Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Trees at Our Little Acre - and a Giveaway!

Fall is a great time to plant trees and we've been doing some of that here at Our Little Acre.  Last month, I drove over to another corner of our state, to Lake County.  That's almost to Pennsylvania, and don't make too sharp of a turn left, our you'll get your feet wet in Lake Erie.  I had a nice three-day visit with my friend, Maria Zampini, and got to meet her mom, dad, brother, son, and two aunts.

L to R:  Maria Zampini, Joe Zampini, Jim Zampini, Pat Zampini

Maria, in the HGTV booth at the IGC Show, Chicago
If you've never met Maria, you may not know what a force in the horticulture industry she is.  The woman makes me tired just watching her.  In addition to being the founder of Upshoot!, which provides sales, marketing, and licensing of new plant introductions, she works with her father, brother, and aunt in the family nursery,  Lake County Nursery, home to many familiar introductions, including those great Round Table Series crabapples, like Lancelot® and Guinevere®.

Maria is also a past president of ONLA (Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association) - the only female to ever hold that office to date.  Not only that, she is the Director of Plant Development for the HGTV Home Plant Collection and is a published author, contributing to many publications, and is a much sought after speaker, traveling the world to further horticulture in numerous ways.  Oh, and she just signed a contract to write a book with my publisher, St. Lynn's Press.  See?  And that's only part of her schedule of activities.

Lake County Nursery is responsible for the introduction of the very popular Snow Fountains® weeping cherry tree, which we've had for umpteen years (meaning I don't remember when we got it), and we, in all of our then-uneducation wisdom, planted it a little too close to the front of our house. But selective pruning (to the point of bordering on abusive) has kept it looking good nonetheless. I doubt we amended our heavy clay soil when we planted it either. This is one tough tree.

Maybe you remember this little video I made a couple of years ago, when that thing was a-buzzin' with bees while it bloomed its heart out:

Snow Fountains® cherry - April 21, 2011 

I got to visit the nursery, and Maria let me pick out some trees (and shrubs) to take home (many, many thanks!) and I chose these trees:

  • Double-Flowering cherry (Prunus x 'Extrazam' Weeping Extraordinaire™)
  • Dwarf crabapple (Malus Guinevere®) - top-grafted
  • Weeping redbud (Cercis canadensis Lavender Twist®)
  • Weeping  bald cypress (Taxodium dystichum 'Falling Waters')

Do you see a pattern here?  Every single one of the  trees I chose is a weeper.  I like that in a tree.  Perhaps I'm mourning the death of our weeping willow, which we can't bring ourselves to remove from Max's Garden just yet.  Even in death, it has a dignified form and I don't mind it hanging around for awhile longer.

Yes, that's a Haviland Plastic Products pot
that tree is sitting in!  :-)
Or maybe I just like weeping trees.  In any case, Romie and I both were pretty thrilled to have these and we got them planted a couple of weeks ago when we had uncharacteristically cool weather for August.  There will be more about a couple of those trees a little later.

We made sure we planted them so as to give them the best start possible, including using Pure Elements Nourish + Flourish mixed into the soil, along with some compost.

Pure Elements (formerly NatraTurf) makes several products to help your plant grow better.  They're 100% organic and OMRI listed, and they're guaranteed to be safe and effective or they'll refund what you paid for them.  Any one of the products will increase your chances of growing success in their own way:

  • Soil Success: Renew + Transform
  • Grow Strong: Nourish + Flourish
  • Soil Repair: Prep + Develop
  • Acid Repair: Alkalize + Balance

The first two products can enhance your plants' nutrient uptake; improve germination, shoot and root growth; and increase soil microbial activity.  Soil Repair helps loosen up heavy clay soil like we have here in Northwest Ohio.  Acid Repair helps adjust the pH of your soil, making it less acidic, if you have issues with that (we don't).

Pure Elements Grow Strong: Nourish + Flourish
I talked with Courtney Tompkins about their products (she's Pure Elements' PR and social media go-to person) and she was all for letting me host a giveaway of one of the above, of the winner's choice, to each of TWO winners.  ($6.99 - $14.99 value, depending on which you choose.)

