Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Plants That Add Structure to Sunny Garden Beds

As I explained in my introduction to the plant list for shady garden beds, you want to design your garden so that it has a framework, or structure, that is visible year around. When you do this, your garden will look good all year, even in the dead of winter. Here are some plant choices for sunny exposures.

Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy' - Crimson pygmy barberry
Size: up to 2' tall and wide
Comments: Deciduous; deep red leaves; mound-shaped; very tiny yellow flowers in spring; very thorny, can be used as a barrier plant; rarely needs pruning.

Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruiticosa' - True dwarf boxwood

Size: to 4-5' if left unclipped
Comments: Boxwood grows in sun or shade; it can be clipped into a hedge or allowed to grow naturally as a dense, round shrub.

Cistus spp. - Rockrose
Size: 2' - 6' tall and wide, depending on cultivar
Comments: Many cultivars to choose from in different sizes; all are very tolerant of bad soil, drought and salt spray; flower colors range from white to pink to purple; evergreen; use as a hedge or in small groupings.
Euonymous japonicus 'Microphyllus' - Box-leafed euonymous
Size: 1' -2' tall and wide
Comments: Very dark, green leaves; formal looking; needs no clipping; forms an attractive low hedge.
Size: 2' - 6', depending on cultivar
Comments: Many cultivars to choose from. Leaves vary a great deal in size, color, and texture, from convex blue-grey to fleshy purple. Showy varieties like 'Amy' and 'Tricolor' aren't likely to survive prolonged cold or heavy frosts (believe me, I've lost several). But most all varieties will tolerate seaside conditions. Short flower spikes in summer are purple or white. 'Red Edge' lives up to its name in winter/early spring with attractive red margins on the leaves.
Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star' - Blue star juniper
Size: up to 12" tall x 2' wide
Comments: Blue foliage with star-like form; unlike any other juniper; good blue accent in the garden.

Nandina domestica - Heavenly bamboo
Size: 3' x 3' up to 8' tall, depending on variety
Comments: Not really a bamboo, but called that because of its leaf shape. All varieties are evergreen. Many to choose from. All do well in sun or shade, but color up best in sun. 'Compacta' is fast growing up to 6', column shaped, red new growth, clusters of white flowers followed by red berries. 'Gulf Stream' gets approximately 4' x 3', burgundy new growth in spring which ages to dark rich green by summer. 'Moon Bay' is slightly smaller, about 3' x 3', new foliage is bright red and/or yellow, like all Nandina, color changes with temperature making it interesting year around. There are many more varieties available. Some have lots of berries, some have none; shapes include: tall and slender and short and wide; some a ground covers. There is some form of Nandina for just about any place in a garden.

Pinus mugo 'Mugo' - Mugo pine
Size: 2' tall and wide and up
Comments: This is a dwarf version of a large mound-shaped pine. Provides year around texture and visual interest.
Viburnum davidii - David's viburnum
Size: to 3' tall and wide
Comments: Often used as a low-growing border. Has clusters of white flowers in spring, followed by iridescent blue berries.

Need more ideas? Get your copy of The Pacific Northwest Gardener's Book of Lists

Euphorbia spp.
Size: 18" to 5' tall
Comments: There are many plants in this group: E. wulfenii is stunning in late winter, standing 4 -5' tall with large clusters of chartreuse bracts atop its many stems. Look for smaller varieties, too; new ones are introduced often. Be careful working with these plants. Their white, milky sap will burn your skin. Wear long sleeves and gloves.
Herbs, such as Lavender, Rosemary and Sage

Size: 18" to 4' tall and wide, depending on type
Comments: All three of these are fragrant; all are drought tolerant; all have blue or purple flowers; all are evergreen, although the sage will lose some leaves in winter. Lavender makes a good low hedge with several varieties to choose from, including Spanish lavender which features a little topknot on top of each flower. Upright rosemary plants will quickly become small shrubs. 'Tuscan Blue' has a particularly vivid blue flower in late winter, early spring. There are several varieties of sage to choose from: purple sage makes a nice accent; pineapple sage has yellow-green leaves.

