Articles in Category: Winter Interest

Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose'

on Monday, 02 August 2010. Posted in Winter Interest, Deer Resistant, Grasses, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Karley Rose Oriental Fountain Grass


An easy to grow, soft textured fountain grass, 'Karley Rose' will give you months of light pink blooms that are great for floral arrangements but aren't attractive to the deer.  This Pennisetum is cold hardier than the straight species and blooms earlier than other species like 'Hamelyn'.   The rose pink blooms start in early summer and continue til frost.  Once the blades and blooms dry out to a autumnal tan the sillouette remains pretty in the frost of winter.  It needs cut back in fall or early spring for the new growth to emerge.  Besides that, there is no care to this drought tolerant, deer resistant grass.   With the blooms, 'Karley Rose' tops out at about 3' tall and 24-30" wide.  It is easy to divide to create a massed effect in your garden.  It looks great backlit by early morning or late afternoon sun and pairs nicely with Sedums, Echinaceas and other large flowered perennials.  Full sun or light shade and well draining soil is best, it doesn't want to be in boggy soil.

Feijoa sellowiana

on Monday, 26 July 2010. Posted in Good for Screening, Winter Interest, Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Edible, Deer Resistant, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Pineapple Guava


The botanical name is difficult but you CAN grow something as tropical sounding as Pineapple Guava in your yard, plus it's drought tolerant and deer resistant- our two favorite qualitites.  Reading about it you will find that it can get quite large, but in our climate we find it will stay about 4-6' tall and wide and can be easily pruned to 4'.  Feijoa has very fresh looking, thick leaves with a silvery underside that look great with other Meditteranean themed plants or especially for highlighting purple leafed plants like Smokebush or Barberry.  The flowers are not very large and are kind of tucked into the plant but when you do see them the red stamens shine against the pale pink petals.  The flowers are edible and some customers have reported actually ripening fruit on their shrubs.  Our summers are not usually long enough but if it's placed in just the right microclimate, against a south wall, you may be able enjoy Pineapple Guava fruit.   A warm, protected microclimate with good drainage will also help it survive the winter.  Feijoa are hardy to around 10 degrees; about the same as an Escallonia, but they seem to grow back from the base if damaged.  They will take both heat and drought and the evergreen, coarse leaves discourage deer.

Stipa gigantea

on Monday, 12 July 2010. Posted in Winter Interest, Evergreen, Deer Resistant, Grasses, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Giant Feather Grass


In the quest for evergreen ornamental grasses, the Giant Feather Grass provides the evergreen green blades but the standout is the 6' tall blooms that shimmer in the evening light and last much longer than most ornamental grasses.  The 2-3' tall clump of foliage can be cut back in the winter to refresh it or left alone to have a permanent presence in the garden.  The blooms start emerging in May and retain their good looks until frost starts to beat them up and need cut back.  Besides that, there is no maintenance needed for this grass and the inflorescences rise dramatically above other perennials or shrubs.  Stipa gigantea is drought tolerant in well drained soil, deer resistant, heat tolerant and has interest all year long.  They look wonderful as a single accent or could be massed for a naturalistic garden.  By the way, it doesn't seed around like its cousin- Stipa tenuissima or Mexican Feather Grass.  It's difficult to photograph the quality of the light as it shines through the blooms, but come visit and we'll show you!

Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'

on Monday, 24 May 2010. Posted in Winter Interest, Evergreen, Fall Color, Ground Cover, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Angelina Stonecrop


We're always looking for a Sedum that looks good all year and this one gives a rainbow of colors throughout the seasons.  It's easy to use in a container or as an evergreen groundcover that is drought tolerant, cold hardy to Zone 3, and deer resistant (should be).  We have it dotted throughout a rock garden as a yellow and orange highlight against creeping thymes and hens and chicks.  A small piece of the plant casually planted (or dropped!) will easily root so you can spread it where you like.   Quickly gets to 15-18" wide and about 4" inches tall with yellow flowers in late summer.  The needle-like leaves will be more yellow in full sun and get red and orange highlights in colder weather and green up in more shade.  In spring it had green, yellow, orange, and red all on the same plant, just like a rainbow. 

Hesperaloe parviflora

on Monday, 17 May 2010. Posted in Winter Interest, Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Red False Yucca


Red False Yucca is better behaved than it's common name connection to yucca but is still heat and drought tolerant.  It makes a tidy clump of blue toned blades but doesn't make offshoots every which way.  And the flowers are spectacular- dozens of salmon colored tubular flowers attract hummingbirds throughout the summer.  This has been our plant of choice to replace New Zealand Flax that have died this winter.  It comes from the higher elevations in Texas and Mexico, so seems to tolerate our cold winters better as long as it has well drained soil and full sun.  The sturdy blades are not sharp or pointy so they would work near a path or pool and get about 2-3' tall and wide with the flower spikes reaching 4-5' tall.  It is also deer resistant and does well as a focal point in containers in a hot spot.