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.

April 10, 2016


     This past weekend we headed over to my parent's place on the Eastern Shore to celebrate a couple of birthdays. Spring arrives there a few weeks after it arrives here in Norfolk, especially where my parents live so close to the still cold Atlantic. This morning the low was 32.5, but the skies were a clear blue, and many of the trees and shrubs in their yard, and in the surrounding landscape, were tentatively pushing out new growth. Though largely still brown, even the marsh was beginning to show the first blush of green.

     Golden Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Ogon')
Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Ogon' (2)

     Fruitless Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua 'Rotundiloba')
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Rotundiloba' (2)

Liquidambar styraciflua 'Rotundiloba' (1)

     Ginkgo biloba 
Ginkgo biloba (2)

Ginkgo biloba (1)

     Contorted Filbert (Corylus avellana 'Contorta')
Corylus avellana 'Contorta'

     Rabbiteye Blueberry (Vaccinium ashei)
Vaccinium ashei (1)

     River Birch (Betula nigra)
Betula nigra

     Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
Taxodium distichum (1)

Taxodium distichum (2)

     Edible Asian Pear (Pyrus pyrifolia)
Pyrus pyrifolia (2)

     Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda)
Pinus taeda

     Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
Prunus serotina

     Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Robinia pseudoacacia (2)

     I don't know which species of hackberry this is, Celtis laevigata or C. occidentalis, but I do know the genus is underappreciated. They will grow practically anywhere (in this case with roots in the salt marsh), they have a handsome winter silhouette, sport unusual bark, provide food for wildlife, and the translucent green of their new spring leaves is something I have come to treasure.
Celtis (1)

Celtis (3)

Celtis (2)


  1. Oh, these are such beautiful images, Les, and so full of hope! I almost think this stage is more fascinating than fully unfurled, fully blooming trees and forbs. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I always enjoy seeing your amazing photos. Thanks Les. Vikki in VA

  3. Fabulous photos, as usual, you've captured the magic of emerging leaves perfectly.

  4. That early spring green is like no other.

  5. Our Pussy Willows catkins are out but other than that it'll be a week or two before leaves start to unfurl. I agree with Hoover Boo, that the early Spring green is the best.

    Happy Spring Les !

  6. Has this been a slow spring for you too? After our mild winter in Maine, we are stuck in mud season with nightly frosts. Thanks for sharing your spring. Happy birthday to your family members!

  7. So beautiful! Enjoyed your bright sun and fresh spring foliage and all the shadows, velvety-black.

  8. That first picture of the dawn redwood is gorgeous!