So how do you enter to win?  Just leave a comment to this blog post telling me what your favorite tree is.  The giveaway ends on Sunday night, September 15th, at midnight, EDT.  I'll use Random.org to choose TWO winners, who will then have three days to contact me with their shipping information and which of the four products they'd like to try.

So GO! What's your favorite tree?


Congratulations to Susanne Drazic and Jennie Brooks, whose comments were chosen by Random.org to win their choice of Pure Elements products!
I was provided with free trees and Pure Elements products for use in my garden, with no requirement to post about them.  This post is part of my sharing my experiences in my garden and I received no other compensation other than the free products. As always, all opinions stated here are my own.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a hard one! I guess if I had to nail it down to one, I would pick the Sugar Maple. They are statuesque and give you both rich texture and color in the landscape that changes with the seasons. Loved the video with the bees. I garden with the Bumblys and have never been stung. Barb

Jennie Brooks said...

I fell in love with a weeping crab apple years ago when I saw them blooming for the first time.

Anonymous said...

mine would be a chilopsis--desert willow. Beautiful blooms for pollinators/hummingbirds and low water requirements.

Alison Levey said...

Really difficult to decide my favourite tree, but today is it probably my Medlar 'Nottingham', great all season interest (well, a bit dull in Winter, but, )

Amanda said...

My favorite tree is a Jackfruit. A small fruit weights 50 lbs and the taste is so unique and delicious that 50 lbs is never enough fruit to quench my hunger. If you haven't tried it I suggest you put it on your list to try.

Andrea Goldsmith said...

I love your 'Lavender twist' redbud - it's a beautiful tree in most seasons. I also like redbud 'Don Egolf'. I like it because it doesn't have seeds and it's a really prolific bloomer. I read American Nurseryman magazine; Maria Zampini writes a column in that magazine also.

Joyce Faler said...

It's difficult to pick just one tree! But I guess it would be white pine. They're a soft pine and fast growing.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'd have to say my favorite tree is an apple tree.

dezignlady said...

Maria, is indeed a force within the horticulture family!
I have an old weeping cherry and it is always been one of my favorites, it's so old I have no idea of it's variety, but while reaching the end of it's lifespan it still tries to be the showiest matriarch in the spring! I wish my yard was much larger as there are so many new introductions that I would love to try. One of those new redbuds might have to make it into my yard in the near future as I have a dying sugar maple. I think a showy subject would be it's perfect replacement.
Thank Kylee for hosting this contest.

Barb said...

I'd have a hard time choosing between my dogwoods and my cercidiphyllum japonicum, Katsura, which has the most wonderful leaves that shimmer in the wind and turn the most wonderful shades of yellow and coral in the fall - reliable color even here in the Bay Area, California.

Unknown said...

You've got some good ones!
I will say that the Weeping redbud Lavender Twist is my favorite! Once you see it in bloom and if it has a good shape you can't ever forget it! It looks so pretty when the leaves are in and the seed pods!!!! Ow is delightful

craftymama said...

This one is easy! I love my plumeria trees!!!

Paula Fraser said...

My favorite tree (today) is Quercus macrocarpa. Wish I had room to grow one in my yard, but since I don't, I visit some at the Morton Arboretum. I love the fact that this tree hosts so many native species.

Anonymous said...

love the southern wild one.. Dogwood! beautiful from spring blooms to lime colored leaves, great colors in the fall and gray interesting forms in the winter. also love the weeping forms!

Laura said...

I love all redbud trees, but Forest Pansy Redbud with it's purple leaves is my favorite!

Anonymous said...

My Ohio Grandmother had a huge weeping willow at the back of her yard and as a child I would bring a book, make my way thru the drooping branches which touched the grass and prop myself against the tree trunk. Spent many linger afternoons hidden in my tree "cave" reading for hours. So it is the weeping willow.

The Funny Farm said...

My favorite..... Hmmmmm.. It is hard to say. I love trees... Fruit trees.... Maple trees,.... Elm trees.... Weeping willow trees..... I don't think I have a favorite tree... I love them all! But my favorite bush is a night blooming jasmine... It brings back the smells of childhood.

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