Friday, October 23, 2009

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.

The Good.

Cutleaf Weeping Birch (betula pendula). Despite the early snow, it has held up well and is an attractive yellow colour.

The Bad.

The Double Flowering Plum didn't have a chance to change this year. I hope for a mild winter so it can bloom well next spring.

& The Ugly.

My little variegated wiegela looks just plain awful. I hope it overwinters well, I may mulch it.

The Bare. This Pocohontas Lilac had hardly lost a leaf yesterday, and was still green. I was wondering what it would do next. Then the wind came.

I really like this tree which resides in a park nearby. I'm quite sure it's an Amur Maple, although I haven't checked closely.


  1. It is very windy here today, all the leaves (and some branches) are blowing off the trees. Soon we will be bare as well, the trees, not me and Ian) lol.
    Winters a comin!

  2. Oh, the birch is lovely ! Such a pretty leaf. My variegated weigelia is frail compared to my purple one. It only very slowly comes back every year. A few times, I thought it wouldn't. I've lost the tag but I think it may be borderline to my zone. (I'm sometimes suckered into buying borderline plants, I wish I'd learn).
    Yours doesn't look that bad, just wilted really. First winter ?

  3. The Cutleaf Weeping Birch here mostly froze up before they turned gold. I was sad to miss it this year as my neighbourhood is full of them and they can be so spectacular.

    It's amazing how much the trees we pass every day have such an impact on the beauty of the world around us. I love them :)

  4. Hi kilbornegrove. Yes, winter really is on its way. Amazing how quickly the leaves drop once the fall winds arrive.

    Thanks ms m. I do find that variegated plants are a little more frail, I also have a purple wiegela (2 actually), that look a little better, but still quite bad. The snow really got to them. It is the first winter for this one, it is a zone 4 My Monet. I always tell myself to stick with zone 3, but really branched out this year. Hope the winter goes well.

    Ms S, we also have many around town, it's so nice to have one in the yard as well. Trees add so much to the feel and warmth of a location. I always gravitate towards older neighbourhoods, I just can't take a treeless landscape, it makes me anxious.

  5. Your birch looks great. Birch trees are lovely, with their beautiful white bark, and fall colours. Unfortunately, my birch tree died last year, as did almost all the ones in the neighbourhood. For blocks around, there are empty spaces, stumps, or the trunk remnants of them. For now, I've removed most of the dead branches, but left the double trunk up for wildlife, and because I still love the look of it.

    A good windstorm can completely change the look of your garden in fall.

  6. I loved your Birch trees as well. And your last photos were not all that ugly!
    I have an Amur Maple in my backyard, it is super tiny, I hope it grows as big as the one you took a photo of!

  7. I have gone out to take photos with that theme in mind. I have done a post similar, and some did not like me posting some of the "uglies". Well, most of us have areas in our gardens that are not so pretty. Actually, I liked all your photos, and didn't see anything that looked ugly to me.

  8. Northern Shade, How sad. Last year was very hard on weeping birch trees here too, many that were quite young completely died, and the tops of many mature ones were bare. Ours was ok, although the seed pods were complete ravaged by an insect and turned brown. We fertilized and watered, and it seems ok this year although it didn't produce any seed pods. Your neighbourood must look drastically different without them. It's good that you kept the one in your yard for now, I'm sure the wildlife appreciates it and the bare trunks are beautiful.

    Rosey Pollen, Thanks lol. There are dwarf amur maples, which only grow to 5ft, the others are in the 15 ft range. Good luck with it, I have a few non growers too (PJM Compact Rhododendron & Eunonymus 'compactus'), I'd swear there isn't a single inch of change from year to year.

    Sue, Thanks for your post. I guess it isn't all that ugly, just such a sudden change from summer to this, without the beautiful fall transition. I enjoy peoples posts that show the other side of gardening, the pictures that didn't turn out, or that are marred by an implement (hose etc..) or an insect damaged plant. They are so real and down to earth, and (whether we care to admit it or not) a part of everyones garden.

  9. Loved the way you've covered the story. Nice one!

  10. Thanks Urban Green, Glad you liked my post.

  11. Hi Rebecca, I'm wondering where you are that you have birch, etc. and being in zone 3-4. Are you in Minnesota or anywhere near me? (I'm SE Iowa - they say zone 5 but I'm still calling it 4). ;-)

    Cute post. I've been feeling the same way about this sudden Fall-turning-Winter weather... I was afraid we wouldn't have much color at all, but there are very bright spots out there, yet. I always appreciate your visits.

  12. Hi Shady, I'm in Southern Alberta, Canada. Not too far from the Montana border (and a few hours south of Northern Shade). I appreciate your visits too. :)