Monday, July 8, 2013

Ornamental Shrubs In the Garden

     I love ornamental shrubs because they beautifully set off other plants and flowers. Physocarpus opulifolius (Ninebark) grows 6 years in my garden, it has reddish-beet leaves, variety ‘Diabolo’.
It blooms in May and June, but its main quality is his leaves. It goes perfectly with lilies, peonies, bergenia, grey spirea, rodgersia.


Several years ago I purchased a small willow (Salix purpurea), variety "Nana". These plants have dense rounded crown, consisting of a very large number of small leaflets. Purple stems are very thin and flexible. Small narrow thin, pointed leaves are very graceful. From above they are painted in a bluish-green color, the lower part of the leaf is blue-gray.

 
In that summer I did a little pruning to my willow, then I planted some cuttings in the greenhouse and covered Salix for wintering.
What the horror was in the spring when I opened my beauty: it was sick, the fungus grew on its branches! I tried to cure but it died. What to do?
T
hen I remembered the cuttings that grew in the greenhouse. The two of them wintered well and gave the roots.They grew up and became beautiful small willows “Nana”.
A slim and slender meadow-rue grows near these willows. It is a little higher but its airy flowers beautifully look next to the gentle and delicate willow branches.


    When I stayed at the resort hotel I liked the big tree in a flowerpot. Looking closer, I realized that this was somewhat of Ficus Benjamin trunks intertwined as pigtail. Having arrived to St. Petersburg I found not far from my summer house three thin young willows growing in a ditch. I planted them in front of the house and the next spring I twisted their thin trunks as pigtail. 


The 8 years have passed and my twisted willows-“niwaki” grow well and the hostas, potentillas and lady's mantles are near their trunks.

60 comments:

  1. Yes ornamental shrubs are the back bones of our gardens. Especially the Physocarpus ' Diabolo' is a beautiful one for the colour I think.
    Hope you have the same lovely summer weather as we have!

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    1. The Physocarpus ' Diabolo' is well propagated by cuttings at any time of the year!
      Thank you, Janneke!

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  2. Love ornamental shrubs, too, especially Physocarpus:) But it's too narrow to plant them in my small balcony. The folliages in your garden look gorgeous!!

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    1. Keity,
      if you plant Physocarpus in a pot you can prune it in small size.
      Than you!

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  3. Very nice... my Diablo got so huge that I finally removed it, but it was very attractive for several years... L

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    1. It's pity! Why didn't you cut it to the roots? The Physocarpus can grow in any shape.
      Thank you, Larry!

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  4. WAU - where a beautiful tree you have made.
    Have you ficus benjamin in your garden?
    Wishing you a good Monday / good new week :) Hugs Hanne Bente

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    1. Hanne Bente,
      I've got ficus benjamin inside, potted, It's not enough hardy for winter.
      Glad you liked my willow "niwaki"
      Thank you!

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  5. Nadezda girl !
    I love that "Pig's Tail" shrub ! .. twisted trunks like that are so beautiful .. so interesting to look at.
    I am a shrub person too .. I have a lot of different ones .. I have a willow that has pink in it, purple twisted hazelnut,false cypress, aralia (new!) elderberries in Black Lace and Morden Glow.. barberries.. well I could go on and on.
    I just wanted to add that I think shrubs are perfect to show off other garden plants and you are doing a wonderful job with yours, beautiful foliage !
    Joy : )

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    1. Joy, you're right, shrubs are perfect to show off the garden!
      This twisted willow I've made several years, twisting the trunks more and higher.
      Thank you!

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  6. Welcome Nadezda!
    Beautiful tree plaited into a braid.
    Your summertime garden looks great.
    It is very beautiful.
    Regards:)
    Lucia

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    1. Lucia, glad you liked the willow tree, thank you!

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  7. Your garden looks so groomed and beautiful, Nadezda. So many great plants. You made a great, beautiful tree. Happy gardening!

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  8. Beautiful shrubs, Nadezda! I love your "Pig' Tail" wit the twisted trunks. You are very creative! Diablo has such wonderful color and the texture and colors of your willow are very nice! Happy new week!

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    1. Peter, my cottage neighbors do not believe these willows are from a ditch, say they are special trees:))
      Thank you!

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  9. The twisted willows look great. I like all the planting around them. The shrubs really do compliment the other planting. I will have to look out for Diabolo. You have a beautiful garden.

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    1. I think 'Diabolo' will go well in your garden. Its leaves look bright in any spot. Thank you, Tracey!

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  10. I think willows are under-rated plants, so much variety and colour and they can look amazing in the winter too. And they can be put into different shapes, woven or trimmed! I wish I could find someone to advise me what is wrong with our weeping willow though, it is right by the stream but its leaves are going thin and brown and twisty it clearly has some blight. I have looked in books and not found out what the problem is.

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    1. Jenny, willow likes to grow near water. Perhaps its roots are in the very dry soil or there are no minerals.
      Thank you!

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  11. Another reason I like shrubs is they are less work than perennials! I love your twisted willows, I have never seen that before.

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    1. Twisted willow is my idea, I share it with all of you.
      Thank you, Jason!

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  12. Great planting combinations Nadezda. The twisted willow is indeed an eyecatcher.

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  13. Hi Nadezda
    Twisting the willows' trunk - what an interesting idea! I'm glad to hear that the 2 overwintered plants survived. Your garden is looking beautiful!!

