Veronica peduncularis ‘Georgia Blue’

Its been around for a long time and its an introduction that has stood the test of time. This low mounding evergreen perennial is beyond delightful when it alights in masses of deep blue flowers from late February to late April. Each simple blue flower has a small white eye but the effect from a distance is a pool of blue. To 8″ tall and forming large 2′ x 2′ wide patches in full sun in rich to average well drained soil. It excels on slopes and in rock gardens. The new growth that follows is tinted mahogany before become strong glossy green. Cut back by 1/3rd after blooming to create a much denser and ultimately more floriferous plant. Light, consistent summer water. Excellent bold backdrop to early and mid blooming bulbs. We suggest large white Crocus vernus followed by Narcissus ‘Blushing Lady’. Very easy to grow. Long lived for a speedwell.

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Pinus ponderosa var. benthamiana

Pacific ponderosa pine is a lovely tree native west of the Cascades from about the Portland area (with some outliers farther north) south to Baja Norte, Mexico. Our form is from locally collected seed. Slow growing in youth this pine picks up speed in its teens and grows almost exponentially from there. Pacific ponderosa pine is known for it tall straight crowns of lush green needles in clumps of two. This tree is excellently adapted to our winter wet/summer dry climate and even small trees can endure the very longest, driest, hottest summers with no visible stress. Its adaptable to all types of soil – not fussy and is even found in the most well drained stranded flood cobbles of major rivers. To 125′ in time – expect a 3′ tall tree to be about 15′ tall in 10 years. Full sun- not very shade tolerant and when planting with other trees anticipate at least a 25′ wide crown in the future. Needles can drop profusely in September which is a bit of a mess. Take note of this. Underplant with other drought adapted natives. Water to establish for the first summer then none in subsequent years. Oregon native plant.

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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. griseus ‘Kurt Zadnick’

What a surprise this very dark, dark, dark blue flowered Ceanothus has turned out to have excellent cold hardiness as well. In our climate it is a low and spreading evergreen shrub with glossy leaves. To 3′ tall  by 6′ wide in 6 years. In April/May a profuse display of the darkest cobalt blue flowers mass over the whole plant. Its so dark that it can seem like shadows over the plant but closer inspection reveals the intensity of the color blue. Full sun to light shade in average soil. Tolerates clay soil as well as withering summer drought. Prune if needed lightly after blooming has ended. This is a great drought tolerant, heat tolerant low shrub for hell strips. No summer water.

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Grevillea juniperina ‘Lava Cascade’

Low ground cover form of the Juniper Grevillea. Spreading to 6′ wide it rises to just 2′ when happy. Most of the time it is much lower. This selection is the most commonly seen orange form of this species. Spidery orange/red flaming flowers appear in clusters at the branch tips. The most likely bloom period is February-June- but older plants pump out sporadic flowers year round. Excellent on slopes- especially warm south facing slopes in a protected location. Surprisingly cold hardy enduring temperatures down to about 8ºF with no damage. Avoid subfreezing wind as well as boggy conditions and crowding fro other plants. Extremely drought adapted requiring no supplemental water after a year or two. Highly deer resistant. Excellent evergreen- but prickily shrub for Hell strips. Loved by hummingbirds. We have since introduced G. j. ‘Xera Ember’ which is a more compact shrub 2′ x 4′ and has merely deeply hued (bordering on red) flowers for a longer period. Gains hardiness with age. Pictured here with ‘Molonglo’.

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Grevillea x ‘Constance’

This is an important hybrid that is among the best known in the United States of G. victorae x G. juniperina. A wiry rounded shrub with thin twisted green leaves that are rolled at the margins. Throughout the year a constant procession of orange/red flowers decks the whole frame. Loved by hummingbirds. To 7′ x 7′ in 7 years in average, well drained soil in full sun with little water once established. Not the hardiest Grevillea and has been superseded by cold hardier and superior varieties- such as ‘Neil Bell’. It is, however, an excellent evergreen shrub for the milder coastal regions. In Portland it is relegated to the warmest urban areas in protected locations. Easy fast shrub that you should protect from subfreezing wind inland. There are enormous specimens on the northern Oregon coast that adore that climate and it is naturally adapted to sandy soils. High deer resistance. Loved by hummingbirds. Prune to contain and maintain a compact habit. Hardy to about 13ºF- or slightly less hardy than ‘Canberra Gem’. Very floriferous.