Ornamental grasses
Size: 18" to 5' tall
Comments: There are many grasses to choose from. Grasses in the Carex family are small, mound-shaped and come in several colors ranging from medium green leaves with creamy edges to bronze. The Miscanthus family includes many interesting cultivars from 4' to 8' tall, with different leaf colors and striping, all topped with feathery plumes in summer. Ornamental grasses can be beautiful and easy to maintain if you choose the right ones. They can be invasive and lots of work if you don't. So do some research before you plant. Consult The New Sunset Western Garden Book for detailed information.
Sedum spectabile 
Size: up to 30" tall and wide

Comments: This is the upright form of a prolific group of plants; several attractive cultivars include 'Autumn Joy' and 'Brilliant.' New foliage begins to show above ground in winter, followed by flowers that resemble broccoli heads. These turn pink or reddish as spring progresses and become handsome dried flowers by fall. Newer introductions have purple foliage. 

Cherries Bloom at the University of Washington

In honor of the first day of spring, here's a video featuring the magnificent Yoshino cherry trees at the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. Enjoy!

The UW Continuing Education Department offers this history of the trees:
"30 Yoshino cherry trees are the hallmark of the University of Washington Quad. They were first planted on land that is now the approach to SR 520, but were relocated to campus during construction of the bridge. Estimated to live between 60 and 100 years, the trees are approximately 63-73 years old. In anticipation of replacing them, the UW Class of 1959 launched the Cherry Tree Project. Cuttings were grafted onto rootstock, and replacement trees are growing in a nursery in Mount Vernon, WA. Visit the original cherry blossoms in the Quad as they begin to bloom now through April. And keep learning. It's the Washington Way. http://www.keeplearning.uw.edu"

Monday, March 19, 2012

Plants That Add Structure to Shady Garden Beds

If you plan your garden beds so that they look good even in the winter months, you can be sure they will look good all year around. The way you do this is to include plants that are either evergreen or have something interesting to offer in the winter. Then arrange those plants like a sort of framework, what some people call "the bones of the garden," around which everything else - bulbs, annuals, herbaceous perennials - comes and goes throughout the year. Here are some choices for your shady area.

Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruiticosa' - True dwarf boxwood
Size: to 4-5' if left unclipped
Comments: Boxwood grows in sun or shade; it can be clipped into a hedge or allowed to grow naturally as a dense, round shrub
Camellia japonica or C. sasanqua - Camellias
Size: 6' - 12' tall and wide, depending on variety
Comments: C. japonica is the larger of the two, with glossy green leaves and white or pink flowers. It blooms in late winter into spring and can be trained into a small tree. C. sasanqua is smaller and finer textured. It blooms around Christmas and has a wider variety of flower colors. Good for espallier.
Corylopsis sp. - Winter hazel
Size: 4' - 15' depending on variety
Comments: Deciduous shrubs. C. glabrescens, called fragrant winter hazel, grows 8' - 15' tall and has yellow clusters of fragrant flowers in winter. C. paucifolia, buttercup winter hazel, is much smaller, 4' - 6', with yellow flowers. Both bloom before leafing out. 
Daphne odora 'Marginata' - Winter daphne
Size: to 4' tall and wide
Comments: Fussy daphnes are grown for their divine scent and handsome foliage. This one is no exception. Its fragrance will fill the garden in late winter and the variegated foliage will brighten the landscape year around. Evergreen.
Daphne X burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'
Size: 3' - 4' tall and wide
Comments: This daphne is semi-evergreen. It emits a wonderful scent from tiny white flowers in late spring and summer; leaves are edged in white.
Fatsia japonica - Japanese aralia
Size: 5' - 8' tall and wide
Comments: Tropical looking shrub, often sold as a house plant, with large, deeply cut leaves. Roundish clusters of white flowers are followed by black fruit. Bold accent plant.
Nandina domestica - Heavenly bamboo
Size: 3' x 3' up to 8' tall, depending on variety
Comments: Not really a bamboo, but called that because of its leaf shape. All varieties are evergreen. Many to choose from. All do well in sun or shade, but color up best in sun. 'Compacta' is fast growing up to 6', column shaped, red new growth, clusters of white flowers followed by red berries. 'Gulf Stream' gets approximately 4' x 3', burgundy new growth in spring which ages to dark rich green by summer. 'Moon Bay' is slightly smaller, about 3' x 3', new foliage is bright red and/or yellow, like all Nandina, color changes with temperature making it interesting year around. There are many more varieties available. Some have lots of berries, some have none; shapes include: tall and slender and short and wide; some a ground covers. There is some form of Nandina for just about any place in a garden. 
Pieris japonica - Lily of the valley shrub
Size: 3' to 8', depending on variety
Comments: Many cultivars to choose from; purchase plants in bloom to be sure of flower color, which ranges from white to deep rose; plants are evergreen, with large clusters of bell-shaped flowers in spring.
Size: 18" - 10' depending on variety
Comments: Huge selection to choose from! Look for unusual leaves or flower color to add interest; consider planting specimens of different varieties to stagger bloom time from very early February to late May/June.
Sarcococca - Vanilla plant
Size: 18" to 5' tall
Comments: S. hookeriana humilis gets only about 18" tall; S. ruscifolia reaches 4' 6' tall and 3' - 7' wide; both have tiny, white, intensely fragrant blooms in winter. They account for much of the wonderful fragrance you enjoy at the Witt Winter Garden in Seattle in late January and February. 
Skimmia japonica
Size: eventually 4' - 5' tall and wide
Comments: Evergreen. There's a male and female form - the female produces red berries. Tiny, white, lightly fragrant flowers bloom in spring; slow growing, mound shaped plant. All skimmia get mites sooner or later. They won't kill the plant and there's nothing really effective you can do to get rid of them. They create an interesting "stippled" effect on the leaves, which is so common that most people think it is normal.
Need more ideas? Get your copy of The Pacific Northwest Gardener's Book of Lists

