Twiggy


A big part of winter interest, that ever elusive but highly desirable garden design element, are is? (Rose?) the stems of deciduous trees and shrubs. Seen above are Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’ (red) and C. sericea ‘Flaviramea’ (yellow).


Newly purchased Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’ has been added to the above selections growing in the center island that runs along the streetside of the property. The drained of chlorophyll foliage of Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Moundry’, AKA The Thug, provides contrast to the colorful sticks, along with the green wall of Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Well’s Special’. We began with six of the variegated leaf C. Elegantissimas in this bed, but have found them to be less than vigorous in our climate and soil conditions. Half of those died and are being replaced as funds allow. The green leaf types do much better and are just as attractive in the warmer months with better flowering and some berries. None are exceptional during that time, it is the winter when they take the stage to strut their stuff, like a long ago willowy British model with heavy handed pencil drawn eye lashes of the same name as the title of this post.


Last year two dwarf specimens were added to the bed behind the mailbox, C. sanguinea ‘Arctic Sun’. These are still quite small, not the least reason being someone with a pair of felcos taking cuttings, (total failure), last fall. The coloring is more muted, with a mix of coral and yellow. They are planted around a weeping blue atlas cedar and are barely discernable at their current size. Mature height is said to be around four feet tall. The unknown hardy geranium Geranium sanguineum, name finally located in the old records, was added as a groundcover with its red leaves recently. This may not be the best idea either, but more time will be given for the combination to prove itself worthy. There are plenty of other groundcovers here that could be tried.


Joining the dogwoods with colorful legs are members of the willow family. Three Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ , passalongs from neighbors Mickey and Mae years ago, are coppiced in early spring, taking the stems down to about six inches off the ground. The new growth has the best coloring, both in stem and leaf. The leaves emerge with delightful white and pink coloring mixed with the greyish green background color.


The new growth of pollarded curly or corkscrew willow, Salix matsudana is pleasing against the dark green background of the Hemlocks. Two of these trees were planted on each end of the knot garden as sticks brought from the tree in our Texas garden. Simply stuck into the ground, the stems will root. What was not planned on was the size to which these quickly grew. Too much shade, growing into the hemlocks and sucking up all available moisture from the soil made them a very bad choice for this area. But when The Financier had the chain saw going, we just could not go all the way and left the stumps to regrow. The branches can be used for various craft projects and decor. A wreath has been fashioned from them. We do have to remember to keep cutting the new growth or the trees will regrow to mega-size again in the blink of an eyelash, drawn or real.

Maple trees are known for lovely branching, especially the Japanese varieties. Acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’ has not only grace but color, giving it the common name of Coral Bark Maple.


This truth in advertising shot shows the lack of forethought in the placement of this bright stemmed tree. Whether for camera shots or the naked eye, the background of the compost bin, beautiful as it is, and the too short evergreens, Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Juniperoides’, let alone the untidiness of the whole area does not enhance the viewing, at all. This is one of the last messy areas….no that is not true, this is one of several many messy areas on the property. In the future it might look better, in fact we need to get the thinking caps into high gear to think of a way to spruce it up, not with spruces though, they don’t do well here.


This Butterfly maple, Acer palmatum ‘Butterfly’ is known for the branching red stems in addition to the beautiful multicolored variegated foliage. This one also sports a praying mantis egg case, talk about winter interest. (To see baby mantids emerging from such a case, click here.)


The chartreuse stems of this passalong Kerria japonica stand out more against the blue fescue than the photo shows. The beautiful double yellow flowers are so welcome in early spring.


Sometimes there is interest to the twigs that is unintended.


This azalea is laden with lichen. About half of the little bush has died. Hard pruning was done in an effort to open up the center for better air circulation, but even with good rainfall, it is probably doomed. A pity, I love the look of the lichen, especially when the hot pink flowers are in bloom.


The most pleasing candelabra shape of the deciduous azaleas gives plenty of winter interest. Even better is the promise held in each flame shaped tip.

may-6-2008-011-2
Soon that promise will be kept. In both shots, may we present Rhododendron ‘Crimson Tide’.

There are many other trees and shrubs with winter interest growing in the Fairegarden. In fact, we consider every single decidous woody plant to be interesting in the extreme, well every single growing thing is considered in that way, but these are the most colorful and interesting. Do consider the color and form of the twiggys when planting your four season garden.

