Tag Archive for 'Plantola'

Where can I buy a Korean Dogwood?

Korean Dogwood

I recently spent some time in South Korea.  Fascinating country.  Being the garden fanatic that I am, much of my time was spent appreciating the uniquely Korean style of landscape design.  The pervasive use of rocks, shrubs and conifers borrows heavily from the natural environment found in the mountains that are never far away in Korea’s rugged landscape.  Commonly used plantings (at least in Seoul) include boxwood, yew, azalea, liriope, mondo grass, sasa grass, ginkgo biloba, dawn redwood, and korean pine.  One tree in particular caught my eye – the Korean Dogwood (Cornus kousa).  The Korean Dogwood is hard to miss, especially when it is in flower.  When in bloom the glossy white flowers that cover this small tree are truly memorizing.

Korea having a similar climate to where I live in Canada my immediate thought was to buy a Korean Dogwood for my garden as soon as I got back to Canada. Little did I realize how difficult this would be.  You can’t just type “Korean Dogwood” and “Your City” into Google and get a list of suppliers.  Very few garden centers post inventories online.  Growers, the people that supply garden centers, sometimes post their stock online, but rarely the names of the garden centers they supply, especially by item.  Want to know which garden centers in Toronto have purchased a Korean dogwood in the past 5 years?  You are out of luck.  So how do you track down specimen plants like a Korean Dogwood?  You call all the garden centers in your area and hope someone knows what you are looking for and can help you track down a source.  This can be a very frustrating and time consuming process.  After a few “weeks” of searching I gave up.  I was willing to spent several hundred dollars to buy this tree, and drive an hour or two if need be.  Despite being a very motivated buyer, no one got my business.

Turns out I am not the only one who has had a hard time finding unique plants for their garden.  More on that in my next post.