Blog Archive

Monday, January 10, 2011

Simple & Bold

Lily-of-the-Nile Agapanthus 'Rancho White' 
  • Evergreen Perennial, Sun or Shade, Water or No Water
  • Plant on a 1.5' interval for 1.5' tall ground cover
Madrone Arbutus menziesii
  • Evergreen tree or shrub requiring fast draining soil and just enough water
  • 20'-100' tall
  • Whitish bell shaped flowers in spring
  • Brightly colored berries in fall with wildlife value (birds like them)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Color & Texture--Median Planting

While typically I wouldn’t plant Barberry so near to pedestrians and vehicles, it was placed here before me.  I love the plant, absolutely love it.  So, it stays.  And, I think my openness to some of what came before is why I find the planting in this particular bed so gratifying.
  • Japanese Barberry Berberis thunbergii
    • Deciduous red leaf to 4-6’ with arching branches
    • Can be rejuvenated by cutting back hard, get larger leaves this way
    • Gives coveted inland autumnal vibe with red leaves falling to the ground in late fall
    • Tough plant
  • Honey Bush Melianthus major

    • Love it for its fabulous architectonic leaf, relates in a gnarly way to the Barberry 
    • 6-12’ tall and a couple feet wider beautiful evergreen grey-green shrub
    • Can be pruned as a small tree, prefer it as a shrub personally
    • Another tough plant

  • Wormwood Artemisia 'Powis Castle'
    • Easy to care for, cut it back once in awhile to rejuvenate 
    • Fine, soft, fragrant foliage
    • Fast growing excellent ground cover
    • Brilliant contrast with burgundy of Barberry, additional textural contrast
    • Softness makes frames the gnarly Barberry, making it seem a little more welcoming
  • New Zealand Flax Phormium tenax 
    • Be sure you have the space to sustain these monsters and the time to maintain them
    • I like them and inherited several happily, but they still require companion plantings to help them belong

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cutting Garden

  • Gooseneck Loosestrife Lysimachia clethroides
    • White conical flower
    • Vigorous runner requiring little care
    • Cut it back occasionally to reinvigorate it
    • 2-3’ tall evergreen perennial
    • Perfect for en masse plantings and ground cover
  • Rose Rosa
    • Red flower
    • Pick a red rose with great scent and not too many petals—allow it to rise out of the Loosestrife
  • Light Blue Beladonna Delphinium Delphinium x belladonna ‘Light Blue’ sp.
    • Purple flower
    • 3-4’ tall x 3’ wide perennial
    • Spoil with great soil, amendments and water
  • St. John’s Wart Hypericum androsaemum
    • Green foliage with red berries
    • 3’ x 3’ semi-evergreen shrub
    • No overhead watering!
  • Baby’s Breath Gypsophila elegans*
*Please note that when necessary, I substitute plants pictured with plants of similar character for the sake of gardening success in Zone 17.