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Cool Plants of the Week

Just a quick post about some of the great plants that we’re working with this week while designing for the dense shade of the renovation of the Hampton Preston house gardens.

I designed and planted this garden about 3 years ago --the Echeandia is looking great.

We designed and planted this garden about 3 years ago –the Echeandia is looking great.


Tuberrose  No other fragrance enchants like this tough bulb with long lasting leaves that NEEDS to grow in hot, dry, terrible soil.  You can start with bulbs but, for the garden we’re working on, gallon plants in flower were the choice.

Southern Fern  As much as I want to love all ferns, only this one finds its way into my gardens, over and over.  Drought tolerant, it runs and makes an elegant, delicate groundcover even in deep shade.

Leopard Lily  Still rare but making its way into shade gardens, this little ground cover will live where any true hosta would fry. In dry shade, fleshy spotted leaves look like a house plant; spring spires of white flowers look good even as they dry.

Euonymus ‘Wolong’s Ghost’  Yes, it’s a 70s plant, and I understand in some climates it’s invasive.  But for warm climates, where most groundcover Euonymus die, this one is tough as nails.  Did your Asian Jasmine get iced out last year?  Your vinca get roasted in the summer?  Hanging basket evergreens look tired?  This lightly variegated plant works anywhere.

Salvia ‘Jenks Farmer’  Really, it’s so much more than regular sage.  Nice silver leaves but in the spring, masses of lavender flowers.  Pete, a friend who ran a big herb farm, told me that he’d sold thousands of these at Charleston markets because of their April/May flowers.  (Real name is Salvia ‘Newe Yaar’)

Camellia ‘Shishigashira’  Compact and spectacular as a tight hedge, this sasanqua can take full sun and drought.  Pink/purplish flowers, that smell like tea and powders, cover the plant soon, when southern gardens should be at their peak.

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