Pittosporum heterophyllum

Large growing evergreen shrub that we love because in spring each branch tip is home to masses of tiny off white flowers that pump out a sweet and pervasive citrus blossom perfume. Bloom lasts for a month and in that time perfume will waft throughout your whole garden.  Fast growing to 8′ x 8′ in 6 years. Full sun and well drained soil. Incredibly drought tolerant when established. Cold hardy to 5ºF or lower and an excellent hedge. Fantastic performance in tough urban environments.  Foliage is thin and glossy and good looking year round. Easy, fragrant shrub. Water to establish then little summer water when firmly happy. Prune AFTER blooming has ended in late spring. Plant on 3′ centers for a fast dense hedge. Sometimes listed with the common name of Fragrant Pittosporum…which seems vague to me  but there you go. Wonderful shrub. Avoid subfreezing wind.. Native to SW China.

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Pittosporum tobira ‘Green Compact’

We found this very handsome form of Pittosporum tobira in the south where it is regarded as one of the cold hardiest forms.  Upright and then spreading to 6′ tall and 6′ wide in 7 years. Much larger glossier deeper green leaves than the species. Reputedly hardy into central Tennessee. Pretty good. We’ve never had it damaged by cold. Extremely fragrant small off white flower clusters at the branch tips in May. A great hedge or specimen. Very, very drought and heat tolerant. Formal appearance year round. Prune after flowering if needed. Avoid standing water at any point. In very cold winters (below 15ºF) it may lose some of its interior leaves. They are replaced in spring. Protect from subfreezing wind. Very fragrant flowers. Authentic in Japanese themed gardens.

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Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Maki’

Shrubby Japanese Yew Pine is a dwarf form of what can become a large tree. The deep green needles are much shorter in length and held more densely along the stem. In our climate it is a slow growing conifer of wonderful texture rarely exceeding 7′ and usually just 3′ wide or less. In summer little pointed green flowers protrude from between the needles and turn into round blue fruits by autumn. Extremely drought tolerant shrub for tight spots. Takes very well to pruning. Excellent in containers for year round good looks. Tolerates regular irrigation as well and is not fussy about soil. It thrives in high heat and summer is when most of the growth takes place. An old fashioned plant that we’d like to give a new lease on life. Very pretty focal point in authentic Japanese gardens. This true dwarf form can be difficult to obtain in the trade. This is the true form. Adapted to the hottest reflected heat of walls- parking lot islands. Average water to none, when established. Prune in early spring if required.

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Rosa ‘Betty Prior’

With all the knock out, fleurshrubselekt® and every other patented type of rose its reassuring that this old gal still rocks them all. Betty bears clusters of slightly fragrant large single pink flowers. They are light pink w/ a slightly darker sheen to the surface of the petals which almost always open skyward. These upright facing groups of flowers yield not only a lot of color- it blooms constantly from May to frost, it gives the plant a wild appeal not seen in overly bred shrubs. The disease resistant foliage is mid green and handsome as well. To 8′ x 4′ forming a tall bloomy shrub. left unpruned it makes a great climbing rose and will unobtrusively scale small trees, deck railings. It may be hard pruned in early spring if necessary. Remove spent flowers and more will quickly appear. Tough plant that gets by on a less than perfect watering regime.  Regular, deep watering (once a week max) will yield great performance. Established plants can take drought at the expense of re-blooming. Very easy to grow charming rose. Ultra cold hardy.

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Rubus nutkanus (parviflorus)

Western Thimble berry is a widespread relative of raspberries that grows in many biomes and is especially abundant west of the Cascades. The 5 petal pure white  flowers that arrive in spring are among the largest of any Rubus. Thimble berry also does not have thorns. YAY.  It forms imposing patches spreading by a creeping rhizome. The large maple shaped leaves can be up to 10 cm wide To 4′ tall and spreading – give it room and plan ahead. The sweet edible red berries appear in mid-late summer. They may be detached from a core on the end of the stem. It leaves a concave hollow berry- shaped like a thimble. Its fairly high in water content which means it does not ship well and its not big as a commercial crop. Nice looking large, opulent shrub for wild areas. Water to establish then none necessary in subsequent years. Thimble berry has a very long lifespan but it is also a seral species populating disturbed sites from fire, logging, roadsides. Full sun to quite a bit of shade with good air circulation- prone to powdery mildew in wet springs. It seldom causes permanent damage to the plant. Fall color is yellow to russet and lingers. Not bothered by deer  but birds will predate the fruit and then poop out a whole new colony. Wild areas, margins of forests.

