Wading through the photos and memories of the recent Garden Blogger Fling in Asheville, NC, I like to do an overview quickly then take more time to digest and process what was seen during these events before writing extensively about it, one plant jumped off the laptop screen for more attention. In the above shot taken at the Gentling garden, Geoff of Cobrahead Blog and Sarah Battersby of Toronto Gardens are also interested.
It was the weeping blue atlas cedar, Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’ that was captured at the Peter and Jasmin Gentling garden. For more info about this tree, click here-Dave’s Garden site.
There was also a giant specimen photographed at the Biltmore Estate gardens. I have not cropped out the fellow walking by so you can see the size of this majestic mammoth tree. This is a tree that commands attention, wherever it is grown. There just so happens to be one growing here at the Fairegarden that is in dire need of much better branch management.
After seeing the two trees growing so happily in the clean mountain air, adequate rainfall and moderate temperatures of Zone 6B/7A in these gardens, the mature size has me a little frightened. Our tree was planted here in Zone 7A in Southeast Tennessee in 2000, right outside the kitchen window over the sink, for frequent viewing pleasure. A little more research was done after that planting, and the sizing for the space had to get a rethink, pronto. It was still small enough to dig fairly easily and move to a larger open space behind the mailbox down by the street. The eight foot piece of rebar that was used to stake it for a taller height was reinforced with a twelve foot larger metal bar. The above photo was taken May 21, 2008.
Over the years the main trunk was wound around this bar until it reached the top and began the graceful weeping habit for which this tree is famous. While it is indeed beautiful and graceful, the branches are reaching out into the sidewalk area and over the mailbox, as well. Sadly, large branches have been regularly cut off to keep it in bounds.
I would love to do what retired doctor Peter Gentling has done with his, making a waterfall effect behind his pond. Speaking with him about this tree, he shared that his had been a gift from a dying patient, passed along as a sweet remembrance. It has been in the ground there for about twenty years, he said. But our pond is in the back garden and this tree is much too large to move now. But the idea of strong posts along the street side or perhaps following the curve of the sidewalk up towards the front door might be something that could be done here.
More thought is required on this. The visits to wonderful gardens both public and private during the flings are a source for ideas to last a lifetime in our own gardens. I hope all the attendees have gotten inspiration from their catalogs of photos, and that the readers of the blog posts about the flings can also get some ideas to use in their own space, no matter how small. Let those creative juices flow like a waterfall!
Above: Helen Battersby, who blogs at Toronto Gardens with her sister Sarah shown in the opening image, and I are on opposite sides of the waterfall tree, snapping simultaneously. This is normally done with my friend Layanee of Ledge and Gardens, who had to miss this fling. Helen, thank you for standing in, my friend!
Other posts from the Asheville 2012 Fling: