Then, as fate would have it, a few hours later I read Pauline's EOMV, her Birch trees featured heavily. You can read it here, if you haven't already done so. Immediately, I remembered falling for her Silver Birch/Cornus winter combo last year and wishing I could replicate it or something similar in my garden. Back then it was immediately put to the back of my mind. Maybe one day I'd have a big enough garden in which to give them a go.
A visit to my local nursery, Binny Plants, whilst taking my youngest niece home following a weekend sleepover, would fill my Sunday just nicely. It's sometime a bit too handy that it's en route to my brother's house, or on the way home, depending on how you like to look at these things.
I had planned to fill the now redundant space behind the shed with a new tree. I noticed earlier this year that he had a couple of Kashmir Rowan trees in stock. Sorbus cashmiriana and it's white berries would do the job. Something a bit different. There are plenty red and yellow berries elsewhere in the garden, this would make a nice change. After getting there, I was disappointed to learn that he had sold out and if at all it would be next year until they are back in stock. Ach well, I'll just have to wait!
Billy, the nursery owner and I stood and had a wee blether, seeing as the nursery was very quite. It usually is at this time of the year. I was admiring the red Cornus stems and how they stood out in the low afternoon sun down at the bottom of his garden, where it borders part of the Golf Course. I then commented about Pauline's Birch/Cornus combo I saw the other day and how I'd love a white stemmed birch in the garden but felt I hadn't the room. As luck would have it he told me that they had some purple leafed birches that would eventually have white peeling bark and that it's size might be better suited to my garden. Betula Crimson Frost were new in stock, which explains why I hadn't noticed them before. They are narrow and very upright and not nearly as large as some Silver Birches. I walked over to have a look. Not that there was much too look at, they were rather small and of course at this time of the year completely naked! I asked myself 3 question. Was I particularly after one with green foliage? Considering I hadn't gone shopping for a birch tree, foliage green or otherwise never crossed my mind! Could I live with the Purple foliage? No brainer, I do like plants with purple folage. Finally, Could I make room? Make room? I had the perfect spot which had been cleared for the Laburnum back in spring but since I chose to plant the Laburnum elsewhere, I had filled the gap temporarily with a couple of perennials. You bet I can make the room! Sold! Fate has played a big part in choosing this plant, I just hope it likes my garden. It will be a few year before it's big enough to be partnered with a red stemmed Cornus and a few more after that before it makes some real impact in the garden but it's good to have something to look forward too.
When I had finished paying and making my way over to the car, I decided I'd take the long route home and visit another favourite nursery, New Hopetoun Gardens. Those of you in the UK familiar with BBC Gardening programme, Beechgrove Garden, will know only too well that one of the presenters is the wife of the owner of this independant garden centre. I might find the Sorbus in stock there. Indeed I did find the Sorbus in stock. I chose not to hang around as it had just started raining and I didn't have a jacket with me. It really is great to have such top quality nurseries less than a 10 minute drive from the house.
Here they are, certainly not much to look at right now. The Sorbus to the left is a great deal bigger that the twig that is the Birch Tree. I think the phrase is 'they have potential'. Tomorrow's job is to get both of them in the ground. Thankfully it's still warm enough for planting. It's not often we get a chance to plant out in November here in Scotland.
|Sorbus cashmiriana and Betula Crimson Frost|
|Stem Betula Crimson Frost|
|Betula Crimson Frost|
I can't believe that in a matter of 10 months I've gone from a garden with no trees to a garden with 5 trees. That of course might be 2 or 3 trees too many, I might never know - I'm not getting any younger am I? Why shouldn't I enjoy a few trees right now, I should have planted them 4 years ago when I first set this garden out! If the worse comes to the worst, I'll be looking to employ a tree surgeon!
I wonder, has fate ever played a part in choosing a specific plant for your garden? Do tell us? As if impulse buying isn't costly enough, I now need to contend with fate when I go plant shopping!