Acorus gramineus - Japanese sweet flag
Size 6" - 12" 
Comments: Yellow grass-like leaves arranged in a fan shape; brightens shady areas; prefers wet conditions
Carex morrowii 'Aureomarginata'
Size: 10' tall - 24" wide
Comments: Attractive evergreen ornamental grass; medium green blades with creamy margin; good accent; brightens up dark spots in the garden
Size: up to 24"
Comments: Several varieties to choose from: Christmas rose, Lenten rose, Corsican hellebore, stinking hellebore, etc. All have cup-shaped flowers, ranging from white, to chartreuse, to pink and deep, nearly black purples; leaves vary in shape and color from light to very dark green.
Pachysandra terminalis
Size: up to 12" tall, spreads slowly via underground rhizomes 
Comments: Woody, shade-loving ground cover. Small white flowers in short spikes in late winter, early spring. Attractive all year. Variegated form is also available. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Shrubs of Substance

Sometimes there is a large, empty area in a garden that needs something substantial to fill it up. For one reason or another, a tree would be out of place. Perennials and ground covers would be too small to provide the required visual oomph. What is needed is one really big shrub to fill the space and bring some interesting form, flower or fragrance into the garden. Here are some possible choices.

Abelia grandiflora - Glossy abelia
Size: 8' tall x 5'+ wide
Comments: 'Edward Goucher' is a smaller variety, about 5' tall; evergreen; profuse lilac blooms late summer through early fall; arching habit. Do not shear this plant, allow it plenty of room to spread.
Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' - Compact strawberry tree
Size: 8' tall x 8' wide
Comments: Related to our native madrone tree; peeling, reddish bark; evergreen; clusters of white, bell-shaped flowers in spring; red fruit in fall resembling strawberries
Berberis buxifolia - Magellan barberry
Size: 6' tall x 6' wide
Comments: Evergreen; upright; orange flowers, purple berries
Camellia japonica - Camellia
Size: 10'+ tall and wide
Comments: Prefers some shade, although often grown in full sun; blooms in late winter; glossy green leaves; evergreen; can eventually be trained into a small tree
Ceanothus impressus - Santa Barbara ceanothus
Size: 7-10' tall x 10-15' wide
Comments: Dense, dark evergreen foliage; dark blue flower clusters; 'Julia Phelps' on of the best cultivars with very dark blue flowers; profuse bloom in spring
Choisya ternata - Mexican orange
Size: 6-8' tall and wide
Comments: Evergreen; clusters of fragrant white flowers in spring smell like orange blossoms; dense shrub
Cotoneaster lacteus (parneyi)
Size: 8' tall x 10' wide
Comments: Evergreen; tiny white flowers; heavy display of red berries; makes a good hedge or espallier
Escallonia spp.
Size: 5+ tall and wide depending on cultivar
Comments: E. 'Fradesii' gets 5-6' tall, evergreen with profuse rose pink bloom; E. 'Balfouri' gets up to 10' tall and wide with pink-tinged white flowers; E. 'Apple Blossom' 5' x 5', with white blossoms resembling apple blossoms
Osmanthus burkwoodii (also called Osmarea burkwoodii)
Size: 6' tall x 6' wide
Comments: Slow growing; evergreen; small fragrant white flowers in spring; useful as a hedge; full sun/part shade
Osmanthus delavay
Size: 4-6' tall x 6-8' wide
Comments: Evergreen; slow growing; graceful, arching branches; white, small fragrant flowers in spring
Pyracantha coccinea - Firethorn
Size: 8-10' tall and wide
Comments: Evergreen; can be trained along walls; valued for heavy clusters of red-orange berries that persists well into fall until birds eat them all; as name implies, plants are thorny
Raphiolepis indica 'Majestic Beauty' - India hawthorne
Size: to 10' tall and wide
Comments: Fragrant light pink flowers; can be shaped into small tree; evergreen; likes full sun
Viburnum plicatum tomentosum 'Mariesii' - Marie's doublefile viburnum
Size: 6-8' tall x 8-10' wide
Comments: Deciduous; layer branching pattern; large, white flowers line the tops of all the branches in spring; very showy and graceful; small red fruit starts red and turns black with age; good fall color
Viburnum tinus 'Spring Bouquet' or 'Pink Dawn'
Size: to 12' tall and wide
Comments: Likes full sun; evergreen; blooms fall into spring with clusters of tiny pink, slightly fragrant flowers; metallic blue fruit lasts until early summer
For more information on these shrubs and much, much more, get a copy of  The New Sunset Western Garden Book. This is the latest edition of this classic garden guide, released in February, 2012.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Some Vines, Ground Covers and Weeds with Medicinal Uses

