Friday, October 17, 2014


Another thing I prize in my garden, even more than flashy blooms, is a tree with bodacious bark.

Take this native Texas Persimmon tree. It happened to be right in the big middle of where we wanted our garden, so we built around it. It was a tiny scrawny twig of a thing when we first spotted it, but it had some kind of fruit on it, so I couldn't bear to pull it out. Then, last year, I noticed the bark doing this peely-curly thing. How awesome is that?

The previous owners actually planted these Crepe Myrtle trees. Boy, was I ever disappointed that, out of all the beautiful colors their blooms come in, they had to choose boring old white! Until I spotted this, that is...

That's when I remembered the variety called "Natchez" which a landscape architect I used to work for used in many of her designs. I think all Crepe Myrtles have beautiful bark as they age. It gets so shiny and smooth you'd think it had been hand-polished. But only the Natchez gets the big brown Pinto-Pony splotches, which pop so brilliantly amidst of sea of green.

Last but not least are all the Cedar Elm trees we inherited. As if those gorgeous clusters of rose-hued samaras weren't enough, they also have this bark that starts to split and peel as they age, revealing a gorgeous cinnamon-colored under layer.

But wait, there's more! They also develop these tendon-like ridges that start to spiral around the trunk over time.

Yep, a flashy bloom that last's a week or two is OK, but bodacious bark is bed-dah!

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