Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Garden Style

I've been wondering lately who's responsible for the direction of garden trends.  Are plant breeders driving this?  Magazines?  Commercial landscapes?  Somehow gardeners all get the same idea at the same time -- where does it come from?

For a while now, the trend has been for compact, evergreen shrubs with lots and lots of flowers.  I've noticed a steady "dwarfication" of old standards and an emphasis on outlandish color schemes.  Sometimes I like it -- the 'Peve Minaret' Baldcypress is a dwarfing version of the native baldcypress and I love it for its bonsai appeal in the garden.  But sometimes I'm not sure what the point is.  How many different dwarfing versions of nandina do we need? 

I'm curious: is this is just a local thing?  Do people in Wisconsin or North Carolina or Maine shop for compact evergreen shrubs that flower all the time?  They probably do in Florida and California.  More research is clearly required!

This is 'Peve Minaret,' a dwarf Baldcypress.  Height estimates vary from 8' to 20'.  
Still, a good deal shorter than the traditional form and highly ornamental, too!

1 comment:

  1. I know that plenty of dwarf evergreens are out there on the market, but don't know of them getting used here in Massachusetts in commercial settings -- I think they're more apt to be bought by home gardeners who have smaller lots and big wishlists.

    I just discovered your blog via a comment you made on The Garden Professors, and the Hopkins poem drew me in! It's one of my favorites (my car's license plate reads 'DAPPLE'), and I'm enjoying reading your posts in all their multiplicity...