American Fringe Trees (Chionanthus virginicus) and Peonies have little in common, except that they are providing some of the most striking blooms in our garden at this moment.
American Fringe Trees are native to the American Southeast, but naturalized in much of the Midwest. They grow about 12′ – 20′ and are shade tolerant. Their most remarkable feature are the fragrant, fleecy white flowers that you can see above, glowing in the morning sun. There are 2 Fringe Trees planted near the northeast corner of the house.
There are male and female Fringe Trees. The males are the showy ones with lots of flowers. The females have fewer flowers but feature bluish olive-like fruits in autumn. Cardinals, Bluejays, Woodpeckers, and other birds are fond of the fruit. In the picture above you can see a female Fringe Tree in the shadows.
Here’s a closeup of the flowers. This tree should really be much more common in American gardens.
Out on the Parkway Bed, there are 2 ‘Snow Swan’ Peonies blooming their hearts out right along the sidewalk. I realize now that I should have planted them closer to the middle of the bed. Perhaps I will transplant in the fall.
Here’s a closeup of the flower. I really prefer these single and semi-double blooms to the big flouncy ones.
And now for the critters. I found this Cecropia moth while pruning the Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) by the east side of the house.
And here’s a Dragonfly lurking among the ferns.
That’s all for now. Are you finding any standout plants or surprise critters in your garden these days?