Green spaces—gardens, parks, nature trails, urban forests—are a lifeline at any time but especially, as many of us have discovered, during a pandemic.
Trees are a natural choice for creating the framework of a garden, marking the perimeter, serving as focal points or a kind of sculptural art, and providing shade and privacy for intimate areas within the larger space.
A Willow Oak (Quercus phellos) blends the solid structure of the red oak family — think of the Northern Red Oak or the lesser known but similarly impressive Shumard Oak — with the fine-textured appearance of a willow tree’s leaves. Given room to grow in full sun, it is magnificent.
Chamaecyparis obtusa, the Hinoki Cypress (or Falsecypress), stands quietly in the garden, commanding attention but requiring minimal care.
A native of the eastern U.S., the Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) grows as a small tree or multi-stemmed shrub with an airy feel, more delicate than the better-known Southern Magnolia. It lightens the garden with leaves that open chartreuse in spring, grow longer than wide, and show silver when turned by the wind. The clustered leaves provide a clear view of the plant’s graceful stems, and in a breeze, the leaf clusters seem to float.