Articles in Category: Ground Cover

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

on Monday, 06 September 2021. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Fall Color, Ground Cover, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant

Dwarf Plumbago

Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

By September, many of the summer-blooming perennials that have brightened our gardens for the past few months are beginning to look a little tired and worn, so it’s really nice to find a something that looks bright and fresh, and is just getting started up as summer winds down.

It’s especially nice if the plant in question is covered with vivid blue flowers that contrast beautifully against the dark green foliage, like our Plant of the Week – Dwarf Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides). Even better, those lovely dark green leaves turn a dark, burgundy-red in fall; providing brilliant show of fall color.

Dwarf Plumbago is just a delight in the garden. It’s an herbaceous groundcover (meaning it dies to the ground in the winter and comes back up again the following spring) that grows well in a variety of situations from full sun to part shade, is extremely easy to care for, is relatively drought tolerant, attracts butterflies and other pollinators, and is even deer resistant! Plants grow to about 6 to 8” tall by 18” wide, and spread slowly via undergrounds stems. It begins flowering around mid-summer, and here in the Rogue Valley it will generally remain in bloom up until the first frost of fall.

Dwarf Plumbago combines beautifully with plants like Coreopsis, Echinacea, Anemone, and Croscosmia. It’s also a great companion plant for spring-flowering bulbs. The bulbs appear and flower before the Dwarf Plumbago leafs out, but by the time your bulbs have finished blooming, the Dwarf Plumbago is filling in your bed with its lovely deep green leaves; giving your flower bed a smooth transition into late spring/early summer.

Helianthemum nummularium 'Henfield Brilliant'

on Monday, 02 August 2021. Posted in Evergreen, Ground Cover, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

'Henfield Brilliant' Sunrose

helianthemum nummularium henfield brilliant blooming nursery 2 st gpp

There are so many wonderful things about Sunroses - where to start?

Sunroses are drought tolerant, evergreen, low maintenance, cold hardy, spring blooming groundcovers that work well in the Rogue Valley. We use them all the time to cascade over rock walls, as an edging in a drought tolerant garden, or an evergreen groundcover at the base of taller plants.

While there are quite a few varieties of Sunroses, one of the best – in terms of growth habit and form – is ‘Henfield Brilliant’. In fact, this charming little plant even received an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.

‘Henfield Brilliant’ has bright, coppery flowers that really stand out against its soft gray-green foliage. Each individual flower is about 1” across, and plants bloom profusely from about May through July. Even when it’s not blooming, ‘Henfield Brilliant’ is a just a lovely plant with a soft mounding shape – about 6” tall and 18-24” wide at maturity. It does best in full sun and well-drained soil (plant them on a mound or atop a rock wall if you are gardening in clay soil), and should be sheared back hard once it is done blooming, to help maintain a good shape and stimulate next year’s bloom.

Penstemon pinifolius

on Wednesday, 23 June 2021. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Perennial, Ground Cover, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Pineleaf Penstemon

Penstemon Mersea YellowPineleaf Penstemon makes me happy every time I see it. So many benefits in such a compact package! 

 Penstemon, as a group, have a reputation of being fussy about watering, and not being very long lived. But this western native perennial is evergreen, and one of the very best Penstemons for long term success in the garden. It makes a great rock garden plant or edger at the front of a border, in fact, we have a bank of it planted in our display garden. The delicate tubular flowers should be appreciated up close - that is if the hummingbirds will let you get close enough!  

PPinifolius crop ed

Pineleaf Penstemon requires well drained soil, especially on a slope, and will be drought tolerant once established. The needle-like foliage is evergreen and looks best when you can shear the spent flowers back in the same style as you would shear an Erica or Calluna after blooming. In most areas, we have found them to be deer resistant.

 Sunset Steppe Penstemon edThese Penstemons typically begin blooming in late spring - May and June here in southern Oregon - and are great compliments to the other sun lovers like spring and summer blooming sages, sedums, lavenders, or even dwarf conifers. They will stretch to about 2' wide and 12-18" tall and look comfortable among rocks and boulders.

 The varieties we usually carry are 'Mersea Yellow'- a nice soft yellow (shown top left), Penstemon pinifolius - the straight species - which is a reddish-orange (above right), 'Steppe Suns Sunset Glow' - an apricot orange veriety.

Marrubium rotundifolium

on Monday, 21 June 2021. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Ground Cover, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant

'Silver Heels' Horehound

Marrubium Silver HeelsMarrubium rotundifolium – aka ‘Silver Heels’ Horehound - is a great plant for the really hard places in your yard. It absolutely thrives in full, hot sun and poor soils, and is extremely drought tolerant once established; a deep soaking every four to six weeks will keep it looking great all summer long.

There’s lots more to love about ‘Silver Heels’ too. For starters, it’s evergreen, deer resistant, and pollinator friendly. ‘Silver Heels’ gets about 10” tall and about 3-4’ wide; making it a great choice for a groundcover or a low-growing perennial.

But the thing that makes this plant a real stand-out in the garden is the texture of its leaves. We tend to choose most of the perennials for our gardens based on the color of their flowers, and there’s nothing particularly memorable about the small, white, flowers of ‘Silver Heels’. But oh, those leaves!

Marrubium4‘Silver Heels’ has rounded, soft green leaves with a wonderfully pebbly texture, and the undersides of the leaves are coated with dense, white hairs – making them look like they’ve been felted. Plant them with dark green or bronze-leafed perennials or grasses, as a soft “carpet” under a taller plant, or out along the edge of a walkway or wall – where you can pet them as you walk by.

Like many fuzzy-leafed plants, ‘Silver Heels’ doesn’t do well with overhead water from sprinklers, and prefers drip or hand watering when necessary (which isn’t often!). And they actually grow better in lean, poor soils than heavily amended soils. But give ‘Silver Heels’ a hot, dry, sunny spot where all your other plants struggle, and they’ll be absolutely content.

Teucrium

on Tuesday, 25 May 2021. Posted in Fragrant Blooms, Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Perennial, Ground Cover, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant

Germander

Teucrium aroaniumTeucriums – also known as Germanders – often get overlooked when folks are planning their gardens, and here at Shooting Star Nursery we’re on a mission to change that!

 

If you’re not yet familiar with Germanders, this is a great time to get acquainted. These versatile evergreen groundcovers and subshrubs thrive in full sun, are drought tolerant and deer resistant, and are absolutely beloved by pollinators (maybe because their flowers smell like honey!).

 

All Germanders will take well to light shearing throughout the year, making them good candidates for a low, formal border. In fact, this feature made them extremely popular as border plants in formal Elizabethan knot gardens.

 

Shooting Star regularly carries the following varieties of Germander:

Gray Creeping Germander (Teucrium aroanium): Narrow soft gray foliage with pinkish-purple flowers; 2-3’ tall by 1.5 – 2’ wide. Both foliage and flowers are fragrant. See photo above.

 

Teucrium chamaedryasWall Germander (Teucrium chamaedryas): Glossy dark green leaves topped with small spikes of rosy lavender flower. Shear after blooming to help maintain shape. 1-2’ tall by 2-3’ wide.

 

Dwarf Wall Germander (T. chamaedryas ‘Prostrata’): Same coloring Wall Germander, but plants only reach 6-8” tall by 18” wide at maturity.

Teucrium Summer Sunshine‘Summer Sunshine’ (T. chamaedryas ‘Summer Sunshine’): New leaves are golden green, darkening to chartreuse later in the season; rosy purple flowers; 6-8” tall by 12-18” wide.