For many, when we hear the word "willow" we think of the weeping kind, the big tree aptly named Weeping Willow as its branches look like perpetual, albeit beautiful, tears anytime of the year. Yet there are several types of willow plants - trees and shrubs - that also add a unique style and design element to any landscape, large or small which are not so well known.
Willows, like grasses, come in a wide variety and offer many ornamental qualities. They are also ideal for creating interesting and durable landscapes as they possess many of the same attributes as decorative grasses which include:
- Low maintenance
- Fast growth rate
- Moderate water needs
- Little to no need for fertilizing
- Thrive in all seasons
Some of the more interesting willows that can help to create an artistic landscape in your yard, no matter the size or climate, include these varieties:
Flamingo Japanese Willow: As its name implies, this willow adds an Oriental flare to any part of your yard by bearing a dappled pink flower that looks much like a lily. It comes in a tree or shrub variety and is suitable for both sunny and shady areas. The more sun, the more pink will be its flowers.
Pussy Willow: One of the most well known types of willows, this one is characterized by the silky, furry catkins that bloom every Spring. It is often used in Chinese and Christian religious ceremonies, representing the growth of Spring. It is an easy shrub to grow but needs to be carefully placed as its roots spread out rapidly and can be detrimental to sprinkler and plumbing pipes.
Flame Willow: This willow adds a big flare to any yard with its red branches and bright yellow leaves. Like the other willows, it is a hearty plant and can grow strong in just about any climate. Its branches look beautiful in any landscape, or cut short and placed in a glass jar surrounded by tea lights to bring out their glow at night.
Whatever your yard style, start planning now for some simple and affordable ways to add some decorative flares through some of the most ornamental, and easy to grow plants yet: willows. Enjoy