King for a day

Written by Doug Oster on .

I did a story a couple months ago about plant hunter Joe Stupka. On the day we were together I looked up at an interesting hickory tree he grew and wondered aloud why no one claimed it as a seedling. He laughed and said "you can't even give hickory trees away."

I inhereited lots of hickory and shagbark hickory trees when I moved to my four acre lot.

They are amazing trees, but get lost in the shuffle during the summer. They don't need any care, and produce tons of nuts that fall the ground for easy harvest. There are a couple days at the end of fall when the leaves all turn bright yellow. The low angle of the late fall sun illuminates them like lanterns. One day the weather will change and the large oblong leaves fall to the forest floor. But for just a few days, the hickory is the king of the forest. Transformed from invisible giant into a woodland spectacle.

hickory_is_king_3_vert_barkThe silvery exfoliating bark of the sharkbark variety is stunning, one of the stars of the winter garden.

These details become apparent when all the pretty flowers have faded.

There is beauty in every season.

What a long season it's been, my annuals limp along outside waiting for merciful frost. I've moved most of them in, but some will have to be replaced with flowering kale and pansies.


Wish I knew the name of this hydrangea, but thanks much for the winter color change. A red like that will turn your head this time of the year.

double_impatien_sruvivingThis pot is in the outskirts of the garden. It's too big to move so everything will have to fend for itself. I'll be interested to see if the Dusty Miller will survive.

Every day those annuals hang on is another day I can enjoy their blooms.




Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.