A treasure for the rock garden or trough, this little jewel is native to Europe growing in crevices on rock cliffs. It likes good drainage but not too dry so add some fine gravel or sand to your planting mix. We've found it to be quite easy growing it in full sun and it often reblooms later in the year.
Excellent selection from the former Heronswood nursery of this robust woodlander noted for the dark hued stems especially in the new growth. This is an exhuberant grower sending up big asparagus spears in late spring which branch out at 3'-4' with creamy bells followed by showy fruit.
A rare Myrtle fromTierra del Fuego which is quite hardy here and just the sweetest thing with evergreen aromatic leaves and small white flowers in summer which are followed by pink/white pearly edible berries. A perfect little plant. Good moist soil in some shade.
A Toadlily from a UBC collection in Sichuan which is a superior foliage plant with bold black mottlings especially vivid on the new growth. In bright shade to part sun this has strong vertical stems which have late summer buff to amber-brown flowers. This is pretty neat.
A very low growing species which we received under the name jinfushanensis but have since had identified as undulata. We saw the true jinfushanensis on Mt Jinfo fall of 2010 and it bears no resemblance to this which is better! Slowly spreading evergreen stems and speckled whitish bells.
We have long affection for all the forms of the dwarf Iris cristata which is an east coast native and with Powder Blue Giant our affections sometimes manifest themselves in PDA's such as stroking the large medium blue flowers and oohing. Deciduous carpeter. A real sweety.
A no-fuss restrained yet refined evergreen Cardamine which is nearly faultless. We haven't found a fault yet but most overachievers are hiding something deep under that charm and industry. Rest assured, this will never go postal in your garden. Dark green dense leaves set off flowers of of purest white in early summer.
This is a lovely deciduous scrambling twining and vining shrub from Nepal with scented narrow tubular yellow flowers in clusters followed in fall by black pea-like fruit. Quite a nice alternative for the small arbor or trellis on a wall. And we are pretty sure it is deer resistant as well!
This tasteful perennial from Japan bides its time in the shade garden as the floral hoi polloi scrabble for attention during spring and summer. Once the fracas has died down, this takes centerstage in Sept/Oct with its intricately constructed buds which open to fuzzy light lavender flowers.
Fairly recent introduction from China of this superb evergreen shade perennial differing from the more widely grown SEH (Steve Hootman) collection. This has denser flower heads and is perhaps more vigorous - we're quite fond of it. This makes a tidy rosette of evergreen leaves with very attractive white flowers in spring. We say yip-sih-landra by the way.
Surely one of the best with electric blue flowers nearly twice the size of the species. A favorite plant of gardener-to-the-stars Duane West, former Heronswood honcho and a fave of ours as well. Vigorous and not fussy coarse foliaged groundcover perfect under Rhododendrons.
Pretty much the favorite Weigela. This we got from Mary at Cultus Bay Nursery who has a magnificent plant in her garden. Cream, pink and red flowers at the same time are sure to please the majority of viewers - hence the 'Versicolor'. Cut back the spent flowering shoots fairly hard and you're good to go.
A choice little woodland groundcover from our collection in a high elevation coniferous forest in Yunnan where it grew not far from Primula sonchifola and Megacodon stylophorus. Slow carpeter with white flowers and small pale orange fruit nestled in the nicely textured leaves.. Choice and not invasive by a long shot.
One of the best of the bigger Manzanitas for the garden, this is tolerant of more "average" garden conditions than many of its kin. This is also one of the more rapid growers plus one of the hardiest. Nice clusters of white flowers on an open-crowned multi-trunked large shrub to 15', with rich reddish-brown bark.
Former bigeneric hybrid with Pernettya until they merged Pernettya into Gaultheria. This is from a plant from Art Dome. late collector of choice Ericaceae in Seattle. Art said this has larger fruit than the typical G. x wisleyensis. Nice black fruit and white-pink flowers. Good drainage,
This is a vastly superior form from Elizabeth Strangman which we received from John Flintoff. It is regarded as the best pink flowered selection and and puts on a grand show once it becomes a nice patch. Evergreen and easy in light shade and reasonably moist.
Blackberries can be scary but with this China doll it will be shivers of delight instead of fear. Fantastic foliage plant. Great leaves on 6'-8' somewhat arching and branched canes. This is a vigorous clumper and not a vine so is easy to keep in bounds. No thorns. White flowers.
Alpine Bush Mint. This high elevation Aussie handled our 2010-11 Winter of Horror with scarcely a whimper. Dense shrublet with rounded packed leaves minty when crushed and white flowers with red-yellow-purple in the throat from spring and sporadically until fall. Excellent plant.
We adore the Halimiums as they have proved to be amply hardy here at Far Reaches, the nearest thing to a Russian Steppe that western Washington offers. Low growing evergreen shrub clad in grayish foliage and not shy at all yellow flowers with precise carmine pyramids at the base of each petal. Good drainage.
Variegated leaf form of this old favorite. All things old are new again. This Japanese plant has white deged leaves and single yellow rose-like flowers in spring. Blooms exceedingly well in shade and forms a dense twiggy thicket. This doesn't get as tall as the typical species.
Much like the famed chicken, this hybrid from Ed Bowen is destined to become a staple. But in our gardens rather than our tables. Ed crossed the giant of the genus, Eucomis autumnalis ssp. pole-evansii with E. 'Sparkling Burgundy' and got the pineapple lily of our dreams with big rich foliage and flowers.
Tall Jack in the Pulpit. These grow into big boys with a big green flower and distinctive vertical spadix held well above the foliage. This merits that overused word of awesome especially when it gets 5' tall and you are eye-to-eye with that intriguing flower. Showy seed cluster too!
A monotypic member of the Columelliaceae family from Chile. Now that we have our botanical parameters firmly in place, we find ourselves exactly where we started. As Obama would say, "Let me be perfectly clear. This is not a Holly." Evergreen and best in a mild garden with tubular red-orange flowers.
Leadplant. A native to the upland plains of the Midwest, this leguminous shrub has excellent textural foliage of small gray-green pea leaflets and quite nice terminal "antlers" of purplish flower spikes. The flowers are tiny but are clustered in multitudes. Good drainage, drought tolerant.
Nifty little species we salvaged out of plant collector Marian Raitz's garden when she moved. Low toothed leaves and nice mid-sized white flowers hazed lavender-pink. This will make a nice lower-than-most-Epimediums patch which works perfectly under low shrubs.
From a Crug Farm collection comes this rare woodlander. We are smitten by all the members of this genus as well as it's kith and kin in other genera. This has the pendulous greenish white flowers so familiar yet so intriguing. A shade garden bereft Convallariaceae quietly weeps.
Dwarf Solomon's Seal. This is a grand little creeper spreading to form a very attractive understory to Rhododendrons or taller shade plants. Small white bells simply adds to the charm. Good spreader but not in a bad sense. Really nice.
Long my favorite Bergenia with large upright broad paddles of leaves which turn the best maroon in the winter of any in the genus. Oh sure, the dark pink flowers are good in spring but this plant is one of the few reasons I look forward to winter. Galanthus for contrast - oh my.
Superb selection of this autumn sedum from Graham Gough at Marchant's Hardy Plants in England which we can offer thanks to our friend and plantsman, the ever-generous Jim Fox This sedum can develop excellent red-burgundy foliage in full sun which complements the red flowers and all with an excellent habit.
Sturdy little Poker from wild-collected seed in South Afica. Named hirsuta for the hirsute or hairy leaves which are rough on the edges if you run your fingers along them. One of the more compact species with hefty distinct two-toned flowers of orange-red and yellow. Easy.