Archive for the Shade Shrubs Category

Woody Plants for Shade Part 10

Posted in Fall Color, native plants, Shade Shrubs, shade vines, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News: Our 2014 Spring Shrub Offer is on line here and orders are due April 27.  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens’ third spring sale featuring native plants and wildflowers is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, from 10 am to 3 pm.  To get all the details, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Our 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is now on line, click here.  It lists all the wonderful little hostas that will be available at the nursery and by mail. 

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Spring Shrub OfferClockwise from upper left: Pink Swamp Azalea, ‘Popcorn’ Snowball Bush, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Coastal Doghobble in winter, Carolina Jessamine, ‘Jet Trail’ Quince.

Because shade gardens are not composed solely of perennials, I offer woody plants—shrubs, trees, and vines—to my customers several times a year.  I want them to have a reliable source for large and healthy specimens, but I also want to make available woody plants for shade that are wonderful but hard-to-find.  I am in the middle of an offer right now, and customers need to let me know if they want to order by Sunday, April 27.  To see the 2014 Spring Shrub Offer, click here.

When I do these offers, I also do a post describing the plants in more detail.  These posts are some of the most popular I have ever written.  In fact, Woody Plants for Shade Part 2 is number four for all time views and Woody Plants for Shade Part 1 is number eight.  If you want to read about all the plants I have recommended, I have included links at the end of this post.  So let’s get to the plants that I am recommending this time, starting with three evergreen shrubs.

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Buxus microphylla Wintergreen 7-12-10_LSUnfortunately, the only shot I have of ‘Wintergreen’ boxwood shows it in a container, but at least you can see its loose habit and delicate leaves.

‘Wintergreen’ Korean or little leaf boxwood, Buxus microphylla var. koreana,  is a very useful shrub for hedges, edging, achieving a somewhat formal look, and adding evergreen interest to your garden.  At 2 to 4′ tall and 3 to 5′ wide, it doesn’t take up a lot of space.   As an added bonus, ‘Wintergreen’s’ small dark evergreen leaves maintain their green color in the winter unlike most boxwoods, which turn an ugly bronze-yellow.  The loose, rounded habit is easily pruned for use as a hedge.  It grows in part to full shade and is deer and disease resistant.  After this winter it is nice to know that ‘Wintergreen’ is extremely hardy to zone 4.

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Leucothoe axillaris MOBOTCoastal doghobble’s shiny evergreen leaves display its lovely, fragrant flowers beautifully.  Photo courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder.

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Leucothoe axillaris 11-7-11_LSThe winter foliage of coastal doghobble.

Coastal doghobble, Leucothoe axillaris, is native to the southeastern U.S., starting just south of Pennsylvania.  It has showy, arching clusters of white, fragrant flowers in May.  The glossy evergreen leaves  have excellent burgundy fall color.  Coastal doghobble looks great even after a hard winter unlike the more commonly available doghobble, L. fontanesiana, which always looks ratty to me.  It is deer resistant and grows 2 to 4′ tall and 3 to 5′ wide in part shade.  Evidently it was given the name doghobble by bear hunters because bears could crash through it but dogs would become entangled.

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Osmanthus heterophyllus Goshiki 10-26-11_LS‘Goshiki’ osmanthus has a beautiful blend of colors in its leaves and a wonderful fragrance.

‘Goshiki’ variegated holly tea olive, Osmanthus heterophyllus, has dramatic, holly-like evergreen leaves that emerge reddish bronze and change to a lovely blend of cream, gold, and green, lighting up dark corners.  Its delicious fragrance perfumes the garden in November when it blooms.  The prickly foliage repels deer.  My osmanthus came through this winter looking spectacular with no browning.  ‘Goshiki’ grows to 6′ tall and 4′ wide in full sun to full shade.  It received the coveted Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Award as an outstanding shrub for our area.