Frances

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46 Responses to Twiggy

  1. I do enjoy “twigs” in the garden at this time of year – the structure and starkness is pleasing.
    I particularly like the first shot of the cornus –
    K

    Thanks Karen. On rainy days, those twigs really show up well, but I don’t like to take my cameras out then, even under an umbrella. :-)
    Frances

  2. Edith Hope says:

    Dear Frances, I am very impressed, and very taken with, the wide range of ‘Twiggy’ [oh yes, I remember her well] colour in your garden at this time of year. So often people tend to overlook the possibility of having something of interest for the winter months and this posting serves as a very good reminder that no garden need be completely bare at any time.

    Hi Edith, thanks. I was wondering if anyone would remember that super model. These colorful stems are really striking right now and when in bloom, the pollinators adore them, another good reason to plant them. :-)
    Frances

  3. gardeningasylum says:

    Good morning Frances, Twiggy is beautiful! I have some hakuro nishiki and didn’t realize they should be cut down for the best growth – will add to the to do list! Cyndy

    Hi Cyndy, thanks. The willow doesn’t have to be cut down, my daughter Semi doesn’t cut hers at all and they are huge. I cut mine because the space is limited and it is those white and pink leaves we seek, as pretty as flowers. :-)
    Frances

  4. Sylvia (England) says:

    Frances, I love the colour of twigs especially willow but willow can get very large so I have bought a couple of Cornus bushes. In my narrow garden it is very difficult to find a background to show the stem colour so grey tarmac road will have to suffice!

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    Hi Sylvia thanks. The Cornus are much smaller and slower growing than the willows. You are right to consider the background as well. We are thinking of adding more evergreens to the island bed for that reason. And maybe a couple more cornus, they have a big shipment that just arrived at the local big box store. :-)
    Frances

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    You have so many pretty twigs in the garden. I bid on one of those coral maples at an auction once. I thought it was quite pricy. If I had had a place to plant it I would have went ahead and bought it. It is so pretty. That is some compost pile. If you figure out a way to make it pretty I would love to see that. I think they are one of those utility items of the garden that you just have to have a mind set that it is gorgeous because it is a much needed area. I don’t have luck with azaleas here. I haven’t figured out why.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. Believe it or not, that coral bark maple came from Walmart a couple of years ago, $25. I bought one for Semi too, and had just bought an expensive one for Brokenbeat’s birthday the same year. Thee compost pile might have to be moved, it is not fastened down but is quite heavy. I have moved it once already, rolling it on its side so it is possible. I believe it needs an evergreen screen or a constructed one. Those little bushes might someday grow tall enough to cover it though. Our azaleas are not doing well at all, except the deciduous ones are. I love the little evergreen ones, and they are so cheap to buy, but something has changed about the climate. Perhaps it was those drought years that did them in, it would not surprise me.
    Frances

  6. Frances, it is a joy to see so many colourful stems in your garden. I have been taking notes, planning on adding some to Kilbourne Grove. I already have the willow,(as soon as the snow melts, I cut it down) but loved the coral bark maple. So many plants, so little space….

    Thanks Deborah, I so envy your space and the beginning of what will be the most fantastic of gardens. The colorful twigs do add so much during winter, especially lovely against white snow. :-)
    Frances

  7. Joy says:

    Frances every time I read a post of yours ANOTHER plant appears on my wish list … this has got to STOP girl !!! LOL
    I love the bright red stems to see in winter .. they are so brilliant and happy looking .. funny right ? thinking a plant is happy because it is so colourful .. I can’t help that thought from imprinting on my garden brain ? : )
    Joy

    Sorry Joy, you are right. I must stop posting these fine plants on the blog! HA I agree about the color=happy too. :-)
    Frances

  8. James Golden says:

    Thanks for educating me. I have many praying mantis each year, and many egg cases. But until I saw this post, I didn’t recognize the plastic foam-like things were praying mantis egg cases. I have trouble with the dogwoods with colorful stems. They don’t seem to like my very wet conditions. One literally rotted in last summer’s extremely wet conditions.

    My pleasure, James. Those foam cases are so odd, who would know what they were? I am sorry to hear of your losses. We had some issues with the variegated cornus, but these green leaf types are doing much better. We also have had good rain, for they do appreciate moisture, but good drainage. Drainage we have, since the entire property is a steep slope. :-)
    Frances

  9. Les says:

    Last year at the garden center, I ordered in some red twig dogwoods from the west coast. The neat thing about them is the golden chartreuse foliage. I think in general the species is non-descript in the summer, so a little extra foliage color is welcome.