Long before there were big pharmaceutical companies and drug store chains, medicines came from plants found in nature or cultivated in home gardens for that purpose. Those medicinal plants are all still here, if you know where to look. The list below includes just a few of the plants that have been used traditionally for medicine. How many are you familiar with? Perhaps this post will give you a new way to see and appreciate plants, including the weeds, you find around you. 
Note: The source for this post is "Natural Healing for Women" by Susan Curtis and Romy Fraser, 1991. A new edition of this book is available at Amazon. I am not offering this information as medical advice. See a naturopath or homeopath if you are interested in herbal treatments. 


Hops - Humulus lupulus
This herb is used primarily for stomach disorders, such as colitis and nervous stomach. Hops help the gut assimilate food and the body put on weight. They also have anti-bacterial properties and are used to treat pustular skin diseases, weeping eczema, acne and impetigo.

Jasmine - Jasminium officinale
The fragrance of jasmine oil has an effect on the emotions and is most effective when there is a clear link between psychological stress and physical discomfort. It is considered to be a classic aphrodisiac, used to treat both frigidity and impotency. It can help relieve depression and menstrual cramps.

Passionflower - Passiflora incarnata
Passionflower is a calming herb, useful to take when there is a build up of energy and thought that leads to insomnia. It has anti-spasmodic properties and is used to treat epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and neuralgia.

Ground Covers

Kinnickinnick - Arctostaphylos uva ursi
Kinnickinnick is a urinary antiseptic, used to treat chronic urinary tract infections. It also helps dissolve and pass kidney stones. It should not be used during pregnancy.

Ladies mantle - Alchemilla vulgaris
This is a warming herb used to treat cold and weak conditions. It is good for painful periods. It has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used to treat mouth ulcers and as a gargle to relieve laryngitis.

Periwinkle - Vinca major
This herb contains an alkaloid called vincamine which has the effect of increasing oxygen to the brain. It is used when overwork causes giddiness, poor memory, headaches and vertigo. It is an astringent and aids in clotting blood. It is used for gut problems such as colitis and can be used to prevent nosebleeds.

St. John's Wort - Hypericum perforatum
St. John's wort is used when the body needs revitalizing; it is good for overspent people or those low in energy. It is an effective anti-depressant and can help poor memory. This herb stimulates cell respiration, soothes the pain of exposed or pinched nerves and aids healing.

Sweet Woodruff - Asperula odorata
This herb is good for the congested liver when there is constipation and irritability. It calms the nervous system, especially in cases of poor digestion and insomnia. As a dried herb, woodruff can be used by itself or with lavender as an insect repellant.

Thyme - Thymus vulgaris
Thyme has many medicinal uses. In the respiratory system, it has an antispasmodic effect on the lungs, as well as being an expectorant. It is useful in the treatment of respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, TB or emphysema. It can be taken for indigestion, and inflammation or infection in the digestive tract. It helps relieve diarrhea. Thyme is also anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral.

