With the garden winding down, there’s no better place to visit to get ready for next year than the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
On Saturday, I went to look at trees I am considering for my backyard once a giant silver maple is removed. the specimen trees at the arboretum are labeled so you know exactly what you’re looking at. Looking at the mature versions of the saplings I’d seen in garden centers, I realized that I needed to change my plans and aim at smaller evergreens than I’d planned. And when a tree that was planted in 1974 is eight feet tall, I knew I needed to choose something else unless I’m willing to wait for my landscape to look its best when I’m in my 90s.
I wandered around the gardens, too. While I don’t have the space for the big displays that they have at the arb, the gardens are a good reminder of basic garden design. Massing plants for maximum impact is good. And paying attention to issues like contrasting colors and textures yields interesting results.
Here’s some pictures from my Saturday visit.
The tree at center is Picia abies “Acrocona,” a Norway spruce that looks like a Dr. Seuss plant to me. It gets raspberry red cones on branches in the spring. While this little one was cute, the mature version is a shaggy giant that I realize will overtake my small yard.
And this is grapeleaf anemone:
Maybe I will look for this plant for next year's garden.
Have you started planning for 2014 yet?
More from Star Tribune
More From Greengirls
Recap of 2015 with backyard bees.
3 things that worked in the garden, 3 things that didn't, and 3 things you can still do right now.
Savor the fall finale before the frost.
An accidental late crop adds "fall interest" to the garden.
Advice on helping an apple tree.