I listed "Amelanchier" three times on my "Less Than Hot" list last week and I was asked the question, "Why?"
The answer to me is simple but difficult to explain. I will tell it like this:
"To me, while Amelanchier has its interests - smooth silver bark, colorful June fruit set, showy (but weak) spring flowers, and brilliant autumn color - not to mention it is disease and pest free and survives anywhere - the Amelanchier is most often a signal alerting a certain form of power in a landscape."
The Amelanchier is a landscape tree but rarely found in the garden. We will find it planted as street trees; groves planted in Delaware Park; They are most certainly used somewhere in the Canalside development; Contemporary municipal park development will surely include them in their plant list; PUSH certainly has used them in the landscape they have assembled in our neighborhood; every "Cornell Recommends" list surely has Amelanchier prominently placed. I even remember seeing Amelanchier used at Plantasia in several displays this spring.
But Ferncroft has never called me and said, "Matt. I need Amelanchier branches to finish this piece." I have not seen Madderlake make any mention of the tree. Emily Thompson, perhaps most known for her floral work at MoMA, I don't believe to have ever utilized any of the four seasons of interest the spectular Amelanchier has to offer. Saipua, contemporary artist/florist/farmer of Brooklyn, in all I have watched her front over the past few years, never have I seen Amelanchier emerge.
Most often, gardens that I and my friends may fantasize about creating, have plants such as Dahlia, Quince, Mockorange, etc...plants known to be "delicate" not "sturdy." Amelanchier is part of a world that produces landscapes with four seasons - my gardening companions imagine gardens that have "moments."
Without making definitions, the world is cut up and evidenced in aesthetic imaginations and affectations: Amelanchier is beautiful in one world, but it is the world that will do everything in its power to ensure I have none.
So. Amelanchier has its interests. But it is not part of a beautiful landscape.
Landscape designer and Proprietor of Buffalo Horticulture