Striking crape myrtle with jet BLACK foliage that would be cool all by itself. The real kicker is intense true red flowers that smolder with the leaves. A naturally and reliably early blooming almost fastigiate tree. To 9′ tall but just 3′ wide in 7 years. Full hot sun and rich soil with regular summer irrigation for the best results. So far it has been completely mildew free as well. Imagine the late summer combinations? Blooms first appear in early August in urban areas- later in cooler hinterlands. If it never bloomed it would be a cool thing but that red. Wow. Fall color is non-existent.
Its important that a ground cover be successful. They are meant after all to cover the ground, block weeds, discourage erosion, provide a uniform look. After trying many ground covers and the famed “squashables” as we call them (plants don’t like to be stepped on- that why we play football on grass and not Corsican Mint). This is a vigorous evergreen (black) dense growing plant that literally crowds out the competition rather than obscuring it. Tiny, ferny foliage takes on dramatic black tones when mature or the lightest bit stressed. It prefers non-compacted loose friable soil to roam with regular summer water. Full sun creates the darkest foliage and creates the densest plant. If planting in between pavers know that repeat stepping on the stones will compact the soil around them- not many plants especially ground covers like this. To combat this spread a layer of compost right over the plant in early spring. it will quickly grow through it and love the nutrients and oxygen in the soil that it provides. Little inconspicuous button flowers are easy to miss. To 1j/2″ tall and several feet wide.
Manuka. This is a wonderful very upright wispy evergreen shrub with tiny leaves that turn maroon in winter and masses of white flowers in early summer. Flowers are born on wood from the previous season and are much larger than the foliage. The effect in early summer is a shrub clad in snow. To 8′ tall x 4′ wide in 5 years. Full sun and a protected position, such as against a south facing wall. This form is from the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle where it has thrived for many years. A selection made from high elevation inland New Zealand. Grows very fast w/ light summer water. Excellent fine textured plant. Moderate deer resistance. Cold hardy to a little below 10ºF- it has been damaged but recovered from lower temperatures. Very easy to grow wild looking plant. Drought adapted when established.
A large shrub/ small tree that is one of the best adapted fringe flowers for our climate. New growth is deep maroon settling later on to a deep maroon green. In spring a massive display of hot pink frilly threadlike flowers covers the whole framework. Flowers appear sporadically after that. Evergreen (loses some leaves below 10ºF- but regains foliage quickly in spring.). Moderately fast growing to 9′ x 8 ‘ in 7 years. Full sun to part shade in rich, well drained soil with average summer water. Takes dry conditions when established- its important to water it well during establishment. This immediately improves cold hardiness when young. Perfectly hardy as an established shrub. Wonderful arching stems support tiered graceful foliage.
Large growing cold hardy shrub/tree that we love for its deep purple/black foliage and masses of true red fringe flowers in spring. Fast growing shrub to 8′ x 6′ in 7 years. The flowers that appear en masse in spring occur sporadically at any time of the year. As far as we can tell this is the darkest foliage on a very cold hardy shrub. Loropetalums are somewhat tender when young but gain complete hardiness in a season or two. Loses some leaves in exposed locations below about 10ºF. Makes a great small tree in (a long) time. Very graceful the way the pointed leaves alternate on the arching stems. Worth growing for foliage alone. Full sun to part shade in a warm position. Regular summer water rapidly increases the growth rate. Otherwise once established requires only light summer irrigation. One of the most popular landscape shrubs in the world if you include China where it is native and has been grown ornamentally for eons. Prune AFTER flowering if needed.
Oregon Grape, our ubiquitous state flower. This evergreen shrub can be found almost anywhere aside from the immediate coast to high Cascades west of the mountains. Its native from B.C. to Southern California. Variable shrub to on average 5′ tall and suckering as wide. In rich, happy conditions it will soar to 8′ or more and in more impoverished conditions it makes its life as a spreading low plant. In late February-April the top of the plant erupts in golden yellow incredibly fragrant flowers that are one of the first joys of spring. By late summer this flowers have transformed into clusters of dusty blue incredibly sour fruits. Often employed in the toughest situations where its performance is some what rough. It thrives in cultivation with light, consistent summer moisture. Tolerates heavy clay soils and summer drought. The pinnate leaves often take on purple/maroon tints in winter. Ours are cuttings native to our wholesale nursery site. So its a local plant. Full sun to part shade to quite a bit of shade at the expense of blooming and a lankier outline. Excellent deer resistance when established. Oregon native plant.
Rare but excellent form of Cascades Mahonia that is actually found only in the redwoods of N. California to southern Oregon. A TALL upright growing shrub with thick trunks to 9′ eventually. It forms a clump of stems and can increase by suckering closely to the main clump and sending up new stems. Handsome foliage- pinnate dark green leaves to 1′ + long. In winter the whole shrub takes on great plum purple tones. In mid-spring trailing clusters of yellow flowers are followed by blue berries. Moderately slow growing evergreen shrub for part shade to dense shade. Established plants take dust dry conditions in shade. Accepts regular summer water as well- in well drained soil that is not compacted. Mulch each year with a coarse bark. Easy to grow. Appearance is very much like the M. x media hybrids. New growth emerges red. High deer resistance. Oregon native plant.
Nice selection of Honey Bush that shares tints of purple predominantly when new leaves are unfurling. The enormous blue/lavender serrated leaves are amazing. Lower growing than either the species or ‘Antonow’s Blue’. To 4′ tall (usually shorter) by at least 6′ wide. Red flowers are produced on the black scape that can follow mild winters. Technically a subshrub as it can freeze to the ground and fully recover from the root in a single season. IF it has been well established in its first season. For that reason we only sell Melianthus in 2 gallon sizes. A larger plant establishes faster and has more mass going into winter. Plant in a protected location- against a wall or with light overstory protection. Mulch for the first winter. Freezes to the ground at prolonged temperatures below about 20ºF. Re-sprouts in mid-late spring. Water and fertilize to speed the recovery. South Africa.
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.
Remarkable form of the holly leaf tea olive with new growth that emerges a deep purple black. It settles to dark green in summer on a large growing shrub to 8′ x 8′ in 7 years. Full sun to very light shade in all soils that drain well. Very drought adapted when established. Mature shrubs bear masses of tiny white flowers in the leaf axils in October-November that cast a sweet perfume. Excellent cold hardiness. This is one of the few broad leaf evergreens that is perfectly hardy to the subfreezing wind of the gorge. Troutdale, this shrubs for you. Great hedge as well as specimen. Flowers occur on wood from the previous year- prune in winter after flowering.