I was so blinded by this lovely striped bark, I forgot to look up and take note of the leaves, leaving my stumped on the identity of the beauty. I’m thinking it may be a Crepe Myrtle. I have a few lovely trunk mysteries on my hands here. Any bark experts out there?

This neighborhood is proof that gardening is contagious and these neighbors all have the bark bug.

Around the block, there was a pair of trees with splendid colorful peeling bark. I believe these are Pacific Madrones, which you don’t see in city gardens too often, since they usually like to grow wild on a sunny dry slope. I did remember to get a shot of the foliage for identification purposes. Glossy, evergreen foliage is a nice bonus with that fantastic bark.

pacific madrone
 

pacific madrone
 

A little bit better view of our mystery striped friend here. It was a vase shaped multi-trunked creature, which still leaves me guessing it’s a crepe myrtle.
IMG_4311
 

Could we have another crepe myrtle here? Or do I have crepe myrtle fever, seeing them everywhere I look? Perhaps a Stewartia? Maybe the first photo is also a Stewartia? I really need to remember to look up.
IMG_4308
 

Looks like a spectacular old manzanita has since departed, but the skeleton remains. Can you blame them for getting too attached to let it go?
remains of an old manzanita
 

remains of an old manzanita
 

This one I’m fairly certain isn’t a case of spotted crepe myrtle fever, I remembered to look up at the leaves. Or rather, they were at eye level, so I couldn’t be so absent minded.
crepe myrtle
 

crepe myrtle
 

crepe myrtle
 

I find these gardeners very clever, planting trees with such beguiling bark one could forgot to look around at the rest of the tree or even the rest of the garden. That’ll make it much easier to pass the winter months, passing by these trunks on their way in and out of the garden.

I know the end of the gardening season can be a sore subject for some of us, not everybody shares my love of fall and winter, but good winter interest in the garden surely helps. What keeps you going in the winter garden?