Geranium x ‘Stanhoe’

Cute little spreading New Zealand Geranium with pewter brown leaves with  silver sheen and small off white/pink flowers all summer long. To 4″ tall but spreading to 11/2′ wide. Great in containers where the foliage provides contrast and the trailing stems clad in flowers arch over the edge of the pot. Very easy to grow and may self sow a bit. Easy to identify the seedlings to dispatch, transplant, or give away. Full sun to part shade and rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Not bothered by slugs and snails.

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Hebe x ‘Chehalem Purple’

One of our very wonderful customers gave this plant to us. She’s been a loyal customer for years and in that time I’ve known her to be keen with observation and details. Which is why I immediately accepted this plant. It was seedling in her garden and it had thrived for many years with nary a scratch from cold or disease. The uniform deep green foliage has an underside of madder red and the stems share that hue as well. In August-November a prolonged show of vibrant purple flowers appear all along the tips. These cones of flowers are vibrant and are set perfectly against the deeply colored foliage. To 30″ x 30″ in 5 years. Full sun and soil that drains. Light consistent summer water ensures health. It has survived temperatures slightly below 10ºF so far with no incident. Handsome, showy Hebe for our gardens with a proven track record. Remarkable local Hebe selection.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Helleborus x ‘Black Diamond’ Winter Jewels ®

The darkest black flowers on a Hellebore that we have encountered. Jet black flowers have a sheen. Great in combination with the deep maroon/purple new foliage. To 2′ x 2′ blooming from January-April. Light, consistent summer water in part shade to shade. Completely deer resistant.

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Helleborus x ‘Ruby Wine’ Winter Jewels ®

We’ve fallen in love with this richly colored strain of Hellebores. Vivid and intense true wine red flowers are effective both up close and at a distance. Paired with the maroon new growth and you get a good looking total perennial. Hellebores bloom non-stop from February to April The large flowers of this strain do not fade with age. To 2′ x 2′ for part shade and rich, well composted soil. Light but consistent summer water.

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Jasminum officinale ‘Affine’

I’m still astounded that very few gardeners are familiar with this vine. This is the improved form of Poet’s Jasmine. Poet’s Jasmine is a vine that is native from the middle east to China. Its a COLD HARDY, deciduous, vigorous twining vine with powerfully sweet scented  flowers in June and then all summer. The sweet perfume is intense in the evening and morning and is conspicuous many feet away. This vine has been cultivated since antiquity and has been grown and loved in England since the 12th century. Its possible this vine returned to the British Isles via the crusades. But historians are vague. It is certain that it is featured heavily in Shakespeares time and the master himself included it in the details of his plays. Very fast growing, large, twining vine that require substantial support. To 15′ tall but it can spread laterally 30′ when excited. Provide #4 copper wire and eye hooks to give it ascent to any pergola, or fence. Do not grow it on that rickety stapled lattice from big box stores. It will kill it as sure as a boa constricts a gazelle. Fall color is often pink/coral and more effective in cold gardens. It has an initial huge display of pink buds that open to masses of white 3/4″ wide flower in June then they continue on new growth in a lesser show until September. New growth on this cultivar is a conspicuous maroon before settling to a refreshing grass green. Often the August flush of flowers yields the largest individual blossoms and that opulent display is accentuated by regular irrigation. Average soil with regular H20 to establish, then only light occasional water required. I prune mine back a bit after the first flush of flowers in June and that ensures a new round of flowers. Otherwise, it can be pruned in early spring. Perfect companion for climbing roses and it competes admirably with vigorous Clematis montana ‘rubens’.  Moderately deer resistant.  VERY long lived cold hardy classic vine that should be everywhere.  In time the twining trunks become bare but develops a handsome cork-like bark.

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Lagerstroemia indica Black Diamond Red®

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.

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Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’

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.

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Leptospermum scoparium ‘Washington Park’

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.

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Loropetalum chinense var rubrum ‘Zhuzhuo Fuchsia’

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.

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Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum ‘Pippa’s Red’

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 selection. 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.

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