Oregon native plant

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Sarcococca ruscifolia var. chinensis ‘Dragon’s Gate’

Graceful and formal at the same time. This low arching form of winter box is wonderful with uniform thin, deep green pointed foliage on arching stems. In mid-winter to early spring the undersides of the stems are clad in fine powerfully FRAGRANT white flowers at every leaf axil. The fragrance spreads for quite a distance on mild winter days. Following the flowers are berries that turn black and arrive at red. Handsome low shrub to 2′ tall and 3′ wide suckering to form patches with time. Moderately fast growing and easy to establish shrub in the BUXACEAE which means that this boxwood relative is also deer resistant. Excellent performance in part shade to shade but not low dense shade. Massed it performs as a large scale ground cover. Light consistent summer H20 for the best looks. Takes dry conditions in shade once established- especially if you apply mulch liberally. Unlike the species it does not lose leaves in bloom which is an important difference. Finds a home under dark stairwells and foundation plantings. Impressive relatively new selection. China.

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Ternstroemia gymnanthera

Obscure but exceedingly handsome and reliable shrub for hedges, specimens, eventually a small tree. Rounded leaves are good looking year round and especially when they first emerge brilliant salmon red before settling to dark green. This is the most showy display on this plant and it lasts for weeks. In mid-late summer small pendant white/cream flowers are nestled among the leaves, you really have to look to see them. Clean evergreen whose foliage is never marred by fungus or cold. Full sun to high overhead shade. To 8′-10′ tall and about half as wide. With great age and no pruning it can achieve small tree status and it forms attractive cloud like crowns of foliage. As a hedge  it excels. Plant 2 gallon plants on 3′ centers and mulch. Irrigate about once a week until you see good new growth. Established plants are very tolerant of dry conditions. Theaceae- Camellia family. Excellent cold hardiness to 0ºF, tolerates some subfreezing wind. Excellent companion plant for Rhododendrons, Pieris, Illicium. Full sun to quite a bit of shade. Native to Japan.  Good looking tough plant. Light deer resistance.

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Teucrium fruticans

Silver Germander is a wiry shrub with gray foliage and even lighter gray/white stems. All summer it bears pale blue small flowers with a prominent central lip. Traditionally used in topiary or as a trimmed hedge, it takes amazingly well to heavy shearing. It responds by becoming incredibly dense. Its malleability  leads people to also trim it into any whimsical shape they can dream of. Full sun, average, well drained soil. Little to light summer water when established. Requires full sun and a hot position with protection from subfreezing wind. Classic mediterranean shrub. Grows as well at the cool coast as it does in the hot inland areas. To 4′ x 4′ if left unpruned.

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Vaccinium ovatum

Evergreen huckleberry is a fantastic native broadleaf shrub. It is well adapted to shady sites and will accept full sun with regular irrigation. Well established shrubs require less water. Rich, humusy woodland soil is its favorite haunt and it will grow moderately fast to a rounded outline of 8′ tall and 6′ wide. The new growth is a beautiful salmon pink before changing to deep green. In spring and early summer small white urn shaped flowers are pretty and transform into tasty black fruits in autumn. Amazing in muffins, pies.It has an interesting natural distribution along the immediate coast in most of Oregon but veering inland at Douglas County to almost the Cascade foothills. In Puget Sound it seems to be most prominent within sight of salt water.  Easy to grow good garden plant. Increase your chance of pollination by planting more than two shrubs. The theory is that berries like to party- and I’ve observed it to be true.  Oregon native plant.

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Viburnum tinus ‘Variegatum’

Spring bouquet viburnum or Laurusitinus is a common shrub in our climate. This form lightens up what can be a very pedestrian plant. The edges of the evergreen leaves are margined in cream with an interior of soft green. This makes a shrub that glows year round and can be used to lighten up dark corners. In autumn clusters of pink buds form and hold until mid winter. Then as the days begin to lengthen it opens these clusters which are lightly fragrant and white. Strong growing shrub that requires  very little water once established. To 8′ tall and 5′ wide in 6 years. Full sun to part shade to high overhead shade. Nice looking, tough shrub native to the Mediterranean very easy to grow and long lived. If a green sport appears simply prune it off to the base to retain the variegated form. Water to establish. Not deer resistant. Excellent backdrop to a mixed border or trimmed into a contained hedge. Nice fast growing screen. Blue berries sometimes follow the flowers.  Buds and flowers put on a show for months. Blooms on wood from the previous season prune after flowering if needed. Naturally dense and rounded.

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