Many approach landscaping in a utilitarian fashion, focusing on function and the increase in property value. For the nature lover, however, landscaping is more of an art; a way to get in touch with nature and to express creativity. There is nothing more satisfying to us than to look out onto a sea of blooming trees and shrubs and to see the life that revolves around the landscape we created.
Building a landscape is creating a small, localized ecosystem of more than just plants. Along with our selected plantings come all the birds, insects and other wildlife that live and thrive off of the fruits of our labor. To look out onto a springtime vista of blossoms and birds and butterflies gives the homeowner a sense of real accomplishment and closeness with nature. There are many trees that are well suited to creating just such scenes.
Magnolias are well known for their beautiful blooms. Their height (generally in the range of 30′) makes them exceptional as shade trees or to break up a large empty space in the landscape. Saucer magnolias are exceptional in their beauty, producing large saucer-like blooms that can range in color from light pink to a rich, deep purple. The saucer magnolia blooms later (by several weeks) than the equally popular star magnolia. Both make excellent and visually stunning wildlife attractors.
The pussy willow is another popular addition to North American landscapes. Somewhat shorter than magnolias, pussy willows are well suited for privacy purposes. If left uncut the pussy willow can grow to heights of 20 feet or more. If trimmed down the pussy will makes an exceptional privacy screen. Pussy willows do best in lower area where they will receive the most benefit from drainage. Because they are wetland plants they require a greater amount of water than many other ornamentals.
Though the pussy willow requires a higher degree of maintenance than other ornamentals, the effort put into keeping them is richly rewarded in the springtime. The blooms of the pussy willow are a favorite in the diets of a number of birds. In the springtime it is not uncommon to see your pussy willow teaming with life. This makes the pussy willow an excellent choice for the avid bird watcher.
Callery pears are moderately sized trees that work well for breaking up large areas of empty landscape. The redspire callery pear is one of the more well known, and for good reason. The foliage of the redspire callery pear make it a beauty throughout the year. It’s glossy, shimmering leaves turn to a rich, and stunning burgundy in autumn.
In the early spring the beauty of the redspire becomes even more evident. The blooms of the redspire callery pear are truly spectacular. The effulgence of buds blossom into a vast array of small white flowers that produce pea-sized fruits. Because the fruits are small the redspire is ideal for homeowners who don’t want to devote a lot of time to clearing out dropped fruits.
The downside of the redspire callery pear lies in its susceptibility to wind. Redspires must be placed behind a windbreak or on the leeward side of the home. Of course, their beauty makes their delicacy well worth protecting.