Fatsia japonica 'Variegata'

Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata’

Not easy to find this is a most regal evergreen shrub. The large palmate leaves are emargined in splashes of white. In autumn the large candleabra like flowers structures are themselves variegated white. White orbs of flowers at the tips. To 8′ x 8′ in 7 years. Full shade to part shade in average to rich well drained soil.  Adapted to dry shade. Drought adapted but tolerates regular irrigation. Fast growing. Variegation becomes more conspicuous as this shrub ages. Moderate deer resistance.

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Hebe albicans ‘Pink Elephant’

One of our favorite Hebes. This dome shaped dense plant has new foliage that goes through some pretty showy transitions. Emerging tinted pink it takes on coral and light blue as well as pink before ultimately settling down to soft gray. The transition begins in early spring and lasts for months. In June small spikes of violet blue flowers add contrast. Cold hardy with average water needs for full sun and well drained RICH soil- this Hebe prefers more nutrients than others to really shine. Don’t be afraid to scratch in a handful of all organic fertilizer in early spring.  To 2′ x 3′ in 5 years. Give it good air circulation with little crowding from other plants. Avoid watering when its blazing hot. Perfectly hardy to cold. Spectacular shrub. Offered only early in the season. Sells very quickly.

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Helleborus x sternii ‘Variegata’

The O’Byrnes gave us this strain of the variegated form of Helleborus x sternii. Inheriting cold tolerance from H. corsica and nifty, thick palmate leaves from the more tender H. lividus .The result is a tough plant with green cupped flowers stained rose on the outside of the bell. The flowers remain effective for several months. Not quite as long as the straight H. x sternii, but a relatively long time. A shrubby species with large evergreen leaves. They are heavily speckled with cream dots with an underside to the leaves and the stems tinted pink. The palmate leaves become large and arching. Full sun with more frequent irrigation to full  shade with less. To 2′ x 2′. Deer and possibly rabbit resistant. The rough leaves resist weather. Site as you would for a small shrub. It is elegant with other woodlanders or can be grown with drought tolerant to low water plants even in full sun. Flower bend over enshrouded in a cup shape that protects the pollen from rain and the vagaries of winter weather.  Blooms January with flowers effective for three months. Great, sophisticated but tough plant for rural areas. May be afflicted with aphids in late spring. Hose those off or do not look closely.

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Heuchera sanguinea ‘Count Dracula’

Pale green leaves are striking and fade to cream, the transition  appears  differently on each leaf and  the gradation of colors give you a cool affect. Pair that- pale leaves with the darkest red flowers we have yet to see on this species and you get a phenomenal plant. Adapted to part shade to full sun – and it doesn’t burn or bleach in sun. A long lived perennial with blood red flowers and foliage the color of Draculas skin that spreads to form colonies 1′ x 2 wide. In bloom the straight dark stems rise to 18″ tall. The deep red but small flowers are full of nectar and call hummingbirds, butterflies and a host of other small pollinators. Blooms for an extended period from late April to early July. Rich soil with regular irrigation to establish for the first season then just light summer irrigation. Long lived pest free perennial. We adore it in light shade paired with Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ for a soothing gray blue back drop. A selection from this native of the south western U.S. into Mexico. Semi-deciduous in winter. Leaves shrink but there is a presence. Very showy in bloom. Avoid crowding by other plants.

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Heuchera sanguinea ‘Hot Mess’

We found this vigorous seedling in a batch of Heuchera sanguinea. The leaves are pale green and liberally splashed with white. Unlike, the red flower of the species straight spikes of HOT PINK flowers rise in a cloud above the playful foliage. This is just a seedling and unlike many variegated plants it shows excellent vigor and longevity. Evergreen clumps of foliage. Loved by hummingbirds in bloom from April to mid-July. Tolerates full sun to quite a bit of shade at the expense of blooming Excellent paired with ferns Hosta, Tiarella. To 14″ tall in bloom and spreading to about 2′ wide when happy. Rich, moisture retentive soil high in organic matter. Established plants are surprisingly drought adapted. Do not let other plants crowd or over top this perennial. The lack of light and competition will take it out. Instead match it with a similar sized perennial. See above. Easy, forgiving perennial.

