Salix eleagnos var. angustifolia

Rosemary willow from Europe is a fantastic fine textured shrub or small tree. The willowy (har!) thin silver tinged leaves create a haze and when the wind blows it sends flecks of white when you see the underside of the leaves. To 12′ tall and spreading to 8′ wide with a rounded crown. Full sun and rich, moist soil with ample summer moisture. Fast growing and reaches its ultimate size in just several years. In autumn the leaves turn into gold ribbons and barely hit the ground before they decompose. They leave bare twigs of vibrant red. Casts very light shade. Excellent next to natural waterways, damp swales,

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna

A superior Christmas box – purple stem Sarcococca is a slight improvement on this useful, fragrant, and durable evergreen shrub. Fine white flowers emit a strong sweet fragrance from late December to March. Slow spreading shrub that travels locally by suckers to form patches. To 2′ tall and up to 4′ wide if soil is rich, well drained and summer irrigation is reliable. Tolerates dense dry shade well. Black/red berries can follow the flowers into spring. Cold hardy to 0ºF. May burn in full sun- best with shade or at least protection from reflected heat- like an open north exposure. A member of the boxwood family that gives it high deer resistance. It can be slow to establish without regular irrigation in the first season. Water well and apply mulch. Though tough it pays to treat this shrub well from the beginning. Cut twigs that are blooming can perfume a room in winter. First and second year stems are deeply blushed purple- very pretty in contrast with the deep green simple leaves. Combines well with native ferns and perennials like Vancouveria and Epimedium. Native to S. central china.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn6b 0º to -5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Saxafraga x geum ‘Dentata’

Really cool evergreen Saxafrage that has deep green spoon shaped leaves that are strongly serrated. The serrations are remarkably symmetrical and give the plant a very architectural appeal. In late spring wiry stems to 10″ supply clouds of small white flowers. If you look closely each flower is adorned with yellow and red polka dots. Spreads moderately fast to form large, dense colonies in part shade to shade in rich, well drained soil with regular moisture in summer. Avoid blasting sun and dust dry soil. Not hard to grow in a cool position. Very hardy with a great year round appearance. Excellent lining woodland paths or as a pool of cool leaves beneath established shrub. Very good in winter containers. Easy to pick up and move if you need a new patch. Lovely.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn6a -5º to -10ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Selaginella braunii

Arborvitae fern, but it isn’t a fern at all! Actually its a really big spike moss! A moss with stems and arrow shaped fronds like a fern. To 10″ tall and forming a mounding colony in time. Bright green summer color is replaced by russet red and light brown with winter cold. Spreads slowly underground and new “fronds” unfurl out and up. With great age you’ll get a decent patch. So damn pretty for woodlands in the shade in rich, well drained soil that retains moisture. Regular summer moisture. Slow and easy does it. Its a moss! Can you dig it? Evergreen.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn6a -5º to -10ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Selaginella braunii

We love this fantastic dense growing acid green moss. It finds its best home in containers- not quite tough enough for life in the ground. Slowly expanding rounded dense clumps are beautiful all the time. Excellent as the understory to potted plants where it inhabits the most constrained roots with no problem. To 3″ x 6″ in a season. Very easy container plant. Regular water in rich, well drained soil. Regular water. Smooth and modern.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Selaginella krusseana ‘Aurea’

Shocking bright chartreuse moss that we love for containers and for sheltered moist shady spots in the garden. Easier to grow in containers where it makes a fantastic understory to containerized shrubs or trees. Part shade to shade in rich, moisture retentive soil that is never compacted. Regular summer water in a humid environment. Excellent next to shady ponds. To 3″ deep and spreading as far as it feels like it.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Selaginella moelendorfii

Funny little spike moss that forms an upright clump of acid green to ochre foliage that turns bright russet red and pink in cooler weather. This moss is actually easy to grow in rich soil in a woodland with regular moisture. Forms little new platelets at the leaf tips and they drop off an wah lah  new plants. Thrives in containers. Protect from blasting sun and avoid total drought. They thrive in the most humid atmosphere you can find. Near a pond margin or in the spray zone of a waterfall. I even mist mine mine in the ground when it gets over 90ºF for an extended time. Mosses are cool. To 6″ x 6″.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color: ,  |  Foliage season:


Sisyrinchium ‘EK Balls’

Diminutive and flowery little Blue Eyed grass that forms dense colonies of grassy green foliage to just 5″ high and is topped with a non-stop display of single purple flowers. Full sun and rich soil with regular summer moisture. Blooms continuously. Forms spreading colonies quickly when happy. Seldom sets seed. Easy to grow long lived plant for a big floral display. Winter deciduous. This cultivar has been grown in England for more than 100 years. Pretty cool.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Sisyrinchium bellum ‘Rocky Point’

Remarkable and improved variety of this west coast blue eyed grass. Much larger flowers than the species are deep purple with a distinct yellow eye. Flowers appear continuously from spring into mid-summer. Rich, moist soil with regular irrigation in full sun prolongs the very showy flower display. To just 6″ tall and multiplying quickly to form colonies. This Blue Eyed Grass does NOT set seed and never becomes weedy Full sun. Good butterfly plant. Winter deciduous. The front of borders, rock gardens, hellstrips. Improves with regular irrigation. Oregon native plant.

My Favorites

Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7a 5º to 0ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season:


Soleirolia soleirolii ‘Aurea’

God I hate to pronounce this name. Its unpronounceable but its such a good and useful plant. We’ll just call it Golden Baby’s Tears- much easier. Golden tiny dense leaves on a spreading very very low, completely prostrate, just millimeters high ground cover. The golden hue is welcome in the shady, moist but well drained soil that this little baby likes. Don’t try to cover vast amounts of real estate with this plant. I can tell you now that it won’t work. Instead pick a small reasonable area where it can form a happy solid patch- maybe 2′ x 2′. In the part shade to shade that it seeks it will virtually glow. Freezes to the ground in severe cold- returns in spring from root bits and the recovery speeds along with truly warmer weather. Give it regular irrigation. It takes dry conditions in the shade. Terrariums, shade gardens, under bonsai, the floor level of modern containers. Useful pretty plant that is more commonly known as a houseplant.

My Favorites

Plant type: ,  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season: