Monday, June 22, 2009

Variegated Willow

Everyone who comes to my house comments on the Japanese Variegated Willow by the driveway. It is light, airy and enormous. Hardy to zone 4, it is in full sun and being on the mountain slope has excellent drainage. The plant tag said it would be 8' by 5' at maturity. Well, let me tell you, it is at least 8 feet high and way more that 5 wide. It is fast growing, to the point that I whack at it (OK, heavily prune) in mid summer every year. Added bonus? The deer won't touch it.

The foliage is mottled green and white with a blush of pink on the new leaves. Bear in mind that it is deciduous so it will be bare in winter. But it does provide winter interest. It is truly spectacular and would work well as a privacy screen. In fact I have often considered taking out the ancient Forsythia hedge by the road and replacing it with a row of these. I think it would look awesome. But I also think it would take a lot of work and I'm too lazy to put in the effort.

Think you might want to try one? You can't go wrong with this, but buy a good pruner at the same time. You are going to need it.


dAwN said...

you sound as though you may be a bit of a crazed gardener as well as a crazed birder.
My sister is quite the plantholic..and I will send her your link on this plant.
She works at big bloomers nursery..
has a plant blog for the nursery that you might enjoy.

Tammy said...

What a beautiful place! Used to live on top of a hill, but now that I live on the shore everything around me is flat, flat, flat. Sigh.

Kim said...

I fell in love with one of these at the nursery this year - they are so gorgeous! My mom talked me out of it though, seeing as I truly don't have room for it in my postage-stamp yard!

anelon said...

Our yard on Long Island (NY) was a postage stamp, too, and we had two of these delightful willows trained as topiary and pruned every month to 6 weeks. The upkeep isn't demanding. I wish I knew how to post a picture!