Articles in Category: Attracts Pollinators

Eryngium planum 'Jade Frost'

on Monday, 03 January 2011. Posted in Winter Interest, Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Jade Frost Variegated Sea Holly

eryngium_plant_of_week

This drought tolerant variegated Sea Holly is putting on quite a show this winter.  Almost like sparkling snowflakes, it boasts shades of cream, powdery blue, and pink as the blooms mature.  This particular Eryngium has variegated leaves at the base as well as the bracts surrounding the flowers adding to its long term interest and contrast with other plants.  Eryngiums are grown for their 'everlasting'  spiky flowers- they can be used fresh or dried in arrangements.  They even keep their charm when left up to catch frost or snow during our winter.  In the spring they can be cut to the base to clean them up.  The leaf base should remain evergreen and in general they are very cold hardy plants if given good drainage.  Performing best in full sun with sharp drainage and little water.  A layer of gravel mulch will keep the base from rotting out during the wetter winter months.  This sea holly can reach 24-30" tall and spread 15-20".  A great choice for a hot, dry spot where the spiky texture and upright form can contrast with softer leafed plants like sage, artemesia or phlomis.

 

Feijoa sellowiana

on Monday, 26 July 2010. Posted in Good for Screening, Winter Interest, Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Edible, Deer Resistant, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Pineapple Guava

feijoa-sellowiana

The botanical name is difficult but you CAN grow something as tropical sounding as Pineapple Guava in your yard, plus it's drought tolerant and deer resistant- our two favorite qualitites.  Reading about it you will find that it can get quite large, but in our climate we find it will stay about 4-6' tall and wide and can be easily pruned to 4'.  Feijoa has very fresh looking, thick leaves with a silvery underside that look great with other Meditteranean themed plants or especially for highlighting purple leafed plants like Smokebush or Barberry.  The flowers are not very large and are kind of tucked into the plant but when you do see them the red stamens shine against the pale pink petals.  The flowers are edible and some customers have reported actually ripening fruit on their shrubs.  Our summers are not usually long enough but if it's placed in just the right microclimate, against a south wall, you may be able enjoy Pineapple Guava fruit.   A warm, protected microclimate with good drainage will also help it survive the winter.  Feijoa are hardy to around 10 degrees; about the same as an Escallonia, but they seem to grow back from the base if damaged.  They will take both heat and drought and the evergreen, coarse leaves discourage deer.

Geranium x 'Brookside'

on Monday, 07 June 2010. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Brookside Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill)

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We're into the purples this month it seems and this eye-catching purple is hard to capture in a photo.  This lovely hardy Geranium has deep lavender blue flowers with a white eye that is one of the easiest perennials we have grown.  It is similar to the more familiar 'Johnson's Blue' variety but is slightly more compact at around 2' x 2' and has sturdier stems.  Soft foliage surround the everblooming flowers that seem to complement most other perennials or grasses.  The strongest bloom comes in June but it will bloom most of the summer especially if it gets cut back after the first flush of bloom.  Not many perennials get nice fall color but this one gets brilliant red and orange as it fades out into winter dormancy.  We have it on the west side of our house in full sun, where it looks best with moderate water and well draining soil, but it can be drought tolerant in part shade.  Could be deer resistant but we think the smellier Geranium varieties (Biokovo) are better for that, but let us know what you find out!  We also carry Geranium 'Rozanne' a newer variety with a compact habit and darker purple flowers.

Hesperaloe parviflora

on Monday, 17 May 2010. Posted in Winter Interest, Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Red False Yucca

Hesperaloe cropRed False Yucca is better behaved than it's common name connection to yucca, but is still heat and drought tolerant. It makes a tidy clump of blue toned blades but doesn't make offshoots every which way. And the flowers are spectacular- dozens of salmon colored tubular flowers attract hummingbirds throughout the summer.

This has been our plant of choice to replace New Zealand Flax that have died this winter. It comes from the high deserts of Texas and Mexico, and tolerates our cold winters well as long as it has well-drained soil and full sun. The sturdy blades are not sharp or pointy, so they would work near a path or pool and get about 2-3' tall and wide with the flower spikes reaching 4-5' tall.  It is also deer resistant and does well as a focal point in containers in a hot spot.