Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose'

on Wednesday, 25 August 2021. Posted in Winter Interest, Deer Resistant, Grasses, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Karley Rose Oriental Fountain Grass

Karley Rose edAn easy to grow, soft textured fountain grass, Pennisetum 'Karley Rose' will give you months of light pink blooms that are great for floral arrangements and beautiful accents in the garden, but aren't attractive to deer.

This Pennisetum is more cold hardy than the straight species (Pennisetum orientale) and blooms earlier than other varieties like 'Hamelyn'. The rose-pink blooms appear in early summer and continue on until frost. Once the blades and blooms dry out to an autumnal tan, the silhouette remains pretty in the frost of winter. Cut this grass back in early spring, as new growth begins to emerge. Aside from that, there is no special care for this drought tolerant, deer resistant grass.

When in bloom, 'Karley Rose' tops out at about 3' tall and 24-30" wide. ‘Karley Rose’ is easy to divide, to create a graceful, massed effect in your garden. It looks great backlit by early morning or late afternoon sun and pairs nicely with Sedums, Echinaceas and other large-flowered perennials. Full sun or light shade and well-draining soil is best – the one thing ‘Karley Rose’ doesn't like is wet, boggy soil.

Salvia greggii 'Mirage' cultivars

on Monday, 16 August 2021. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Salvia Mirage Soft Pink smIf you are a fan of Salvia greggii (Autumn Sage/Texas Sage) you’ll definitely want to check out the new Mirage series of Salvias: Mirage Cherry Red, Mirage Cream, Mirage Pink, Mirage Violet, and Mirage Soft Pink.

Honestly, we can’t say enough good things about this colorful and sturdy perennial!

 Salvia Mirage Cherry RedThe Mirage Salvias share all the best features of Salvia greggii – great sun and heat tolerance, a long bloom season, drought tolerance, and being a wonderful addition to the pollinator garden – but feature a more compact growth habit than the straight species (12-14” tall by 14-16” wide), with better branching, a nice, loosely mounded shape, and a really lovely variety of colors. 

Salvia Mirage CreamTheir strongly aromatic leaves keep the deer away, and they are a delight for gardeners to brush up against and have their sharp, fresh fragrance released into the summer air. And talk about hummingbird magnets! I have seen hummingbirds bypass feeders to nectar from their flowers. 

Salvia Mirage Pink edMirage Salvias prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They’ll also do nicely as colorful, long-blooming container plants, although they are mostly deciduous during the winter months.

To keep them looking full, deadhead them occasionally during the growing season and give them a harder trim in early spring (when you see new leaves beginning to emerge. 

Salvia Mirage VioletWe grow all of our Mirage Salvias (and lots of other plants!) right here onsite here at Shooting Star Nursery, so they are already pre-adapted to our climate. They’re blooming now, and will continue to flower into late fall. Come on in and see them for yourself! 

Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Dark Knight'

on Wednesday, 11 August 2021. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Deer Resistant, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Dark Knight Bluebeard

caryopteris-closeup-plant-o

This late summer bloomer goes by several common names - Bluebeard, Blue Spirea, Blue Mist - so we usually stick to calling it Caryopteris! Caryopteris is an easy, deer resistant, drought tolerant (but also tolerant of moist soils), and long blooming addition to your garden border. The plant in the photo is 'Dark Knight' which is a darker shade of periwinkle-blue from the common 'Blue Mist' variety. Both varieties put on a show with hundreds of flowers from July to frost, attracting honeybees and butterflies from all around.

Dark Knight2A low maintenance plant, Caryopteris can be kept at 2-3' tall and wide with a spring pruning but will get larger if left unpruned. We find that our winters do some tip pruning anyways so it is best to clean them up in spring when you see new leaves emerge and pruning right above them, which can sometimes be as low as 6" from the base. They quickly recover into a nice mounded shape, looking dense and uniform. So they are great for the maintenance person that loves to come in and hedge trim everything!

With its aromatic, lance shaped leaves, this shrub has proven to be quite deer resistant. The leaves have a blue/silver tinge that look great with other silvers like Artemesia or contrast with purple foliage like smokebush. We find Caryopteris to be drought tolerant because of its very deep taproot but can look lusher with regular water in well draining soil. Full sun is best and they will tolerate reflected heat.

Eupatorium 'Little Joe'

on Wednesday, 04 August 2021. Posted in Fragrant Blooms, Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Flowering Plants

Eupatorium Little Joe edit

A diminutive (if 3-4’ tall can be considered diminutive) cultivar of a prairie native perennial, ‘Little Joe’ Eupatorium might just steal your heart!

This uncommon garden perennial features rosy-lavender puffs of flowers held atop tall, strong stalks. The flowers are absolutely beloved by butterflies and bees, as are most members of the Asteraceae. In addition, ‘Little Joe’ is fragrant, and holds up well as a cut flower.

Eupatorium flower detail smWe really love ‘Little Joe’ for the texture it brings to the perennial garden. The plants bring a light, airy feel to the garden and are particularly effective when used as a backdrop for shorter perennials and in combination with ornamental grasses.

‘Little Joe’ thrives in full sun with average water, and blooms from midsummer into fall. It’s also deer resistant and tolerant of clay soils (a real plus here in the Rogue Valley!). Cut plants back to the ground in late winter/early spring, before the new growth begins to emerge.

Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition'

on Monday, 02 August 2021. Posted in Winter Interest, Fall Color, Deer Resistant, Grasses, Drought Tolerant

'Blonde Ambition' Blue Grama Grass

Bouteloua1 edThis North American native prairie grass cultivar is a true performer. Many ornamental grasses don't start blooming until late summer, but ‘Blonde Ambition’ starts flowering in early summer and its blonde, horizontal, eyelash-like blooms persist well into winter. 

Bouteloua detail edAnyone who has visited Shooting Star Nursery knows that we love our ornamental grasses, and Bouteloua ‘Blonde Ambition’ remains one of our very favorites. Its narrow blue-green leaves would be reason enough to like it, but what really makes this grass stand out is its flowers, which start out chartreuse colored and fade to a lovely blonde shade.

It performs well in various garden locations, from well-drained clay to drier sandy soils. At a super useful size of 2-1/2'-3' tall to 3' wide, you can plant it en masse, or use it as a single specimen to contrast with flowering perennials. We like to plant it with other sturdy perennials like Agastache, Eupatorium, Echinacea, and Nepeta. It also combines well in mass plantings with other native grasses like Sporobolus, Schizachyrium, and Muhlenbergia.

 ‘Blonde Ambition’ is very cold hardy and is quite drought tolerant, but can also handle regular watering. Like most ornamental grasses, it is deer resistant and wintering songbirds enjoy eating the seedheads. We like to leave it up all winter as the stiff stems can hold up to snow and provide interest and texture in the winter garden. In early spring, when you see new growth emerging, you can cut back the old stems to about 3" above the soil line and scratch out any old growth. Bouteloua is also reported to tolerate being near Walnut trees, where most plants cannot thrive.