friday grab bag…and more foliage


I’ll start with the foliage, joining (Christina) for her Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day. Finally, after three tries, I’ve gotten a Tetrapanax ‘Steroid Giant’ to take. Thank you, (Jane).


Valerie Finnis must have been something special to get this beautiful Artemesia named after her…and (Linda) is just as special for passing it along.


My consolation prize for missing Hortlandia was a visit to Xera, where I OD’d on luscious plants and brought home these two.


Here’s the tag description for Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Maki’: “A compact form of the Japanese Yew Pine that forms a wonderful fine textured shrub with a distinctly asian appearance to 4′ tall in 5 years and 4’wide. Waxy needles are fresh looking year round. Adaptable to many situations including understory shade. Tough and draught resistant when established but just as happy with regular irrigation. Tolerates extreme heat well and may be grown against a hot wall and even endures dry shade. Underused.” Amen to that! I have it in a pot for now, but it sounds like a trooper, wherever it lands.


You may detect a theme developing here. This one is Pitosporum tobira ‘Tall and Tough’: “Japanese Mock Orange is an exceptionally tough, handsome and long-lived evergreen shrub. Scrolled green/black leaves are good looking year round. In May/June, clusters of white/cream flowers emit a powerful orange blossom fragrance. Full sun to shade in average well-drained soil. Light summer water, extremely drought tolerant when established. To 6′ x 6′ in 5 years. This selection is much hardier to cold than other P. tobira. Fantastic shrub.” OK, there might be more than one theme here, but the one that grabbed me was the indestructible part. The flowers are already starting to open and my nose knows that I did the right thing.


Speaking of indestructible, take a look at Berberis ‘Jamesiana’. Isn’t it a beauty? Now tell me, how can it be that R has a vendetta going against this fabulous shrub. It does have a very prickly personality, but that is just because he keeps hacking away at it to liberate a nearby Italian cypress (of which we have MANY).


On one side, it is complemented by Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’…


…while on the other a carpet of Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’ does the honors. Jim’s pendulous flowers will give way to pearlescent pale yellow drupes on their way to blushing red later on.


I hope you won’t tire of my going on and on about (Joy Creek), but how can I help myself, surrounded by plants like this Weigelia middendorffiana with its charming splashes of orange peeking out of buttery yellow blossoms?

That’s my roundup for this week. I hope you have a memorable weekend.

16 thoughts on “friday grab bag…and more foliage

  1. Having read the description of Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Maki’ – I want one too! Great choices; the Pitosporum tobira is used a lot here, I’m not sure why I don’t have one. Some say it isn’t reliably hardy inland, by the sea there are huge hedges of them, lovely perfumed flowers too. Thanks for your contribution to GBFD this month; I don’t want to encourage you to buy new foliage plants to write about every month though!!!

  2. My ‘Tall and tough’ has finally become quite beefy , I planted it to help cover my fence…it’s doing that nicely, and looks like blooming this year !
    I’m pleased ‘Valerie’ has found a good home . I had to give her the “chelsea chop” , she gets very floppy .

  3. ‘Steroid Giant’ is an excellent name. I have a ‘Valerie Finnis’ Grape Hyacinth that is very nice – more evidence that she was a good person. I agree with you about ‘Jamesiana’. In our garden, some of those Italian Cypresses might suffer from mysterious “accidents”.

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