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Amur Maple is a fall stunner with flaming red leaves.

Asian style shrubs

By Jan Pedersen

The horizontal branches of the dwarf winged burning bush give it an Asian style.


y favorite pastime, when not working or garden- ing, is traveling! And when I do, I often end up in a gardening zone that is milder than our Canadian

ones. On these journeys, certain plants delight me visually and I often return home with short lists of plants that I’ll bring to my local garden centre in hopes of duplicating some element of the landscapes I may have seen in B.C., the lower U.S., Europe or Asia. In your travels are you attracted to plants that have an Asian

or Zen like appearance that you want to ‘bring home’ to your garden? Unfortunately for us, many plants are normally not hardy enough to be used as reliable shrubs in our area. Luck- ily, there are some useful hardy alternatives that offer that distinctive Asian style. Some of my favorites are ….. Trost’s Dwarf Birch (Betula pendula 'Trost's Dwarf'). A

The thick wiry stems of rock cottoneaster offer interesting groundcover.

small arctic-hardy birch shrub that has delicate looking lacy leaves. The green foliage turns a brilliant shade of yellow in autumn. Zone 2. Spread: .9 to 1.5 m (3 to 5 ft.) high by .9 m (3 ft.) wide. Rock Cotoneaster

(Cottoneaster horizontalis). A low,

spreading groundcover with thick ‘wiry’ stems that gnarl and twist horizontally above the ground. Tiny leaves, twisted stems and cherry-red berries make this a delightful ‘surprise’ plant to place on or near a rock or Buddha garden figure for great effect. Zone 4 to 7. Spread: .3 to .8 m (1 to 2.5 ft.) high by 1.5 to 2.4 m (5 to 8 ft.) wide. ‘Dwarf’ Winged Burning Bush (Euonymus


'Compactus'). The ‘winged’ ridges along the plant’s stiff bark give it a one-of-a-kind look in the shrub world. Branching is quite horizontal lending itself to an Asian style. Dark green summer foliage turns into the most fluorescent reddish- colour in the fall. Zone 3b to 8. Spread: 1.5 m (5 ft.) high by 1.5 m (5 ft.) wide. ‘Flame’ Amur Maple (Acer ginnala ‘Flame’). This version

Trost's dwarf birch is dainty but hardy. 16 • Summer 2015

of the Amur Maple has a very intense, bright-red, fall colour. Amur Maple stems gracefully wind and twist in alternat-

Photo by Cillas. Photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries.

Photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries.

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