Friday, February 26, 2016

Favorite plants for February 2016

I thought I would do things a little differently this month and highlight some new acquisitions for my "favorites" post – after all, if I bought them there must be a reason right?

I picked up this Podocarpus Gracilior 'Fern Clouds' at the Christianson’s Nursery booth at the NWFG Show.

Those of you who know this plant might be thinking: "what about it's hardiness?" (or lack of). Indeed...

My thinking, upon seeing this beauty, went something like this: "Wow, that's gorgeous! What is it? Ah a Podocarpus, interesting. Damn. It gets 40-50ft tall and wide, I don't have room for that. Wait, it's only hardy to 25-30F...I've got room for that!"

Is that horrible? Buying it knowing I'm dooming it to death over our next winter? No, I'm not growing it in a container just so I can protect it. I've got enough of those already!

While in Seattle for the show I also picked up this Prostanthera cuneata (common name Alpline Mint Bush) at City People's garden store. I loved the little leaves and it smells so good!

Mine is not a Cistus Nursery plant, but they offer it. Their description: "This little sweetheart from down under came to us via the University of California at Santa Cruz Arboretum. Its dense and fragrant foliage alone is enough reason to grow it, but in midsummer it covers itself in perfect, white, outfacing bells that perfume the air. To 3-4 ft tall in sun to part shade. Prefers well-drained soil and moist conditions. Dislikes sunlight on wet foliage. Frost hardy to 10 °F, USDA zone 8."

I finally bought a Cyclamen (my first)! C. hederifolium, and I have to admit it would be fine with me if it never blooms. From Xera Plants: "A great long-lived bulb in our climate forming large colonies over time. Arrow-shaped marbled leaves emerge in winter and remain until the heat of summer. In late summer through fall delicate, nodding pink to white flowers. Well drained soil that is DRY IN SUMMER. Excellent near the base of large trees with greedy roots. Part shade to shade. Sticky seeds are carried away by ants and new plants appear in various places." Hmm, something's already munching on one of the leaves...

And another Grevillea, this one G. miqueliana. I hear you thinking "Another Grevillea? Does she really need another Grevillea?" Yes, yes I do!

After reading "Proteaceous Plants for Portlandia"on the Xera Plants blog I knew I had to have this one. The leaves are larger, greener...and the flowers! Well Paul (Xera) said it best: "Sunset colored flowers orange/red/yellow are pendulous and once it starts blooming it blooms year round." Orange/red/yellow, yes please! The flower photo, below was, taken by Ian of The Desert Northwest (used by permission).

The Desert NW description: "A beautiful, large, spreading shrub to 10' with rounded, green leaves and sulfur yellow or yellow and red/pink flowers in profusion; this sturdy, adaptable and vigorous plant brings another flower color to the palette of larger-leafed hardy Grevilleas. Like many Grevilleas, it will produce flowers over a long period and always looks great, tolerating drought and poor soil with ease. It is closely related to G. victoriae, and is some older references list it as a subspecies of G. victoriae. Hardy to about 10 °F. Vigorous. Australia."

Finally this little guy, Leonotis leonurus came to me via Secret Garden Growers back when team plant lust did our run of trial orders (speaking of...we've just launched e-commerce on our site!). From SGG: "Tall, bolt upright perennial from N. Africa S. Africa, 4-6’ high and half as wide. Stems are topped with fuzzy orange whorls of red-orange tubular flowers that hummers enjoy summer thru fall. This ‘big cat’ enjoys well drained fertile soil, plenty of sun and regular irrigation. Deer resistant (they’re afraid of lions); try pairing with Verbena bonariensis."

Those are my favorites for February, well along with all the plants that are waking up and blooming right now in my garden, but that's covered on Bloomday. What's made February special in your garden?

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

31 comments:

  1. Oh! That G. miqueliana is very nice... Thanks for the plant buying inspiration!

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  2. I don't think that it's terrible that you bought something that may not survive. You've grown things that certainly should have but didn't, right? Plus I know you like the discovery of something that surprises you by staying around. :)

    Love the Alpine Mint Bush! Also Leonotis leonurus, and I keep forgetting that you're zone 8 -- that's only an annual here.

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    1. And I only recently discovered that Leonotis leonurus may be more than an annual here. We'll see!