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Hosta ‘Variegated Blue Mouse Ears’

We found this sport in our batch of one of our favorite Hostas  ‘Blue Mouse Ears’. This dwarf Hosta has yielded a lovely form with interior leaves of blue green with a margin of chartreuse/light green and the variegation is remarkably stable. To just 6″ tall it spreads to form multiple rosettes several feet across. Always neat and tidy looking. The thicker than average leaves are somewhat resistant to slug/snail damage but protect just as they are emerging. In early summer a 10″ thick spike supports rows of dense dark lavender fragrant flowers. They add to this very smart looking little perennial that is long lived in part shade to shade in rich soil with regular water. Excellent container plant, it will be even easier to water and protect from gastropods. In the garden its a natural with Golden Japanese Forest Grass and Disporum flavescens. Very easy to grow.  Avoid hot sun and dry conditions.

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Hosta ‘White Feathers’

We think this is one of the most striking Hostas. In a world of white edges and interior gold this baby takes a whole different route. The leaves emerge completely cream- over a period of two months the leaves slowly morph into light green. A very long and striking effect. Forms increasing clumps in rich, moisture retentive soil in part shade. Protect foliage from late afternoon sun. In mid summer 2′ tall spikes of tubular lavender flowers rise above the 1′ tall foliage. Excellent plant for lightening up shady corners and it excels in containers. Hosta make great container subjects as its easier to control slugs/snails and they go cleanly dormant in autumn- and chances are you won’t forget to water it. Very striking combined with Pulmonaria ‘Benediction’ and Corydalis solida ‘Purple Bird’. No presence at all from late autumn to mid-spring. In time a large colony glows from a distance. Its best appearance is in high overhead shade provided by large deciduous trees. Fun to grow and long lived. Protect new growth from snails/slugs. Regular summer water.

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This is a delightfully airy evergreen whose variegation definitely enhances the over all look.  A moderately fast growing shrub to 6′ x 3′ in 7  years. Very hardy to cold enduring temperatures near 0ºF with little issues. In spring spidery star shaped cream flowers appear in every branch end. Part shade to high overhead shade but it also does not burn in full sun in our climate, Just make sure that you water it regularly. Established shrubs get by with very little. Aromatic foliage is not palatable to animals and this is a very good bet where deer are a problem. Great shrub for brightening garden corners or lightening up dark shade. Rich to average soil. aka Chinese anise shrub. The flowers have a light odd scent. Not worth repeating and its only pungent up close. Seed pods that form become woody and star shaped,- aka Star Anise. Distinctive upright dense habit. Prune if needed AFTER flowring has ended.

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Impatiens omieana

People love this perennial (hardy) Impatiens- they are immediately drawn to its very pretty foliage and for most of the season thats all there is. Spreading as a low herbaceous perennial to just 16″ tall but many feet wide when happy. Rich, loose, hummusy rich soil that drains quickly with regular irrigation. Part shade to quite a bit of shade. Ideal under large shrubs, in shady spots. Each pointed leaf is minutely scalloped with a red to yellow central vein. The undersides of the leaves are madder red. In autumn relatively large tubular ( or police helmet shaped) flowers of soft yellow appear at the tips. The show is late and to be honest most people kind of miss it. Completely winter deciduous. Avoid blasting hot sun and compacted soils.

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Impatiens omieana ‘Ice Storm’

Pretty version of this hardy perennial impatiens. It forms mounds of lush foliage that has a light icy sheen on the surface of the leaves. If you look closely at this cultivar the leaves actually sparkle as if they were inlaid with crystals. Groovy. To 2′ x 3′ spreading in part shade to shade in rich, well drained soil. Consistent summer moisture. In autumn the tops of the plant bears many tubular light yellow flowers that are surprisingly large. Completely winter deciduous.

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