid my nickel and I'm taking my chances and so far so good. It's a small tree, a member of the pea family, bland as can be when not in flower. But the flower display is spectacular. In Ann Arbor there's a big one on Dorset, an old street-side tree on Third between Huron and Washington, one at the end of Wickfield Ct in the Pontiac Trail area, some nice ones at Lurie Terrace (n.e. corner Huron/Third) and some very pretty small ones on the north side of Liberty across from Dartmoor (near Eberwhite Woods). Except for the last batch, I haven't check up any of these this year.  F.Y.I, laburnum is also known as a 'golden-chain tree.'

1 comment:

  1. They are naturally short-lived, somewhat old-fashioned, and a danger to small children because they are very poisonous, specially the seeds. Having in mind also the modern trend to prune, prune and prune until all trace of beauty is extirpated (atracting fungus that will kill the tree), the public has understandably first lost interest, and finally forgotten this plants.