Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wolf Eyes...In the Garden and Growing
How wonderful are dogwoods in the spring? Nothing but maybe azaleas are such big harbingers of spring as the beautiful dogwoods. Both the Florida Dogwood (Cornus floridus) and the above pictured Korean Dogwood (Cornus kousa) are awesome. Unfortunately, the Florida dogwoods don't excel in my garden. They were a bit neglected prior to us purchasing this home nearly eight years ago. Some are finally coming around, but most have succumbed to anthracnose, lawnmower and borer damage. Looking for an alternative I read where the Korean dogwoods are somewhat resistant to these problems. Of the Korean dogwoods, the one most often mentioned is the 'Wolf Eyes' cultivar.
I posted on this very tree about this time last year. It has been one of my most often Googled posts, so being the fairly smart blogger that I am, I thought it was due an update:) I haven't seen this tree in any other gardens, but do know some bloggers have it in their gardens. I also have not found this tree in any nurseries, which is weird since there is so much interest in it. A local nursery owner recently asked me what I was seeing as a trend on the blog right now. I told him 'Wolf Eyes'. So many folks want to know about this tree that I think it must be a fairly popular or fairly unknown tree! If I were a nursery owner, I think I'd be carrying this tree in my nursery and be sure to help clients understand its differences as compared to the Florida dogwood.
I did not purchase mine in a nursery however. I lucked out and found this one at the Nashville Lawn and Garden Show in 2007. It was pretty small and looked a bit spindly, but has done well here. I must say this tree is a v...e...r....y slow grower. The slowest of any trees in my garden! I'd be surprised if it has grown even 6 inches per year. It is sited in a focal area and is showcased against darker foliaged shrubs and trees, including smoke trees, 'Annabelle' hydrangeas, and a 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple. I love the white of the leaves as they surely look like frosting.
I believe all dogwoods deserve and even require a bit of shade so this one is also in some shade, mostly shade in fact. That may be why it doesn't grow faster, but that is okay. I never worry about the foliage burning or it drying out due to excess sun.
Because the foliage is so bright and stays looking like this all season, the flowers are not really visible. You have to look real close. For me, the foliage is enough to keep me happy. Not only is the foliage variegated and mostly white, it stays that way and does not revert (at least not in the two years I've been growing it). Additionally, the leaves are wavy. This is an added bonus of 'Wolf Eyes' that most trees do not feature. The waviness adds to the texture of the tree and makes it a very outstanding specimen. That and the fact this dogwood has not been bothered by pests or diseases and is reliable is why I love the 'Wolf Eyes'.
If you have experience with the 'Wolf Eyes' or any other cultivar of Korean dogwoods, and know a good source for them, please let me know.
in the garden....