Articles in Category: Perennial

Nepeta 'Junior Walker'

on Thursday, 17 October 2019. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Nepeta 'Junior Walker'

Nepeta Junior Walker crop

Nepeta 'Junior Walker' is one of my very favorite drought tolerant perennials - and that's high praise indeed! Its aromatic, blue-gray foliage provides a beautiful contrast for soft-looking, blue-violet flowers. Plants generally begin blooming in early May, and will bloom well into fall if you shear them back after their spring bloom.

'Junior Walker' reaches about 16" tall by 30" tall at maturity. It does best in full sun and well-drained soil, and combines well with other drought tolerant perennials. It makes a nice accent in a summer garden; creating a nice cool place for your eyes to rest amidst the other hot-colored blooms of summer. 

Nepetas are also known as Catmints, and their foliage smells like mint with a warm hint of camphor. This aroma also serves another purpose in the garden: while it's really pleasant to humans, deer don't like the smell and tend to avoid the plants. 

However, the most notable feature of 'Junior Walker' - and of all Nepetas - is that they are an absolute magnet for pollinators. Here at the nursery, it's not uncommon to find our Nepetas covered with a combination of butterflies, skippers, honeybees, bumblebees, and tiny solitary native bees. If you have really limited room for pollinator plants in your garden, put 'Junior Walker' at the top of your list! 

We also regularly carry these other varieties of Nepeta:

 Nepeta Purple Haze cropNepeta 'Purple Haze'- 'Purple Haze' is the shortest of the Nepetas we grow. They share the same abundant violet-blue flowers and aromatic foliage of 'Junior Walker', but plants only get about 4" tall at maturity. They're a great addition at the front of a perennial bed - or plant them to spill over a rock wall.  

 Nepeta Walkers Low cropNepeta 'Walker's Low'- 'Walker's Low is the tallest Nepeta of the group. Plants get to 24" to 30" tall, by about 36" wide. Like 'Junior Walker', it has a gentle mounding shape and combines well with other sun-loving, drought tolerant perennials like Salvias, Agastaches, Rudbeckias, and Gauras.

 

 

Salvia 'Autumn Sapphire'

on Tuesday, 01 October 2019. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Autumn Sapphire Sage

Salvia reptans COMPACT form 5 683x1024

'Autumn Sapphire' Salvia is another wonderful introduction by one of our favorite garden writers - Lauren Springer Odgen - and the Denver Botanic Garden. This beauty comes into bloom in late summer, when a lot of other flowering perennials are starting to slow down - and continues blooming right up until frost. As the name suggests, flowers are a rich cobalt blue; complemented by finely-textured green leaves. Plants grow to 18" to 20" tall and wide, and are hardy down to zone 5. Like most other Salvias, they also are great pollinator plants and are deer resistent. For best results, leave all the stems up until spring to make sure it survives the winter wet, and then prune back when new leaves begin to emerge. 'Autumn Sapphire' performs best in well-drained soil in full, hot sun. Looking for some good companion plants? Consider pairing it with Solidago, Rudbeckia, Echinacea, or Gaura - or create a mixed planting of 'Autumn Sapphire' and ornamental grasses!  

Euphorbia characias ssp. wulfenii

on Thursday, 26 September 2019. Posted in Winter Interest, Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Wulfenii Euphorbia (Spurge)

Euphorbia-with-Allium

Another plant we love to sing the praises of: evergreen, usually compact, deer resistant and drought tolerant - with flowers that last 3 months or more. And the only thing you have to do to enjoy them is to not overwater and prune the flower stems back to the base of the plant after blooming is done. This photo shows a Euphorbia characias variety with a Allium 'Purple Sensation' in the foreground. Flowering begins in early spring and will easily last into July. The flowers are set off by the larger bracts, thus lasting longer than a typical petaled flower. When flowering stalks start to brown or look faded, just prune the flower stem all the way to the ground so the new stems can fill in. As an added bonus, Euphorbias are evergreen in all but the coldest Rogue Valley winters, and their foliage tends to color up in winter; providing a nice visual interest in the winter garden. Euphorbias will take full sun to half a day of sun and need well draining soil. They all have a white sap in their stems keeping the deer at bay but can also cause a rash in some people, so wear gloves when pruning Euphorbias.

There are many varieties of Euphorbia and here are some of our favorites that we usually carry:

Agastache varieties

on Tuesday, 10 September 2019. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Perennial, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Anise Hyssop/Hummingbird Mint

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Sometimes it's hard to be thankful for the relentless heat we get in July and August in the Rogue Valley but having an Agastache in your garden will definitely help you learn to appreciate it!  This late blooming perennial thrives in our heat and drought.  Agastaches attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds with their tubular flowers. They thrive in well-drained soil and can even handle gritty or nutrient poor soil.

The key is getting them through our wet winters- so plant them high, add gravel or grit to the hole, and mulch with a 1/4" gravel to keep moisture from the crown.

The other imperative is to not prune Agastaches back until spring, when you see new growth emerging from the base. The woody stems will help it survive the rainy winter; it is usually too much water, not cold, that will do them in. Placing them in full sun, even in the winter months will also help.

A deep soak every couple of weeks will get them through the  summer months but once mine are established I don't water them all summer. Another bonus is their licorice, spicy scent usually repels deer. They pair great with ornamental grasses or wide leaf perennials like Euphorbia and complement the Mediterranean plants like Rosemary and Lavender.

Zauschneria (Epilobium) cana

on Wednesday, 14 August 2019. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Native, Perennial, Ground Cover, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

California Fuchsia

zauschneria everetts choice small

The California Fuchsia is one of the most drought tolerant, heat tolerant, beautiful perennials you can grow.  We're not sure why this California native is not used more- the hard to pronounce name, the two Genus names (we like to use Zauschneria), that fact that you can kill it with kindness, perhaps?  It has been putting on a show for us and the hummingbirds in the garden since mid July and seems to be going strong until we get a severe frost in late October, maybe November.  The trumpet-shaped, hot orange flowers bloom continously and are not ugly as the fade out- they just drop off, no dead brown petals like so many perennials or even annuals.  So there is no deadheading or cleaning up.  The unreal orange color of the blooms is set off by the lovely silvery gray foliage that fits perfectly into a drought tolerant garden.  This northern California native perennial is happiest in a well draining soil (you see them naturally growing out of rock outcroppings) with full sun and low water.   We like to leave up any dormant stems over the winter to help them survive our wet winters and clean them up in early spring.    We have so many kinds!  From ground hugging to taller, upright full on woody-stemmed perennials.  Come check them out!