Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Ideas From Our Nursery

A recent staff meeting included an informative walk through our tree nursery at the Germantown headquarters, led by Dave Grillaert. Dave is our nursery and facilities manager here at David J. Frank, and also a horticulturist with a background in environmental science. The purpose of his "tour" was to remind our landscape architects and designers that we have a great number of strong, healthy trees and shrubs readily available from our own 120-acre nursery, and that our selection is not limited to maples, spruces and other "standard" landscape plants.

Ours is truly a "signature nursery," with many uncommon specimen trees and plants available only to our customers. For example, you've probably heard of a Japanese Tree Lilac, but we also carry a Chinese variety that becomes more attractive as it ages, with interesting peeling bark and fragrant flowers. Nearby were slow-growing Kentucky Coffee Trees that, once established, look almost tropical.

chinese lilac tree
Chinese Tree Lilac
kentucky coffee tree
Kentucky Coffee Tree

Dave also introduced us to the funky specimen Threadleaf Arborvitae, the Heritage River Birch, which has the whitest bark in this family and the Three Flower Maple, which has three seasons of great color plus a cinnamon red bark that peels for about ten years then has a uniquely bare trunk. Also among Dave's favorites is the Seven Sons Tree, and for good reason: most trees flower in spring but this one is at its best in fall, with clusters of white, sweet blossoms that give way to pretty red fruit and bronzy leaves.

thread leaf arbor vitae
heritage river birch
3 flower maple triflorum
Three Flower
7 sons tree
Seven Sons

Other shrubs of interest were the Mariken Dwarf Ginkgo, with its bushy habit and unique curled leaves, the hardy Bayberry which is regaining popularity as more than just a holiday candle scent and the colorful Tiger Eye Sumac, which starts out chartreuse in spring, turns bright yellow in summer and finishes with scarlet-orange in the fall.

Dwarf Gingko
bayberry shrub
tiger eye cut leaf sumac
Tiger Eye Sumac

Among the flowering shrubs, Dave pointed out the new Bella Anna Pink Hydrangea, the Fairy Shrub Rose that is one of the most reliable producers of pink blossoms, a new variety of Weigela called Fine Wine and woody American Wisteria that flowers at a much earlier age that its predecessors.

bella anna pink hydrangea
Bella Anna

fairy pink shrub rose

weigela fine wine
Fine Wine

american wisteria purple flowers

We saw many other new varieties and old favorites during our one-hour tour, and could have spent much longer wandering through aisle after aisle of trees, shrubs and perennials. With so many plants at our disposal, it's no wonder we create some of the most interesting landscapes in the business.

If you're adding to your landscape, new and unique plants maybe be as close as OUR backyard. Ask your David J. Frank architect or designer for a planting plan that includes something special from our nursery, and enjoy the look and feel of doing things just a little different ... and a lot better.