Happy 4th of July!

As we take this time to pause and celebrate our freedom I am reminded of the many brave men and women who had the courage to serve and preserve our freedom.  To all who have and are serving, thank you for your service.  Of course our first President, George Washington, was known for his perseverance in leading a rag tag group of soldiers to overcome the British.  President Washington also had a deep passion for landscaping his home, Mt. Vernon,  and constantly was adding and evaluating his trees and shrubs. Washington created a locust grove and he filled his lawn with evergreens, flowering dogwoods, and redbuds that added accents of color to his landscape design.

Here is one tree I am sure, if it would have been available, our first President would have used. Vitex agnus-castus, also called Vitex or Chaste Tree.  The Vitex tree explodes with flowers this time of year.  A great ornamental tree or large shrub, the Vitex needs full sun to bloom as well as good drained soil.   It gets wide, about 10-20’ and about 10-20’ tall.  The cool-colored, lavender-blue spikes provide a nice contrast in the landscape.  It makes a great treat for butterflies and they find it right away.

If you find it growing in a pot it can be planted now, but keep in mind it will need to be watered every day or two.  Once established it will not need to be watered.  Easy to maintain, this small tree does not need to be pruned unless you want to keep it in check on the size.

George Washington was constantly making changes to his landscape over years and I am sure he would have loved the Vitex tree, especially this time of year.

Planting to Grow,

Jeff

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