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a kousa dogwood i’m certain about

variegated-kousaREMEMBER THE GREAT KOUSA CONTROVERSY, when I wanted to evict my nursed-from-infancy weeping Kousa dogwood? You all helped me see the error of my ways, and we’re still together. Though I’ve often waffled on the weeper, there’s one Kousa I never have regretted planting, and that’s the showy white-variegated ‘Wolf Eyes.’ That’s it beaming at you hundreds of feet beyond my back yard in the photo, shining like a beacon, even at a smallish size. Wow.

Standard Kousas can get to be quite big things, 20 or 30 feet high and as wide or wider, making quite an impression when they’re in bloom. ‘Wolf Eyes’ is a comparative baby among the Cornus kousa clan, but a beautiful baby at that. Some references say it will get to just 6 feet high and 10 wide; I have no idea, but lust for mine to look like the one documented by University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

wolfeye-kousa-detailEven at barely 5 feet high and maybe 6 or 7 wide, my ‘Wolf Eyes’ simply lures me out to pay it a visit on a regular basis. I cannot resist. If that axis-creating eye-catchery isn’t enough, it also has long-lasting white flowers in late spring, big red fruits, and good fall color.

This one, I’m not letting go of—at least not willingly. No matter what you say.

  1. margaret says:

    Now here comes Brian, who has been quiet for a bit and tells (asks?) me to give him my very special tree. Hmmm…let me just think about it a sec. NO! <:) (That's me in a hat, fyi.)

  2. margaret says:

    Welcome, Joey, to a Way to Garden. So funny you say that: Passing by a neighbor’s place over the weekend, I saw her kousa was still going at it, too. Wow. Not mine, but just down the hill, in a slightly different condition (and a plant with a different genetic heritage. Amazing.

  3. Anna says:

    This is a grand blog and every time I come here I’m reminded of how much I don’t know. That is a good thing cause it makes me study and learn. Thank you for sharing your love of this baby Kousa. Wolf Eyes–how delightful.

  4. Kitt says:

    Wow, that’s stunning even from a distance! I wonder how well it would do in Colorado. I’m putting it on my list.

  5. margaret says:

    Welcome, Martha White. I have never been to Yew Dell, except via the link in the University of KY page I cited above. Sounds quite exceptional. Thanks for telling us, and come again soon.

  6. margaret says:

    Welcome, Allen. Yes, it’s a keeper. As for relaxing…I am trying to cultivate that practice, but so far in my life, I think it has eluded me. Working on it! Come again soon.

  7. Allen S. Penn says:

    The tree is a perfect fit for your garden. It would be a shame for it to be anywhere else.
    -Allen
    P.S. Your yard must be a great place to just sit and relax.

  8. BoyRoy says:

    Margaret, the tree is great, but those chairs are WONDERFUL! They look like Rietveld designs for the garden. Where did you get them? Huh?

  9. margaret says:

    @BoyRoy: I have several sets (chartreuse, lavender, red…and one just plain cedar), and they were made for me years ago by a woodworker friend, inspired by the ones at Wave Hill in New York City. We beefed them up and changed some dimensions, but you are right, that’s the inspiration. (And here’s the pattern info that we started from.)

  10. Andrew Ritchie says:

    An interesting lesson about plant placement, too. Even far away, the Kousa acts as a beacon, as you say. It puctuates, accentuates, illuminates. I never like seeing huge clusters of light plants together, or all dark plants. (Those chairs are gorgeous, by the way.)

  11. balsamfir says:

    I agree with Aesthete about the distance requirement on Kousas. But I also wanted to make a pitch for weeping trees. The thing is, they have to be LARGE, and old. Not these little grafted suburban twigs seen everywhere. A really old weeping elm or mulberry, say at Vassar, or the weeping Katsura at Smith college are legendary and beautiful trees. They are really for large landscapes, and the reason willows look good is that they get big fast, so there are more of them.

  12. margaret says:

    Welcome, balsamfir, to A Way to Garden. I also love the look of old mulberries and elms in old gardens…such character! Do stop by again soon.

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