... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Some winter color

My friend Dan got me thinking about getting more color into the winter landscape... so I told him I'd try to get pictures of the few things around here that aren't brown or gray. Here are some of my favorites [sort of in order from most colorful to least]:
Nandina 'Firepower' - Wow! From a distance it almost looks like an azaelea in bloom
 'Goldthread' Cypress - Also pretty intensely colored but in pretty golden yellow.
 'Emerald Green' Arborvitae - just a beautiful dense evergreen with cool texture
 'Convexa' Japanese Holly - I grew up loving these neat evergreen shrubs, so HAD to plant some here.
 Dianthus 'Baths Pink' - a little weathered but still attractively blue-gray-green
'Salem' Rosemary - touted as being more cold-hardy than typical rosemary, and I'd have to agree with that claim. Having survived several winters now, it's made a great evergreen bush and has supplied lots of seasoning for the kitchen. One of our favorite uses is to flavor some butter and olive oil by sizzling two small branches for a couple of minutes. Then saute a little garlic in it and add a splash of lemon juice and salt. This is great for flavoring up a bowl of pasta.
 Blue Wood Sedge and another Dianthus - I collected the wood sedge from the woods at my in-laws in Pennsylvania. It was just a tiny little thing when I planted it. Now it's a dense clump and has great blue-green color still in late winter.
 'Elijah Blue' fescue and species hybrid irises - the fescue is a small piece I'd ripped of the mother plants by accident while weeding. The species irises are hybrids from the bearded iris species Iris purpureobractea. They also have quite a bit of Iris pallida in them and are much more evergreen than bearded irises tend to usually be around here.
 Dwarf Mondo Grass - rabbit nibbled and frost nipped but still has quite a bit of "green-ness" to it.
Well, hope this little bit of color cheers up the dreary winter day!

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