Geranium tuberosum ‘Slender Silver Leaf Form’

This is a really pretty take on the more common form of Geranium tuberosum.  Rather than brilliant deep purple flowers this very distinct variety makes due with the hues pink and lavender. The foliage on this spreading bulb is what really shines. Deeply incised palmate leaves are brushed with silver hairs. This pairs with the more pastel colors of the flowers in a very good way. Rich soil to average soil in part shade. Once established rely only on what falls from the sky. Bloom is 4-6 weeks April to early June and the flowers wave above 18″ stems. Vigorous and healthy and not bothered by any pests, that includes slugs and snails who will leave it strictly alone. Goes quickly dormant with summer heat- disappears entirely. Very easy and satisfying perennial to grow in Cottage gardens, spring borders, will flower gardens. Combine with spring ephemerals and bulbs. Sophisticated cultivar that improves the species.

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We’ve been attempting to hybridize Grevilleas specifically, and that has proven to be difficult. What I rely on then are open pollinated hybrids – all Grevillea species can cross, pollinated by European honeybees in my garden they almost all set seed.  This is seed from a hybrid between Grevillea victorae x  Grevillea juniperina ‘Gold’. I sowed a bunch of seed and this seedling stands out as superior to the other seedlings and to many other Grevilleas that we grow. This is an upright growing and then spending evergreen shrub with distinctive small grass green wedge shaped leaves. The flowers are very large for a hybrid and the perianth is a soft citrus pastel orange. The style or pollen presenter begins life after opening with a red/melon color as it ages the style changes to light yellow from the tip down. The base of the style nearest the perianth remains dark melon red. Very heavy blooming selection. Flowers appear January-July and on older plants year round. The large clusters of un opened buds are shaded light pink before maturing.  Upright growing then spreading laterally with age. To 4′ tall and 6′ wide. All Grevilleas are a beacon to Hummingbirds and all birds as is this cultivar.  Full sun in average, un-amended soil. Dig a very large hole and water weekly until you see good new growth then taper to once a month. I’m very proud to offer this seedling, it is a vast improvement on other Grevilleas with similar size flowers- this one beats them all. Best in a warm, protected location.

Xera Plants Introduction

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Tan bark oak or Tan Oak is native to the SW corner of Oregon south into the mountains of southern Calfiornia. The large convex leaves emerge clad in gray fur as this wears off it reveals a mature deep green with an underside of silver. Moderately fast growing evergreen tree to 45′ tall x 25′ wide in 30  years. Grows on average 2′-4′ per year when young. This close relative of Oaks produces acorns that are light tan and born out of an indumentum covered prickly cup. In Oregon this tree mostly of mountains can be found most extensively from Douglas and Coos County south to the coastal border. It is found in the higher elevations of the mountains of northern California where quite a bit of heavy wet snow occurs. This tree will bend in snow and ice and it will not break. Conical and spreading crown. Tan Oak which was harvested in the 19th and early 20th century for the collection of commercial tannins. Full sun, it grows well but is slower and a bit spindly as an understory tree. The furrowed bark is dark brown to black. Its range is almost the same in Oregon as Canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis) and cold hardiness is equivalent too, hardy just below 0ºF. Wonderful, stately, native evergreen shade tree. Ours are raised from acorns collected at the northern extent of its range in Douglas County.  Oregon native plant.

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Hebe pimelioides ‘Quicksilver’

Fascinating New Zealand Hebe that is native to higher montane areas and is therefore very hardy to cold. Many arch black stems cradle rows of symmetrical small gray foliage. The color effect is more machine than plant and this arching shrub gains density by shearing the tips after flowering has ended in June. 2″ spikes support rows of violet blue flowers that fade to white in the oldest blooms. This shrub is best in containers or new gardens. It tends not to age well after 5 or so it begins to look unkempt. You can stave this off with pruning- prune just under the base of the lowest flower spike in July. Excellent new garden or rock garden plant for fine silvery texture and contrast with black stems. It truly shine in winter containers where it looks its best. To 14″ tall x 16″ wide forming somewhat of an anvil shape. Consistent summer water during hot spells. Cold hardy to the single digits.