    Those sound beautiful, Les. I will check ours for leaf color, we usually pay them no attention once spring arrives. We have seen very nice flowers on the yellow twigs. I think the birds gobble the berries right up.
    Frances

  10. Hi Frances – you’ve managed to get colour every month of the year thanks to your thoughtful planning. The Acer Maple is outstanding. I have a variety, but it’s not nearly as red. It’s almost a shame to have all this colour covered in leaves. Almost.

    Thanks Heather. Even with all the additions for winter interest, the predominate color here is still brown. More needed, always more. Isn’t that the way of it? HA :-)
    Frances

  11. Liisa says:

    Frances,
    Such an abundance of wonderful color for the winter garden. I just love the branches of the corkscrew willow, though I was not aware that they would get so big. I think Acer palmatum “Sango Kaku” is a must-have, and hope to find a spot for this beautiful tree. Your Rhododendron is stunning. I do enjoy studying the bare branches of trees and shrubs during the winter months, all the better when they are saturated in color. :)

    Thanks Liisa. Do be warned about the curly willow, it will eventually grow to fifty feet very quickly, and that wide. I am sure the one I planted in the corner at our Texas house has been removed. Way too large for a small garden space. The coral bark maple is so much smaller, a much better choice. BTW, so far the black peony poppies have germinated. The others had to be put in the fridge, but are now in the greenhouse. I will let you know when they germinate. Thanks so much! :-)
    Frances

  12. Liisa says:

    OH! I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed your image of the baby mantids emerging from their casing. What a remarkable photo!

    Thanks Liisa. Although I slapped my name on the shot, it was taken by my friend Laurie. She did a great job capturing the magic of the moment. :-)
    Frances

  13. Gail says:

    Very nice Twiggies~and something I need to think more about. I have the double Kerria and think it beautiful… the plan was to get more and let them fill the center bed so there would be lovely green stems all winter. It’s hard to find locally. I decided to move the oakleaf hydrangeas there instead…Cheekwood has a mass planting of yellow twigged dogwood and one of red twig..It’s impressive. I am going to make a point of noticing them this spring and summer. I really enjoyed this post…and the photos. There is a photoshop program I’m thinking of getting to magically remove the telephone pole from my yard~you wouldn’t have to roll that big boy around that hill! gail btw, you are the best plant shopper! The coral bark is lovely!

    Thanks Gail. I love the Kerria, the flowers are phenomenal. I imagine the Cheekwood plantings are spectacular. I do pride myself in the bargain hunting ability. It pays to keep checking back again and again at these stores. You never know what will turn up. :-)
    Frances

  14. sequoiagardens says:

    What do you mean “a long ago willowy British model”?… Surely it was just the other day when we were all young?

    A lovely post, yet again. I envy you the many named cultivars which we never get to see this end of the world. But you inspire me to go out and revisit winter stems -I have a brilliant setting for it, and on the large scale my trees are lovely in winter. Now greater subtlety in smaller scale and coloured stems for foreground planting must be considered – but I will have to look at what is available rather han go shopping with a list. Since winter is so short here (80 odd days), few South Africans consider winter gardening as important.

    HA Jack, it does seem like just yesterday. Thank you for the kind words. Your setting is certainly brilliant. The stems of these, or others in your area, do offer much to the garden as a whole. People often do not think of stems when planning a garden, more into flowers, when beginning. Age has brought wisdom. :-)
    Frances

  15. Love the Coral Bark Maple! I’ve been wanting one but they tend to be fairly pricey where I’ve seen them. I definitely enjoy our red twig dogwoods and probably should add a few of the yellow twigs at some point.

