Gardening Gone Wild - Takes 10 with Tim

Thank you to Fran Sorin at the blog "Gardening Gone Wild". Fran interviewed me for the blog she co-authors with five other bloggers and recently posted "Take 10: Q&A with Tim Wood. You can read Fran's interview by clicking in the link above. You'll get to see a rather good looking picture of me comparing the blooms of Increidball Hydrangea with an Annabelle Hydrangea. Fran asked me some crazy, and some not so crazy, questions. For example "What is the one thing that people would be suprised to learn about me?"

On a different note, I've been created a Proven Winners ColorChoice Fan Club on Facebook. If you're into Facebook, simply seach the term "Proven Winners" and you'll find us. Join the club and share your experiences! Connect with others that have the same passion! Invite your friends!

Initially, I could not understand Facebook, but after doing it for a few weeks I now understand its value. The fan club page allows me to post videos, files, links to articles, photo albums etc. and it gives everyone the opportunity to share their opinions and comments. If you're a Facebook fan check it out!


  1. Anonymous4:18 PM

    Hi Tim~~ Nice interview. So you've got Hobbit "blood."

    I like your take on Natives. I get really tired of all of those "experts" telling me I should do this or that. Natives and exotics both have their place.

    With Buddleia banned in Oregon, is there any way I can get my hands on B. 'Blue Chip'?

  2. Just read the Wild article, very nice. I love beech trees, too. That hydrangea bloom is GIANT, not sure if it would fit in my yard. But someone with more than a quarter acre lot will probably love it! Just saw your name mentioned with the Boomerang lilac in the Wayside Gardens catalog. So you're not quite as famous as Frodo but close :-)

  3. Anonymous4:55 AM

    Hi Tim: I garden in Wisconsin and want to build a garden maze of low growing shrubs (or shrubs which can be pruned to be low growing) hedges. On the site now are some juvenile elms (8th summer) planted in a circle around a baby cottonwood (2nd summer). The site is a former apple orchard, and the elms and cottonwood trees are spaced so that the eventual look will be a huge, towering cottonwood surrounded by elms only slightly shorter: a mighty tower of green visible for a long way, and a pleasant grove for the future. Now, given that I am already in my 50's, I don't necessarily expect to see the final result, but in the meanwhile, I would like to enjoy the site, also.

    I've been much impressed by simple hedge mazes in public gardens around the world which I have visited. Also been much impressed by a hedge maze in the Green Bay Botanical Garden which is actually made of fencing and vines. (It's in the children's garden).

    So, I thought I would like to have a hedge maze on the tree site, with the tree trunks as part of the design --have hedges running in all directions with the tree trunks as the "junctions," and the cottonwood tree as the goal in the center. I have laid out the hedge on paper, and am prepared to start removing sod in the correct pattern, so as to amend the soil in the correct areas (in the trenches where the shrubs will be planted next year).

    However, I have been stymied by not knowing what sort of shrubs to get! I will not say price is no object, but I will say that I would be prepared to pay a lot for the right shrub. The shrubs will start life in part-shade (the elms are capable of casting some small, moving shadow, but the cottonwood is not yet any height at all). However, the shrubs will end their lives under the shade of some mighty trees.

    So, what kind of shrubs have this sort of woodland life-cycle, and can grow up alongside of the trees? I do recognize that when the trees are fully grown, an open glade may be more restful that a (by then) spindly light-starved hedge maze, but the trees will not be grown to that point for at least 20 more years--a short time in the lifecycle of the trees, but a long time for me.

    So..can you make a recommendation? I would prefer a blooming (or better yet, re-blooming) shrub, and was leaning towards some sort of Annabelle type hydrangea, or perhaps the Endless Summer or Pinky-Winky. However, from studying plant lists (and particularly that of Prof. Ed Hazelkus formerly of the UW) I see the possibility to use a Korean Spice Viburnum, a Japanese Barberry, or an Alpine Currant.

    My garden is in Madison, WI. The soil is St. Charles Silt Loam (a silt loam of moderate sweetness--not an acid soil) well-drained and inclined to dry in the hot summer months. The soil in the future grove is somewhat depleted from growing apples for the past 50+ years. The ground cover is a violets, daisies and clover: reminiscent of the pasture it was before life as an apple orchard. It has never been lawn-ized, although it is mowed as a lawn. The growing zone is 4b, but this is deceptive: sometimes we get an open frigid winter. When the snowcover fails, the temperature drops below -25 and the wind comes howling, I think we are more of a 4a or even less.

    Whew--what a lot of information, but I am hoping that you can recommend a shrub which will fit the bill, or failing that, a vine which can be grown on a fence, as is done in Green Bay's botanical garden.

    Gail S. Madison WI.

  4. What is the desired height of your low growing hedge? Are you considering evergreens as well as deciduous shrubs?

  5. Grace, the latest word from Oregon (ODA) is that Blue Chip is going to be exempt and will be legal in Oregon.

  6. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Hi Tim:

    Thanks for your quick response. As to the height: I’m short and claustrophobic, so 3’6” to 4’, max. so a person can see over the top of all the hedges when in the maze.

    I did consider evergreens, yet as a flower hog, hoped for something blooming (or better yet, re-blooming!) Yet, given the constraints of a hedge (must accept pruning, must be vigorous to avoid unplanned gaps, yet not so vigorous as to sucker, must be narrow) and the constraints of zone, shade and soil previously mentioned, the real answer must be that ANY shrub which fits the bill is going to be seriously considered.

    Along these lines, what do you think of the new Fine Line Buckthorn—I had forgotten to mention that it, too, is on my shortlist. However, again, really ANY shrub which you recommend is going to be given the most serious consideration.

    Thanks again, Gail S., Madison WI

  7. Fine line would be a good choice. It's very narrow so you only have to prune the top once it reaches the height you want. But you will not get any showy flowers. You also mentioned Piny Winky - also a good choice for the height you will want. Very upright growing and very hardy. If you want lots of flowers I would suggest Bloomeang Lilac, although it is not going to be avaiable until next spring. Other small lilas will work but you will not get the strong rebloom as with Bloomerang. All of these plants are good and hardy for your area.

  8. Anonymous12:52 PM

    Thank you for your recommendations! Gail S.

  9. Good luck with your project Gail.


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