That covers the evergreens, now for the deciduous shrubs:

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Chaenomeles x superba 'Jet Trail'‘Jet Trail’ quince, Chaenomeles x superba, is loaded with buds and showy, pure white flowers every March (April this year!) and it only grows to 3′ tall and 3′ wide.  I have profiled it before so for all the details, click here.

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Hydrangea quercifoliaNative ‘Ellen Huff’ oakleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, has all the four season attributes of my favorite shrub—ornamental bark, beautiful fall color, bold-textured leaves, and gorgeous, long-lasting flowers—plus a vigorous habit and great branching structure.  For more details, click here to read my profile of oakleaf hydrangeas.
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Jasminum nudiflorumA close up of winter jasmine’s lovely yellow flowers.

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Jasminum nudiflorumI grow winter jasmine trailing over my terrace walls and enjoy its flowers all winter.

Although Winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, requires full sun, I am offering it because so many customers have asked for it after seeing my plants trailing off my terraces.  The soft yellow flowers open during warm spells throughout the winter and then prolifically in February and March (April this year) for a very long season.  The graceful, arching stems are dark green providing great winter interest.  The shiny dark green leaves have an unusual delicate texture.  When planted in a flat area, winter jasmine spreads to make an effective ground cover.  It is tough, adaptable, and deer resistant, growing to 3′ tall and 6′ wide in average garden soils.

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Rhododendron viscosum Betty Cummins 6-6-12_LS (1)Swamp azaleas usually have white flowers, but ‘Betty Cummins’ has lovely deep pink blooms.

‘Betty Cummins’ pink swamp azalea, Rhododendron viscosum, is a rare deep pink flowered form of our native swamp azalea.  Swamp azalea grows wild from Maine to Florida, and this particular form was found in New Jersey.  It blooms in early summer and has a wonderful spicy, clove-like scent.  The deciduous, lustrous deep green leaves turn an attractive orange to maroon in fall.  ‘Betty Cummins’ grows to 6′ tall and 5′ wide in part shade.  It is wet site tolerant and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

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Viburnum plicatum Popcorn 4-6-12_LS (2)‘Popcorn’ Japanese snowball bush is loaded with round white flowers earlier in the season than most other shrubs.

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Viburnum plicatum Popcorn 4-6-12_LS (5)A close up of ‘Popcorn’s’ flowers: although it looks like an hydrangea, it is actually a viburnum.

‘Popcorn’ Japanese snowball bush, Viburnum plicatum, has 3″ round blooms that open lime green and mature to pure white, putting on a stunning show for a full month in April and May.  The dark leathery green leaves turn burgundy red in fall.  ‘Popcorn’ has a lovely upright, tiered, and compact habit.  It grows to 5 to 8′ tall and 4 to 7′ wide in full sun to part shade, but it tolerates full shade.  It is deer resistant and heat and drought tolerant.

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Gelsemium sempervirens 'Margarita'‘Margarita’ Carolina jessamine grows on a fence in part shade.  It is native to the southeastern U.S. and has received a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Award as an outstanding vine for our area.  To see my previous profile, click here.

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Gelsemium sempervirens 'Margarita'A close up of ‘Margarita’s’ fragrant yellow flowers.

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Those are the nine woody shade plants that I am currently offering to my customers.  If you want to read about more trees, shrubs, and vines for you shady garden, here are links to all my previous posts:

Woody Plants for Shade Part 1

Woody Plants for Shade Part 2

Woody Plants for Shade Part 3

Woody Plants for Shade Part 4

Woody Plants for Shade Part 5

Woody Plants for Shade Part 6

Woody Plants for Shade Part 7

Woody Plants for Shade Part 8

Woody Plants for Shade Part 9

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Our third sale featuring native plants and wildflowers is Saurday, April 26, from 10 am to 3 pm.  Customers on our list will get an email with all the details.  You can sign up to receive emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  The 2014 Spring Shrub Offer is here, and orders must be received by April 27.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Fall 2013 Snowdrops and Camellias

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, Fall, Shade Shrubs, snowdrops, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

I have decided to move the Nursery Happenings portion of my posts to the top so that my customers can have easy access to this information.  I hope it won’t be too bothersome to my non-local readers, but Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is first and foremost a plant nursery—the blog posts are just icing on the cake!

