A Gardening Journal

Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Belgian Fence of Beeches

The Spring foliage of European beech trees is particularly vivid—especially those cultivars whose foliage is colorful in the first place. I'm forming my Belgian fence of two spectacular forms.

 

 

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Foliage of the thread-leaved beech is purple in addition to being strikingly narrow.

 

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When low sun strikes the leaves in the morning and again at dusk, the foliage of Fagus sylvatica 'Ansorgei' glows so brightly it nearly turns pink.

 

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The leaves of the variegated form emerge bright yellow-green, but the pattern of variegation doesn't reveal itself until Summer.

 

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Only with a second glance do you notice that the center of each young leaf of Fagus sylvatica 'Luteovariegata' is a bit darker than the perimeter. As the leaf matures, the center darkens to solid green, while the perimeter lightens to yellow.

 

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Year by year, these rare beeches complete more and more of the criss-crossing that creates the Belgian fence's iconic diamond pattern.



Here's how to grow one of the forms of European beech in this Belgian fence: 'Ansorgei', whose purple leaves are shockingly narrow.

 

Here's a look at the Belgian fence overall—as well as at the family of birds that nested there one Spring.

 
 
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