Aug-27-2005 at 10:26pm
Can anyone recommend a neat, low-growing evergreen shrub/bush that will take hot afternoon sun. (Dare I ask that it be fragrant also?) I have Winter Daphne planted in full hot sun and they don't seem to be suffering, altho' I read that they should be protected. I'd love more of it!
Aug-28-2005 at 10:26am
1. Port Orford or Cham Lawsoniana "Ellwoods White, growes in columnar shape, dwarf. Grows slowly, 3 to 6 inches a year.
2. Dwarf Gold Thread, weeping, slow growth to 4 ft very graceful mound.
3. Dwarf Golden hinoki Cypress, "Nana Lutea" 3' tall
I love the brightness that all of these evergrees bring to the border.
Aug-28-2005 at 10:36pm
Deb--my first choice would probably be choisya. Nice fragrant flowers, fairly low growing...could be pruned back as the years go by to keep it at the desired height.
In spite of being called "Mexican" orange, it isn't a complete lover of sizzling heat, but should be able to handle a sunny, hot exposure in our area. It is native to mountain valleys in Mexico, not low desertlike spots.
There are also Australian natives like bottlebrush that would love all the heat we can come up with around here. Choose a fairly hardy species like subulatus or Woodlander's Hardy, rather than the common but very marginally hardy citrinus. My little subulatus is unfazed by the recent heat wave right against my south facing wall.
Happy choosing! Glen
Aug-29-2005 at 9:38am
Thanks Glen. I do have a Mexican Orange which I love and think I prefer something broadleaf like it. But I was told when I bought it that it was marginally hardy in our area. I'll have to check out the bottlebrush.
Aug-29-2005 at 5:14pm
I have an evergreen huckleberry growing in full hot sun that seems to be doing OK. Just love it!
Aug-29-2005 at 8:42pm
Hebes are always great low growing shrubs too. I love their small evergreen leaves, at least the small-leaved ones. They have beautiful bottle brush like flowers that come in many different colors.
Aug-31-2005 at 5:49pm
I have a nice Escallonia x exoniensis 'Fradesii' which is on the south side of my house and does great, sorry, I don't think the flowers are fragrant but they are abbundent and pretty. It only gets about 6' tall.
You also might try an Indian Hawthorn. Mine is Phaphiolepis umbellata 'Minor' Gulf Green. It is only to get 3 to 4' tall and wide and has fragrant white flowers in spring, very nice looking bush. This one is also exposed to the sun all day.
Good luck in your hunt for just the right bush.
Sep-02-2005 at 8:19pm
Rosemary is a fragrant shrub that will take hot afternoon sun. Small, blue flowers. I love "Tuscan Blue". Rosemary does need good drainage.
Caryopteris is another sun-loving shrub. Lovely blue flowers.
Lavender--also needs good drainage.
Pacific Wax Myrtle, Tall Oregon Grape and Silk Tassel Bush are 3 natives that you might consider. None of the 3 natives are fragrant, and the Oregon Grape may not get as tall as you want in the sun.
Sep-03-2005 at 10:28pm
I must live closer to the Cascades than some of you. I saw some Hebe that I liked and was told again that it isn't always hardy here? I also was told bottlebrush isn't hardy here. I liked the pictures I saw of Indian Hawthorn and one of the Dwarf Cypress. I also remembered that I'd planned to put some boxwood in this foundation planting but am not so excited about it anymore. So far I've got a Purple Smoke Tree (yes Debbit TT-not sure how long I'll leave it there), Yucca, and Bronze New Zealand Flax. Something kind of large leafed and dark green maybe w/blooms is what I'm thinking I need?
Sep-04-2005 at 10:25am
Some hebes are hardier than others. The rule of thumb, the smaller the leaf, the hardier the hebe, seems to be a relatively reliable tool. The North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora, Oregon has conducted extensive research on hebes for our region: read about their results here.
Sep-04-2005 at 10:56am
Lisa--too bad the data is older from the hebe project. The last few January's have been more challenging to the hebes!
I absolutely love hebes, and have found many varieties that did well thru these colder winters. I also lost several common varieties that just aren't good for the PNW. The variegata, Patty's Purple, and Amy are all nice looking, but can't take a cold, dry arctic blast at all.
My favs right now are Caledonia, Purple Dome and Imposter, all of which survived a long spell of hard freeze last Jan. Other very hardy ones here have been Mrs. Winder, Nicola's Blush, and Wiri Spears...no damage at all so far.
I do like the Amy so much I keep it in a container frost free over winter, but it is toast unprotected in a cold snap.
Deb E, I'm in a cold microclimate here, and my bottlebrush did fine last winter. It depends a lot on the species, many or most of those sold are the most tender type (citrinus) probably coz it grows fast in CA where most are produced. Places like Cistus would probably have more choices.
My Indian Hawthorn hasn't been the hardiest little guy either, just a little warning. Very common in California, but getting a bit borderline up here I think. Very pretty tho, and worth the gamble!
Sep-04-2005 at 11:52am
I too live in a colder area, so Glen's personal experience with hebes is very interesting. I agree completely about variegata, Patty's Purple, and Amy, but I haven't tried the other hardier ones, I will have to do it. When you live in a colder area you just have to realize some plants are a gamble. Some, like the Choiysia and Escallonia, will resprout easily from the roots if they had a year or so to establish. Some, like hebes, just die. I have heard other good reports about that particular variety of bottlebrush and I wish I had a good area to grow it.
