|[ Deer Oak (Quercus sadleriana) | Posted on October 29, 2017 ]
Called Deer Oak or Sadler Oak, this is a shrub oak native to N. California and Southern Oregon from 600-2200m elevation mainly the Klamath and Siskiyou Mountains, in open coniferous forests, likes rocky ridges and open areas, can survive shade. Tolerates heavy winter rains and hot dry summers. The leaves look like a chestnut tree. Does well in the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. Considered suitable for Xeriscaping.
|[ Leucosidea sericea | Posted on October 25, 2017 ]
Leucosidea sericea is a large evergreen shrub or small tree from southern Africa and Madagascar. Called ouhout or oldwood in South Africa. It grows at elevations of 3500-6000 ft (1000-2000m) along streams in dry areas, and is tolerant of heavy frost. It has a twisted growth habit, with "character", and attractive reddish shaggy bark. The deadwood is very white. It will grow quickly if it gets enough water, but looks old and established when still young due to the bark and wizened growth habit. The leaves are green, slightly furry and toothed, and the general appearance is silvery green.
|[ Digger's Speedwell (Veronica perfoliata) | Posted on October 22, 2017 ]
This Parahebe (now included in the genus Veronica) is native to Australia, so you know it is drought tolerant. It is a root-hardy evergreen subshrub, but it blooms on last year's stalks, so a year might be missed if the plant is pruned hard too late the prior year, or if killed to the ground so that it has to resprout. It is a lax plant, with unusual dusty blue-gray perfoliate leaves and lovely violet-blue flowers for a long time from late spring into summer. Place in sun or light shade. It is a "Great Plants Pick" for the Maritime Northwest for dry shade! Very easy in Seattle. Nothing bothers it.
|[ California Fuchsia (Epilobium septentrionale 'Select Mattole') | Posted on October 8, 2017 ]
I planted this two years ago and it is terrific. This variety is a "Great Plant Pick" for the Pacific Northwest, but I worried my clay might be a problem. I put it in full sun on a slope in some rocks in my horrid clay soil. It blooms for at least 4 months nonstop, and the Hummingbirds like it. I water it about once every month when it does not rain, but it never wilts or seems to suffer (It's from California, after all). I have not seen any seedlings, and it is a clumper not a runner. It emerges late in the spring.
|[ Sutherland Hebe (Veronica pinguifolia 'Sutherlandii') | Posted on October 3, 2017 ]
Very hardy in Seattle area, steadily grows outward but can be pruned. Completely trouble free. Smothers weeds. Flowers are white, not showy against the light green foliage..
|[ Japanese Red Pine (Pinus densiflora) | Posted on April 10, 2017 ]
Needles are not prickly, which is nice.
|[ Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis Blue Balloon®) | Posted on April 10, 2017 ]
A favorite, really nice shrub. I cut it to about 8" tall in early spring, then it grows to about 4 ft tall. In late summer it is covered with flowers, the bees go nuts. I never do anything to it except cut it down every year, it tolerates terrible summer drought and soggy Seattle winters in clay. The leaves are fresh and nice all spring and summer. I think it might get huge if I did not cut it down, even in a cold winter it does not die back to the roots here. It does not spread out and take over the flowerbed, and I have had just one seedling in all these years. I had tried 'Dark Knight' twice, each time it only lasted one year. For this area, 'Blue Balloon' seems like a much tougher cultivar.
|[ Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum Blue Muffin™) | Posted on February 8, 2017 ]
I have a 'Blue Muffin" in my garden near Seattle, for maybe 5 years. It is perfectly healthy and perfectly drought tolerant, and tolerates saturated clay all winter on a slight slope (no standing water). It is MUCH larger than the label stated, it is over 8 feet tall now and growing fast, also it suckers, has become a thicket, and the branches splay out and take root where they touch the ground. It is probably 14 feet across, even with yearly pruning of the sides. I cannot imagine why they said this is a small cultivar, it is a monster shrub.
|[ Geranium (Geranium x magnificum) | Posted on February 6, 2017 ]
Very drought tolerant. Loved by bees. It does flop after flowering, so I just cut it to the ground and let it grow up again. The new leaves look nice and don't flop. Mine is planted in clay in full sun in Seattle.
|[ Indigo Woodland Sage (Salvia forsskaolei) | Posted on October 21, 2016 ]
I bought this at a plant sale in Washington from a small grower who specialized in Salvias. I was admiring his Salvias, and told him I had sworn off the entire genus now that I garden on clay. Not a single one I had tried would make it through the winter. He told me to buy this species Salvia. It survives on clay, and even can take a bit of shade. So true! It does look a bit weedy, with big basal leaves, but all is forgiven when it blooms, which it does profusely and for months! It's been 3 years and it is very reliable.