The Garden at Winterhaven Devas, Nature Spirits, Fairies Oh My
Trees, have we got trees or what? Half of our property is trees, mostly Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) and Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla). All these trees are tall evergreens that just keep getting taller every year. The hemlocks are rather short-lived in our part of Washington. There's a root rot that gets into the core of the trees and eventually causes them to fall over. All of us make sure we don't have hemlocks next to our houses!

The Doug Firs and the Western Red Cedars provide a backdrop for the garden.

Evergreens at Winterhaven

We have a few Red Alders (Alnus rubra) but most of them have been shaded out by the evergreens. We also have a couple of the native willows along the edges of our property.

Given the number of trees that the property came with we haven't added very many besides the fruit trees.

I did plant a Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) in the center of the main garden. It has wonderful peeling bark and only is supposed to get 20 to 30 feet tall.  Ours is very happy and well over 20 feet tall already. You can see its bark in the photo in the banner above. Some years it puts on a pretty nice fall foliage display too.

Paperbark Maple in summer Paperbark Maple in winter

I planted a smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria) when I renovated the burms. It has a lovely vase-shaped form but has a tendency to droop in the summer when it rains and it didn't hold up real well under 2 feet of snow in December 2009.

Smoke Tree

I also planted a Stewartia pseudocamilia in a shady area near our rhody collection. It has been a slow grower and it's only bloomed once or twice. Eventually it's supposed to have wonderful bark.

I added a lovely standard sized Japanese Maple (Acer japonica) next to the Stewartia and it's doing wonderfully. It has green leaves and lovely yellow/peach fall foliage. I've become very fond of Japanese Maples because they turn out to be remarkably drought tolerant along with being graceful and having delicate leaves.

In the last couple of years I've planted several more Japanese Maples that I got from a neighbor who has collected seedlings from the trees on her property. And I've kept a couple in pots on the deck outside our dining room windows.

Purple Japanese Maple Japanese Maple in pot

This past fall I added one more tree, a "Red Majestic" corkscrew filbert (Corylus aveliana 'Red Majestic'). It has burgundy foliage in the spring that turns deep purple/green in the summer and then bright red in the fall. In the winter it displays it's whimsical corkscrew branches to add interest to the garden.