Trachelospermum asiaticum ‘Fragrant Form’

About 30 years ago I was introduced to this form of Asian Star Jasmine in Eugene. It was passed around as a clone that survived the disastrous freezes of 1989 and 1990. Its also sweetly fragrant where most varieties of Asian Star Jasmine are not or faint. This is an actual pleasant aroma, not as heady as the more common Star Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides,  but pleasantly sweet. The parchment colored flowers appear for an extended period from June to September. A huge flush of flowers in early summer and then sporadically for  months. Rich to average soil with regular summer water to establish and speed growth. Asian Star Jasmine waits to grow until truly warm weather is consistent. Regular water + warmth leads to a spreading ground cover or in wind free places it can self attach to surfaces and climb. To 12′ tall as a vine 18″ tall x 3′ as a ground cover. Full sun to considerable shade but not competition from tree roots. Very cold hardy form tolerating temperatures below 5ºF for short periods. Glossy undulate leaves are handsome year round. Wonderful, durable, ground cover.  Establish this plant well before its first winter and mulch for added protection. One of our favorite forms of Asian Star Jasmine. This performs just as consistently as other clones that have proved their durability. Not bothered by deer. Tolerates dry shade when very well established. Both as a ground cover and as a vine it clothes itself densely in foliage never any bare knees. Roots along the ground as it goes, great on slopes.

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Achillea millefolium ‘Willamette Gray’

Greg got seed of this distinctive form of Yarrow near Oregon City. Unlike most garden varieties that are derived from European stock which very much appreciates rich soil and regular water to perform and those forms are also not pungent. We wanted our locally native yarrow that is incredibly durable, has gray foliage that is pleasantly aromatic with broad white flowers. This is a much more climate adapted perennial. Its found throughout all of the state, and can be found anywhere from meadows to surprisingly deep woods. This is a very thrifty plant and once established it really doesn’t need supplemental summer water. Spreads to form finely divided low gray foliage. The flat umbels of pure white flowers are very large and this is a landing pad for all pollinators as well as butterflies. To 20″ tall in bloom. Excellent meadow component with clumping grasses, annuals, and bulbs. A great plant for hell strips and hot aspects too. Very easy and forgiving perennial. Blooms May-August. Mostly evergreen save for the very harshest winters. Not bothered by deer.  Oregon native plant.

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Himalayan Forget Me Not is a perennial for rich soil in woodlands and produces tall stems with clusters of cobalt blue flowers.  A rosette of large leaves forms colonies. In late spring it rises up and blooms. A great and showy pollinator perennial for part shade to high overhead shade. Easy to grow plant that loves rich soil with regular irrigation in summer. This verdant plant begins blooming in May and continues to July. It also makes a lovely long lasting cut flower. Disappears completely in winter- no presence. To 2′ tall in bloom and spreading to form multiple rosettes.Protect from deer. Mix with other part shade and rich soil loving perennials as Tricyrtis, Clinopodium, and Hosta. Visited by hummingbirds as well. Native to northern India and China. Nice perennial that is seldom seen.

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Heuchera micrantha

Crevice alum root is one of the most widespread of our native Heucheras. This rosette and colony forming perennial is almost always found on near seeps on wet slopes and cliff faces. The handsome green foliage is typically maple shaped and evergreen. In late spring to early summer clouds of very fine white flowers erupt on 2′ stems. Its a wonderful wispy effect. Rich to average soil with regular summer water. Established plants can handle much drier situations. The rosette colonies can be quite large. Lush and verdant evergreen for shady borders, hillsides, rock walls. Very easy and adaptable. Loved by pollinators and a great native pollinator perennial for part shade to shade. It will also accept full sun, but you have to pay closer attention to irrigation. Not bothered pests. In habitat it is often left alone by deer as it can grow on the most vertical cliffs. It makes a great but limited ground cover and the more plants you have the more flower spikes and the more showy and ethereal the affect. Combine with Struthiopteris spicant (Deer fern) and Oxalis oregana, Tiarella. A good container plant as well. A perennial for the north side of the house.  Oregon native plant

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Thalictrum occidentale

Smaller growing western meadow rue is a resident of deep moist woods as well as the margins of streams. Many divided leaves are delicate and flutter in the slightest breeze. Each indented leaflet is perched in the arrangement of an arrow. In mid to late spring wiry stems extend above the 1′ tall foliage another 10″ and displays flowers that are comprised of raspberry and brown downward pointed flowers. They make an evenly distributed display that is not so much showy as it is incredibly graceful. Loved by pollinators who swing by for the suspended pollen. Best in enriched soil with consistent irrigation in summer. It spreads to form large colonies and is exceptionally pretty crawling up a low bank or hill. Winter deciduous perennial. This species which is more of an upland species requires a little less water than the similar but taller Thalictrum fendleri but it still requires irrigation in summer, even when well established. Benefits greatly from a top dressing of mulch. Companion plants in habitat are Tellima grandiflora, Mitella, Heuchera and Delphinium . Prefers protection from mid day sun and will burn and/ or die in hot dry situations. ‘Forms expanding colonies. Very good woodland pollinator perennial with a wonderful texture. Moderately deer resistant. Oregon native plant.

