An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

May 30, 2008

Habitat for Humanity Small Garden Tour This Weekend

This Sunday (June 1, 08) the Habitat for Humanity will be having their annual garden tour on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Virginia. I have been on this tour before, and it is one I really enjoy. The featured gardens are not large estates with hired landscapers, rather, they are the result of passionate home gardeners, and the proceeds benefit a worthy organization. This year the gardens are in and around Cape Charles, so it would be a short trip across the Bridge-Tunnel and an easy day trip for people in Hampton Roads. For more information go to Habitat for Humanity and look for the PDF link titled Small Garden Tour.

Appleseed Nurseries will be participating in the tour this year. They are one of the vendors we buy plants from at work; they grow some really cool annuals for us. About ten years ago, Jeff Klingel, one of the owners of Appleseed gave me a Chinese Parasol Tree (Firmiana Simplex); it was about 18" tall in a #3 pot. I planted it on the north side of the house and it has thrived and is now up to our second story. This plant is not only a fast grower, but it can really take the heat and it thrives in our humidity. It is related to Cacao (Chocolate) and has large, deciduous tropical-looking leaves. The smooth green trunk grows ramrod straight, and I like the fact that it keeps it color all year. I have read that it is being considered as one of the new street trees to use in London, due to the realities of a changing climate. I am so glad that I have a tree that is being legitimatized by the British gardening world, otherwise it might be just a weed.

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