Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daboecia cantabrica

 Daboecia cantabrica 'Rainbow' September 2008

Daboecia cantabrica 'Rainbow' & Hebe recurva September 2008

Daboecia cantabrica is a small shrub known commonly as Irish Heath. Dabeoc is an Irish saint. Cantabria is a province of Spain. Daboecia is closely related to Erica (Heath). The flowers are beautiful balloons of rich purple-pink.  They continue to bloom from spring into fall. Daboecia comes in green & variegated selections. A particularly lovely cultivar is ‘Rainbow’ with green, yellow, & a few pink leaves. Combine 'Rainbow' with dwarf conifers with yellow foliage such as Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Lutea Nana’ & Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Lutea’.  Or try plants with blue-gray foliage such as Hebe recurva for an interesting contrast.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Orange Flowers

 Kniphofia nelsonii June 2009

Berberis darwinii March 2010

Eschscholzia californica May 2009

Lilium columbianum June 2009

Tulipa batalinii ‘Apricot Jewel’ May 2009

Orange flowers bring excitement to the garden. Orange harmonizes with red & brightens purple. Use orange flowers in a blue garden for a richer experience. For an ultra-brite effect use orange & yellow flowers against red foliage.  Orange & pink flowers together make a quirky contrast. Among the most popular and useful orange flowers are Crocosmia & Kniphofia.  An orange flower that fascinated me in childhood was Lilium lancifolium.  Now I am more entranced by Tulipa batalinii ‘Apricot Jewel.

Berberis darwinii (Barberry): sun or shade
Chaenomeles ‘Orange Delight’ (Quince): sun
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ (Witch Hazel): shade
Rhododendron occidentale (Western Azalea): shade
Rosa ‘Strike It Rich’ (Grandiflora Rose): sun

Perennials: all for sun
Achillea millefolium ‘Terra Cotta’
Agastache aurantiaca (Hummingbird Mint)’
Antirrhinum majus ‘Golden Gate’ (Snapdragon)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
Canna ‘Tropicanna’
Chrysanthemum ‘Kelvin Mandarin’ or ‘Robin’
Crocosmia ‘Emberglow’
Dahlia ‘Flame’
Digitalis obscura (Foxglove)
Echinacea ‘Art’s Pride’ or ‘Sunset’ (Coneflower)
Eremurus ‘Shelford Cleopatra’ (Foxtail Lily)
Eschscholzia californica (California Poppy)
Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’
Fritillaria imperialis (Crown Imperial)
Gaillardia ‘Oranges and Lemons’ (Blanket Flower)
Geum ‘Fireball’
Gladiolus ‘Georgette’
Glaucium flavum (Horn Poppy)
Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ or ‘Wyndley’ (Sneezeweed)
Hemerocallis ‘Apricot Sparkles’ (Daylily)
Iris ’Cinderella’s Coach’
Kniphofia nelsonii (Torch Lily)
Lilium columbianum or lancifolium (Tiger Lily)
Papaver orientale ‘Allegro Vivace’ (Poppy)
Phygelius capensis ‘Salmon’s Leap’
Potentilla fruticosa ‘Mango Tango’
Ratibida columnifera (Mexican Hat)
Tulipa batalinii ‘Apricot Jewel’ or ‘Little Princess’

Groundcovers & Trailers: all for sun
Gazania ‘Tanager’
Helianthemum nummularium ‘Ben More’ (Sunrose)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Acer circinatum

 Acer circinatum

 Acer circinatum 

One of the most useful Washington native plants for Seattle gardens is Acer circinatum or Vine Maple. Acer circinatum grows in sun or shade, needs no irrigation once established. Multiple, slender trunks rise 20 to 30 feet with a 10 to 15-foot spread. The small size, slender silhouette & tolerance for shade make Vine Maple perfect for planting between houses on tight city lots. Acer circinatum is particularly charming among coniferous forest trees such as Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) & Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir) where the rounded leaves in summer & bare branches in winter provide a wonderful contrast. In fall, Vine Maple leaves flame in red, orange & yellow providing one of the most colorful & reliable displays of color in the Pacific Northwest. The graceful upright form (somewhat like a clump of Bamboo) also makes Acer circinatum a lovely specimen tree.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Fall Garden

 Panicum virgatum November 2009

Acer circinatum October 2009

 Crocus kotschyanus October 2008
Hydrangea quercifolia October 2008

One of the rarest gardens in the Seattle area is the fall garden. Although fall is best for planting, many more plants are available in spring. Visit nurseries in early fall to see what is blooming, fruiting, or showing fall color. Many plants on this list offer interest at other times. Cornus florida (Eastern Dogwood) flowers lavishly in spring, then shows good color in Fall. Diospyros (Persimmon) offers both fruit & fall foliage color. Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree) offers a bonanza of fruit & flowers in fall. Plant it with Acer circinatum (Vine Maple) or Acer palmatum dissectum 'Garnet' (Cutleaf Japanese Maple) for an amazing show.

Trees (for fall foliage)
Acer circinatum (Vine Maple): sun or shade
Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree): sun or shade, fruit & flowers
Cornus florida ‘Cherokee Princess’ (Eastern Dogwood): sun or shade, foliage & fruit
Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree): sun or shade
Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Red Ash): sun
Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair Tree): sun
Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gum): sun
Pyrus calleryana ‘Redspire’ (Flowering Pear): sun
Sorbus (Mountain Ash): sun, fruit & foliage

Shrubs (for fall foliage, except as noted)
Acer palmatum dissectum (Cutleaf Japanese Maple)
Amelanchier alnifolia (Western Serviceberry): sun or shade
Berberis thunbergii ‘Crimson Pygmy’ (Barberry): sun
Callicarpa bodinieri (Beautyberry): sun, fruit
Diospyros (Persimmon): sun, fruit & foliage
Hamamelis x intermedia (Witch Hazel): shade
Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea): sun or shade
Lagerstroemia hybrids (Crape Myrtle): sun
Paeonia suffruticosa (Tree Peony): sun
Punica granatum (Pomegranate): sun, fruit
Rhus typhina (Sumac): sun
Ribes sanguineum (Flowering Currant): sun or shade
Rosa rugosa (Sea Tomato): sun, fruit & foliage
Vaccinium corymbosum (Blueberry): sun

Perennials (for sun & fall bloom, except as noted)
Andropogon gerardi ‘Big Daddy’ (Big Bluestem Grass): foliage
Anemone x hybrida (Japanese Anemone): shade
Epilobium californicum (aka Zauschneria, California Fuchsia)
Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed)
Liriope muscari (Lily Turf): shade
Panicum virgatum (Switch Grass): foliage
Physalis alkekengi (Chinese Lantern): fruit
Solidago (Goldenrod)
Tricyrtis (Toad Lily): Shade
Zauschneria californica (California Fuchsia)

Groundcovers & Trailers
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi: sun or shade, fruit
Zauschneria garrettii ‘Orange Carpet’ (Creeping Hummingbird Carpet): sun, flowers