Working With Weepers
The impact that weeping plants can create a graceful, dramatic effect in the landscape.
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The impact that weeping plants can have on a design may surprise many gardeners. Putting a weeping plant into a landscape is like adding art to a wall: it's an instant focal point. Landscape designer Michael Glassman uses weepers in the yard to transform one garden space from dull and empty to dynamic and elegant (figure B).
"Weeping trees and shrubs are the epitome of fine form (figure C) and their unique growth habit is a far cry from the traditional upright plants," says Glassman. "That's precisely why weepers introduce an entirely new feel into the garden."
According to Glassman, weeping plants create a graceful, dramatic effect in the landscape and a positive emotional response in people. This popcorn rose adds color, scent and spunk to a plant grouping (figure D). As it grows, the branches will tumble over, eventually covering the trunk. Weeping Japanese maples have graceful forms too; Acer palmatum 'Green Cascade' has finely lobed leaves and spectacular fall color. The mayten tree (Mayenus boaria) is an evergreen that's a great alternative to the weeping willow. With long arching branches, this tree looks similar to the willow but doesn't have the willow's invasive root system.
In order to get this great pendulous quality, growers genetically alter plants. Cotoneaster, normally a groundcover, becomes weeping once it's been grafted onto a hawthorn root stock. "And the weeping cherry has been grafted onto a cherry root stalk, giving you an incredible weeping quality," says Glassman.
For a few finishing touches to the landscape he's created with weepers, Glassman adds a few Carpet roses for blooms, blue verbena for long-lasting color and Mexican evening primrose for a wild look. Society garlic (figure F) provides a spicy unexpectedness and is balanced by sweet impatiens. To add some additional color, Glassman places white and purple alyssum throughout the garden bed.
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