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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Conifers, Prunus padus, Styrax, Laburnum, Davidia, Ribes, Larix, Chamaecyparis, Picea, Tsuga, Cedrus, Fagus, Betula, Flowering trees, Pinus, Ericaceae (Heath family)

Are there any lists of shrubs/small trees that are best viewed from below, such as Styrax or Halesia?

Answer:

While there are no lists of shrubs/small trees best viewed from below, there is a list of trees with weeping habits in The Pacific Northwest Gardener's Book of Lists (Ray and Jan McNeilan, 1997). Many genera of conifers - Cedrus (cedar), Chamaecyparis (cypress), Larix (larch), Picea (spruce), Pinus (pine), and Tsuga (hemlock) - have weeping forms, often indicated by a variety name 'Pendula' or 'Pendulum'. There are weeping birches (Betula), beeches (Fagus), and cherries (Prunus), too.

You are correct about Styrax and Halesia. Additionally, I ran across a few individual species that may be of interest to you as I researched this question:
--Davidia involucrata
--Laburnum anagyroides
--flowering currants, Ribes spp.
--flowering cherry trees, particularly Prunus padus
--various plants in the Ericaceae family have bell-shaped flowers that hang on the underside of the stem.

I would add that any tree which has a naturally graceful branching pattern and/or delicately shaped foliage (such as Japanese maples) would be pleasant to view from below, as well as from other angles.

Date 2017-05-11
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: University of Washington, Flowering cherries, Flowering trees, Prunus, Garden tours

I would like to know when most of the beautiful flowering trees will be in bloom on the University of Washington campus this spring? I would like to bring a tour group to see them.

Answer:

There is actually a "Tree Tour" of the University of Washington campus, called the C. Frank Brockman Memorial Campus Tree Tour, but it does not focus on flowering trees. I would recommend that you bring the group when the Yoshino cherry trees (Prunus x yedoensis) in the Quad are in bloom later this month (mid- to late-March). The Quad is also near the Grieg Garden, by Thompson Hall, which is an attractive spot.

Here is an excerpt from an article from the UW Alumni magazine about that garden:
"The Grieg Garden is the reverse of what folksinger Joni Mitchell once sang about they 'unpaved' a parking lot and put up Paradise. Until the renovation of the HUB [Husky Union Building] Yard in 1990, the space south of Thompson Hall was for cars. Today it is for people (and squirrels). One of the UW's newest beauty spots, the Grieg Garden is a cozy clearing surrounded by trees and flowering shrubs. Located on the north side of the HUB Yard, it is best in the spring, when rhododendrons and azaleas frame the space in drifts of lavender, crimson, magenta and pink."
-Tom Griffin

Date 2017-01-06
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April 11 2017 13:50:16