Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo'

on Monday, 09 June 2014. Posted in Winter Interest, Evergreen, Fall Color, Shade Plants, Perennial, Ground Cover, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

'Biokovo' Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill)

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This versatile and easy hardy geranium is a great choice for an evergreen perennial that is deer resistant, drought tolerant in part shade, and even gets fall color.  When looking for deer resistant plants it's always imortant to seek out scented plants, especially leaves with a strong smell.  'Biokovo' Geranium is one of the rare perennials to have a strong, spicy scent that is not Meditteranean or needing lots of sun. It performs best in a cool location with morning sun or at least protection from the hottest part of the day.  The broad, lobed leaves provide striking contrast to finer leafed perennials and grasses. 'Biokovo' spreads by rhizomes to make a nice spreading mound about 6-10" tall and 2-3' wide and can be a bit aggressive so make sure it's neighbors can hold its own.  Dainty, pale pink to white flowers with pink stamens emerge in late spring through summer, but this perennial remains interesting all year.  The variety 'Cambridge Blue' is similar except with a lavender-blue flower.  We usually have at least 10 or so varieties of hardy Geranium in stock, great tough, long-blooming perennials!

Baptisia australis

on Wednesday, 07 May 2014. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Blue False Indigo

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Baptisia or Blue False Indigo may not be all that familiar but it should be for it's striking purple flower stalks and refreshing blue-green foliage.  It has what we always look for- drought tolerant (has deep roots), deer resistant (poisonous), good cut flowers (blooms in late spring), long lived (so can require some age to bloom and is slower growing), North American prairie native (can tolerate clay or sandy soils), and butterfly attractor.  The easy to care for Baptisia can get 3-4' tall and 18"-3' wide and is rather vase shaped, so low growing perennials at it's base might be nice. Looks great with chartreuse Euphorbias, round headed Alliums, or silver Artemesia nearby. The sweet pea-like flowers make a great contrast with grasses as well. We have an exciting new variety called 'Solar Flare' -  a sulphur yellow that just grabs your attention.

Daphne transatlantica

on Wednesday, 16 April 2014. Posted in Fragrant Blooms, Deer Resistant, Shrubs, Flowering Plants

'Summer Ice' and 'Eternal Fragrance' Daphne

Daphne_Summer-Ice-plant-of-By far, one of our most asked about plants!

Daphne Eternal FragranceThis species of Daphne blooms throughout the spring, summer and fall, and is less fussy than some of the other Daphne species. We generally carry two varieties: 'Summer Ice' and 'Eternal Fragrance'.

'Summer Ice' (pictured left) has a creamy, variegated edge. Plants get about 3 to 4' tall by 4 to 6' wide, and has a moderate growth rate. 'Eternal Fragrance' (pictured right) has plain green leaves and is more compact (2 to 3' tall and wide) and slower growing. 

Daphnes are considered partially evergreen plants. In mild winters, they will will keep almost all their leaves, but in severe winters they will drop quite a few leaves - but will flush out beautifully in the spring. What Daphnes are known best for is their fragrance. A light wind will carry their musky sweet fragrance to wherever you are in the yard. 

Daphnes will tolerate full sun, but in our climate a little protection from hot afternoon sun is probably best. We have a huge 'Summer Ice' on the east side of our office and it seems very happy there. While D. transatlantica isn't as picky about watering as other Daphnes, well-drained soil is best. These plants are also deer resistant, and fairly drought tolerant once established. Like all Daphnes, though, it doesn't like to have its root system disturbed so be gentle when planting and don't try to transplant it once it's settled.  

 

We also regularly carry two other types of Daphne that are a bit fussier, water-wise - but are well worth the effort:

Daphne odora (Winter Daphne): Winter Daphne gets to approximately 3 to 4' tall and wide, and there are both plain leafed and veriegated leafed varieties. One of the secrets of successfully growing Winter Daphnes is to make sure they have excellent drainage. In heavier soils, plant them slightly higher than the surrounding soil, or plant on a mound.

Daphne Lawrence CrockerDaphne 'Lawrence Crocker': This is a really sweet dwarf Daphne (just 12" tall and wide) with purple flowers. Daphne 'Lawrence Crocker' was named after one of the original partners of the Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery, and this plant is a lovely namesake. They also prefer well-drained soil, and are an excellent addition to a dry shade garden. 

Pulsatilla vulgaris

on Wednesday, 02 April 2014. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Pasque Flower

photoPulsatillaVulgaris250x376

Of all the flushes of new growth and bright flowers of spring, Pulsatillas are my favorite harbinger of this vibrant season.  Among the earlier of perennials to bloom, Pasque flowers emerge from dormancy covered with silky hairs that lend a silvery tone to their soft green, lacy leaves.  They quickly produce fat buds that are equally furry; the entire plant just begs to be touched!  These buds open into both nodding and upright cup shaped blossoms in shades of purple, red and white.  Their stamens are arranged in a ball of golden color with a tuft of purple in the center, looking like a little pineapple.  The seed heads that follow are akin to thin, silky feathers gathered into pompoms that last for weeks, swaying in the slightest breeze and really adding to the overall show.  Pulsatillas are one of those refined yet bold flowers that don't need any frills to be visually exciting.  They truly stand out when placed at the edge of a border or nestled among boulders in a rock garden, especially when scattered about.  They can reseed themselves if happy, although not so heavily as to be a nuisance.  The seedlings of this special perennial are welcome in most gardens and often vary in bloom color from their parents, creating a wonderful blend of tones throughout their clumps.  Pasque flowers are best situated in a spot with plenty of spring sun, but some afternoon shade during the hot summer months, otherwise they simply go dormant early.  This can be achieved by placing them next to a perennial that does not have much of a presence in spring, but come summer is a towering, shade providing neighbor.  Native to the prairies and steppes of central Europe, Pulsatillas prefer well drained soil and will even tolerate gritty, nutrient poor soil.  On the smaller side, Pasque flowers only reach 6-8 inches tall and spread 12-18 inches in time.  Their diminutive stature allows them to be easily stashed into any remaining blank nooks that show up in the springtime garden.  Year after year this sweet little plant will reward even the most negligent gardener when it sparkles with morning dew in March and is smothered with jewel toned beauties throughout April.

Veronica peduncularis 'Georgia Blue'

on Sunday, 16 March 2014. Posted in Winter Interest, Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Perennial, Ground Cover, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Georgia Blue Speedwell

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This easy maintenance, perennial groundcover adds a beautiful cobalt blue to the edge of any garden.  We love the dainty deep blue flowers that start blooming as early as February and are heaviest in April, continuing into early summer.  Besides the blooms, the best part about 'Georgia Blue' is that  it remains evergreen, turning lovely shades of burgundy in the colder weather.  It is a great companion to early spring bulbs, especially the yellow of daffodils, and can mask the untidy foliage bulbs leave behind as they fade.  This Veronica is good for spilling over edges, out of containers, or as a mass groundcover.  It may need shearing back after blooming once in a while to refresh it but otherwise it is low maintenance.  You can plan on it getting about 6" tall and spreading 12-24" wide.  It will tolerate full sun to part shade and can even take a little drought; but looks best with moderate water and good mulch.  It has proven deer resistant in some gardens (Jacksonville, Applegate Valley) in the Rogue Valley but not others (Griffin Creek area of Medford), so try it out first.  Butterflies and hummingbirds are known to visit the cheerful flowers.  Georgia Blue Speedwell looks great planted next to purple toned Euphorbia, Black Mondo Grass, Mahonias, and other broader leaved shrubs and perennials.