Most of this month's favorites share a very important feature. They're planted right by the front door so I see them regularly, even without venturing outside into the non-stop rain fest that our winter has been (that not really an exaggeration by the way, we've had over 21" of rain since December 1st, our avg annual precipitation is around 39").
I'll start with what I'd declared was my last attempt at growing Yucca gloriosa 'Bright Star'. I love this plant but every year about this time it's attractive leaves would begin to be covered by yuccacne, gross brown spots. The spots would get bigger and then the entire leaf would be brown and beg to be amputated. Then I saw one growing in a hanging container and thought maybe the added air circulation would be just the thing. Well, yes, it works!
And yes I took these photos from inside the house, hence the spots you can see on our not-so-clean door (classy!). Over the summer the Yucca was facing out, toward the street, but the weight of the saturated soil has twisted the wires somehow and now it refuses to face any direction but in. Of course I'm not complaining because it's all the better to see the beautiful Yucca (Hardy in Zones 7a-11 ).
Another plant I've really enjoyed the last month is this Saxifraga taygetea 'Rotundifolia'. I noticed after I bought it that it was labeled as hardy to USDA Zone 10. Lame. I put it in the ground anyway and look! It's survived 24 F, below freezing temperatures continually for over 48 hours and being covered with snow and ice. Definitely not Zone 10! There is very little information about this plant online, so I really don't know if it was mislabeled or just not enough is known and the grower guessed at it's hardiness.
The Daphne x houtteana took a bit of a beating during the snow and ice adventure but I do love how it's leaves and the leaves of the Saxifraga look together.
Next up, Euphorbia x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow'...
These went in back when I planted for the Ornamental Cabbage & Kale Challenge and I've enjoyed them ever since. Their bright cheerful coloring has been appreciated during our abnormally grey winter.
One of the nice things about this Euphorbia is that it stays relatively compact, growing to only a couple of feet tall and wide, unlike other spurges that can become good sized monsters. Hardy in Zones 5a-9b it can make do with sun, part sun, to part shade conditions...
However as this plant growing in shade in another section of my garden shows you will get different colors depending on the amount of sun it gets.
I'm tossing in another Euphorbia, just for fun. E. amygdaloides ‘Ruby Glow’. Usually dark leaved Euphorbias disappoint me. I picked this one up on a whim, figuring I had nothing to lose, but so far it's done really well. The folks at Digging Dog nursery seem to like it too: "A gorgeous medley of deep burgundy, bronzy maroon and ruby red suffuses this Euphorbia's head turning foliage. Cresting a well-groomed base defined by plush evergreen leaves and sturdy stems, plentiful ebullient chartreuse blooms provide vivid contrast. Compact, hardy and downright irresistible ‘Ruby Glow’ can be nestled near the front of the border, along a pathway or showcased in a patio container. Blooms March–May. Size: 12"–18" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 6."
Finally, this knock out...Acacia baileyana 'Purpurea'.
It was gift from a kind reader who didn't have a place for it. I picked it up right before our snow and ice hit so it spent a week or so in the (unheated) garage, it couldn't have cared less. Oh and I almost forgot, this special plant came with a name, Mrs. Bailey...(!!!)
I was out doing a check over on the shade pavilion greenhouse prisoners and noticed how wonderfully the light was hitting the new purple growth. I went a little overboard taking photos...
Folks say this one is hard to Zone 7, but I've heard stories that it isn't even safe in our Zone 8. Thus it will probably stay in a container.
Isn't that color to die for?
So those are my January fav's...what are yours? Please, tell us about them...
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