Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Still Green, Still Kicking
Euphorbia 'Blue Jeans' with Pennisetum 'Hameln'
Well, our first frost has come and gone, and with Portland's typically mild winter temps returning, I ventured out this weekend and took stock of what was going on in the garden. Having previously lived in zone 3-4, I am constantly amazed at what can not only live through the winters here, in Zone 8, but actually keep actively growing! Even so, the with the recent frost, many things have gone to sleep for the year, and I'll look forward to seeing them again in the spring.
I'm not entirely sure if this Oxalis is really evergreen, or if it will crumple later this winter when temps dip into freezing again. Nevertheless, it made it though our first freeze with flying colors and has perked up again.
Schizachyrium 'The Blues' Little Bluestem
I kinda love this grass all year long, it has wonderful color and (when it isn't flopping) a nice form. My favorite time in it's growing season is actually right now, it's coloring is stunning, a mix of red, purple, blue, orange. I have it planted among my Persicaria 'Taurus' and it compliments it beautifully.
Left: Euphorbia 'Blackbird' Right: Centranthus ruber
Most Portlanders are very familiar with Euphorbia, but they were totally alien to me when I first moved here. I have grown to love them over the years, both for their interesting, evergreen foliage, and their oddly beautiful flowers, which usually occur early in spring. Centranthus may well be considred a noxious weed by some in the NW, it grows and reseeds everywhere! I love it though, it is easy to grow and beautiful, offering and almost unmatched season of interest, both it's foliage and flowers.
I haven't quite jumped on the Heuchera bandwagon yet. It's not that I don't love the colors, I just don't have a lot of space to spare for low-growing plants (I know, it's my weird thing). I did, however, make room for a few 'Marmalade' and a purple-leaved variety, whose name I never remember. I didn't realize that they are also semi-evergreen her in PDX...which is a nice bonus, however!
While the foliage of this Agastache is kaput, it's little crown of basal foliage remains, the promise of what's to come next spring. Interestingly, a few of the Agastaches are still green, including 'Golden Jubilee', 'Blue Fortune' and 'Desert Sunrise'. Granted, they are shedding leaves by the day, but hey, I'll enjoy it while it lasts!
Part of the reason I bought this Geranium is for its lovely, divided, evergreen leaves...and I'm glad to see they are fulfilling that role admirably!
Left: Maidenhair Fern Right: Knautia Macedonica
This delicate little fern I got this summer at Bosky Dell Natives is proving to be a tough little thing! The Knautia not only remains green, but is still blooming! The foliage color is stunning this time of year, it's a bright almost lime green and really stands out!
Artemisia 'Powis Castle' and Muhlenbergia cappilaris
The always dependable 'Powis Castle' is also, happily, evergreen here in our climate. I can count on its low mound of silvery foliage all year. Sadly, it's flopped a bit and is open in the center. Since it's grown to over 6' in diameter, I've decided to chop it back to the ground next spring and let it re-grow. Behind it is the little stand of Pink Muhly Grass, which is also pretty much evergreen in our climate.
I finally broke down and bought a Carex this fall. I've come around and instead of finding them merely "intersting" I have started to appreciate their subtle beauty and lovely, warm colors.
Verbena 'Homestead Purple' and Verbena rigida, also, Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
The Verbena are such tough plants, I'm always a little amazed at how they endure through the winter, I always thing of them as semi-tropical. The Sedum is usually completely yellow by now, but must be a bit more sheltered in this location, and it's just starting to turn and is mostly green.
There are a few other things that have remained green that I keep forgetting to snap pics of, the Astrantia, Pennisetum 'Tall Tails', Geranium Rozanne, Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve', Sedum 'Autumn Joy', various Monarda, Rudbeckia, Persicaria and Helenium.