Carpenteria californica

Carpenteria californica

Bush Anemone is a locally rare native of the Sierra Nevada foothills in Fresno County in central California. This tough evergreen shrub with thin deep green leaves set against pale exfoliating glossy bark is perfectly hardy to cold and drought. In May/June 3″ wide pure white flowers with a central yellow boss of stamens are sweetly fragrant. Full sun to almost full shade in any soil with adequate drainage. Adaptable to dry clay soils and able to endure extreme drought.  Extraordinarily  climate adapted- enduring summer drought and winter rain. Appreciates good air circulation. No crowding. To 8′ tall and 5′ wide in 6 years. Often left alone by deer- but they will definitely try newly installed plants.  One of our most treasured west coast native shrubs. Very long lived sited correctly and denied summer water. Accepts blasting reflected heat. In time you can limb up the shrub to reveal the white/taupe exfoliating bark which appears glossy with age- this also assists in the air flow that this shrub craves.  A monotypic genus. There’s just one species. Limited quantities.

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Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’

A hardy annual with exciting lime green flowers that are fragrant at night. Full sun to part shade in rich soil with regular water. Blooms May until frost.
Remove spent flower heads to encourage more. To 30″ tall. EXCELLENT container plant. Combines very nicely with light blue flowers such as Salvia patens ‘Cambridge Blue’. Reseeds somewhat in disturbed soil. Great en masse. May behave as a perennial in mild winters- above 20°F. Moderately deer resistant.

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Tolmiea menziesii ‘Taff’s Gold’

An exceptional variegated form of our native “pigaback” plant that is excellent as a groundcover in dense to light shade. Vigorous and evergreen it will spread to 4′ wide in 2 years but stay only 1′ tall. Very easy to grow, works well under established Rhododendrons. Pretty, but not conspicuous brown flowers. Regular water but will take drought if in the shade. Easy, indispensible native plant.  Forms new plants directly from the center of each leaf. Cool trick. Also grown as a houseplant. Good in containers. Oregon native plant.

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Grevillea victoriae ‘UBC Form’

Royal Grevillea is one of the most handsome shrubs that we can grow in our climate. Native to the highest elevation in Australia and then down to the middle elevations this species has been grown in our climate successfully for many decades. Large, long gray foliage is handsome year round and a great backdrop to the masses of orange pendulous flowers which are most prolific during winter. Loved by hummingbirds – Anna’s will stake out this shrub as one of the few sources of nectar during winter.  Full sun to light shade in average soil with light, consistent water to establish. Avoid baking hot locations as this plant forms and sets its flower buds in late spring and summer and they hold until the cool of autumn arrives to open. If this plant becomes too hot or stressed it can abort these flower buds diminishing the following seasons display. So, an average position away from reflected heat produces the best blooming. Very good performance in cold rural gardens, enduring 5ºF with no issue. Very large growing to 12′ x 12′ and sometimes larger with time. May be pruned hard in early spring to both limit the overall size but to increase density and blooming wood. Great performance at the Oregon coast and in Puget Sound as well as the coast range and Cascade foothills.  In the Willamette Valley the hybrids ‘Neil Bell’, ‘Octopinky’, ‘Poorinda Queen’ and the species G. Juniperina do not abort their flower buds in the hottest weather- and seem to perform more satisfactorily.  Moderately deer resistant.  Long lived. This form is from the University of British Columbia.

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Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’

Wavy Leaf Silk Tassel  is a beautiful winter blooming evergreen shrub native to the Oregon coast from Lincoln county south to Santa Barbara county California. Amazing 1′ long silver gray tassels from late fall last through winter. Large shrubs have the appearance of a chandelier. Tassels dry and abort the plant by late spring, then its just a clean evergreen To 12′ x 12′  for well drained soil in full sun with good air circulation. Some leaf burn in the coldest winters.  Eventually it can become a multi-trunked tree. Extremely drought tolerant when established, never needing supplemental summer water.  Prune AFTER flowering. Excellent espalier. Spectacular in full bloom– which lasts for two months in mid-winter. Full sun to quite a bit of overhead shade. Avoid strong subfreezing east wind. Oregon native plant.

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Corokia cotoneaster xera plants

Corokia cotoneaster

Why, its not a Cotoneaster at all, in fact Corokia is a wildly architectural  shrub and evolved its twisted zigzagging stems (the official term is divaricating) and tiny leaves to fend off grazing by giant Moa birds in New Zealand. The birds are now extinct and we are left with this shrub as an evolutionary natural bonsai. To 5′ tall and 3′ wide in 7 years. Average to enriched soil.  Full sun to part shade. Flowers are more profuse in sun. Regular water. Great container plant. The yellow flowers in May are often followed by red /orange berries that don’t last long. I assume the brilliant color draws birds.  Established plants accept both regular irrigation as well as summer drought. Irrigation encourages growth. Left to contend with summer drought the plant is naturally smaller. Cold hardy to 5ºF or lower for brief periods. Excellent landscape or garden plant that imparts a haze on the landscape from a distance but thrills with up close views of the zig zagging branches and tiny black shovel shaped leaves. Excellent long lived container subject and will thrive even with constricted roots. We love this shrub  for its silvery winter appearance in containers and in container combinations. Mix with Sasanqua Camellias and  Western Blue Fescue (Festuca californica) for months long entertainment. Seldom bothered by deer.

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Coprosma x ‘Black Cloud’

Coprosma x ‘Black Cloud’

This is a hardy shrub in a genus that is known for being decidedly tender.  A fantastic black leaved evergreen shrub from New Zealand which is an exciting hybrid. Small, glossy green leaves stained with black on handsomely patterned branches.  Full sun to light shade. Spreading habit is low when young eventually it grows upright to 4′ tall and 5′ wide with a distinctive and beautiful tiered branching pattern.  Insignificant small white flowers- they look like little translucent white worms- way more unobtrusive than it sounds.  This shrub has shocked us with its hardiness to cold. It survived temperatures in the single digits in a container and didn’t flinch. This is a wonderful foliage shrub that should be more popular. Excellent appearance year round. Drought tolerant. ‘Black Cloud’ Mirror Plant. Use as a small scale ground cover or first rate landscape plant. Very easy to grow. 

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