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Partial Shade

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Drought Tolerant

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Picture Available

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(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’

Reminiscent of decorative braids, slim blooms emphasize small deep rose and chartreuse bracts and assume a refined aspect. Tipped with tiny purple flowers, clustered bracts are held at nearly right angles to upright and leafy reddish stems. This long lasting, delicate floral presentation is grounded by medium green foliage, and casts earthy yet saturated hues in the border or a bouquet.

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 branched red stems. For a pleasing fusion of color, try it with Penstemon ‘Blackbird’ and Muhlenbergia capillaris.

Blooms July–September

Size: 15" – 20" 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: Athyrium ‘Ghost’

Feathery-fine ferns, Refresh your summer border, Summer Shipping!

Characterized by delicate-looking fronds...

the deer-proof ferns, which are featured above, unfurl spritely new fiddleheads every spring. All are deciduous save for the lustrous Polystichum, otherwise known as Tassel Fern. Varying shades of green, metallic silver, russet, bronze and burgundy imbue their artful foliage. Second-to-none for shady alcoves, these easy-care perennials can be planted as specimens or grouped in shade gardens, mixed borders and woodland settings. Their filigree-fine features lend sophisticated accents to patio containers or cut arrangements. Ferns will flourish in cool , well-drained moist nooks enriched with compost or well-rotted manure.  

Refresh your summer plantings...

During the month of July, gardeners sometimes wonder how they can perk up their summer gardens. Sunshine-hued blooms, golden leaves and crisp white flowers lend lively accents. They can be sprinkled amid a mixed border, perennial bed or other plantings, melding well with flowers that include a broad color spectrum from blue-violet to purple and lilac, as well as clear pink and darker rose hues.  

Apart from adding more plants, there are a few simple maintenance techniques that will help your garden maintain a fresh appearance during the summer. The addition of a chipped-bark mulch or well-rotted compost early in the season, not only reduces water requirements throughout the warmer months, but promotes vigorous growth and peppy-looking foliage. Many perennials, such as Nepetas and Geraniums, can be trimmed in June or July. This midseason cut back ensures a tidy stature and more blooms, often all the way ‘til frost.

We hope some of the plants in this newsletter spark some interest and beckon you to dig them into that empty spot in your garden.  

 

 

 

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