Archive for the 'shrubs | evergreen' Category

Sustainable Woodland Path | dogwood*design project

IMG_9985.JPG, originally uploaded by dogwood*designer.

DESIGNER
Adele Medina O’Dowd, principal, dogwood*design, llc
contact me | adele@willowlandscapedesign.net or 202.255.0728
references available upon request

before
GARDEN CHARACTER

This little stretch of earth was once lined in dying bamboo, but has now been rejuvenated and reclaimed as a lovely passageway between Chevy Chase West’ Hunt Avenue and Drummond Avenue. The big problem here was water and drainage since possibly a couple hundred commuters and school children take this route through the neighborhood each day. The bottom of the of the pass was always flooding in heavy rain since it had a very low spot.

Once the bamboo was removed and tilled out of the ground, a great spot as left for a garden. But since this land is community property and therefore no on in particular is responsible for it’s upkeep except willing neighbors, dogwood*design was charged with designing a plan that would be sustainable and a pleasure to see each day and with seasonal interest.

PLANTS
Planted here are purple Beautyberries, native Virginia Sweetspire ‘Henry’s Garnet’ and Spicebush, as well as tall growing evergreens Aucuba japonica and Leatherleaf viburnum. Two trees adorn the spot now, a light green needled evergreen Limber Pine and a very showy deciduous Chinese Fringetree with it’s exfoliating bark and lacy white spring plums.

Hope you have a chance to pass by and enjoy this sustainable community bright spot.

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European Style Backyard Patio | dogwood*design #1

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European Style Backyard Patio | dogwood*design project #1

DESIGNER
Adele Medina O’Dowd, principal, dogwood*design, llc
contact me | adele@willowlandscapedesign.net or 202.255.0728
references available upon request


GARDEN CHARACTER
My friends, the owners in Chevy Chase, MD, wanted a relaxing, stylish spot to entertain their friends and family. They wanted their backyard to remind them of the beautiful places they’d visited on European travels. Of course, their patio needed to be a personal space with an intimate scale, but inspired by old world charm. The owners, who are into gardens but not gardening per se, wanted the yard to be easy to care for. My friends were so nice to act as my first guinny pigs and we started from scratch with a narrow yard of compacted red clay soil, just after they completed their new kitchen renovation. The layout of the yard is formal, with a fountain (coming soon) on one end, balanced on both with 5 tall columnar trees each. But, the ambiance is fresh and comfortable with hydrangeas and camellias flowing over short boxwood headges. The new stone patio with a seat wall and a fireplace has become warm outdoor room for them to enjoy.
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PLANTS
Buxus fastigiata | Boxwood (columnar)
Buxus microphylla var. koreana x B. sempervirens ‘Green Mountain’
Buxus microphylla var. koreana x B. sempervirens ‘Green Gem’
Buxus sinica var. insularis ‘Justin Brouwers’ | Boxwood
Camellia x ‘Snow Flurry’ | Hardy Camellia fall bloomer
Carex elata ‘Aurea’ | Bowles Golden Grass
Deutzia gracilis | Slendar Deutzia
Hydrangea panicullata ‘Limelight’
Hypericum calycinum ‘Briggadoon’ | St. John’s Wort
Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’ | Sky Pencil Littleleaf Holly
Miscanthus senensis ‘Strictus’ | Porcupine Grass
Prunus yeodensis ‘Yoshino’ | Japanese Cherry Blossom
Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’ | Weeping Cherry
Rose ‘New Dawn’ | Blush Pink hardy climbing rose
Thuja occidentallis ‘Degroot’s Spire’ | Degroot’s Sprire Arborvitae


HARDSCAPE
PA field stone seat wall, 18″ high with topped with copping
PA flagstone patio mixed colors laid in stone dust (for better water perculation)
Irrigation system installed on a timer
4.5′ tall, 5′ wide 2 tiered self-contained fountain
4′ tall fire pit with wrought iron decoration
wrought iron rose trellises.
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NOTES
The style of this garden doesn’t lend itself to easy care. But the owners are fully self-aware of their own capabilities and have weighed their priorities. Regular pruning will be needed, but it is made easy because the owners were interested and ready to commit to a maintenance contract.  On a “green” note, water is not wasted here. We have installed an irrigation system on a timer to direct water exactly to plants that need it, as needed.  In fact, a rain detector, basically a spongey sensor hooked up to the system, automatically adjusts the water flow when irrigation is not needed in periods of rain.  Also, providing just the right amount of water means there is little or no run-off into storm drains.  Last, because the stone patio was set in place with stone dust instead of concrete, water can percolate into the ground through to the earth below it.  The owners travel a lot but know their plants will remain happy and healthy because they have other care systems in place. They feel they have made a terrific investment and will have a lot of fun in the space they created. If you’d like to check out the nitty gritty of process, see it here.


CONTRACTORS
Evergro Landscaping, DC, MD, VA

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[Above: My friend's sister inaugurated the new patio by renewing her wedding vows here the day after planting was complete on her 25th anniversary. White rose petals decorate the patio floor.]

[Below Left : Before | Below Right : After]
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[Below : Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight']

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Ok, so the fireplace ornament still needs to be hung up.

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Top 10 Rhododendrons | Rhododendron & Azalea

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[above R. Catawba 'Lee's Dark Purple' available at Merrified and elsewhere, blooms again in fall]
Rhododendron spp.| Rhodies & Azaleas
I don’t actually think it’s possible to have a Top 10, I just said that to get your attention. But here is my list of those I like. I’ll try to keep it reasonable, not too short, not too long but as reliable as possible. In fact there are over 900 species and countless cultivars, improvements have come with hybridization, especially for cold hardiness, so don’t fear change in this case. Rhododendrons and azaleas are indigenous to many parts of the world but grow especially well in the US Piedmont and upper Northwest, as well as In China and Japan.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
NOTHING. They are all now classified in the same genus so there is no clear distinction for purposes of ID, but there are a few generalisms you can work with (eventhough it doesn’t really matter). Rhododendrons are mostly evergreen, while azaleas are mostly deciduous. Rhododendrons mostly have 9 stamens, while azaleas mostly have 5 – this info is straight from Dirr. It seems to me that rhododendrons have large leaves, while azaleas have small. The truth is that they are now so hybridized that it virtually impossible for experts to tell the difference. So the best thing to do is not distinguish between rhododendrons and azaleas, but between size, color and texture. I will include the name I found each with in the nursery.

CHARACTER
Puny 18 inch midgets to 15 foot giants, all shrubs, many everygreen, especially in the Mid-atlantic. Some people adore them, some abhore because of overuse and loud colors. I’m in the first camp, though, especially for the larger leaved woodlanders. The big flower buds have a creamy frosting texture to me. I love Asian Modern gardens where they are right at home showing off their strong branch architecture. They make great foils for ferns and stone. They are more perky than Viburnums but also more finicky. Still, on the whole very versitile for residential landscapes. Don’t hate them just because they are beautiful.

CARE
Watch out for aphids, though the worst problem seems to be that people plant them from nursery containers which has great soil, straight into a container sized hole in the clay ground. Make the effort when planting to dig a hole 2 to 3 times the width and 1.5 time the depth of the container, then mix clay from the site with a good mix of leaf grow 50/50 and plant very shallow to allow for good drainage and air circulation. Doing this will keep the suffering and death tole down. Then be sure to soak the soil thoroughly once a week till established. Does well with an elevated bed of top soil, since it has very shallow roots. Once established, it doesn’t like to be disturbed. Mulch seasonally 2″ to 3″.

NOTES
In production, growers are pushing plants to their limits so they will look great at the retail nursery, feeding and watering them to get them ready. It reminds me of professinal athlete and steroid use. So watering is very important when you first plant. Don’t place white ones at front door unless you want to pick off the spent blooms.
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL acid lover, REQUIRES good drainage
Native Blueridge Mountains, Carolina, Tennessee
ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 4,5 – 8 | part sun to full shade
GROWTH RATE ….. slow, once established can be very long lived, 40 years or more
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. (unless noted) Rounded outline, multistemmed, woody reaching branches
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate, all the leaves are thick but I will reserve teh term “leathery” here for the thickest, heaviest
LEAF SIZE ….. for simplicity, I’m going to put the leaves into catagories: tiny=.5″ or less, small=.5 “to 1.5″, medium=1.5″ to 3″, large= 3″ to 6″

LINKS …..
Great list and pictures of specimens some UNC dude grew in his own garden, must be big
Merrifield Nursery in Northern VA Rhododendron and Azalea chart
Wagner Nursery in Oregon has nice photos
dogwood*design Flickr Rhododendron set

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
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Rhododendron catawbiense | Catawba Rhodie ['Album' above] widely available, long time standard, sometimes referred to as Mnt. Laurel, but that’s NOT what it is.
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 6′-10′/5′-8′
LEAF SIZE, FORM & SHAPE ….. small, eliptical
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | medium to dark green, uniform
FLOWERS | 2″ lilac, purple, rose or white mid May, single

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‘Del Val White’ azalea [above] available at Merrifield, pretty and frilly
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 4′/4′
LEAF SIZE, FORM & SHAPE ….. large, eliptical, narrow, leathery, heavy
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | dark green, handsome
FLOWERS | pure white, single frilly, girly, March to April

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Encore hybrid series ‘Autumn Amethyst’ or ‘Autumn Royalty’ [above] known for spring AND fall bloom, newish, Ray’s favorite
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 4′/4′
LEAF SIZE, FORM & SHAPE ….. medium, elongated eliptical or spear, soft and fuzzy, leathery but not thick, dark cast in winter
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | medium, spear, similar to Satsuki hybrids
FLOWERS ….. Amethyst to dark pink, large single bloom

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‘Klondyke’ Exbury hybrid [above], available at Merrifield, Bold display, good in woodland or modern styles
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 6′-8′/4′-6′
LEAF SIZE, FORM & SHAPE ….. medium, spear
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | lighter green with orangey new growth
FLOWERS | single, tangerine orange, ruffled

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‘Macranthra Double’ Indica Type [above], available at Merrifield, compact and dense, good for little spaces, spreading
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 18″-24″/3′
LEAF SIZE, FORM & SHAPE ….. small, spear
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | lighter green, not as thick
FLOWERS | double, large, rose-like bloom, coral-pink, pretty

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R. x ‘Nova Zembla’ available at Merrifield, hardy to -25 and can take more sun than other Rhodies. Cool speckled throat on red, red flowers.
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 4′-5′/4′-7′
LEAF SIZE, FORM & SHAPE ….. large, eliptical
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | dark green
FLOWERS | profuse, single, ruffled, red (NOT hot pink)

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PJM hybrid series ‘Elite’ [above] available at Bluemont Nursery, vigorous, none for it’s terrific hardiness. They are a bit tougher than most. Not my favorite, but could be the only choice for some conditions.
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 4′-6′/4′-7′
LEAF SIZE, FORM & SHAPE ….. medium, eliptical
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | dark green, turning plum in fall, thick
FLOWERS | lavendar purple in April, single

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‘Rosebud’ azalea [above] available at Merrifield, well named! Dave’s Garden has nice pics.
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 2′-3′
LEAF SIZE, FORM & SHAPE ….. small, eliptical
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | lighter green
FLOWERS | clear pink in April to May, double

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‘Silver Sword’ azalea [above], maybe R x kaempferi, has lovely and rare variegated folliage, may not be so hardy, only to the bottom of zone 6, but I’m going to give it a try, cool! Available at Merrifield.
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 4′/3′
LEAF SIZE, FORM & SHAPE ….. small, spear
LEAF COLOR ….. Semi-evergreen | bright green on inside, rimmed with white, pretty
FLOWERS | single, rose to red, largish

The Great Viburnum List

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[above Viburnum opulus 'Compactus' | European Cranberry Bush]

Viburnum ssp | Viburnum

Ok Ray, you asked for this. Here is my list of Viburnums for all occasions. I hope to add to this list over time since there are so many to choose from and something for any garden circumstance. So when I have to dig deep to find the right plant, I will know to start here at this list. They are together here in one post so we can compare them easily.
CHARACTER
At home in the Northern hemisphere of the world, it’s difficult to describe this genus as a group since their traits are varried depending on species and cultivar. Generally, in the Mid-Atlantic, Viburnum is evergreen or at least semi-evergreen, adaptable but great in light shade, and have hydrangea-like blooms many with fragrance or berries. When I picture Viburnum in my head, I think of leathery down turned rhododendron-like leaves, but in fact their folliage can be quite different so it’s good to get to know the cultivars you like on a personal basis. Still the qualites listed above make them a versital standard for any garden. If you can’t figure out what would be a good plant to use for a specific need, turn to Viburnums before you get frustrated.

CARE
Easy to care for but many need and or benefit from annual pruning, especially the more woody larger ones. Occassionally effected by aphids or nematodes (in the south), but no serious problems on the whole.
NOTES
150 species of shrubs and small trees. The blooms are called corymbs and look like round pom poms or flatter landing pads. Selective or tip prune, don’t shear.
ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 5 – 9 | full sun to part shade
GROWTH RATE ….. slow to medium
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL likes well drained acid soil. but very adaptable
Native all over northern hemisphere of the world

LINKS
dogwood*design on Flickr / pics in Viburnum set
Dave’s Garden / Viburnum comments on many cultivars

MO Botanical Garden / Doublefile Viburnum


RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO

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Viburnum x burkwoodii ‘Mohawk’ | Burkwood Viburnum [above]
I WOULD use this cultivar, but my teacher says he wouldn’t because it’s not too exicting past bloom time. Nice specimen at Greensprings Garden in VA. Has really great soft pink emerging from tight wine colored buds.
USE FOR ….. good for woodland or contemporary garden, borders, in mass
HARDINESS ….. zones 4 to 8, hardiest of the pom pom frangrant cultivars
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 5′ to 6′, maybe smaller than other V. dilatatums
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. open, multi-stemmed, nice branching habit, never as dense as V. x juddii or V. carlesii
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1″-3″ spear or almost heart shaped, soft fuzzy, grooved viens
LEAF COLOR ….. Semi-evergreen | medium green, somewhat shiney, sporadic red in fall
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 3″ to 5″, pale pink white pom poms, 10 days in May to June
FLORETS | many, spicey soft fragrance
BERRIES | cool shiney yellow Sept to Dec, heavy racimes

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Viburnum dilatatum
‘Michael Dodge’ | Linden Viburnum [above]
I WOULD use this cultivar, but may not be as available as other Viburnums. Nice specimen at Greensprings Garden in VA. Has really tremendously beautiful shiney yellow berries.
USE FOR ….. good for woodland or contemporary garden, borders
HARDINESS ….. zones 5 to 7, leaves hold late, better with some shade in Mid-Atlantic
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 5′ to 6′, maybe smaller than other V. dilatatums
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. open, but full of folliage, can get a bit leggy
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 2″-5″ rounded, grooved veins like others, leathery
LEAF COLOR ….. Semi-evergreen | medium green, somewhat shiney, coppery tinged in fall
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 3″ to 5″, creamy white, flat landing pads covering the plant, 10 days in May to June
FLORETS | many
BERRIES | cool shiney yellow Sept to Dec, heavy berry show

Viburnum ‘Chesapeake’ | Chesapeake Viburnum
listed in Dirr as a cultivar under V. utile | Service Viburnum
developed at US Arboretum, I WOULD use, looks good against walls
USE FOR ….. more formal, old southern, romantic setting
HARDINESS ….. Not as hardy as ‘Eskimo’
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 6′/10′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. compact, mounded, wide
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1.5″-3″ spear shaped, leathery, wavy
LEAF COLOR ….. Semi-evergreen | dark green, turning bright yellow in fall
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 3″, round balls dark pink buds openning to showy white, peak mid April, nice fragrance
FLORETS | 65 per flower
BERRIES | dull red to black

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Viburnum ‘Conoy’ | Conoy Viburnum [above]
listed in Dirr as a cultivar under V. utile | Service Viburnum
developed at US Arboretum, I probably won’t use, it’s fine but I like others
I prefer ‘Chesapeake’ because of fragrance, Conoy is also too uniform for me
USE FOR ….. more formal, old southern, romantic setting
HARDINESS ….. Not as hardy as ‘Eskimo’
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 6′/10′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. spreading, mounded, wide
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1.5″-3″ spear shaped, leathery, wavy
LEAF COLOR ….. Semi-evergreen | glossy dark green, turning maroon in fall
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 3″, round balls dark pink buds openning to showy white, peak mid April, mildly fragrant
FLORETS | 75 per flower
BERRIES | dull red to black

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Viburnum
‘Eskimo’ | Eskimo Viburnum [above]
listed in Dirr as a cultivar under V. utile | Service Viburnum
developed at US Arboretum, I WOULD use
Eskimo has really nice little ball blooms packed with florets but no fragrance
USE FOR ….. more formal, old southern, romantic setting
HARDINESS ….. hardiest of US Arboretum hybrids
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 6′ to 8′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. compact, stretched mounded, super dense
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1.5″-3″ spear shaped, flat, not wavey like others
LEAF COLOR ….. Semi-evergreen | glossy dark green, turning bright yellow in fall
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 3″ to 4″, round balls dark pink buds openning to showy white, peak later April, no frangrance
FLORETS | 80 to 120 florets per flower, “show stoppers” says Dirr
BERRIES | dull red to black

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Viburnum nudum ‘Winterthur’ | Winterthur Viburnum aka Smooth Witherod [above]
listed in Dirr with Viburnum cassinoides | Witherrod Viburnum.
I Will use, if I can find, especially this cultivar. The very lustrous green and red leaf color is really a treat in the fall.
USE FOR ….. Good for screens, or specimen in border or woodland setting
HARDINESS ….. does well in Mid-Atlantic
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 5′ to 6′, medium to slow growing
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. compact, rounded, full, dense
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 3.5″-4.5″/.75″ tp 2.5″ eliptical with point, very smooth but veins still a bit grooved
LEAF COLOR ….. Semi-evergreen | almost waxy bronze to chocolate when emerging, turning bright green, even more smooth than V. cassinoides
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 2″ to 5″, landing pads, white with yellow stamens in June to July
FLORETS | many
BERRIES | wonderful feature, turning from green to pink to red to blue and finally black, many colors seen simultanously

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Viburnum opulus | European Cranberry Bush Viburnum [above]
Similar 3 lobed leaves to Viburnum trilobum | American Cranberry Bush and Viburnum sargentii | Sargent Viburnum.
I WOULD use, I need to learn more about the cultivars but there is one listed ‘Nanum’, only 24″ that I will seek out.
USE FOR ….. Great for screens, on large residential, park or comercial landscapes
HARDINESS ….. zonese 3 – 8
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 8′ to 10′, spreading
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. upright, multi-stemmed, arching branches formes thicket
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 2″-4″, tri-lobed with soft serration
LEAF COLOR ….. Deciduous | medium to bright green, new growth tinged with red, really nice like maple
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 2″ to 4″, landing pads white in May
FLORETS | white outer ring with fertile inner, creating a lovely “pinwheel effect” says Dirr
BERRIES | showy red in Sept-Oct, birds love, shrivle to raisons in winter

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Viburnum plicatum var tomentosum
| Doublefile Viburnum [both above]
I WOULD this sometimes, can get kinda large, so pick small sized cultivars. Some including ‘Mariesii’ are not sterile, be careful with this one. Some, including ‘Shasta’ are sterile and won’t spread. Great bird food.
USE FOR ….. elegant, strong architecture, fatastic blooms both pom poms and landing pads depending on cultivar.
HARDINESS ….. zones 3 to 7, perfect for Mid-Atlantic
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 8′ to 10′, slowish, lives 45 years
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. tiered horizontal branching, with long spires, ID by this, unique look for Viburnum
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 2″-4″ rounded with very pointy tip, serrate
LEAF COLOR ….. Deciduous | medium green, impressed viens
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 3″ to 5″, white pom poms, but mostly landing pads, depending
FLORETS | many, no fragrance
BERRIES | egg shaped, bright red, friuts early June to August

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Viburnum prunifolium | Blackhaw Viburnum [above]
I WOULD use, especially nice as a small tree. It has striking dark purplish leaves so needs either open space or light green for best contrast and to make it stand out. Does well in dry soil, too.
USE FOR ….. good for woodland or formal, alone or in mass, handsome
HARDINESS ….. zones 3 to 9, sun or shade, adaptable to soil
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 12′ to 20′, slow to medium
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. multi-stemmed or single, rounded outline but “stiffly branched”, shape and brnches look a bit like a Hawthorne
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1.5″-3.5″ eleptical spear, course
LEAF COLOR ….. Semi-evergreen | dark green, smooth, red to purple brighter in fall
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 2″ to 4″, creamy white landing pads
FLORETS | many
BERRIES | pinkish rose drupe changing to blueish black, etible, tastes pretty good at least the Colonists liked it

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Viburnum x pragense | Prague Viburnum [Prague above right, Eskimo left]
listed in Dirr as related to V. rhytidophyllum | Leatherleaf Viburnum
I WOULD use, sparingly I guess although because you can have too much of this good thing.
Supposed to be extremely hardy, yes from Prague the city.
USE FOR ….. Good for screens, only in extra-large residential, park or comercial landscapes
HARDINESS ….. super hardy to -17 degrees
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 10′ to 15′, fast growing, spreading
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. woody, full
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 3″-7″ largest, narrow spear shaped
LEAF COLOR ….. Semi-evergreen | lustrous dark green, new growth soft and soft on bottom
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 3″ to 4″, landing pads start pink to brown to white
FLORETS | 100+ florets per flower, warm smelling
BERRIES | dull red to black

IMG_7885.JPGViburnum rhytidophyllum | Leatherleaf Viburnum [above]
I probably WON’T use, has eaten my neighbor’s back yard. We will try to most of it out but it is indeed a successful screen, but looks kinda droopy most of the time.
USE FOR ….. Good for screens, only in extra-large residential, park or comercial landscapes
HARDINESS ….. super hardy to -17 degrees
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 10′ to 15′, fast growing, spreading
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. woody, leggy, rounded outline, multi-stemmed
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 3″-7″ largest, very narrow spear shaped
LEAF COLOR ….. Semi-evergreen | lduller green, strongly grooved
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 3″ to 4″, landing pads start pink to brown to white, the brown is down right dingy looking
FLORETS | 100+ florets per flower
BERRIES | dull red to black

Rhododendron ‘P.J.M.’ | PJM Rhododendron hybird

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Rhododendron ‘P.J.M.’| PJM Rhodies
CHARACTER
Smaller than many standard Rhododendrons, a blend between regular Rhodies and Azaleas. One of the first Rhodendrons to bloom in the spring around mid-March, with a heavy nice dark pink uniform blooms, almost plum colored. PJMs don’t come in any other bloom color. At least it’s not fuscia. The leaves are smaller and a very attractive dark green, maroon bronze in winter, which I love.
CARE
Does well with an elevated bed of top soil, since it has very shallow roots. Once established, it doesn’t like to be disturbed. Treat like any other rhododendron – acid lover.

NOTES
PJMs originated in MA and so very hardy. Also works in bleak Midwestern winter as it turns spring. East Coast and Upper Northwest are THE places to grow Rhodies, in the US.
RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
over 900 species and countless cultivars, imporvements have come with hybridization, especially for cold hardiness. The hardiest apparently come mainly in purples and magentas – hmmm? There are many even with other colors listed in Dirr, but I how available they are. I will add them as I see them.
‘Elite’ available at Bluemont Nursery, vigerous, pictured below and above.
Rhododendron carolinianum | Carolina Rhododendron finer folliage 3′to6′ native
Rhododendron catawbiense | Catawba Rhododendron 6′to 10′, courser folliage
Rhododendron mucronulatum | Korean Rhododendron 4′to 8′ hardiest of Rhodies
Rhododendron schlippenbachii | Royal Azalea 6′to 8′, Dirr loves, pale pink blooms
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ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 5 – 8 | full sun to full shade
GROWTH RATE ….. slow, 3′ to 5′ over a 10 year period
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 4′-6′/4′-7′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Rounded, multistemmed, loose nding branches
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1″-2.5″ eliptical
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | dark green, turning plum in fall
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | lavendar pink in April
BUDS | small, much smaller than Catawba
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL acid lover, REQUIRES good drainage
Native Blueridge Mountains, Carolina, Tennessee
UCONN Plants database / PJM Rhododendron
NC State / PJM Rhododendron

Camellia japonica | Camellia

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‘Winter’s Beauty’ above

Camellia japonica | Camellia

CHARACTER
Evergreen and gorgeous. Perhaps my favorite plant ever. One page cannot hold enough detail on this plant, there are countless cultivars to suit any color preference or time of year. It is said that with careful choices it is possible to have one camellia or another blooming from fall all the way through spring. The flowers are rose-like but gentler, sometimes with wonderful contrasting stamen. My family had one specimen by our garage when I was growing up in Atlanta so I’m quite naustalgic for it. Camellias can be tricky, though. I have killed several by overwatering or pruning. It is best to keep it happy by adding high organic matter and walking away. Camellias are at home in virtually any style of garden as a wonderful focal point.
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CARE
Best to site in partial shade, pine shade seems to be ideal. Important to site protected from wind. In winter brush heavy snow off branches but ice doesn’t seem to damage the folliage. You can prune after flowering but I wouldn’t reccomend any more than just removing minimal dead branches. Do not overwater, in fact leave it alone unless there are long periods of drought. Plants are sensative and go into shock, basically. So just keep nicely mulched and you’ll be fine.

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orignially uploaded by kaycat
NOTES
Some are advertised as having a frangrance but it’s never very strong, which maybe the plant’s one weakness. But the evergreen leaves and happy blooms are so appealing to the eye, who cares. Can be trained into espalier, but must be done very carefully.

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
Too many cultivars to give a good accounting (over 2000). If you’re really into them, just join the Amercian Camellia Society or when you go to the nursery, tell them the color and bloom time you want and they’ll likely get it for you. I will add to this list as I try them. Here are only a few that I’ve tried…
‘April Snow’ white, semidouble, blooms in April
‘Winter’s Fire’ apricot, hardy, blooms in winter

Camellia susanqua very similar to C. japonica, but a bit smaller in general size, leaves and flowers, but quite beautiful. Tends to be a bit hardier than C. japonica and blooms as early as Sept. Plant is more open and relaxed in general and a little less formal on the whole. Good for screens and borders.

ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 7 – 9 | part to full shade
GROWTH RATE ….. slow
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 3′-15′/4′ to 10′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Oval overall, can be loose or full folliage dependign on the cultivar, branches are and sometime almost weep.
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1.5″-4″ ovate, sturdy, lustrous
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | dark green, bronze a bit through the winter
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 1.5″ to 5″, any color except true yellow, some variegated though I’m not a fan of those since they look too stripey. single, semi and double. remove when bloom is done to refresh, can get frost bitten.

NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in moist rich oraganic, acid soil, ok in clay
Native Japan and China, cultivated 1742

VA Camellia Society

Clemson / Growing Camellias

International Camellia Society FAQs

MO Botanical Gardens / Camellia

Dave’s Garden / Camellia japonica

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‘Winter’s Blush’ above

Osmanthus heterophyllum | Holly Tea Olive

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Scary ‘Goshiki’ above
Osmanthus heterophyllus | Holly Tea Olive

CHARACTER
Wicked looking evergreen with a name that’s fun to say. Great for barriers, hedges and screens especially for that pesky neighbor you don’t like too much. Interesting in its strangess. Can distinguish it from any holly by its oposite (not alternate) leaves, but generally very similar looking to Ilex aquifolia. I like it better, especially the cultivar ‘Goshiki’ which is psychadelically speckled. Flowers are almost unseen but the fragrance is quite sweet. Not all the cultivars are so aggressive looking, some are tame.
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CARE
Care-free and pest free, what could be better. Use as good alternative to Photinia.  Deer resistant!

NOTES
Dioecious. Girls need boys to berry. Easily maintain a specific height with proper pruning. I’m not really into spikey plants and especially hollies, but there is a right place and time. These toughies are not cheep.

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‘Gulftide’ above

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Goshiki’ very exciting looking speckled, means 5 colored in Japanese
‘Gulftide’ standard medium green and fairly lush
‘Reptans’ has no serrations or spikes 6′to 8′ columnar – suggested alternate to Cherry Laurel
Osmanthus x fortunei Dirr says this guy has greater vigor in Southeast and can live in full sun


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ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 6 – 9 | part sun to (prefers) full shade
GROWTH RATE ….. slow to medium
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 8′ to 10′ (up to 20′)/same
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Dense, oval rounded, horizontal branches, some stems shoot up tall
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1″to 2.5″ long, 1″ to 1.5″ wide, terminal is largest, prominant spines
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. opposite, simple
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | lustrous dark green, sometimes beautiful vination or white edge
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | fragrant white, dainty bells

NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in moist, slightly acid, very adaptable
Native to Japan, introduced in 1865 (seems like a era big on introductions)
U of DE / Osmanthus heterophyllus
look at flower images on this site

Elizabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden / Osmanthus heterophyllus
“Great Plant Picks” from Oregon

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Mahonia aquifolium | Oregon Grape Holly

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Mahonia aquifolium | Oregon Grape Holly

CHARACTER
A unique evergreen with shiny burgandy, pinatley compound leaves that look prehistoric and add great texture in the garden. Woodland naturalizing shrubs with branches that grow out in horizontal tiers. Although its leaves have an agressive appearance, learning a bit about it makes Mahonia shine in a new light. Oregon Grape Holly is more petite than its sister, Mahonia baelei but can be used in similar ways. Fragrant lemon yellow flowers (not the nicest) appear in late winter and burst into blueberry colored and then blue-black berries that dangle like grapes. Looks great in mass plantings and works well with grasses, coreopsis and ferns. Is often seen masking residential ac compressors, a stressful and rigorous job for any plant. Fantastic in deep shade in the deep South. It is a nice source of food for wildlife, too.


CARE
You don’t need to pull the volunteers that sprout in the spring. Most won’t last. Prune selectively on “THE 3 YEAR CYCLE”, prune 1/3 off of 1/3 of your plants each year. If you have 3 plants, each year prune 1/3rd of the branches off 1 of them. Keep moist with plenty of mulch.

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NOTES
A relative of Barberries and Nandina (if you can believe it). It may not flower if it doesn’t get at least a couple hours of sun each day, though. Best position is one that gives 2-4 hours of morning sun. One of the only plants that can tolerate the heat of an ac unit nearby. Choose plants based on color, some are not as attractive as others. Not happy in cold. Used by Native Americans to treat lots of ailments. Popular with herbalists to treat psoriasis.

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‘King’s Ransom’ above, a toughy!

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
Variegated forms available, most cultivars are the bugandy color but sp seems to be dark green.
‘King’s Ransom’ a new cultivar with maroon matte leaves, interesting, compact
Mahonia bealei | Leatherleaf Mahonia very similar to M. aquifolia but matte green and larger
Mahonia japonica | Japanese Mahonia available, almost identical to M. bealei, Dir says differences are not manifest, especially since individual plants are many times hybrids anyway.

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ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 7 – 9 | part sun to (prefers) full shade
GROWTH RATE ….. slow
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 3′ to 5′/same
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Erect, rounded, horizontal branches, some stems shoot up tall
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 7 to 12 leaflets, rigid and leathery, ovate, each leaflet is 1″ to 3″ long, 1″ to 2″ wide, terminal is largest, prominant spines
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. alternate, pinately compound
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | many shades, drk green to bugandy and maroon
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | fragrant lemon yellow panicles in April, can be quite attractive or just too neon, depends on the plant.
BERRIES | beautiful blueberry blue turning black
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in moist, slightly acid
Native to China introduced in 1845

UCONN Hortnet / Mahonia aquifolia

Virginia Tech Dendrology / Mahonia aquifolia

Wikipedia / Mahonia aquifolia

Dave’s Garden / Mahonia aquifolia

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Skimmia japonica | Japanese Skimmia

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Skimmia japonica | Japanese Skimmia

CHARACTER
Evergreen and subtle. Skimmia is a handsome low-growing mildly sweet smelling shrub. The plants are neat and the flowers are dainty. I think it’s worth a try, but be ready to replace them. Nice for underplanting in foundations, especially near the front door.
CARE
Skimmia is very finicky and perhaps not best suited for zone 7 (Mid-Atlantic). But if you do want to use it, try to site in a very well protected southside spot, in the shade of a house or on the downwind side of a hill. Requires rich humus. Maybe buy an extra one and and keep it as a backup if you are interested in using this guy as a specimen, since they are slow growers. Also, don’t plant to deeply since the roots prefer to be shallow.
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NOTES
Dioecious, needs males for females to berry, but males have the really nice flowers.
RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
someone, please suggest your favorite cult or an alternative
ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 6 – 7 | full sun to full shade
GROWTH RATE ….. medium
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 3′- 4′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. dense, rounded, haystack shape
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 2.5″to 5″/ 1″to 2″ spear shaped
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate, crowded at the end of branches
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | dark forrest green
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | 1/3″ born in upright panicles, maroon in bud, creamy white when open
FRUIT | biggish wide berries in a drupe that ripens in Oct and persists to spring
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NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL needs moist, acid, peaty soil – add leaf mold
Native to Japan, needs partial and full sun especially in winter
Dave’s Garden / Skimmia japonica
BBC plant files / Skimmia japonica

Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’ | Carol Mackie Daphne

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Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’ | ‘Carol Mackie’ Daphne
CHARACTER
Evergreen and wow, what a fragrance when it blooms. Put it at your front door. Delicate creamed edged leaf. You should know going in that Daphne’s are finicky. They can be very healthy for 4 years then suddenly die for no apparent reason. On the other hand, they are also fairly hardy. ‘Carol Mackie’ can withstand -30 without injury. Makes a great focal point and well suited to the small garden. Worth the risk to experience their loveliness.
Leaf spot, crown rot, twig blight, aphids, but the thing that does tehm in is more likely a virus. They don’t like excess moisture. Dirr reccomends we “practice good husbandry”. Needs to be planted in site protected from winter burn. Transplant as container in early spring. Keep mulched. Prune annually after plant is established, post-flowering before mid-July.
NOTES
Used in rock gardens throughout Europe
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RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Somerset’ 4′/6′ in 20 years
Daphne odora | Winter Daphne maybe a bit bigger and slightly longer lasting
ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 4 – 7 | part sun to part shade
GROWTH RATE ….. slow
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 3′/5′
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Dense, mounding and rounded, ascending branches
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1/2″ to 1″ by 1/8th” obtuse and cunate
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. simple, alternate
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | dark green, some variegated
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | light pink and wonderfully frangrant
STEM | somewhat 4 sided, leaf scars
NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL well drained, moist, near nuetral
Native Europe, Spain, SW Russia

MO Botanic Garden / Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’

Rob’s Plants / Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’

Dave’s Garden / Daphne burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’

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