    Thanks Dave, the maple is a beauty and can be very expensive, usually. I just happened to be at Walmart and decided to check out the plant department. So glad I did. The yellow and red mix is striking against an evergreen background. Or snow, if we had some that stuck around. :-)
    Frances

  16. Rose says:

    Such beautiful examples of winter interest in your garden, Frances–much more attractive than the anorexic Twiggy of our youth:) My goal this year is to add some shrubs to the garden, and I will have to remember these examples for winter color, not just a pretty face in the spring or fall. I was drooling over the Japanese maple branches until you showed the long shot…then I was drooling over the huge compost bin. Now I have maple and compost envy!
    And yes, you do have the proper subject-verb agreement in the first sentence:)

    Thanks Rose, for the grammar lesson. I usually just go by what sounds right, and neither seemed quite right to my ears. The compost bin is a wonderful gift that Gardoctor and The Financier built a couple of years ago as a Mother’s Day gift. The posts are six by six pieces left over from the arbor construction, overkill but sturdy. :-)
    Frances

  17. Hi Frances, Aren’t dogwood the best? I love their colorful stems. There’s also a native one that has greenish stems… Anyway, the correct verb is is, but I tend to rewrite sentences like that to sound more betterer (HA!) like “The stems of deciduous trees and shrubs make for exciting winter interest, that ever elusive but highly desirable garden design element.” Yep, I’m a professional! LOL!

    Thanks for that, Monica. Rewriting sentencing is often done here as well when something doesn’t sound quite right. I was being lazy. You are quite a pro! :-)
    Frances

  18. Kiki says:

    HI Frances…I absolutely love the corkscrew Willow…what haunting beauty! Love it..Very stunning! It is always lovely seeing new treasures here..yay..very inspiring. Great photos as always! Have a fab wkd!
    Kiki~

    Thanks Kiki. Watch out for that willow, it gets very large very fast! You too enjoy the weekend, it is finally warming up, hooray! :-)
    Frances

  19. Your title did indeed bring the lass Twiggy to mind Frances! The red sticks of dogwood are a delight in the landscape… I should add a few into my stick garden. I am in admiration of your compost bin! Your so called “messy area” is hardly that. Your little coral bark maple is lovely!!

    Thanks Carol, you are too kind. That messy spot is one of the worst, behind the shed is the other one that needs some work. One of these days both will get some attention. :-)
    Frances

  20. Benjamin says:

    Now see, I thought this post was going to be on Buck Rogers…. I have a line of nine ‘Arctic Fire’ along my curved sidewalk. They are 2.5 feet tal after one full season (came as sticks practically), but all winter were covered by 3′ snow drifts. For the 1 month I have them without leaves, they are so gorgeous from the street! Bud’s yellow is next.

    HA, that was Twiki, not Twiggy. (In full disclosure, I googled it.) Arctic Fire is a fine one, when they grow tall enough to stand above the snow cover, that will be jaw dropping! Bud’s Yellow will be a good addition. I love the combo, they play well together. :-)
    Frances

  21. A much overlooked aspect to the garden. Thank you for showing us through your photos why we should be sure to incorporate plants that look great “naked” in our garden.

    Hi Noelle, thanks. We do need to take into account how a plant looks in every season when weighing its worthiness. :-)
    Frances

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  23. Tatyana says:

    Another treasure from your garden, Frances! The Coral Bark Maple is my favorite among these gorgeous plants.

    Thanks Tatyana. The maple is a a fine plant, slow growing and beautiful when well sited, unlike mine. :-)
    Frances

  24. Pretty! Pretty! Pretty! Oh! ;-) You are getting me ready for Spring! Have a great day, Frances.

    Thanks Shady, glad you liked the stems today. We are more than ready for spring here too. Have a great weekend! :-)
    Frances

  25. paddysdaughter says:

    Love the colours of the maples and cornus – I think they are brighter than those I have here – perhaps they are effected by the very cold winters you have? Autumn has just begun here, and the leaves are beginning to colour, so I shall have to wait a bit before I have a clear view of all the lovely winter twiggy things. Cheers from Downunder! Sue

    Hi Susan, thanks. Our winters are moderate, we do have below freezing temps for extended periods, especially this year. I believe we are on the edge of the range for the bright stemmed cornus, they would be more colorful if we were colder. I hope your fall is glorious! :-)
    Frances

  26. Sweet Bay says:

    You have a lot of colorful shrubs for winter! Right now my garden is still a maze of brown, fawn, taupe and beige twigs that only a gardening mother could love.

