Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.
Partway along the road between the Perkins Visitor Center and Wave Hill House, there is a marvelous view across the Lower Lawn to the George Washington Bridge. Most of the deciduous trees and shrubs bordering the lawn are a little drab in winter, but there is a row of colored stems on the right-hand side which brightens up the whole scene.
This a planting of Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire,’ a selection of the European blood-twig dogwood. The stems are yellow for most of their length but they are tipped with orange-red twigs and, when viewed from a distance, the effect is as if they are artificially illuminated—or even on fire. The placement of this planting is perfect and looks simply “right,” but it required considerable knowledge and design-sense on the part of our gardeners.
This last shot is of the view south and west at sunset in late January this year, with Cornus sanguinea a small but bright focal point against the snowy Lower Lawn.