Nursery Happenings: The 2014 Snowdrop Catalogue, featuring snowdrops and other winter interest plants like cyclamen and hellebores, is on the sidebar, and we are taking orders.  To access the catalogue, please click here.  Please visit my Etsy Shop to purchase photo note cards suitable for all occasions by clicking here.

Camellia x 'Long Island Pink'‘Long Island Pink’ fall-blooming hardy camellia

As my garden begins to quiet down in the second half of fall, two of my favorite plants come into their full glory.  One is fall-blooming hardy camellias, and the other is fall-blooming snowdrops.  Both are quite rare, at least in the U.S., but both are quite easy to grow and look wonderful together.  And the key to my appreciation of them is that late fall, November and December, is their main season.  When other plants are succumbing to frost, camellias and snowdrops begin their show with a fresh and pristine look.

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Galanthus elwesii Hiemalis GroupThis fall-blooming form of the giant snowdrop selected at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens began flowering on November 1 this year and will be offered in the 2014 Snowdrop Catalogue.  Technically it is called Galanthus elwesii var. monstictus Hiemalis Group CSG-01, what a mouthful.

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Galanthus elwesii Novemnber bloomingAnother shot of my fall-blooming snowdrops showing how they are nestled in among evergreen hellebores and Japanese holly ferns to highlight the pure white flowers.

I readily admit that I am a snowdrop addict—a galanthophile.  And I can even understand how some gardeners fail to get excited about these little white flowers in the spring.  However, in November and December when even the hardy cylcamen are done, snowdrops are so bright and cheerful that the winter doldrums disappear the minute I see them.  You can even have flowers beginning in mid-October by planting the earliest blooming species Galanthus reginae-olgae.  For more on fall-blooming snowdrops, click here.

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Galanthus elwesii green-tippedAnother fall-blooming giant snowdrop selected here at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens for it’s early November bloom time and green-tipped outer segments.  It received high praise recently when I posted photos on the Scottish Rock Garden Club Galanthus Forum, even the UK galanthophiles with access to hundreds of cultivars were impressed.  Hopefully it will multiply quickly and someday I can offer it for sale.

I am working on the 2014 Snowdrop Catalogue right now and will have it posted on the website before January 1.  There are a lot of exciting cultivars available for 2014, but unfortunately they are in very short supply so if you are interested, order early.  I have written quite a few blog posts and articles about snowdrops.  You can find them all compiled in the post New Feature Article on Snowdrops by clicking here.

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Camellia Winter's Snowman‘Winter’s Snowman’ fall-blooming camellia has gorgeous, shiny, dark evergreen leaves.

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Camellia Winter's Snowman‘Winter’s Snowman’ produces two types of flowers on the same plant: the anemone-form flowers on the right and the more open semi-double flowers on the left.

Like the snowdrops above, fall-blooming camellias are outstanding in November and December when their large and colorful flowers are shown off to perfection by their shiny evergreen leaves.  However, they bring even more to the garden because unlike the ephemeral snowdrops, camellias are shrubs that provide the beauty of their evergreen leaves and lovely habit year round.

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Camellia sasanqua Nokoriko‘Nokoriko’ is new to my garden this year, and I love its unusual flower color.  Although it is said to be hardy in zone 6, it is a selection from the species Camellia sasanqua, which is not always hardy in our area.  Only time will tell.

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I have written a lot about fall-blooming camellias and featured photos of dozens of plants that are hardy in zones 6 and 7.  All my articles are compiled in the blog post New York Times Photos where I provided a link to my camellia photos that appeared in that newspaper.   To see those photos and read more about camellias, click here. If you are looking for information about or photos of a particular hardy camellia cultivar, type the name into the Search My Website area on the sidebar of my home page (if the sidebar is not on the right, click here).

