Why you should plant it
There is no such thing as too many dogwoods in any size of garden. This new plant from one of the great American growers is a compact form of the Oriental dogwood and it's spectacular. It has wide stripes of white along delicious green leaves. It will flower from mid-June to July with pure white bracts that look like flowers. The autumn colour (orange, pink and red) is so outré it'll outdo anything else in the garden. The blooms are followed by raspberry-like berries.
Where to plant it
Like all dogwoods, it will stand up well in the shade but won't be happy with a lot of sun. Place it where can get a bit of both. It requires well-drained soil but will put up with some dryness. However, any new woody plant needs lots of water in the first months after transplanting. It also requires a good blanket of compost followed by a thick mulch at the end of June for what will probably be a weird-weather summer this year.
What it offers
This is an ideal small tree for a small garden. It will get to just over three metres high and over one metre wide. What could be more gorgeous in a container? The variegation is much fluffier than almost any other dogwood. As the tree matures, the bark develops with multicoloured warm earth tones. There seems to be nothing bad about this Zone 6 plant.
SOURCE AND COST
Get a six-to-seven-foot speciman for $110 or one that's seven to eight feet for $125 at specialty garden centres such as Whistling Gardens in Wilsonville, Ont. (www.whistlinggardens.ca or 519-443-5773).
For more plant and garden information, visit www.marjorieharris.com.