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Grevillea australis var. prostrata

Interesting plant for the collector. This is a low and mounding form of the hardiest Grevillea species. The tiny leaves are pointed, not rolled as in the species and they have a uniform tan green hue. In spring- after several years in the ground tiny flossy white flowers swarm the foliage from every leaf axil. They emit a penetrating honey perfume for weeks. VERY VERY slow growing to just 8″ tall and barely 2′ wide after 7 years. Full sun- no shade at all and average to poor well drained soil. It does just fine in native soil that has not been amended and its ultimate preference is for loam. Excellent small evergreen shrub for rock gardens, small spaces. More of a collectors plant. Useful on steep hillsides. Very hardy to cold enduring 5ºF with no issues. Little to no summer water. Moderate deer resistance.  Slow. Tasmania, SE Australian Alps. In the wild it cozies up to boulders to absorb radiant heat. This could be repeated easily in a garden. Rare. Limited quantities.

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Grevillea rivularis

Surprisingly cold hardy and wonderful Grevillea that is threatened in the wild. Crinkly, prickily, finely divided leaves create a haze of a frame to 5′ x 6′ in 6 years. This “cage” of foliage is intermittently decorated with soft purple flowers from spring to early autumn. These are tipped with a bright green style that is released in bloom. The flowers are often described as toothbrush like. Full sun to very light shade in average soil. Light summer water speeds growth but that is the only reason it is necessary. A protected location. Hardy to about 10ºF- and suffering no damage in the wild winter of 2016/17. Protect from subfreezing wind. Easy to grow with neglect and good siting. Same hardiness to cold as ‘Canberra Gem’. Give it room as it will steadily and methodically increase before you know it. Moderate deer resistance. AKA Carrington Falls Grevillea. Avoid fertilizers. If it never bloomed this shrub is fantastic for texture alone. Not for cold gardens- best with some urban protection. Very limited quantities.

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Rhaphiolepis umbellata ‘Blueberry Muffin’

Excellent release from the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raliegh, NC. This dense and rounded shrub is useful for its size- 3′ x 3′ in 7 years- or longer. But it has many other fine points. The leaves are thinner than normal with this species which is native to Japan. It is very very black spot resistant and the leathery glossy leaves turn from olive green/gray in summer to amazing stains of maroon and purple with cooler temperatures. New growth is light beige and coated in furry indumentum before becoming glossy.  A fascinating and beautiful display. White flowers appear in May and are followed by fairly showy blue berries. Extremely drought tolerant and tolerant of high heat. Excellent on south facing walls or exposed urban situations with reflected heat. Handsome at all times and very easy to grow. Grows about 4″ per year. Nice measured growth that forms a rounded upright shrub. Excellent companion for other drought adapted shrubs-landscapes. It also accepts regular irrigation in summer- a useful adaptation for an already useful shrub. Full sun to part shade.

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Cunninghamia lanceolata var. glauca

This form of China Fir we love for its bright blue vivid foliage. A tall growing conical tree to 40′ eventually. To about 25′ tall in 10 years. A prickly but beautiful conifer that grows fairly fast when young. The boughs eventually house small, cute, ok, damned adorable little wooden pinecones that persist through spring. In time the trunk becomes gray and fissured. A sky line tree with great age and old specimens dot the Portland Metro area. Very drought adapted when established. Great screen or specimen. Give it plenty of room to grow in FULL sun- no shade and rich to average well drained soil. Very good architectural presence. Cold hardy and easy to grow- long lived tree. Moderately deer resistant.

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Achillea millefolium ‘Calistoga’

A fine form of our native Yarrow that has leaves that are a striking gray with pure, clean white flowers. A great combination. Spreads to form a low wide plant that is evergreen (gray). The flat clusters of flowers appear continuously from May to frost. More consistently if you remove spent flowers. The umbels- unusual for the daisy family are loved by butterflies, well, actually all pollinators. They are given a flat landing pad and tons of flowers- what more could you want. Excellent for low care areas where this romping perennial will happily out compete weeds and hold ground with very light amounts of water. Full sun and well drained soil. its best to double dig the soil to incorporate oxygen and de-compact the soil. Does not like compacted soil. Light but consistent summer water speeds growth and vigor. Otherwise very drought tolerant. Excellent on slopes. To 20″ tall in bloom on a low spreading foliage plant to 2′ wide or wider. High deer resistance. Great cut flower. Mix with other low water plants. Pretty with other colors of yarrow. Oregon native plant.

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