Blog Archive

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

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