My Favorite…

Trusted Landscape Architects Discuss Their Favorite…



Dawn Redwood

Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glypostroboides) Some say nothing lasts forever. My favorite tree may very well do just that. This majestic, deciduous conifer can grow to over 100′ tall. Their fern like foliage creates wonderful shade through the growing season, has virtually no mess to clean up in autumn and is pest free. It has outlived everything that could attack it. And if your property has a wet spot, this pyramidal tree is for you. It will thrive on the extra water. I have spotted Dawn Redwoods towering above the mature tree canopy of Main Line Philadelphia. They were planted generations ago on estates and are now in their glory. No better tree has stood the test of time as the Dawn Redwood. Your grandchildren’s grandchildren will thank you for your foresight in planting this tree.

William C. Tamburro, RLA, ASLA
Landscape Architect, Oaks, PA

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Andromeda Shrub

Andromeda (Pieris japonica) My favorite shrub for years has been Japanese Andromeda. It is a broad-leaf evergreen shrub growing to 10′ tall with a width of up to 8′. But for landscape purposes, figure on a 5′ tall by 4′ wide shrub. It is a multi-season plant that enhances just about any location. It is extremely deer resistant and thrives in dappled sun to deep shade, just avoid planting it in full sun. It is great for the mixed shrub border where it combines well with other broadleaved evergreens such as mountain laurel, azalea, rhododendron, skimmia and boxwood. The brighter the light where it is planted, the better the flowering will be. The clusters of pendulous flowers are lightly fragrant, and are a must to include in your garden. Colors range from cream to pink depending on the variety. the new growth on many of the cultivars emerge in shades of reddish bronze to orange red, almost as if it was flowering.

Barry Greenberg, Landscape Architect
Birch Hill Landscaping, Millburn, NJ

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Carex Ice Dance

Carex ‘Ice Dance’ (Carex morrowii) Carex ‘Ice Dance’ is an adaptable, striking grass that can be incorporated into a variety of design styles and site conditions. Lovely in mass as a groundcover under trees, on a slope to retain soil, in containers or mixed among perennials and shrubs as an accent plant. Standing 12″-18″, it tolerates sun to shade and wet to dry and can be used in water gardens, sun and shade borders and woodland settings. Its wide arching variegated white and green, semi-evergreen foliage tends to read as chartreuse and provides a bit of pop in the garden. This exceptional plant can be used in difficult areas and it works well to help block out weeds. growing in zones 5-9, this Carex is not overly aggressive and spreads slowly by rhizomes to form a carpet. To maintain a neat appearance, remove old foliage before new leaves emerge. Divide clumps every 2 to 3 years in early spring.

Maria Hasenecz, Landscape Designer
Livable Landscapes, Wyndmoor, PA

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