White deadnettle - Lamium album
Lamium has astringent and anti-spasmodic properties. It is good for balancing the female reproductive system and is beneficial for tired and debilitated women.


Chickweed - Stellaria media
This is a cooling and moistening herb that can be used internally or externally. It is particularly good for the lungs, skin and joints. It is slightly diuretic which makes it cleansing of the whole system, thus good for treating rheumatism where joints are hot and tender. Chickweed calms the heart and can be given for palpitations. 

Dandelion - Taraxacum officinale
There are enzymes in the whole plant that activate kidney and liver secretions and functioning. Dandelion stimulates the general metabolism, aids cell respiration and is particularly good as a spring tonic. It is good for treating diabetes, because it helps the pancreas work more efficiently, and for rheumatoid arthritis, gout and kidney disorders.

Horsetail - Equisetum arvense
Horsetail has wide ranging actions. It contains saponins which make it diuretic. It strengthens the tone of the bladder and helps with difficult menstrual periods. It also contains silica which makes it good for the connective tissues of the body. It is used to strengthen weak joints and treat arthritis. An infusion of horsetail can be used as a hair-rinse for split ends. It can also be taken internally for weak and brittle nails.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Rhododendrons That Don't Get Over 4 Feet Tall

The Rhododendron is the state flower of Washington. Hundreds of varieties thrive in our climate and their prolific blooms are a big part of the reason why spring is such a spectacular season in this region. Still, I've had lots of clients who don't like them. Mostly, their experience of rhodies is that they get huge, turn into big green uninteresting blobs, and block views from windows.

But that doesn't have to be the case. Here's a list of compact Rhododendrons that won't outgrow their welcome.

'Bow Bells' -- 3' -- deep pink buds, light pink flowers
'Cilpinense' -- 3' -- blush pink flower touched with deeper pink; blooms early
'Daphnoides' -- 4' -- unusual foliage, glossy green rolled leaves; purple flowers
'Dora Amateis' -- 3' -- white flower; fragrant
'Impeditum' -- 2' -- purple flower; gray green foliage
'Kimbeth' -- 3' -- deep pink buds through winter open to rosy, red-pink blooms
'Mardi Gras' -- 30" -- pink, blushed white flowers
'Molly Ann' -- 2' -- rose-pink flowers
'Mrs. Furnival' -- 4' -- light pink with striking blotch in center of flower
'Novo Brave' -- 3' --bright pink with a red blotch in center
'Patty Bee' -- 18" -- clear yellow flowers
'PJM' -- 4' -- tolerates cold, heat and sun; blooms early; bright lavender pink flower
'Ramapo' -- 2' -- pinkish-violet flower
'Rosamundi' -- 4' -- light pink flower, blooms very early in the year
'Sapphire' -- 30" -- light blue flowers; fragrant
'Scarlet Wonder' -- 2' -- glossy green leaves; brilliant red bloom, award winner
'Snow Lady' -- 30" -- white flowers resemble fallen snow; early bloomer
'Unique' -- 4' -- bright pink buds open to buttery yellow bloom

R. yakushimanum (also called "yaks") -- several cultivars, including 'Yaku Angel,' 'Mist Maiden,' and 'Ken Janeck' -- 1' - 4' depending on the cultivar; very hardy; pink buds open to pink-turning-white, bell-shaped flowers; resistant to root weevil

For more information on rhododendrons, I recommend Greer's Guidebook to Available Rhododendrons, by Harold Greer. I've used my copy so much, it is literally falling apart. It's held together now with scotch tape. This book is considered by many to be "the bible" on rhododendrons with descriptions and ratings of hundreds of cultivars.  He includes color photos of many flowers, as well.

MORE Good Deciduous Trees for Small Urban Gardens

In case you missed my earlier post listing 10 Good Deciduous Trees for Small Urban Gardens, you can access it here. Now here are 10 MORE good choices.

11. Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea Pendula' - Copper weeping beech
Size: 10' tall x 10' wide
Comments: Purple leaves; splendid accent plant; good in containers
12. Ginkgo biloba - Ginkgo
Size: 40+' tall x 20' wide
Comments: Very slow growing; unique leaf shape; deep gold fall color
13. Hamamelis mollis - Chinese witch hazel
Size: 10-15' tall and wide
Comments: Great small tree/shrub for year around interest; yellow to orange spidery flowers appear before leaves in winter, some varieties are fragrant; attractive leaf and branching patterns; great fall color ranging from yellow to red-orange.
14. Liquidamber styraciflua - American sweet gum
Size: to 25'
Comments: Fabulous fall color: red, yellow, purple; attractive bark
15. Oxydendron arboreum - Sourwood
Size: 15-20" tall x 20' wide
Comments: Pyramidal form; vivid fall color; creamy fragrant, bell-shaped flowers; seed capsules in fall
16. Parrotia persica - Persian ironwood
Size: 15-35' tall 
Comments: attractive year around, especially with fall color that changes from golden yellow, to orange to scarlet
17. Stewartia monadelpha - Tall stewartia
Size: to 25' tall
Comments: Brilliant red fall color; rich, brown, scaly bark becoming cinnamon-colored in age; graceful tree
18. Stewartia pseudocamellia - Japanese stewartia
Size: 30+' tall
Comments: Pyramidal form; slow growing; orange-red to purplse fall color; creamy white flowers in summer resemble those of cmellias; showy, peeling bark with shades of tan, green, grey, rust, terra cotta and cream.
19. Styrax japonica - Japanese snowbell tree
Size: up to 30' tall
Comments: Strong horizontal branching patterns; small, white, slightly fragrant snow-drop flowers line the undersides of branches in spring; clear yellow fall color
20. Styrax obassia - Fragrant snowbell
Size: 20-20' tall
Comments: Oval-round shape; white flowers same as above, but more fragrant; blooms somewhat later in the season; yellow fall color. 
For more information on these trees and much, much more, consult The New Sunset Western Garden Book. This is the newest edition of this classic garden guide, released in February, 2012.

10 Good Deciduous Trees for Small Urban Gardens

Here is a list of deciduous trees that fit nicely into small gardens. Each has characteristics that offer visual interest at different times during the year.

1. Acer circinatum - Vine maple
Size: 15' tall x 20' wide
Comments: Vine maple is a Northwest native tree that grows in the shade of our forest trees, like Douglas fir and Western red cedar. It gets its name from the fact that it grows parallel to the ground, like a vine, in native settings. In sunny, urban gardens it grows upright with a somewhat columnar shape. Good fall color.
2. Acer grisseum - Paperbark maple
Size: up to 25' tall
Comments: Beautiful, peeling, reddish bark is attractive year around; bright red fall color.
3. Acer palmatum - Japanese maple
Size: varies - up to 20'
Comments: There are many trees in this group, some with red foliage, some with green. Some have lacy, deeply-cut leaves. There are upright varieties and weeping ones. All have graceful form. All do best if they have a break from all-day sun. Beautiful fall color; depending on the variety it ranges from clear yellow to fiery scarlet.
4. Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' - Bloodgood Japanese maple
Size: up to 15' tall
Comments: Graceful tree; foliage holds its red color longer through the summer than many other varieties.
5. Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku' - Coralbark maple
Size: up to 20'
Comments: Bright red twigs and branches make for beautiful tree even without leaves; bright yellow fall color. 
6. Cercidiphyllum japonicum - Katsura tree
Size: up to 30' tall
Comments: Heart-shaped leaves emerge with purplish cast, becoming blue-green in summer and bright yellow in fall; graceful branching pattern
7. Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' - Forest pansy redbud
Size: up to 25' tall
Comments: Purple heart-shaped foliage; small pink flowers in spring
8. Cornus kousa - Kousa dogwood
Size: 20' tall x 20' wide
Comments: Resistant to anthracnose; creamy white bracts in late spring - early summer; red fruit in fall; yellow or scarlet fall color
9. Cotinus coggygria - Smoke tree
Size: 12' - 15' tall and wide
Comments: Green, gold and purple forms, with purple being most popular; 'Royal purple' holds color well through summer; dramatic clusters of tiny flowers in summer give the appearance of "smoke;" takes coppicing; drought tolerant
10. Davidia involucrata - Dove tree
Size: 35+' tall and 15+' wide
Comments: Wonderful specimen for the larger urban garden. Spring blooms look like white doves or handkerchiefs; vivid green leaves; best as a stand-alone tree.
For more information on these trees and much, much more, consult The New Sunset Western Garden Book. This is the newest edition of this classic garden guide, released in February, 2012.