I'm always on the look out for larger leaved plants too, they add a good texture to the garden. Everyone has already given you great suggestions so I will only give one more. How about a dwarf oak leaf Hydrangea? Snow Queen gets 4-6 ft. and Pee Wee and some other dwarf ones only get 3-4 ft. tall. I know they are considered deciduous but I have one under a tree that never loses all it's leaves and they are a beautiful bronzy red all winter. The old flower heads are also pretty all winter. They can take more sun and less water then the regular hydrangea. There is also a dwarf variety with chartreuse green leaves that is very pretty too, I don't remember it's name right now, and I'm not sure if it can take as much sun as the regular green varieties. It is a great plant for shady places (but not dry, deep shade].
Sep-04-2005 at 12:16pm
I looked up it's name and the dwarf golden hydrangea is called "Little Honey'. It is a new plant but a local wholesaler is growing it and there should be a good supply next year if you can't find it this year. OK, so I also thought of one more suggestion, I can't help myself. If you like Daphnes, how about another one? Like burkwoodii or one of it's varieties, or rock Daphne, or Daphne 'Lawrence Crocker'? It is like rock Daphne but is easier to grow and blooms all summer.
Sep-04-2005 at 1:41pm
Unfortunately, I live in probably one of the warmer winter pockets, so I sometimes forget some things that may do well for me are not going to do so well in colder areas. Although you may have warmer pockets in parts of the garden, protected south facing wall or under the canopy of a forest of conifers.
Having said all that there are hebes that are hardier as others have pointed out. Some are worth trying as their foliage is wonderful and the bonus is their beautiful flowers.
Sep-05-2005 at 11:27am
Huh, that data wasn't current? Serves me right for not reading it through before posting. I'm fairly sure they have more recent data but perhaps it hasn't been posted yet. I'll do some snooping and see if I can find out more. Gardening in Sunset Zone 6, USDA Zone 8.
Sep-05-2005 at 10:30pm
So many choices. I'll have to get busy looking these up. Thanks everybody!
Sep-15-2005 at 10:54pm
In case anybody's wondering...I've ended up w/Mt. Vernon Laurel, Box Honeysuckle, NZ Flax (Bronze), Purple Smoke Tree, NZ Sedge-Frosty Curls, Japanese Sedge-Ice Plant? (I think), another golden evergreen grass that I can't remember the name of but absolutely love, Black Mondo grass and I'll probably move a boxwood to the shady side of the porch. I researched a gazillion things and liked everything suggested but for one reason or another this is what I've got. Still thinking maybe about Dwarf Conifer on either corner if I run across one that really grabs me. Thanks again!
Sep-16-2005 at 9:34am
I am hoping that Hebe 'patty's purple' will hold up fine where I am. I just planted two along the inside of my fence. I was hoping that they would make a nice hedge of sorts along that side. I also have hebe 'red edge' which has not been planted yet. Is this one hardier then others or will there be a problem? I thought of planting it on the east-north east side of the house in a bed around the foundation.
Also speaking of bronze flax, how long can that be in a medium sized glazed container before it needs to be planted in the ground?
Sep-16-2005 at 9:49am
I grow 'Red Edge' hebe, sparklemama. It's been in the ground at least 3 years. It came through a hard winter of snow and ice without any problems.
I did hear that George Taylor, Oregon's climatologist, is predicting a winter like the one of '95 - '96. If that comes true, I don't know how that will compare to our winter of 2 years ago (or was it 3?). I'm hoping our resident weather expert, Gary, will voice his wisdom for us.
Sep-16-2005 at 11:33am
When you ask how long your phormium can be in the container are you concerned about it being cold hardy or getting rootbound or??? I've seen a lot of them grown permanently in containers as display plants and they look very healthy. They say the fancy multi-color hybrids are not as hardy as species Phormium tenax but I've got some really large species that been moved numerous times over the past 5 years and have spent over a year at a time in black nursery pots without damage and some smaller hybrids that actually did fine,too.
Sep-16-2005 at 8:33pm
Sparkle--like Harley I think of hardiness of phormiums in containers first. They are definite zone 8 plants in the ground, so quite reliable most places in PNW. But in containers, I'm always paranoid about them, at least up this way. I do see lots that survive winters, but also many that don't in tubs and pots.
I would definitely move the plant up against the house wall, away from the winter wind, during any cold snaps. And also bring it inside, hopefully to a very cool room or garage, during any really cold outbreak, rather than letting the rootball freeze solid. Then get it back outside as soon as it thaws.
But you were mostly thinking about how many years you can keep it in the same pot. As a sometime nursery grower, I try to pot up everything at least once a year...that is the general rule of thumb. But yes, you could keep it for perhaps 3 years or more in the same container if you feed and water it carefully...kind of like you baby along a hanging basket that tends to have way "too much" plant for the size of container. It just gets harder and harder to keep the plant happy and healthy looking as it gets more oversized for the container.
Sep-17-2005 at 7:00am
And you can aways divide them so you can re pot a part of the plant back into the container you want. I do that or make a cutting for the houseplants that go outside for the summer in anticipation of bringing them inside for the winter because I don't have much room. I call it shrinking my plants.
Sep-17-2005 at 7:13am
Deb E, the carex Ice Dance is a very pretty one but the other people at the nursery said it seems much more prone to browning then the other ones, I don't know why and I haven't seen it myself. I'm trying to water it extra carefully. Let us know if it does ok. It's good to know Red edged Hebe is hardy. It does have those smaller leaves. Are the flowers pretty? I think it was smart to only plant two Patty's Purple Hebes at first so you can see how they do.
Sep-17-2005 at 8:03am
So far Ice Dance is doing great. Planted more in another bed some time ago. The golden one I forgot the name of is Variegated Sweet Flag-Acorus Gramineus 'Ogon'. Looks like all of these need watering.