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  3. Yay for new plants! AAAnnndd...double yay for Plant Lust and ecommerce! How exciting!

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  4. I'd grow all of them if I could!

    I have had several Leonotis leonurus over the years. They grow very fast here and get lanky if not pruned regularly. I was never ruthless enough to keep them in check so they got too unsightly. This may not be an issue for you.

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    1. Thanks for mentioning that Gerhard, I obviously don't have a lot of space for it to go crazy in so I will be attempting to keep it in check.

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  5. P.S. E-commerce on Plant Lust is a HUGE step!! Congratulations on such a momentous milestone.

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    1. Thank you! We're getting there...

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    2. Thank you! We're getting there...

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  6. As always, you've chosen some great favorites this month! I got G. miqueliana at Xera last year and am very excited that it made it through the winter. Beautiful podocarpus but I'm most tickled by your cyclamen purchase. You'll be an addict in no time!

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    1. No doubt you're right (addict)...where did you plant your G. miqueliana?

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  7. Oh no! Now I NEED another Grevillea! I love Prostanthera, although they seem to be short-lived here. I'm sure you'll love the Leonotis - it's blooms are perfect for your garden. Congrats on PlantLust's next step - I've put my name on the site's wish list for a particular Callistemon.

    My favorites post is here: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2016/02/and-award-goes-to.html

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    1. Yay! Glad to keep the plant lust going.

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  8. Leonotis, is from South Africa.

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    1. Right you are of course! Thank you, made the change.

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  9. South Africa gets all the cool plants. I would love to do a garden tour there one of these days. That Leonotis now also reminds me of West Africa, where they popped up, mostly single-stemmed and light on foliage, throughout the wild bush. They look better in a garden. But so cool to see it in a natural habitat - I never would have guessed they were so tough.

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    1. I'm right there with you on the tour, that would be so much fun.

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  10. I can only dream of the beauties you posted today...that said, I'm definitely not shy using perennials as annuals that aren't hardy in z5! Podocarpus Gracilior 'Fern Clouds' is a beauty!
    What's going on in my Feb. garden? Squat! BUT, I'm excited to do my almost final winter clean-up ;)

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    1. Winter is winding down, even in Denver!?

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    2. Winter is winding down, but that doesn't mean we won't still get snowstorms and freezes. It was 73 yesterday! Mar is coming in like a lamb.

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  11. Beautiful cyclamen. I keep intending to try them, specifically for the foliage.

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    1. That was me! Up until a couple weeks ago.

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  12. Congratulations on the Cyclamen! I have one that isn't winter-hardy, but I bring it inside during the winter and it comes back every year for me. I love the blooms, and they usually make an appearance sometime between Valentine's Day and Easter. That Fern Pine is awesome! I wonder if you could throw burlap over it or bury it perpendicular in the soil during winter? My in-laws in Chicago used to do that with an outside Fig tree, and it revived year after year. Probably not with Fern Pine, but maybe ...

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    1. "bury it perpendicular in the soil during winter"...now that's something I've never heard of!

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  13. Nice new acquisitions Loree, and that Podocarpus is such a beauty! If we had that plant I'd also risk planting it out and hope for the best. Several podocarpus available here were given conservative hardiness that fortunately proved much tougher. Hopefully this one will be one of them.

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  14. Nice additions! Sigh, everything looks so cool and lush and green. I feel relaxed just looking at pictures of your garden.

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  15. Oops. Missed another favorites round-up. I've gotta start planning ahead for these things. I lost one of my Prostanthera cuneata this summer, and the second one isn't looking great either. Excessive summer heat, watering, and clay soil seem to have been a bad mix. I'll have to get some replacements and try them in slightly cooler spots. I wouldn't recommend burying an evergreen horizontally in the soil over winter. It might work with a fig, but not a podocarp.

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  16. I love the little curls that appear as the cyclamen is emerging. The leaves are great, but I must find them in bloom to make sure the blossoms are white. Alas, my few attempts at growing them have been failures. The one time I saw Leonotus at Hortlandia, they flew out the door, even though the vendor assured folks that they were annuals. They are pretty easy to grow from seed.

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  17. Count me in on the fun! I'm looking forward to reading Pam's book! sabrinagardenista@yahoo.com

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