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Tall Thalictrum or Many fruited Rue. A wonderful native perennial that will win you over with its great grace and tenacity. Many divided blue green leaves are composed like shelves along a tall blooming stem. The effect is that of a pastry tray with multiple levels. In early spring a group of these pretty and delicate looking leaves are arranged in a circle. As the spring advances so does the bloom stalk up to 4′ tall in rich soil with regular water. Best with an occasional deep soak in summer, native primarily to wet  areas. Its very common companion is Giant Larkspur Delphinium trolliifolium and both species of Camas. The flower that erupts from a  many branched scape holds mostly downward pointing stamens with very small modest petals. It perches on the end of the stem like a small chandelier. Winter deciduous. Found primarily in the moist areas west of the Cascades in the inland valleys. Very easy to grow native perennial that improves under cultivation but retains its feral tough habit. Long lived perennial for part shade to high over head shade. Not bothered by deer. Oregon native plant.

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Hosta ‘Variegated Blue Mouse Ears’

We found this sport in our batch of one of our favorite Hostas  ‘Blue Mouse Ears’. This dwarf Hosta has yielded a lovely form with interior leaves of blue green with a margin of chartreuse/light green and the variegation is remarkably stable. To just 6″ tall it spreads to form multiple rosettes several feet across. Always neat and tidy looking. The thicker than average leaves are somewhat resistant to slug/snail damage but protect just as they are emerging. In early summer a 10″ thick spike supports rows of dense dark lavender fragrant flowers. They add to this very smart looking little perennial that is long lived in part shade to shade in rich soil with regular water. Excellent container plant, it will be even easier to water and protect from gastropods. In the garden its a natural with Golden Japanese Forest Grass and Disporum flavescens. Very easy to grow.  Avoid hot sun and dry conditions.

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Disporum flavescens

Golden Flowered Solomon Seal.  When you see this as a small plant you’d never guess the pure grandeur a mature clump lends to shady gardens. To about 22″ tall on average the stems gain height each season. From a young age the unfurling foliage is topped with yellow bell shaped flowers. As the plant extends these lemon yellow bells bend over and become pendant. Blooms March-May. Spreads by slowly creeping rhizomes. Rich soil in part shade to shade with regular summer water. Excellent perennial accompaniment with Golden Japanese forest grass Hakenochloa macra ‘All Gold’ and Hosta ‘Variegated Mouse Ears’. Foliage remains handsome and erect all summer- it goes very cleanly dormant in fall, sometimes with accompanying yellow tints. To 30″ wide – give this plant room and good conditions to really shine. Protect emerging plants from snails/slugs- once they are several inches tall this is less of an issue. Excellent near ponds and creeks. Very easy to grow and always lovely long lived, cold hardy perennial. S. Korea. Mild deer resistance.

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Hosta ‘White Feathers’

We think this is one of the most striking Hostas. In a world of white edges and interior gold this baby takes a whole different route. The leaves emerge completely cream- over a period of two months the leaves slowly morph into light green. A very long and striking effect. Forms increasing clumps in rich, moisture retentive soil in part shade. Protect foliage from late afternoon sun. In mid summer 2′ tall spikes of tubular lavender flowers rise above the 1′ tall foliage. Excellent plant for lightening up shady corners and it excels in containers. Hosta make great container subjects as its easier to control slugs/snails and they go cleanly dormant in autumn- and chances are you won’t forget to water it. Very striking combined with Pulmonaria ‘Benediction’ and Corydalis solida ‘Purple Bird’. No presence at all from late autumn to mid-spring. In time a large colony glows from a distance. Its best appearance is in high overhead shade provided by large deciduous trees. Fun to grow and long lived. Protect new growth from snails/slugs. Regular summer water.

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Mitella (Pectiantia) ovalis

Coastal (Yellow) mitrewort is a little seen but wonderful native primarily in Oregon- going to BC in the north to very far northern California to our south. In Oregon its found primarily on open north exposed aspects and steep hillsides, often near seeps. Glossy foliage is the same shape as Tellima grandilflora which has dull lighter green leaves. In spring to summer 12″ straight stems unfurl intricate chartreuse yellow flowers that line a scape. Evergreen to semi evergreen perennial for part shade to full sun. Closely related to Heuchera this member of the Saxifrage family improves greatly under cultivation. As a small scale ground cover in part shade its a good native for the dry areas around trees. Light summer supplemental water – but never boggy and hot. Established plants are robust and handsome and are NOT afflicted by powdery mildew. The vertical yellow flowers lined with little intricate 3-d flowers brings many tiny pollinators. To 18″ across forming an expanding clump. This is a very good native perennial that is almost never seen in gardens but is local and excellently adapted to our climate, again it also improves greatly under cultivation and it responds to enriched soil. Drought adapted in shade. Winter foliage is smaller and takes on bright red tints. Common in the Oregon Coast Range as well as the western Cascade foothills. Super saxifragaceae for your stumpery. Adorable in bloom. Associated plants in the wild are Oxalis oregana, Tellima grandiflora, Adiantum aleuticum, Heuchera chlorantha. A very handsome plant. Oregon native plant.

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