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, April 23, 2012

A better scilla, a reddish euphorb, and beautiful katsuras

I'm counting the days until that wretched Scilla siberica goes into dormancy -- won't be long now but until then: what a mess.  I've heard kind words spoken about it, but I think I will pass, thank you very much. A second species, one that is flowering now, is Scilla litardierei. It's better looking and somewhat better behaved, but still bordering on a being a nuisance.
This euphorb in my garden is the closest thing I have to poinsettia. Images available on the world wide web show it forming nice sweeps, but this cultivar of Euphorbia griffithii just sends up random shoots here and there, usually right in the middle of another perennial. A good thing is that is doesn't seed around excessively like many other hardy euphorbs.

On the subject, do any of you readers know of anyone growing our native Euphorbia corollata as a garden plant?  I see it around Pickerel Lake and I'm quite fond of it. If nobody warns me against it, I will give it a try this summer.

And another one: crown of thorns, Euphorbia milii, is common in landscapes in subtropical Florida. I assumed it would tolerate light freezing, but my potted specimens lost all their leaves after I failed to bring them inside during the recent cold evenings. A lesson learned.

I love the look of fresh green leaves in the spring. These are from a disease-resistant American elm planted by the city along Scio Church Rd. If you're looking to plant a fast-growing shade tree, this is definitely worth considering.
On my errands about town, I snapped this photo of a line of katsuras surrounding a driveway circle. I remember when these were planted, didn't seem very long ago. The homeowner is very happy! The second photo is the typical branching pattern for this tree. Dr Burt Barnes tells me this is how they grow in the wild in Japan. How they manage to reach heights surpassing 100' without falling apart is a puzzle to me.

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