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Drought Tolerant

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

Hardiness Zone Map


Rosmarinus

Rosemary

Studious Greeks twined Rosemary in their hair “for remembrance” before exams; the French burned it as an incense substitute in cathedrals. And of course, there’s the taste—pungent and aromatic, a pinch delivers a punch of flavor. The rugged evergreens of this genus afford short needle-like foliage studded with tiny, orchid-shaped mostly blue blooms. Rosemary obliges heat and poor soil, triumphs over deer and diseases, only improves with age and doesn’t demand much, except for sharp draining soil.

That’s Arp, Texas, where one ol’ specimen is still growing strong at 80. An upright shrub with gray-green foliage and light blue flowers, ‘Arp’ is most at home inland, where it opens outward in the heat; on the coast its habit is more compact, but still handsome.

Blooms March–July.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

Touting a heady fragrance plus increased cold hardiness, ‘Blue Spire’s handsome foundation hosts tightknit upright branches garbed with dense needle-like dark green foliage beneath long-lasting, splendid bright blue blooms that keep the bees and butterflies happy. This versatile, undemanding shrub can be utilized as a tidy evergreen screen, sculpted into a topiary or brought into the kitchen for your next batch of roasted potatoes and shortbread cookies.

Blooms January–April

Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 3' 0" – 4' 0" wide.

Zone 7b.

Upright, with a tidy tight-knit character that showcases broad attractive foliage and vividly dark violet-blue flowers, ‘Herb Cottage’ originated at the Cathedral Herb Garden in Washington, D.C. This bushy culinary delight is favored for its good looks and deserves a spot in your herb garden or a container alongside a well-traveled path.

 

Blooms January–April

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

Hardy to zone 8.

<i>Rosmarinus officinalis</i> ‘Irene’

Discovered as a volunteer seedling in northern California, ‘Irene’s low mounding habit is much improved over older prostrate Rosemarys. Dense, gray-green, narrow leaves make a vigorous show on long, pendant branches, and the richly colored blue-violet flowers are larger and more profuse than those displayed by other trailing cultivars. Let it cascade down a wall or over the lip of an easily viewed terracotta vessel. Rosemary Irene (PP#9124)

Blooms January–April

Size: 12" – 2' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

Scented, slim deep green leaves and close-set, erect branches host a lucent showing of exquisite 2-lipped pure white blooms. Harder to find than the typical blue-flowering cultivars, ‘Lady in White’ presents a compact low growing habit that wields both beauty and brawn. Petite pearlescent blooms mesmerize the pollinators in the rockery or in a water-wise planting, while the winning foliage lends savory notes to focaccia and tomato dishes.

Blooms January–April

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Zone 7b/8.

Dubbed for the renowned herbal enthusiast from Texas, ‘Madeline Hill’ is not only a good-looking tough cookie hardy to below 0°, but she’s a savory delight as well. Intensely fragrant, needle-style rich green leaves, which are broader than ‘Arp’s, cloak her robust, upright pale green stems. Forging a not-too-tall bushy guise, this well-branched Rosemary is generously sprinkled with engaging light blue flowers. Never fussy, she takes heat and poor soil, resists pests and deer and only improves with age. Good drainage is preferred.

Blooms January–April

Size: 3' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

A welcome departure from the typical blue blossoms associated with the genus, this attractive upright Mediterranean denizen debuts lovely pastel lavender pink flowers amongst minute short needled gray-green leaves. Wafting crisp slightly fruity aromas, the trim loosely arranged foliage garnishes stiff steadfast branches and makes a stellar evergreen hedge for the herb garden or a water-thrifty planting, consorting with like-minded low maintenance companions such as Correa alba ‘Bronze Select’, Cistus ‘Natacha’ and Eriogonum ‘Little Rascal’.

Blooms January–May

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

We found ‘Maltese White’ at Bob Brown’s Cotswold Nursery in England, and presume this little known bushy Rosemary was discovered and named by some plantsperson traveling around the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta. Small, bright clusters of snowy white blooms decorate its silvery stems and resinous green-gray needles. A restful medley of color, these soothing hues will convey a courtly air to your Mediterranean border.

Blooms January–April.

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

Hardy to zone 8.

A gift from our friend Jim Lockman, ‘Santa Barbara Blue’ seems to be known only in small gardening circles in California. Densely clustered needles lend a finely textured look to this upright evergreen with elegantly sweeping lower branches. The azure-blue flowers beautifully complement the concurrent blooms of Cistus ‘Red Eye’ and the deep green foliage contrasts strikingly with gray-leafed Teucrium fruticans (Select Form).

Blooms January–May.

Size: 5' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

Celebrated as an excellent choice for topiary, this tall standing Britishman has stiffly upright branches. Aromatic, narrow green leaves make a savory seasoning, while bright bluish purple flowers bring a little bit of the heavens down to earth.

Clipped into fanciful shapes, hedged or left au naturale, ‘Sawyer’s Blue’ melds with other water wise plants such as Teucriums, Carex glauca and Lavandula ‘Lullingstone Castle’.

Blooms January – April.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Zone 7/8.

<i>Rosmarinus officinalis</i> ‘Taylor’s Blue’

If you are short on space, consider this compact well-groomed Rosemary introduced by the late Ken Taylor. A no-fuss ‘Collingwood Ingram’ sport, the close-set, shiny deep green leaves on trailing and upward arching stems are loaded with bright lavender-blue blooms. ‘Taylor’s Blue’ can be tucked into a dry area where its dark, fine textured needles offset Cistus ‘Tania Compton’s rippled gray-green foliage.

Blooms January – April.

Size: 2' 0" high x 3' 0" wide.

Zone 7/8.

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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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