Coprosma x ‘Black Cloud’

Coprosma x ‘Black Cloud’

This is a hardy shrub in a genus that is known for being decidedly tender.  A fantastic black leaved evergreen shrub from New Zealand which is an exciting hybrid. Small, glossy green leaves stained with black on handsomely patterned branches.  Full sun to light shade. Spreading habit is low when young eventually it grows upright to 4′ tall and 5′ wide with a distinctive and beautiful tiered branching pattern.  Insignificant small white flowers- they look like little translucent white worms- way more unobtrusive than it sounds.  This shrub has shocked us with its hardiness to cold. It survived temperatures in the single digits in a container and didn’t flinch. This is a wonderful foliage shrub that should be more popular. Excellent appearance year round. Drought tolerant. ‘Black Cloud’ Mirror Plant. Use as a small scale ground cover or first rate landscape plant. Very easy to grow. 

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Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Famous for its hardiness to cold, this shrub eventually becomes very big with very large double, powerfully fragrant flowers. This fabulous Gardenia gains cold hardiness with age. Rich, moisture retentive soil that drains- see- LOTS OF COMPOST and regular summer water. That will not only speed growth and establishment it will encourage a constant supply of blooms from on average early July to September. To 4′ x 6′ in 7 years. Best in a protected location- especially from east winds. Full sun to full shade. Excellent with some overhead protection- tree branches , eaves, or a pergola. This slight protection provides the plant with less dramatic swings in temperatures which helps it harden off to cold. REGULAR irrigation is crucial for the first few years. Never let a Gardenia dry out entirely- no like. All the leaves from the interior out will turn yellow and drop. Not pretty. But a well grown shrub is gorgeous with large, deep green glossy foliage ensconcing the 3″ wide flowers. The fragrance will waft in warm summer conditions. Lovely.  Excellent in containers – pay attention to irrigation and move the containerized Gardenia to an unheated garage or porch. Lucious and very tropical looking. Resprouts from the base if frozen.

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Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frostproof’

Good looking, hardy, long lived shrub that we love. We’ve grown many “hardy” gardenias and many failed but this one is a bona fide success. Easy to grow shrub that blooms and thrives with correct care and its perfectly hardy to cold. To 3′ x 3′ in 5 years in rich, well drained, moisture retentive soil. Fully double 3″ wide powerfully fragrant sweetly scented flowers appear in PDX from July to October. Slow but steady growing shrub.  Never let newly installed plants dry out completely and pay special attention to irrigation in spring before our first heat wave. Dry plants will abort interior leaves. If spring rains fail make sure to irrigate this Gardenia in April/May. Once established it requires the same water and care as a Kerume Azalea (Evergreen Azalea). Add a handful of organic fertilizer or cottonseed meal in early June prior to flowering. Cold hardy in our climate to 5ºF and has naturally low heat requirements to bloom. Handsome evergreen shrub that is long lived and a good selection for a permanent shrub. We recommend ‘Frostproof’ for part shade as its flowers will last longer when not fried by hot sun. Excellent year round performance in a container and surprisingly cold tolerant. Water containers regularly and apply a handful of all organic fertilizer in the spring. Protect from the blastiest sites.

 

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Gardenia jasminoides ‘Micheal’

A very mysterious Gardenia that I got from the east coast and whose flowers are ENORMOUS and powerfully fragrant. Everything about this hardy Gardenia is big. The leaves are 5″x 3″ and are forest green and delightfully glossy. A moderately fast growing evergreen shrub to 6′ x 6′. Full sun but best in dappled shade in a protected location. Regular, consistent water is crucial. Gardenias like heat and water. Poorly irrigated plants will show yellow leaves on the interior of the plant before wilting. This is especially important since we’ve had consecutive dry springs and most likely you will need to water this plant beginning in April. Rich soil with regular water. Protect from subfreezing wind, and plant in rich soil with ample compost. Apply a handful of all organic fertilizer in early summer. The enormous flowers begin i July and continue to October. The only information I can find on this cold hardy cultivar is that it is particularly resistant to pests. Since Gardenias in our climate aren’t really pest magnets this is moot, but good to know. Spectacular flowers are 5″ across and semi-double. Excellent for corsages and even for floating in a bowl, one flower will perfume a wide area. It is crucially important that this shrub be well established going into winter otherwise its hardiness to cold will be compromised.  Limited quantities.

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Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8a 15º to 10ºF
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Pinckneya bracteata ‘Precocious’

Fever tree is an extraordinary rare endemic in Georgia to South Carolina. Its a monotypic species.. And in a family that is decidedly tropical. We’ve carefully tested this cultivar and we are happy to say it performs here beautifully. Conical spreading small tree to 15′. Large tropical looking mid green leaves are opulent. In July to October it blooms. The real flowers are tubular and white and about 1″ long you only notice them as an after thought because you are immediately drawn to the large and colorful pink fading towhite bracts that surround the tiny flower. Its a wonderful effect, a bit like a pink poinsettia. Deciduous with no appreciable fall color. Locate in rich soil in full hot sun to very light shade. Regular water for at least the first two years to establish- then at least once a month. Beautiful rare tree that has been known to take years to commence bloom. This ‘precocious’ cultivar blooms when its barely 1′ tall and from then annually. Cold hardy to near 0ºF. Not for perpetually cold gardens or hot and dusty dry. Average conditions at least. A tree covered in these bracts/flowers is truly spectacular for weeks. Spectacular and something your neighbors WILL NOT HAVE. Thank you too my friend Mike See for sending me this tree to test in our climate. Its a real stunner and not difficult in any way.  Limited qualities.

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Teucridium parviflorum

A stylish shrub/subshrub that is native to the drier parts of New Zealand, and offers great fine texture. The stems which are the only thing that differentiates this from the genus Coprosma- they are square. are golden orange woody stems that  rise up to about 4′ tall by 3′ wide.  Tiny round green leaves decorate these stems and in late spring and early summer small white flowers appear in the leaf axils. This plant can quickly return from the roots if chopped back severely or frozen to the ground. Established plants can regain their stature in several months. Average to enriched soil that is never boggy in summer. The fine foliage  common adaptation in New Zealand, most likely the fine texture of the shrub was to foil grazing giant moa birds and other predators. Very good in containers ( it will be less hardy in a container as with  everything) and it can be crowded heavily and still thrive. In the ground give it enriched soil and regular summer water for its first season. Let it grow as much as possible and develop a resilient root system- in the case of an arctic event it will be well prepared to regrow.. Mulch in fall for the first year. The luminous stems and see through appearance make it combine well with bolder textured plants. Regiar water in summer speeds growth and establishment the first year, in subsequent years it only requires irrigation once every two weeks. Freezes the ground at about 20ºF, returns quickly in spring when the soil warms. Not bothered by deer, not sure about rabbits. Excellent architectural plant. We took a break from growing this plant for years, we’re happy that its back.

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Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8a 15º to 10ºF
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