Rock or hairy willow (Salix vestita)Parker?s Perfect Potting Mix

When planting his containers, Barry Parker buys bags of commercial cactus soil, which usually contains finely milled peat and sand. To this, he adds a product called Turfis, used by bonsai experts to aerate the soil, but says fine gravel works equally well. Mix the cactus soil and gravel in equal proportions and, voil?, the ideal planting medium.

Tiny Treasures

Here are a handful of Barry Parker?s favourite little willows, which he loves for their scale, perfect for small troughs.

  • Barrens willow (Salix jejuna) This endangered native willow is found only on Newfoundland?s limestone barrens. Parker is thrilled that he has been able to propagate it and now has seven of them.
  • Mountain willow (S. arbuscula) At high elevations, this yellow-barked willow assumes a prostrate form; Parker says it?s easy to grow.
  • Netleaf willow (S. reticulata) According to Parker, this incredibly hardy and tiny willow has ?lots of character; it?s lovely at all stages.?
  • Rock or hairy willow (S. vestita) Another Newfoundland native, this is somewhat more upright and has small glossy leaves with hairy undersides.
  • S. hylomaticum ?Malby?s Form? Parker describes this as a ?well-behaved, mat-forming plant that is beautiful in spring with its pinkish catkins.?

Rock or hairy willow (Salix vestita).

Barry Parker offers tried-and-true tips on how to overwinter potted plants