The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens


Tulip Tree in May

Oh, I am a day behind in joining Loose and Leafy for Follow A Tree. This hectic pace of a race will only get worse as the month “Mayhem” continues … Just to review, the tree I am following in my garden is a young Tulip Tree, Liriodendron tulipifera.


My Dad gave me this tree. He dug up the sapling up from his yard – the only caveat was that I had to take the Myrtle, too.  Some of you may refer to this plant as Vinca Vine, Vinca Minor or Periwinkle. I’ve read it’s invasive but I have to admit I am enjoying the carpet of flowers, especially against the yellow daffodils, and I did notice the bumble bees were, too – there isn’t much out there yet for my bumble bees so I was happy to see it. So far, it has behaved well for me and I am a big fan of ground covers – less weeding!

tulip tree may 7 2014

The Tulip Tree is 57″ tall and has buds just about to unravel and burst open! And I think I have finally figured out my camera and the buds are in better focus – bonus for you! I hadn’t noticed the nice striation on the bark before this photo. I love that little leaf curl.

tulip tree bud II

Tulip Tree Bud

tulip tree bud I

Tulip Tree Bud

Before I started following this tree I would have bet the leaves would be open by now. I decided I would compare a few other tree buds to illustrate this year’s Spring progression. I could begin to compare these every year – that is what is so great about journaling my garden!

elm bud

Elm (this is a sapling from my neighbor’s tree)

amur maple bud

Amur Maple (That is my guess. Two of these came with me from Maine in a window box – grown from seed. I suppose that is why they are invasive.)

serviceberry bud

Serviceberry Laevis

Pagoda Dogwood - I think this will be a flower!

Pagoda Dogwood – I think this will be a flower!

I have planted all of these trees (and a few more) and I realize I will become a shade gardener over the years. We didn’t have any trees on our lot and I am a tree lover! I really can’t wait for the Serviceberry and Pagoda Dogwood flowers, and much later the Tulip Tree flowers!