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    1. I'm glad too, Astrid, now I have 2 purpurea willows, healthy and nice.
      Thank you!

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  14. Lovely ornamental shrubs Nadezda. The twisted willow looks great. Everything in your garden looks gorgeous and well looked after.
    Patricia x

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    1. Glad you liked my garden, thank you, Patricia!

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  15. I love that you found the willows in the ditch and then braided their stems and now have such an interesting small tree. It's beautiful, especially how you have underplanted it.

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    1. Laurrie, people who see this willows don't believe I brought them from the ditch. I paid nothing for them:))
      Thank you!

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  16. Absolutely beautiful shrubs Nadezda! It's amazing how the beauty of shrubs is sometimes overlooked isn't it?

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    1. Yes, you are right! We sometimes forget the shrubs that set off well other plants.
      Thank you, Optimistic Existentialist!

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  17. Hi Nadezda, I always love every post you write. I saw this post earlier but was somehow unable to leave a comment then.
    The background is very important to let flowers come out. I don't have a variety of colourful shrubs like you do, mostly the background here is green. I have had the kind of willow you talk about as well but that didn't survive here. I also once had some shrubs called 'Cariopteris heavenly blue'. They went one after another. Still feel sorry they didn't survive because I loved the grey green colour of the whole shrub and then the heavenly blue bloom in september, it was glorious.

    I've read your comment on my post and you asked if the flowers were Columbinas. I don't know what Columbinas are but if you meant Columbines, they're not, they are Nigella, also called love-in-the-mist. Love these flowers but I haven't had that much success with them over the last couple of years. Also this year, they were all thrown flat on the ground by the many rain. Fortunately I could save these few flowers and photograph them inside the house.

    Bye,
    Marian

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    1. Marian, I can understand you, always want to have new colorful shrub for border or background, but... it's bot enough hardy for our climate.'Cariopteris heavenly blue' is a garden hybrid, cross between two Chinese species. I don't purchase any Japanese or Chinese plants now, they are beautiful, but are not for our climate, winter. I prefer the hardy and simple in growing shrubs.
      Yes, it's Nigella! They are tiny and nice, I had them some years before.
      Thank you!

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  18. Dear Nadezda,what a beautiful garden you have!!It looks like heaven!!!
    This is a very beautiful tree!!!And all those different plants and flowers!!
    Great work!!!
    Dimi...

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  19. Nadezda, I agree, shrubs are wonderful for their shapes and colours. As I learn more about them, I am slowly adding some here and there in my garden. What a fantastic idea to twist the stems of the tree together, it looks so interesting. Thank goodness you had thought to start some willow cuttings in the greenhouse!

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    1. Oh, yes, it was lucky for me that in spring I found 2 healthy cuttings and now I have nice small willows.
      Thank you. Rosemary!

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  20. Thanks for the tip about stem twisting, I shall try that. Willows grow easily from cuttings. I stick them in the ground and up they come.

    I grow purple and golden physocarpus, they are both beautiful.

    I think our gardens are very similar, we many similar plants.

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    1. Frico, our climates --wet and cool, rainy and windy are very similar, you're right! I wish your experiment with willows be successful.
      Thank you!

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  21. I have a couple of Ninebarks and really like them for their color and the fact that they tolerate a bit of shade. The Salix purpurea is a shrub I don't have but have often admired. The braided pigtail trunks are really nice. It was smart of you to think ahead and twist them.

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    1. Glad you liked my idea to twist the willows. Thank you, Jennifer!

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  22. Thanks for the comment on my blog Nadezda.
    It is jointed "babies" I show they had really hard to find / keep balance, some also fell down. Wish you a good / sunny Thursday :) Hugs Hanne Bente ♥

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  23. I love foliage plants too, they do add a lot of interest to a garden. Beautiful work on the willow trunks!

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    1. Thank you, Masha, glad you liked my willow-'niwaki'!

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  24. Tus sauces están preciosos Nadezda y siguen creciendo bien retorcidos y apretados:))
    De nuevo en casa, hemos pasado unos días estupendos en Portugal.
    Buen fin de semana.
    Un beso.

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    1. Estoy contenta te gustaron tus vacaciones! Espero leer algo sobre tus dias en Portugal,
      gracias, Laura.M!

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  25. Replies
    1. This picture with bee was surprise for me! Very dogged bee.
      Thank you, Optimistic Existentialist!

      Delete
  26. You really have a beautiful garden and you are so creative – I would not have thought to plant 3 trees and intertwine them like that – it looks quite good now.

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    1. Now you have this idea and may follow me, twist some any trees. I have twisted the dogwoods and one lilac bush, it's a small one.
      Thank you!

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  27. Your gardens are beautiful. I particularly like the willows that you twisted together, looks fantastic.

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  28. Hello Nadezda! I too love your planting schemes. Your plants are looking very good :)

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  29. Such fascinating posts, Nadezda. I love reading about your garden activities. I'm so glad you took cuttings on that beautiful willow. And the twisted branches look really cool. Nice job.

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    1. I'm glad as well and now I have 2 nice willows. Thank you, Grace!

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  30. You have a beautiful garden Nadezda - I especially love the foliage on the ninebark and the graceful willow! I also appreciate shrubs with pretty leaf color and different leaf shapes together. Sometimes we don't even need flowers to have a beautiful garden.

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    1. You're right, Rebecca! Sometimes we have the garden of shrubs, different colors, shapes and foliage. Thank you1

      Delete

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