    R. ‘Crimson Tide’ is outstanding.

    Thanks Sweet Bay. We are mostly brown in the back garden, this front bed is getting a redo since it has been neglected and is what the public sees. Especially since we did not mow the liriope and pennisetum, we are feeling guilty about it being an eyesore. We added a few more cornus and some Golden Globe arborvitae today, just off the truck down at Lowe’s. That is the best time to buy, when they have just unloaded the merchandise in spring and I am there when the doors open in the morning. To beat the forecasted storms. We just got them in before the deluge. :-)
    Frances

  27. Nell Jean says:

    I’ll have to tell my friend Etter about the Crimson Tide azalea, surely hybridized in Alabama? Some years ago she wanted to buy an expensive (then) daylily named Byran Paul. She told her husband it was called Paul Bryant and he insisted that she buy it, a lovely red.

    I don’t know the provenance of Crimson Tide, but surely it came from Alabama, as did Admiral Semmes. There was, or might still be a breeder there who came up with some mighty fine cultivars. Crimson Tide is one of the best ones we grow, out of more than thirty. Hope she can find it. :-)
    Frances

  28. Frances – something remarkable happened in today’s rain. This morning, there were no leaf buds on the willow. By mid-afternoon, leaf buds! I promise you that my allium, larkspur, nigella and poppy seedlings grew several inches today!

    It MUST be spring already!

    That is the most wonderful news, Cameron! Leaf buds, oh I long to see some! :-)
    Frances

  29. Lola says:

    Love the red & yellow twigs for winter interest. Now I have put them on my list if they will survive here. Will have to check that out.

    Thanks, Lola. If the cornus are not for your area, there will be plenty of other things, like the willows that should grow for you. :-)
    Frances

  30. Jen says:

    The twigs are beautiful – what a genius idea to plant the contrasting ones together. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mantis egg case before – how cool is that??! (and the babies too!)

    Thanks Jen, they do look good together, and like the same conditions which makes it easy. The mantid case is too cool, agreed, and the babies are too cute! :-)
    Frances

  31. Stevie says:

    So many lovely branches! I too love the shape of my rhodos and japanese maples in the winter, and I plant many blueberry shrubs as I love the neon pink-red the stems go in fall.

    Thanks Stevie. Your blueberries sound wonderful, and maybe there are berries to enjoy as well? :-)
    Frances

  32. Beautiful branching Frances. I planted a Sango kaku last year, and I’ve enjoyed it so much. In fact, I don’t know what I would do without my Acers. I also love the dogwoods. They are wonderful especially in winter, as is the Japanese kerria. I have the single form too. It is very graceful. Tried growing the variegated form, but it died.~~Dee

    Thanks Dee. The dogwoods and maples are favorite trees here as well, we love every one of them and are so thankful they like the conditions here. :-)
    Frances

  33. Beckie says:

    Frances, love the title and it proved to be right on. You do have a lot of winter interest-gorgeous colors all. As for the thinking caps..how about a lattice surround and lots of vining plantings to set off the coral bark maple??

    Thanks Beckie. Your lattice idea sounds wonderful, I think we even have some leftover pieces in the garage somewhere. :-)
    Frances

  34. Meredith says:

    Frances, the designs of these layered twigs remind me of modern art. Your garden must be full of sights for sore eyes in winter. :) The “candelabras” of the deciduous azaleas have to be my favorite of all. How dramatic they are… and as you point out, how promising!

    Thanks Meredith. There are spots of winter goodness around the garden, this area is in the front by the street. We can’t see it from the windows where we sit most of the time, but the public gets the benefit. Oh those azaleas, they are my most favorite plant, they will bloom in another month too. Can’t wait! :-)
    Frances

  35. Grace says:

    Wow, Frances. In my opinion you saved the best for last. What an outstanding deep pink color on your azalea. Your praying mantis egg casing is odd looking to me. It will be interesting to see the babies emerge. Have a great weekend!

    Thanks Grace, the azaleas are just the most exciting thing about spring, seeing all those soon to be blooms at the tips is a thrill. The egg cases are fun. We probably will miss the hatching since these are in the front beds and we don’t really hang out there, but we will check periodically for emergence. My friend Laurie took the photo linked in her garden. Lucky timing and a great shot! :-)
    Frances

  36. commonweeder says:

    A friend of mine has a yellow twig dogwood in his garden. He says it is the one plant that really stands out in the winter garden – when he is inside admiring it from his window. When I pass by it is beautifully noticeable from the road.

    Thanks Pat. While the red is seem more often, I agree that the yellow is more eye catching, even better is to have both together. :-)
    Frances

  37. I’m so glad about this post, dear Frances, because so many people forget to enjoy the beauty of twigs! I especially like that you celebrate the architectural delights of deciduous shrubs as well as their twigs, flowers and foliage. We don’t always remember to think about structure when we’re in the middle of summer and everything is lush and blooming and we won’t see bare branches for a few more months.

