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Urban Forests

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December 13, 2020
Today Southern Gardening is in Brookhaven is visiting the beautifully developed landscape of our friend Shirley. Over the years she has transformed her home landscape into a beautiful and relaxing urban forest. The canopy of the “forest” includes a variety of colorful sasanqua camellias. These camellias have been trained as small trees with their flowers in the canopy in the fall and winter seasons. I also like this gorgeous early blooming white Japonica camellia. The crape myrtles are properly pruned and maintained. The exposed trunks reveal a gorgeous mixture of beautiful warm colors ranging from beige and creamy yellows to cinnamon reds and browns. The floor of the “forest” is a collection of beautiful plants with interesting textures. Japanese Fatsia foliage provides a coarse tropical texture to the garden. The leaves are a bright emerald green color and can be up to a foot in diameter. They have deep-cut lobes that resemble thick fingers. I love how they catch falling leaf debris. The flowers are produced in the fall in ball-shaped clusters. One plant that’s really underutilized is the leopard plant or Ligularia. Because of the round and shiny foliage it has the common name of tractor seat plant. The yellow flower clusters are great for fall color. I love the gorgeous weeping lace leaf Japanese maple and the finely dissected foliage with the very intricate patterns. After many years this has become a beautiful specimen. Shirley has certainly established a calm and peaceful urban forest. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.


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