Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rock Cotoneaster in Miniature Landscapes

Cotoneaster is a very viable, thriving plant with vitality perfect for rocky gardens ( it is even considered an invasive weed in some regions). Its long branches with bright-evergreen smallish leaves covering the base of the rock wall, make a perfect green hideaway for some animals. Thanks to their growing habit with tiny and dense leaves and flowers, we like to use small cotoneaster specimens in our arrangements. Although its branches generally grow straight, they can be easily wired to attain the desired shape. And the shoots are clambering fast over rocks and berms.
Forest Hideout - group of 5 Cotoneasters and Akita dogs statue in white porcelain pot
Forest Hideout - group of 5 Cotoneasters and Akita dogs statue in white porcelain pot

Akita dogs hidden in the shadow of Rock Cotoneasters
Akita dogs hidden in the shadow of Rock Cotoneasters

Forest Hideout”  was started when we found the Akita dogs statue. We love to see them taking rest in a shadow of Cotoneaster bush, simulated with 5 trunks. A rock add balance to the design. The scene is completed by the white porcelain pot.

Miniature Cotoneaster bonsai - group of 3 plants
Miniature Cotoneaster bonsai - group of 3 plants

Cotoneaster is a woody shrub in Rosaceea family spread in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, with more than 300 species that are growing with vigor at lower altitude or on the alpine plains. This is a strength that make it usable in many thematic arrangements (parks, alpine, forest) looking great as groups of plants near rocks, accent plants, moss, park's bench or alley.

Cotoneaster Horizontalis (known also as Rock Cotoneaster) is a cultivar with small roundish leaves which changes its color from green to burgundy in fall. Because is a drought-tolerant  plant, it can be used in xeriscaping gardens.

Cotoneaster Horizontalis burgundy- green foliage in March
Cotoneaster Horizontalis burgundy- green foliage in March
It produce flowers in late Spring and red berries in Autumn which persist into early winter and attract wildlife. One of our regular visitors, the grey squirrel, love to take its lunch near or even on top of one of our saikei with cotoneaster.

The Squirrel - our Assistant taking lunch

Don't ask me how many times I had to restore my miniature gardens... but how could I resist to the charm and warmth of its eyes?

 Squirrel with dirty nose after digging in a saikei

It became kind of our assistant which corrects the design in our outdoor miniature gardens when believes that the plants or rocks are not well placed  - you can see in the picture how dirty nose has after one of these tasks ;-)


Xenia said...

What a cute little assistant! How funny that it rearranges things for you!

Thanks for joining us for Friendly Friday and your sweet comment, I appreciate it. I enjoy your blog too, I always feel like I learn so much! :)

Scented Leaf said...

Thank you Xenia.

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