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Camellia Arctic SnowThis photo of  ‘Arctic Snow’ gives an idea of how many buds each camellia can produce.

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Camellia Arctic Snow‘Arctic Snow’ flower

The one drawback to fall-blooming camellias is that if we have unseasonably cold weather, below 25 degrees F (-3.8 C) or so, any open flowers can be frozen and ruined.  This happened this year during the last week of November when the temperature dropped to an official 21 degrees F (-6 C) but was actually 18 degrees in my garden and as low as 12 degrees elsewhere.  However, the unopened buds on my plants didn’t freeze, and the flowers continued to open.  We are now experiencing another bout of colder than normal weather, and I am not sure the buds will make it through unscathed this time.

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Camellia Long Island Pink ‘Long Island Pink’

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Camellia x 'Long Island Pink'A close up of ‘Long Island Pink’ and its beautiful leaves.

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Usually I visit other gardens to show you camellias.  However, this year I am highlighting the cultivars that I grow myself.  Enjoy the photos and keep warm during the extra chilly weather we are experiencing.

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Camellia olifera Lu Shan SnowThe oldest camellia in my garden is ‘Lu Shan Snow’, a Camellia oleifera cultivar and the hardy camellia used by Dr. Ackerman at the US National Arboretum to develop many modern hardy camellia cultivars.

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Camellia olifera Lu Shan Snow‘Lu Shan Snow’

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Camellia Winter's Joy‘Winter’s Joy’ is one of my favorites because it produces so many buds and flowers.

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Camellia Winter's Joy‘Winter’s Joy’

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Camellia Winter's Star White‘Winter’s Star White’

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Camellia x 'Winter's Darling'‘Winter’s Darling’

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Camellia x 'Elaine Lee'‘Elaine Lee’

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Berries for Fall

Posted in Fall, Fall Color, my garden, native plants, Shade Gardening, Shade Shrubs, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst'‘Early Amethyst’ beautyberry, Callicarpa dichotoma

For fall and winter ornamental interest, you can’t beat berries.  They are incredibly showy and last much longer than flowers.  They attract birds to my garden when they come in flocks to feast on the bounty—sometimes sooner than I would like.  And this year seems to be the best year ever for fruit production.  All my berry producing plants are loaded.  Is it because of all the rain we had this summer?  Or does it portend a hard winter like the presence of lots of acorns?  Who knows, but I am enjoying them and want to share some of my favorites with you.

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Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite'‘Red Sprite’ winterberry holly, Ilex verticillata

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Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite''‘Red Sprite’

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Winterberry holly is a must for fall interest.  It is a native deciduous holly that grows in sun to part shade and is salt and wet site tolerant.  Just remember that like all hollies, it requires a male and female plant to produce fruit.  ‘Red Sprite’ is more compact than most winterberries at five feet tall and four feet wide, it never needs pruning.  My plants drape down over the wall of one of my terraces and are stunning this time of year.  ‘Red Sprite’ produces more profusely than most winterberries, and its berries are larger and very showy.  Unfortunately the robins know this too, and they sweep in and strip the bush in one day.

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Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst'‘Early Amethyst’ beautyberry

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Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst'The fruit clusters of Callicarpa dichotoma, an Asian native, are held away from the branch on a stalk, whereas the fruit of C. americana (photo below) surrounds the branch.

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The fruit of beautyberries, both native and non-native, is such a striking purple color that it stops people in their tracks.  I have written about ‘Early Amethyst’ before in Woody Plants for Shade Part 3 so you can go there for all the details.  ‘Early Amethyst’ is a much more fine-textured plant than the American native and fits well in a mixed border.  In the last few years, I have cut my plants back to 12 to 24″ in the spring, and they have grown back to produce a 5 to 6′ plant with a beautiful habit (see top photo).

