This garden is traditional lawn with large tree in the middle, shrubs up against the house, but there’s some fun yard art to perk it up.
This small patch of grass with a towering Littleleaf linden tree (Tilia cordata), mature weeping birch (Betula pendula), and foundation planting of Phitzer junipers (Juniperus x pfitzeriana) offers a shady welcome with whimsical yard art.
The driveway is lined with a collection of daylilies and the garden also features an attractive natural screen of River birch, maple, elm, and Snowberry bushes.
The old-fashioned Phitzer juniper was introduced to the gardens of America over 100 years ago, and was in widespread use by the end of WWI. “According to Krussmann’s ‘Manual of Cultivated Conifers,’ it’s likely that seeds of Chinese juniper were collected in the Ho Lo Shan range in Mongolia in 1866 when a Jesuit Priest named Armund David was serving as traveling naturalist for the French church. The seeds would have gone to the botanic garden in Paris. “*
The Littleleaf linden was brought in from Europe and is a popular specimen tree throughout Utah. It is a great shade tree and can grow to 70′ tall and 35′ – 50′ wide. Hummingbirds and butterflies visit the fragrant creamy yellow blossoms which are so attractive to bees that the whole tree can hum until the blossoms turn to nutlets that ripen in late summer. The lovely heart-shaped leaves lead it to sometimes be called the sweetheart tree, but the “bee tree” is probably the most fitting nickname for the Littleleaf linden. The flowers, bracts and leaves are used in herbal medicine making a calming nervine tea. Many people are not aware the the tender spring leaves of linden trees are edible and delicious in salads.
The European weeping birch (Betula pendula) with its chalky white bark and graceful weeping habit provides a cooling focal point in this landscape. The snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) is a native shrub with berries that feed the birds in winter and it is a host plant for the Variable Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalecona) butterfly with a wingspan up to 2.25″, which flies Feb – August.
American Elm (Ulmus americana) and River birch are both host plant for the Mourning cloak butterfly. In addition to providing wildlife shelter, the River birch has exceptional wildlife value in that it hosts caterpillars which are essential for baby birds and the seeds provide winter food for the goldfinch, pine siskin, and house finch while woodpeckers and nuthaches search for insects in the bark. Maple trees also host a variety of caterpillars and are, therefore, a great choice if you are gardening for the birds.
For more information on attracting butterflies to your garden, you can enter your zip code, see the butterflies, and learn which host plants and nectar they require: www.gardenswithwings.com