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This is a relatively cold hardy and spectacular bottlebrush. Very upright growth on a vertical growing plant with distinctly blue leaves. In late spring soft yellow thick bottle brush flowers appear in a massive display. Hummingbirds and people come running. The glowing flower color set against a blue backdrop is sublime. Full sun (no shade, don’t even try) in a warm, protected location such as a south facing wall or fence. Moderately fast growing in the ground to 12′ tall and 4′ wide in 7 years. It can suffer considerable damage in our coldest winters, but established plants have recovered from temperatures below 10ºF. Blooms on wood from the previous year. Prune if needed after blooming has ended. Rows of button shaped woody seed capsule follow and persist for several years. Spectacular and easy at the coast. Aromatic foliage has some deer resistance. Protect containerized plants from temperatures below 20ºF. Blooms well in a container. Tasmania. Water to establish then occasionally in summer. Avoid strong subfreezing wind.

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This large hybrid shrub rose was a spontaneous volunteer at the Bellevue Botanical Garden in Washington. Big, soft green pinnate leaves are almost floppy. Beginning in May and repeatedly through summer 4″ wide rosy pink flowers with raspberry red stamens appear. They age slowly to light lavender in a few days. The huge single flowers are  often followed by large orange/then red hips. Each flower is so enormous that it bends the branches considerably when the flower is open. Remove spent flowers to encourage more. Wonderful, informal, and showy shrub to 6′ x 6′ in a season. Blooms on wood from the current season. Prune heavily in early spring. Not bothered by most diseases, locate with good air circulation to stymie powdery mildew which it can be afflicted in cool, wet springs. Cool, floppy, cut rose with a slight fragrance. Thorny but not deadly. Regular water in rich soil. Add at least one handful of all purpose organic fertilizer in spring and again in summer. This rose is propagated on its own roots. Give this large, spectacular rose room to spread out.

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This Californian Sage is extraordinarily vigorous and spreads by underground runners to colonize large areas. That is if winter does not knock it back. Large quilted soft green arrow shaped leaves appear in early spring, by late spring 28″ tall chalice’s of rich red/pink (Raspberry) flowers erupt from dramatic and well spaced whorls. Rich to average soil that drains well. Water well in the first season to establish then very light to none in subsequent years. A Salvia of southern and central California  it has a distinctive aroma that is loved by some, despised by others. Mulch with dry leaves for the first winter or two. Doesn’t like wet plus subfreezing cold. Good, and restrained in a container. Protect containerized plants from extreme cold (below 20ºF). Nice and very dramatic cut flowers. Blooms March repeatedly until June. Great for hummingbirds, butterflies, and pollinators. Semi-deciduous in winter.

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The blue flowers of the common and loved herb rosemary rivals that of Ceanothus and Lithodora. That is on certain varieties. Bloom typically begins in December and peaks in early spring continuing until late spring on the best varieties. This is the best variety for blue flowers. The obvious Salvia flowers on ‘Mozart’ are thick on the stems and are entirely dark blue- no interior dots of white or white splotches. Full sun and water to establish in average soil. Extremely drought adapted when established. This strongly arching shrub goes up to about 30″ and spreads to 4′ wide. Hillsides, the top of rock walls, containers subjected to reflected heat. Pork roast. Very good culinary use/taste for this plant. Hardy to about 5ºF. Good drainage improves cold hardiness. Tolerates the hottest places with no stress. Aromatic waxy resin will attach to your fingers. Blooms on wood from the previous season. Prune or harvest when needed after blooming has ended. Some deer resistance. Extraordinarily drought adapted. Great performance at the Oregon coast.

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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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Ceanothus gloriosus ‘Anchor Bay’

A very good looking mounded, evergreen shrub that is best appreciated in milder gardens. In colder gardens provide a warm protected site. The small holly-like leaves are mat green and good looking year round. This moderately fast growing shrub at first spreads out and then with time mounds up. To 30″ tall by 4′ wide in 6 years. Dense growth suppresses weeds. In Apri/May for 3 weeks button shaped flower cluster are pale sky blue and appear on wood from the previous year. Prune, if needed after bloom has ended. This is seldom necessary. Consistent summer water for the first season then none in subsequent years. Excellent adaptation to the Oregon coast.  Cold hardy to 8º-10ºF briefly. Very good performance in hot sunny hell strips. Accepts part shade (at the expense of bloom) and poor soils. Somewhat formal in appearance it avoids the brush pile look with dense, closely layered leaves. Not as palatable to deer. Good appearance year round.

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