Lamium maculatum ‘Aureum’

This golden form of dead nettle is surprisingly vigorous and makes a glowing small scale ground cover. Mostly evergreen- unless it drops below 15ºF. From early spring to fall a continuous supply of spikes of light purple flowers. Each leaf is decked with a silver chevron. Part shade to full sun with regular summer water. To 6″ tall and 2′ wide when happy. Add a yearly layer of compost to increase vigor. A wonderful plant for lighting up the garden. Moderate deer resistance.

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Lavandula angustifolia ‘Miss Katherine’

You don’t often think of lavender flowers in the color of pink, but this compact heavily flowering selection produces masses of clear pink flower spikes for months in summer. Mixed with purple and white flowered varieties and you get much more depth of contrast. The purple and white both look better. Compact gray foliaged shrub for average, well drained soil and light summer water. Full sun. To 2′ tall in bloom the foliage usually maxes out at a globe 14″ x 14″ . Cut back hard after blooming for a denser more compact plant. Fragrant flowers, foliage. Moderate deer resistance. Very easy to grow. Hedges, specimen. Etc.

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Lavandula angustifolia ‘Pastor’s Pride’

When you have a small garden you want to get as much bang for your buck as possible. Enter this great cultivar of English Lavender that blooms not just once but over and over again until frost. Medium lavender blue flowers cluster at the top of straight wiry stems to 10″ long. A naturally compact plant to about 2′ x 2′ ultimately. Silver evergreen aromatic foliage. Rich, to average well drained soil in full sun with light summer water. Somewhat drought adapted. Looks better , re-blooms better with light water. Saches, Lavender wands, potpourri- everblooming fragrant hedge. Very good Pastor. Very good.

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Lavandula stoechas

Spanish lavender is a floriferous and easy to grow shrub for full sun, well drained soil and little to no summer water when established. In mid spring to mid summer thick purple flowers have two protruding purple petal-like bracts from the top. Great contrast with the silver foliage. to 2′ x 2′ in a season. Cut back hard after blooming. Often self sows, seedlings are easy to spot (and smell). Moderate deer resistance. Lifespan 3-5 years.

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Lavandula x lanata ‘Ana Luisa’

So many lavenders that we’ve decided to go with the very best. This hybrid is a cross between english lavender (L. angustifolia) and wooly lavender (L. lanata) and gives you wonderful almost white wooly foliage with deep purple thick flowers. To 2′ tall and 2′ wide in time this rounded evergreen shrub blooms for an incredibly long time beginning in early summer. Full sun and rich to average soil with light but consistent summer water.  Very easy to grow in our climate. Shear the spent flower spikes and cut into about 1/2″ new growth for a compact and more densely blooming habit. Excellent landscape plant, informal hedge or specimen in a border. This Lavender looks good year round- better winter appearance than most. Lightly deer resistant. Not their first choice but not 100% immune to browse either. Aromatic foliage. Wonderful white foliage contrasts greatly with deep green foliage for depth in plantings.

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Monardella macrantha ‘Marian Sampson’

Shockingly showy little perennial wildflower that display relatively huge brilliant red tubular flowers from a somewhat demure plant. Deep green/maroon foliage is aromatic but gives no hint at the ultimate showiness of the flowers. Blooms appear continuously from late spring to autumn. Very well drained soil of moderate fertility in full sun. Light summer water but occasional deep soaks spurs flowers. Hummingbirds actually get down to ground level for this 3″ tall by 14″ wide matt forming perennial. Good drainage aids in cold hardiness for this striking California native wildflower. Exceptional and long blooming in containers.

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Nepeta cataria ‘Citriodora’

Something for the kitties! Beautiful form of catmint with rounded, and quilted sage green foliage and clusters of violet blue flowers held in a little deep purple calyx. Massive bloom in May and June, shear off spent flowers and water and wah lab a new batch of sublime blue erupts quickly. Full sun and rich to average well drained soil. In our climate it shuns dry heavy clay so drainage is an issue. Forms a clump that spreads considerably. To 2′ x 2′ in an average season. Light consistent summer moisture. Completely winter deciduous. Loved by cats who consume and  then laugh and laugh.

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Origanum libanoticum

From the middle East (Syria, Lebanon) this hop flowered species of Origanum has been a stalwart performer in our climate. Low and spreading stems create hop shaped structures that house the little protruding hot pink flowers. The hops are mostly light green but can take on pink tints. They are fully pendulous and the best way to display this plant is to site it on the edge of a precipice or wall or from the side of a container. To 8″ tall and 2′ wide when happy. Rich, well drained soil with light summer water. Begins blooming in May and continues unabated to September. One of the parents of several popular hybrids but we like the straight species quite a bit- it seems tougher. Graceful. Dies to a very low mound of foliage in winter. Cut back the previous seasons dead stems in early spring. Cold hardy and very showy.

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Origanum x ‘Bristol Cross’

Unusual hybrid that has created some striking effects for an ornamental oregano. Distinctly upright stems to 2′ tall, beginning in June groups of up and outwards facing pink small hope like structures bear tiny violet pink flowers. Bloom goes on virtually for months and even when officially done these “hops” remain and change to a deep madder red. A large plant with dozens of upright stems bearing these remnants of flowers is really cool. Full sun and rich, well drained soil. Consistent light watering. Detach the whole stem from the base as a long lasting unusual cut flower. Dies to a low rosette of leaves in winter. Cut back the dead remaining upright stems in spring. Cold hardy. Photo credit: Grace Peterson- thanks Grace.

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Origanum x ‘Xera Cascade’

A chance hybrid announced itself in our nursery with these insanely long hop flowered blooms. A low spreading perennial with distinctively blue foliage. In summer many, many stems emerge bearing clusters of flowers. They are shaped like long skinny hop fruits with tiny violet flowers that protrude through the layers of the hop structure. That structure is remarkable. Taking on purple and blue tints it begins to elongate and doesn’t stop until its fully 4″ long. They come in multitudes- this plant lives to bloom. Full sun and rich, well drained soil with light summer water. To 1′ tall and 2 wide in a season. The floral display goes on well into fall. Place near a wall where it will happily cascade. Excellent in large containers. Hardy and easy to grow. Cut back old material in early spring. A new low batch of foliage will already be present.

Xera Plants Introduction.

Photo credit: Chris Hembree

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