|A BEAUTIFUL DAY|
|JAPANESE CHERRY BARK|
|THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY|
It may be my imagination or it may actually be the result of the late, late spring, but it seems to me that many of the branches and trunks of shrubs and trees are more colorful than usual. The red twig dogwoods and the willows are particularly attractive now as is a Japanese cherry tree on the corner of 10th an Wilson.
The red twig, or red osier dogwood shrub, Cornus stolonifera, is particularly beautiful and useful in the native landscape. It usually occupies wet areas but will grow in drier conditions as well. The species name, stolonifera, refers to its growth habit of spreading by stolons, or underground stems. This characteristic makes it very valuable for stabilizing stream banks and wet hillsides, but also renders it pretty invasive in the smaller landscape. Fortunately there is a horticultural selection of the plant, Cornus 'Baleyi' that does not spread and can be used to good advantage in the home landscape. The red osier also flowers and fruits very nicely, and thus offers year-round visual interest. There is also a yellow-twig dogwood of European origin, Cornus alba, which is a nice contrast to the red in the winter landscape but I am not sure of its hardiness north.
TeXas rancher Richard Taylor of Blue Mountain Peak Ranch, sent me this wild hog photo. I guess it's the one that got away from me a couple of months ago.