Monday, May 7, 2012
Smokebush In the Garden
Having lived in Germany for over ten years there are several trees and shrubs I was exposed to that really stood out. Some, like oak trees and maples and spruces grow well in the both Germany and the United States and I really enjoyed the old trees I found in the parks over there. But no other tree that grows in both Germany and the United States stood out as much as the smoke tree (Cotinus species). We lived in the state of Bavaria in a city called Heuchelhof; which was basically a suburb of Wurzburg. All of our business with the Army was mainly done in Wurzburg. Driving near the post one day I spotted a huge purple smoke tree that was in full bloom. Ever since that day I had hoped to have one as lovely in my own garden.
After ten years of growing a 'Royal Purple' cotinus I think I finally have my smoke tree! Mine is not a single stem like the one I saw growing in Wurzburg but it has just as much smoke and sure brings back memories for me. Can you see how the smoke tree gets its name? The blooms look like little puffs of smoke on the tree.
My tree is growing under a couple of oak trees but does get some sun. Smoke trees would like lots of sun. Smoke trees are very drought tolerant and I know why. When I moved this tree to this spot from the front yard in 2003 I could not believe how tough it was to dig up all of the long roots on this shrub. At the time the shrub had been planted there maybe one year but the roots were a good six feet long. I had my doubts that the smoke tree would survive the move but survive it did....
in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden