Recently, I took an afternoon stroll around the Iowa State University campus with camera in hand in search of the beauty of bark. As I see it, bark is like the wallpaper of the landscape, always there even when the room is bare. A well-known contemporary horticulturist once remarked in a press release that the beauty of bark was lost on the general public. On the contrary, I think horticulture’s ability to convey the beauty of bark is lost on the general public, because we presently don’t convey much of anything about it! We otherwise malign and ignore bark. Boo!
Throughout the next 10 months while I work on my next book for Timber Press, I’m planning to leak some of the ideas I espouse in the manuscript–the essence of a kickass pursuit of plants. Today, it’s all about bark and summed up easily enough in the swatch I made below. Can you name all eight of these woody plants? How many do you grow?