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New Plant
New/Featured for 2020

Full Sun
Full Sun

Partial Shade
Partial Shade

Shade Lover
Full Shade

Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

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Picture Available

Drawing Available
Drawing Available

(PPAF) = Propagation of this plant prohibited without a license.

Hardiness Zone Map


Origanum

Oregano

The Greeks called this ancient herb oros ganos, meaning “joy of the mountain,” and legend has it that Aphrodite created the sweet spicy scent of its leaves as a symbol of happiness. A sun-loving genus hailing from the Mediterranean, Origanums display small, tubular, whorled flowers often arranged in showy overlapping bracts, and prefer sharp-draining soil.

<i>Origanum</i> x ‘Amethyst Falls’

Esteemed plantsman and Bluebird Nursery owner Harlan Hamernik selected this Origanum for its exceptional floral detail. Aromatic, glaucous green-gray leaves compile a shapely drought-resistant bed that unleashes large pendent sprays distinguished by layered chartreuse bracts and small, protruding vivid amethyst flowers. Delivering an unparalleled, several month showing, ‘Amethyst Falls’ can be staged in a container or an easily viewed site with a sunny southwestern exposure and quick-draining soil, while the extravagant quantities of rotund cone-like blooms can be left on to promote winter hardiness. (PPAF)

Blooms August–October

Size: 15" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Origanum</i> ‘Bristol Cross’

Assuming an air of refinement, the very slender blooms feature small, deep rose and chartreuse bracts that resemble decorative braids. Tipped with tiny purple flowers, the clustered bracts are held at nearly right angles to upright and reddish leafy stems. Grounded by medium green foliage, this long lasting, delicate floral display casts earthy yet saturated hues in the border or an arrangement.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 6" – 8" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Origanum</i> ‘Kent Beauty’ <i>Origanum</i> ‘Kent Beauty’

While quite dainty, Elizabeth Strangman’s lovely hybrid actually appreciates hot dry conditions. If this isn’t enough to recommend it, ‘Kent Beauty’ produces a plethora of plump rosy bracts—some 2 to 3 in. long—that resemble Hops and are prized by those who love dried arrangements. Rounded and paired, the inch-long, blue-green leaves clasp trailing, thin wine-tinted stems. A natural atop a stone wall, this compact Origanum’s nodding blooms and intriguing foliage make a splendid statement.

Blooms August–October

Size: 12" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Origanum libanoticum</i>

Decorated by small rose-pink flowers, droves of stacked, overlapping pale green and blush-colored bracts look like slender papery ornaments. Superb in dried bouquets, these large fanciful blooms hang from the tips of long, wiry, arching stems, loosely lined with smooth, nearly round, green leaves. A little more upright and more open than ‘Kent Beauty’, this captivating Origanum deserves a spot where it can be easily cherished.

Blooms August–October

Size: 12" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

Legions of compact Hop-styled dusky rose-colored bracts—festooned by tiny pink flowers and ideal for drying—reside at the ends of narrow pendulous stems. Exhibiting opposite, rounded green leaves and a form that is similar to Origanum ‘Santa Cruz’, but is smaller statured and not as spreading, this adorable Origanum comes to us from Oregon’s Goodwin Creek Gardens.

Blooms July – September.

Size: 12" high x 12" – 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 7.

In wintertime, the rounded evergreen leaves entertain plum-colored accents and tiny silver hairs while slowly spreading at ground-level. Come summer, stiff, violet-tinged leafy stems elevate maroon buds plus large, long-blooming rose-pink flower clusters embellished by rich purple calyces A sure-to-please Dutch selection, this Origanum’s spicy scented foliage makes a tidy deep green foil for the ornamental blooms that entice bees and butterflies.

Blooms August–October

Size: 15" – 18" high x 15" wide.

Zone 5/6.

Antique-toned, dusty rose-colored, Hop-like flowers, much larger than those of ‘Ed Carmen’, are offset by bright green calyxes and pile up all summer on bran-ched red stems. For a pleasing fusion of color, try it with Penstemon ‘Blackbird’ and Muhlenbergia capillaris.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Discovered amid several Origanum ‘Kent Beauty’ seedlings in the namesake’s famed Saratoga, California garden, ‘Virginia Saso’s endearing pastel-hued blooms afford a longer lasting, more abundant floral show than the seed parent. Ample pink bracts, which darken as they age, plus petite pale rose flowers comprise the chubby, pendent hop-like heads. Developing a resilient, low mat-forming habit, its rounded, slightly fuzzy bluish green leaves can ramble between steps, traipse along paths, spill over walls or even grace a hanging basket.

Blooms July–September

Size: 6" – 9" high x 8" – 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Origanum vulgare</i> ‘Ed Carman’

We collected this exceptionally floriferous form of vulgare at Ed Carmen’s nursery and named it in his honor. Multitudes of deep pink blooms and striking, dark purple bracts are held atop sinuous, leafy flower stems some 2-½ ft. above the bluish green mound of basal foliage. To create a harmonious melding of purple and blue, let it sprawl beside a path with Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’, Euphorbia ‘Dean’s Hybrid’ and Aster ‘Bill’s Big Blue’.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our Featured Plant: Crocosmia ‘Zeal Tan’

Captivating Crocosmias, Plants that Dodge to Dog Days of Summer, 2020 T-shirst have arrived!

Captivating Crocosmias!

Crocosmias boast a bounty of late summer color as our gardens transition into autumn. Displayed on the ends of gracefully arching spikes above winsome sword-like leaves, the clustered tubular flowers range from yellow, peach and orange to fire-engine red. The prismatic tones meld well with white-flowering Hydrangeas and perennials such as Selinium wallichianum, Actaea simplex 'Atropurpurea', Alcea 'Polarstar' or Aster 'Bridal Veil'. The yellow and melon shades sparkle amid the blue blossoms of Aconitum, Caryopteris 'Longwood Blue', Perovskia 'Blue Steel' and  Aster 'Little Carlow'. For sizzling fun you could create a hot border, intermingling them with Kniphofia 'Bee's Sunset', Helenium 'Potter's Wheel' or Helianthemum 'Fire Dragon'. Be sure to add some to your next cut arrangement!

Commonly known as Montbretia, they do their best when provided with good drainage, moderate moisture and some protection from hot afternoon sun. Please feel free to check out our extensive collection of Crocosmia cultivars in the perennial section of our online catalog.

Dodge the Dog Days of summer….

with plants that pack a punch of blooms and alluring leaves at this time of year. By late August, our borders can look a tad tired and may be in need of some sprucing up. Adequate moisture and an additional application of compost will ensure late summer vitality. You can trim perennials, such as Nepetas and Geraniums, and savor their fresh new growth plus a flourish of blooms, often until the first frost! We hope some of the plants featured in this newsletter lift your spirits and maybe even inspire a little awe as summer wanes. 

All of us Digging Dog plant wranglers wish you Happy Digging and good health.

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