I had one of those strange dreams early this morning. I was sitting at a table with my inventor friend. He was holding an unusual looking small box with several different colored wires sticking out, curving, and going back in. On the top of the box was a small red light and a large toggle switch. The light was dim and flashing slowly as we talked.
Suddenly, my friend’s face changed from his usual very serious look to one of mischievous joy. “Here we go!” he said and then flipped the switch. The flashing red light steadily became brighter and flashed more and more quickly until it seemed to be a solid glow. And that’s when it happened.
I seemed to be flying – or floating – high above a lush green mountainous forest. Off in the distance I saw a small glow and as quickly as I wondered what it was, I was hovering over a vast forest fire. In no time, the fire was out with just the smoldering after effect of what had once been the undergrowth of a giant redwood forest (Sequoiadendron giganteum).
I found myself on the ground now and as I turned, viewing everything around me, the forest began to come alive with new growth. Tiny seedlings began to sprout and a new generation of redwoods were beginning to emerge. Time moved at an incredible speed as I continued to turn, taking in the view. The young seedlings quickly grew larger and larger as the older generation of trees began to die and fall, undergrowth filled in and died away, and eventually, the tree closest to where I stood, which I saw emerge as a seedling, was a couple of hundred feet tall with a huge girth to its trunk – like pictures I have seen of giant redwoods thousands of years old.
Just then, as quickly as I found myself above that vast forest, I was sitting next to my grinning friend. “How was that?” he asked just as my cat started his morning routine of kneading my chest. I awoke.
Did you know that there are several selections of the giant redwood that are suitable for contemporary gardens? These days, most any gardener may enjoy the sensation of a 3,000 year old forest in their own backyard – even in containers on the patio or balcony – without traveling through time and space.
There are very small, slow growing cultivars, such as ‘Little Stan’ or ‘Blauer Eichzwerg’ that are perfect for smaller theme gardens or containers. I love the blue forms that will grow into large trees but with shades of blue from the soft, bright blue of ‘Power Blue’ to ‘Hazel Smith’ and ‘Glaucum’. ‘Greenpeace’ is a gorgeous, rich green tree that is slightly slower than the species, and develops into a broadly pyramidal form. Finally, there are several weeping forms, from the popular classic, ‘Pendula’, to more recent introductions like, ‘Barabits Requiem’.
No wonder I’m dreaming about giant redwoods – I love them!