Articles in Category: Evergreen

Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn'

on Monday, 09 May 2011. Posted in Good for Screening, Winter Interest, Fragrant Blooms, Showy Bark/Stems, Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Deer Resistant, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Howard McMinn Manzanita

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This named form of Manzanita made it through the 2009 winter that seemed to kill off most Escallonias and Phormiums.  At lows of seven degrees, this Manzanita didn't even discolor or lose leaves.  We have a few planted in the ground at the nursery and they have done beautifully without much irrigation or care. 

'Howard McMinn' will tolerate more irrigation than other manzanitas but all are very drought tolerant in well draining soil.  It will take full to half a day of sun and grows quickly to 4-5' tall and at least 4-5' wide.  The hummingbirds love the light pink flowers that appear in early spring and smell like honey.  It looks good all year and has dense growth unlike some leggier forms of manzanita.  The red stems contrast nicely with the apple green leaves.  The deer should leave it alone but we have gotten reports of deer chewing some tips.  It may depend on the time of year and the deer population. Arctostaphylos Howard McMinn sm

 

Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Purpurea'

on Monday, 04 April 2011. Posted in Winter Interest, Evergreen, Shade Plants, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Purple Wood Spurge

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Seems as if we are always singing the praises of Euphorbias but what else has such bright, ever-changing color, is deer resistant and drought tolerant, and provides contrast with other shrubs and perennials?  Euphorbia purpurea is one of the shorter growing species and in the hot valley is best in part shade, morning sun, or dappled light; although increased sun will bring out more of the burgundy/purple tones.  Once established it is drought tolerant as long as it has well draining soil and the white sap in the stems make it poisonous and resistant to deer.  This Euphobia is always going through interesting color changes- the leaves go from fresh green/lime to wine-colored reds and purples as the season progresses.  The red stems and purple rosettes of leaves contrast beautifully with the chartreuse/lime colored blooms that perch atop the plant.   The blooms last for months and when they finally fade is the best time to prune the stems back to the base to keep it tidy.  This Euphorbia is at it's prime it's first few years and then may get a little tired looking, but it reseeds quite a bit so you will always have fresh plants.  It looks great as a mass groundcover in part shade, combined with yellow daffodils, black mondo grass, Mahonia repens or compacta, yellow toned ornamental grasses, Veronica 'Georgia Blue', Hellebores, I could go on and on.  The colors and form of the Euphorbia purpurea just complement so many other leaf shapes and colors.  They do well in containers as well and are a great choice for winter color and multi season interest in a shade/part shade pot.  Euphorbia purpurea will typically get about 12-18" tall and spread about as wide with seedlings popping up nearby.  They are easy to identify and remove or transplant.

Choisya arizonica x ternata 'Aztec Pearl'

on Monday, 23 August 2010. Posted in Good for Screening, Winter Interest, Fragrant Blooms, Evergreen, Deer Resistant, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

'Aztec Pearl' Cutleaf Mexican Orange

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Here's something for that elusive 4-5' high evergreen, plus it has great fragrance and is deer resistant. This cross has much finer foliage than the straight Choisya ternata and seems less fussy on its location.  The five fingered leaves have a wonderful texture that contrast well with rounded leaf forms or purple foliage.  It is reported to get larger that 5' but in our experience it is easy to tip prune it to keep it around 4' tall and wide.  It is also reported to be hardy to Zone 8 but we have not had any problems with keeping it through the winter, even when we got to 7 degrees this past December.   The key is to place it where it gets at least some winter sun, and that the soil is well draining and doesn't get over watered.  If those needs are met, it seems very cold hardy for the Rogue Valley.  'Aztec Pearl' will take more sun than the straight species, either full sun to half a day of sun.  It looks handsome all year and especially when it has clusters of white flowers in the late spring that have a spicy, citrusy fragrance.  The leaves are poisonous which keep the deer away and can be drought tolerant once established.  

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.

Stipa gigantea

on Monday, 12 July 2010. Posted in Winter Interest, Evergreen, Deer Resistant, Grasses, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Giant Feather Grass

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In the quest for evergreen ornamental grasses, the Giant Feather Grass provides the evergreen green blades, but the thing that makes this grass a standout is its 6' tall blooms that shimmer in the evening light and last much longer than most ornamental grasses.

The 2-3' tall clump of foliage can be cut back in the winter to refresh it or left alone to have a permanent presence in the garden. Blooms start emerging in May and retain their good looks until frost starts to beat them up and need cut back. Besides that, there is no maintenance needed for this grass and the inflorescences rise dramatically above other perennials or shrubs.

Stipa gigantea is drought tolerant in well drained soil, deer resistant, heat tolerant and has interest all year long. They look wonderful as a single accent or could be massed for a naturalistic garden. By the way, it doesn't seed around like its cousin- Stipa tenuissima or Mexican Feather Grass. It's difficult to photograph the quality of the light as it shines through the blooms, but come visit and we'll show you!