Articles in Category: Evergreen

Pinus thunbergii 'Thunderhead'

on Monday, 20 October 2014. Posted in Winter Interest, Conifer, Evergreen, Deer Resistant, Trees, Drought Tolerant

Thunderhead Dwarf Japanese Black Pine

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'Thunderhead' Japanese Black Pine is a wonderful compact specimen conifer.  Like most pines it is drought tolerant and deer resistant but what sets it apart from other pines is it's tight, dense form and handsome white candles in spring that stand out from the dark green needles.  It is a slow to medium grower ranging from 5-10' tall and 5-8' wide but keeps it's dense form over time.  This Japanese Black Pine will tolerate drier, sandy soils or moister soil as long as it's well drained and requires full sun. They look striking in trios or as a specimen in a smaller garden.  Makes a great pairing with the white bark of birches, or yellow Spirea 'Ogon', or purple Smokebush.

Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo'

on Monday, 09 June 2014. Posted in Winter Interest, Evergreen, Fall Color, Shade Plants, Perennial, Ground Cover, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

'Biokovo' Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill)

BiokovoThis versatile and easy-to-grow hardy geranium is a great choice for an evergreen perennial that is deer resistant, drought tolerant in part shade, and even gets fall color.

When looking for deer resistant plants it's always imortant to seek out scented plants, especially leaves with a strong smell. 'Biokovo' Geranium is one of the rare perennials to have a strong, spicy scent that is not Meditteranean or needing lots of sun. It performs best in a cool location with morning sun or at least protection from the hottest part of the day. The broad, lobed leaves provide striking contrast to finer leafed perennials and grasses.

'Biokovo' spreads by rhizomes to make a nice spreading mound about 6-10" tall and 2-3' wide and can be a bit aggressive so make sure it's neighbors can hold its own. Dainty, pale pink to white flowers with pink stamens emerge in late spring through summer, but this perennial remains interesting all year. The variety 'Cambridge Blue' is similar except with a lavender-blue flower.  We usually have several varieties of hardy Geranium in stock; they're great, tough, long-blooming perennials!

geranium biokovo fall coloCool fall weather brings out vibrant red and gold tones in some of the leaves but the leaves don't go completely dormant so you won't have an empty spot there in the winter. This tough geranium can be drought tolerant once established but will look freshest with regular water and a shearing after winter. A great groundcover for use with bulbs as it will mask fading bulb leaves and add flower interest after the bulb flowers are done. This is our go-to plant for a deer infested shade garden!

Cistus spp.

on Wednesday, 15 May 2013. Posted in Good for Screening, Winter Interest, Evergreen, Deer Resistant, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Rockrose

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If your only exposure to Rockroses has been the Orchid Rockrose (Cistus purpurea), which can get a bit rangy and raggedy after a few years, you are in for a real treat!

There are some spectacular varieties of Rockrose on the market, and these plants easily fill that challenging niche of a drought-tolerant, deer resistant, evergreen shrub with showy blooms. They do require well-drained soil - not too fertile is best - and minimal summer water once established.

Cistus are native to the Mediterraneas region and thrive in our hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. They do especially well on a slope or rocky hillside with well-drained soil. Make sure they are placed in a location that gets winter sun. Rockroses look great as a mass groundcover (they usually are wider than tall) or mixed in a drought tolerant bed of lavenders, rosemaries, Ceanothus and other Meditteranean plants. Each individual flower doesn't last long but they bloom successively over many weeks. They don't tolerate heavy pruning, just annual tip pruning to keep them compact.

Here are some of our favorites:

cistus skanbergii 1 568xCistus skanbergii - A beautiful little groundcover Cistus. And abundance of soft pink 1" wide flowers are complemented by gray-green leaves. Low, broad habit- 3' tall and up to 8' wide.

Cistus 'Blanche'- a large shrub in habit and bloom.  Ours have grown well over 5' tall and about 4' wide in 4 years.  Seems to be more upright than wide with an especially resinous and scented medium green leaf.  Needs some tip pinching to keep dense but has a nice habit for a large hedge.  Extra large white blooms with yellow center.  Seems to be one of the most deer resistant because of its resinous leaves.

Cistus ladanifer maculatus- Crimson Spot Rockrose - shown above.  White petals with crimson spot at base.  Rounded habit to at least 4'x4' and dark green leaf.

Cistus SunsetCistus 'Sunset'- Another good rockrose for groundcover. 'Sunset' will spread at least 4-5' wide and stay 18"-2' tall, with bright magenta flowers on sage green/silver foliage.  Great contrast and long blooming.

Rhamnus alaternus 'Variegata'

on Wednesday, 12 September 2012. Posted in Good for Screening, Winter Interest, Berries Attract Wildlife, Showy Bark/Stems, Evergreen, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant

Variegated Italian Buckthorn

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Italian Buckthorn is a bit new to us but we have been impressed with how fast if grows and its attractiveness all year round. This evergreen shrub can get quite large- up to 8-10' tall and 6-8' wide so it can make a nice hedge or specimen. The creamy edged foliage lights up a corner and contrasts well with the red/brown stems. This Rhamnus can tolerate sun or part shade, but being a zone 7 plant, is cold hardier with full sun. It develops small flowers that turn to red fruit in the winter and the foliage is wonderful for cut flower arrangements. Drought and heat tolerant once established make this a good screening choice for the Rogue Valley. Looks wonderful with contrasting reds and purples. Here are some other photos of it from Xera Plants. Would love to know if its deer resistant....

Creeping Thymes

on Tuesday, 14 June 2011. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Edible, Perennial, Ground Cover, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Creeping Thyme

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Creeping Thyme may seem too simple or common of a plant to feature but it is so useful and tough that we find ourselves using it all the time!   What other plant has evergreen leaves, spreads rapidly but not aggressively, has lovely bee-attracting flowers, and suppresses weeds without needing much water or care?  The creeping Thymes are not used for edible purposes but they still have a strong smell so the deer will leave them alone.  They will tolerate part shade but prefer full sun and a deep soak only when the soil is dry.  We use them to drape over a wall, or pot; as groundcover between pavers or at the edge of paths, anywhere you need a soft edge.  They are also great as filler- keeping weeds out while other shrubs are growing in and then they can either be lifted and divided or just let them remain under the existing shrubs.  The thyme pictured is Thymus pseudolanuginosus or Wooly Thyme- it is a bit slower to get established but that could be good in certain areas.  Thymus serphyllum 'Coccineus' or Red Creeping Thyme, and Thymus ser. 'Minus' or 'Elfin' grow more quickly and make great mass groundcovers that spread about 18".  Thymus 'Lemon Frost' is  a very handsome white flowering variety with lemon scented leaves that is well behaved, not spreading as fast to 12" or so.