    We have a nice stand of C. sericea red-twigged form, but we’re adding several ‘Flaviramea’ and ‘Arctic Fire’ to the garden this year, along with a few other twiggy delights, including several more Nishiki willows, one of my favourite shrubs. My friend the nurseryman has been walking around our yard, eyeballing the place and saying, “oh, I’ll give you X to plant here”. He’s now adamant that I try a couple of the hardier Japanese maples in the front garden, so we’ll see what happens with those!

    Thanks Jodi. I agree that this is something not thought about when people are planning gardens, even those with winter interest. But the stark brilliance of these stems is breathtaking, although the background is very important to show them to the best advantage. You are lucky to have such a friend who has the stock and even can find the perfect place for it in your garden. Very exciting about the J. maples, I do hope they work for you! :-)
    Frances

  38. Ooh, how pretty! Each year, I try to add a few more colorful Twiggies to my gardens, though I have a ways to go. They add bright winter interest with all of our snow.

    Thanks Kate. Good to know that you are adding the supermodels as well. They must look wonderful with snow. Ours must be planted with evergreens since we do not have snow cover, it melts too soon.
    Frances

  39. noel says:

    aloha frances,

    you really have nice bones in your backyard, especially the twiggy kind, i love the colors that you have displayed here mixed with the various evergreens..it goes to show that background plants do play a special part especially during the winter months….lovely post

    Thanks Noel. We have been working hard on those bones after the first couple of years at this house. We noticed how drab it was in winter and have been trying ever since to make it better. I guess that is what gardeners do. A garden is never finished and there is always room for improvement. :-)
    Frances

  40. Town Mouse says:

    Beautiful! It’s so easy to forget the other seasons…It’s not just the flowers that count.

    Thanks Town Mouse, and right you are. The garden is about so much more than flowers, it has to be for we gaze out the window by the hour and need something nice to look at. :-)
    Frances

  41. Deirdre says:

    I recently got a Scarlet Curls corkscrew willow which I intend to coppice every year. The color is gorgeous, and the texture is interesting. Willows root so easily that I could have a plantation of them if I want to. Maybe I’ll find myself a niche selling to flower arrangers.

    Oh my, just the name sounds delicious, Deirdre! The flower arrangers should be beating down your door to get those stems. :-)
    Frances

  42. Janet says:

    Hi Frances, finally getting back to the blog postings. I have missed my friends. Life!! Sometimes it gets in the way of my agenda.
    Love the twigs…all of them. I have been debating salix red twigs or dogwoods…hmmm. I love the Coralbark maple. I will have to reread your comments on the salix and pull up the info online. Oh the decisions!

    Glad to see you back, Janet. I do hope all is well with you and your new place too. I don’t know what to tell you about Salix or Cornus, but the Salix would give you new shrubs from cuttings faster, if that is of interest.
    Frances

  43. joey says:

    As you artfully reminded us, gardens are so much more than flowers, Frances. (Love your corkscrew willow)

    Thanks Joey. I do believe we all begin gardening with flowers in mind, I sure did and my offspring have as well. Then you mature into seeing the bigger picture that includes all four seasons. :-)
    Frances

  44. Eliza says:

    I love the first photo of the red and yellow stems… they look painted! The mantids are fantastic, too. :)

    Hi Eliza, thanks. Glad you enjoyed them. :-)
    Frances

  45. Hi Frances

    Great post.

    I agree, Cornus comes into its own come winter.

    There’s a roundabout near here (the French are massively into making roundabouts works of art) that is just a sea of red stems. Could easily belong in a gallery.

    There’s alot of lichen on the azalea, you must have good air quality?

    Rhododendron ‘Crimson Tide’ is just knockout.

    Hi Rob, thanks so much. That roundabout sounds perfect, there is great art to a mass of these colorful stems. I have been adding more since the local big box store just got a shipment of red and yellow stems in at good prices. We are awash in lichen, the air might be good, but it seems the azaleas that are covered with the stuff are dying for some reason. It might be leftover damage from the two extreme drought years we experienced a couple of years ago. The deciduous azaleas are faring better than the little evergreenss, thank goodness. If anything happened to them, it would break this gardener’s heart.
    Frances

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