Hunting for Treasure

by Mike Ecker, Director of Horticulturevaseyi8 (1)

People love hunting for treasures whether they do so in antique stores, old book stores or at the ever popular yard sales.  But I propose that among the favorite places to find treasure is right here at The Dawes Arboretum at the Spring Plant Sale and Garden Fair.  Always held on the 3rd weekend in May this year’s sale (May 16, 2015) is sure to be loaded with some treasures you can take home for your very own.

A treasure’s value, such as gold, can grow over time if invested wisely.  However, a properly selected, sited, and well-cared for tree can provide a more enjoyable return.  Although some might disagree, you can’t sit in the cooling, relaxing shade of your gold.

It’s no secret invested money should be diversified for protection and maximized return over time.  Guess what?  The same is true for the plants in your garden.  Diversifying the landscape’s plant palette protects against one disease or insect becoming a major headache.  But even after chestnut blight, Dutch elm disease, Emerald Ash borer, structural issues with Bradford Callery pear, humans tend to really like monoculture plantings.  There is nothing like a few miles and several thousand identical trees to get cameras clicking.

Plant diversity does more than protect against catastrophic occurrences.  It also provides a variety of  flowering colors and times, textures, various fall colors, winter interest, opportunities for food and shelter for wildlife.

Knowing now how important plant diversity is in the garden, plan on coming to the Spring Plant Sale and Garden Fair to begin adding that diversity.  In the not too distant future you too can sit beneath the shade of a tree and contemplate your gold’s value.

Think about adding a few of the following plants, just a smattering of our complete sale inventory:

Wingle’s Weeping Dwarf white fir, Abies concolor ‘Wingle’s Weeping Dwarf’

Green Carpet Korean fir, Abies koreana ‘Green Carpet’

fernleaf fullmoon maple, Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’

Green Mist threadleaf Japanese maple, Acer palmatum (Dissectum Group) ‘Green Mist’

pecan, Carya illinoinensis

Heronswood Globe katsura-tree, Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Heronswood Globe’

American fringetree, Chionanthus virginicus

Golden Shadows® pagoda dogwood, Cornus alternifolia ‘Wstackman’

Kay’s Appalachian Mist flowering dogwood, Cornus florida ‘Kay’s Appalachian Mist’

Summer Fun kousa dogwood, Cornus kousa ‘Summer Fun’

golden weeping European beech, Fagus sylvatica (Variegata Group) ‘Aurea Pendula’

Carolina silverbell, Halesia Carolina

vernal witch-hazel, Hamamelis vernalis

Green Thumb common witch-hazel, Hamamelis virginiana ‘Green Thumb’

Red Heart rose-of-Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus ‘Red Heart’

bigleaf magnolia, Magnolia macrophylla

Sheri’s Cloud black tupelo, Nyssa sylvatica ‘Sheri’s Cloud’

Gold Drift Norway spruce, Picea abies ‘Gold Drift’

Eagle Rock white spruce, Picea glauca ‘Eagle Rock’

Spring Ghost Colorado blue spruce, Picea pungens ‘Spring Ghost’

Silver Ghost lacebark pine, Pinus bungeana ‘Silver Ghost’

Brutus eastern white pine, Pinus strobus ‘Brutus’

sweet azalea, Rhododendron arborescens

pinxterbloom azalea/roseshell azalea hybrid, Rhododendron periclymenoides × R. prinophyllum

Delaware Blue swamp azalea, Rhododendron viscosum ‘Delaware Blue’

fragrant snowbell, Styrax obassia

Guldemond’s Dwarf Canadian hemlock, Tsuga canadensis ‘Guldemond’s Dwarf’

American Spice® Burkwood viburnum, Viburnum × burkwoodii ‘Duvone’ American Spice®

Chesapeake viburnum, Viburnum ‘Chesapeake’