Nerium oleander ‘Hardy Red’

Surprisingly hardy Oleander that is perfectly at home in warmer gardens. Upright then arching evergreen shrub to 5′ x 5′ in 6 years. In June to September a continuous supply of trusses of bright cherry red (hot pink) flowers. Very showy and welcome in summer. Foliage is hardy to approximately 12ºF and will be damaged below that. Recovery is very rapid and bloom will still commence. Prune before flowering if needed. Full, HOT sun in a protected location. Best against a south or west facing wall- out of subfreezing east wind. Light summer water when established. As our experiments have revealed this is a showy, hardy shrub. The hardiest  Oleander we’ve grown and the best flowering. Toxic. Not bothered by deer or rabbits.  Very showy in bloom. Thrives in the hottest locations – no problem.

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Myrtus communis ‘Andy’s Hardy’

Sweet Myrtle is a dapper clean evergreen shrub for full hot sun and poor well drained soils. This cold hardy selection of Sweet Myrtle has endured temperatures to 5ºF once established. Formal looking evergreen with sweetly fragrant foliage when disturbed. In summer to early autumn simple white flowers with a protruding showy boss of white stamens appear like little bouquets followed by elongated black berries. Incredibly drought and heat tolerant. Protect from subfreezing east wind. Takes west aspects that are blasting hot – all day or just for part of the day.  Not often seen for sale this form grows moderately slowly to 3′ x 3′ in 6 years. Takes very well to pruning which should only be done in late spring. Moderately deer resistant. Little water when established, light irrigation speeds growth. Sweetly aromatic foliage. Damage that occurs from extreme cold events is erased by new growth in spring. Do not cut back burned foliage until new growth pushes. Recovery in one season is remarkable. Wonderful hardy pretty shrub.

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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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Magnolia laevifolia

Excellent small scale evergreen Magnolia  with handsome rounded leaves touched with brown indumentum (fur) and in mid spring masses of large 4″ ivory white intensely fragrant flowers. The flowers have a rich and penetrating lemon aroma. Following bloom buds form immediately in the leaf axils for the following year and are clad in brown fur- they add to the over all sophisticated aesthetic of this 9′ x 6′ shrub. Formerly Michelia yunnanensis. Full sun to light shade and average soil with light summer water. Very drought tolerant when established. This particular form we’ve grown for almost 20 years and it has proven to be a cold hardy clone (to 5ºF) year after year. In colder gardens provide a protected spot.  In time this species can develop what is called a lignotuber. That is a swollen woody root-like structure at the base. This adaptation is possibly for fires and a plant can regenerate very fast if the plant is damaged above the lignotuber. Shoots will appear from this and grow regaining apical dominance and forming a straight leader. This is seldom necessary. Pruning of any kind should be done directly AFTER flowering.. This SW Chinese Magnolia does best in AVERAGE soil- or unamended native soil.

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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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Lonicera x americana

A hybrid between two European species has yielded one of the best climbing honeysuckles we can grow. Less prone to pests and disease this prolific blooming vine produces huge trusses of pink/yellow/cream highly fragrant flowers from late spring to autumn. A non-twining semi-evergreen vine that requires the support of something in which the canes can interweave and be supported. Often bare at the base- plan for this. To 12′ tall and as wide. Massive initial display of flowers in late spring and then sporadically until Sept. Full sun to light shade and regular summer water to increase vigor, spur re-bloom. The fragrance is not sweet and cloying rather a complex blend of cloves, cologne and petunia. It carries for quite a distance. A good sized specimen will perfume the entire block.

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Leptospermum rupestre ‘Squiggly’

One of the naturally cold hardiest species of tea tree. This form of Alpine tea tree from Tasmania has a distinctly upright habit. Cinnamon red squiggly stems support tiny pewter colored evergreen foliage. In early summer pink buds spangle the stems opening to pure white single flowers. So prolific is the bloom that the plant appears covered in snow. Vigorous growth to 5′ tall and 3′ wide in 6 years. Full sun and virtually any soil. Summer water is tolerated but far from necessary. Takes pruning incredibly well, including shearing and the leaves are so small that they remain unmangled. It quickly forms a dense hedge that is tough, incredibly dense and drought and cold hardy. Strongly deer resistant. Excellent shrub or hedge for rural areas. It tolerates a wide variety of soils and aspects.  Leaves are aromatic when bruised. You achieve a much shapelier plant with even a minimal amount of tip pruning. otherwise it has a very wild habit. It has been undamaged by cold to 0ºF. Drought adapted. Tasmania. Click on the green link below for a video of ‘Squiggly’ in full bloom. Excellent shrub with a number of uses.

Xera Plants Introduction.

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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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Kniphofia pumila

Little known but spectacular poker that we love for its HUGE late summer flowers of shocking acid green. Each flower spike includes up to 1′ long spike of tubular flowers. Forms a large tropical looking grassy evergreen clump. Full sun and rich well drained soil with regular summer irrigation. Apply an annual application of compost to increase vigor. To 4′ tall in bloom the clump of grassy foliage expands to 3′ wide. Give it the room that it needs. Depending on the weather flower spikes can occur any time from June on but mostly cluster in Aug-Oct. Semi-evergreen. Moderate deer resistance. Cold hardy.

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Kniphofia ‘Timothy’

For pale coral/pink flowers ‘Timothy’ is tops. From a clump of relatively few leaves multiple spikes of 3′ tall richly selfed flowers rise up. A beacon to hummingbirds and a great harmonious color in the garden. Rich, well drained soil with regular summer water to spur re-bloom which will continue through the very hottest weather. An annual application of compost and all purpose organic fertilizer will result in more vigor, flowers, and re-bloom. Full sun to very light shade. Long lived elegant perennial. Nothing like the brash bicolor flowers of the old fashioned K. uvaria- the standard old poker. Excellent and dramatic cut flower. Removing spent flowers encourages more. Give the clumps room to expand with little competition from other plants. Moderate deer resistance.

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