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Begonia grandishardy begonia, B. grandis

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Begonia grandishardy begonia

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No, hardy begonias do not produce fruit.  But the persistent seed pods and pink stems remain quite ornamental after the flowers drop off.  They decorate my whole back hillside.  For more information on hardy begonias, read this post Hardy Begonias for Fall Color.

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Crataegus viridis 'Winter King'‘Winter King’ green hawthorn, Crataegus viridis

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Cratageus viridis 'Winter King'‘Winter King’ hawthorn

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I have had my ‘Winter King’ hawthorn for over 15 years, and it has never produced like this.  It has a prime position outside my living room windows, and the view is amazing.  Green hawthorn is a native plant adaptable to many locations and soil types.  ‘Winter King’ is said to reach 30′ tall and 25′ wide in sun to part sun, although my mature plant is smaller.  In the spring, fluffy white flowers cover the tree, and its silver bark is also attractive.  ‘Winter King’ is a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society gold medal plant.  For more information, read the PHS write up.

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Callicarpa americanaAmerican beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, it is difficult to get a good distance shot of the fruit when the leaves are still on.  However, they will drop shortly and the berries will persist.

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Callicarpa americanaThe fruit of American beautyberry surrounds the branch.

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I have been looking for American beautyberry to add to my garden for almost 20 years and just installed three shrubs last fall.  Although I have the Asian variety and like it, there is something about the color (blackberry purple?) and placement of the larger berries on the American variety that I find more attractive.  As with a lot of North American plants, it is less refined and bigger than its Asian counterpart so not suitable for a mixed border.  For more information, go to Woody Plants for Shade Part 9.

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Symphoricarpos x doorenbosii Amethyst‘Amethyst’ coral berry, Symphoricarpos x doorenbosii, I must have taken 25 photos in an attempt to show you how beautiful this shrub is even from a distance but could not get one that does it justice.

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Symphoricarpos x doorenbosii 'Amethyst'‘Amethyst’ coral berry

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New to me this fall, ‘Amethyst’ coral berry has everything I am looking for in a shrub.  It is a cross between two Pennsylvania native shrubs, and it grows to 3 to 5′ tall with a similar spread in part shade but is full shade tolerant.  It is deer resistant and the gorgeous and unusual bright pink berries are attractive to birds.  For more information, go to Woody Plants for Shade Part 9.

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I have highlighted just a few of the plants that are making my fall garden as enjoyable as my spring display.  Enjoy the remaining warm days of fall and pray for rain.  Meanwhile, all new plantings and drought susceptible established plants should be watered deeply twice a week.

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the winter.  Look for the 2014 Snowdrop Catalogue in early January.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Woody Plants for Shade Part 9

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, Fall, Fall Color, native plants, Shade Shrubs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Magnolia asheiAshe magnolia is a rare native bigleaf magnolia in a size suitable for almost any garden.

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Because shade gardens are not composed solely of perennials, three times a year I offer woody plants—shrubs, trees, and vines—to my customers.  I want them to have a reliable source for large and healthy specimens, but I also want to make available woody plants for shade that are wonderful but hard-to-find.  I am in the middle of an offer right now, and customers need to let me know if they want to order by Sunday, September 29.  To see the 2013 Fall Shrub Offer, click here.

When I do these offers, I also do a post describing the plants in more detail.  These posts are some of the most popular I have ever written.  In fact, Woody Plants for Shade Part 2 is number four for all time views and Woody Plants for Shade Part 1 is number eight.  If you want to read about all the plants I have recommended, you can find the remaining six by using the Search My Website feature on the right hand side of the home page.  So let’s get to the plants that I am recommending this time, starting with the trees.

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Magnolia asheiThis is my own Ashe magnolia, which I planted in an open, north-facing bed.  It bloomed after its first full year and was spectacular as promised.

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I have been coveting the native bigleaf magnolia, also known as the large-leaved cucumber tree, M. macrophylla, for a long time.  It has gorgeous, gigantic fragrant flowers and the most amazing leaves and did I say it was native?  There is even one in my neighborhood for me to lust after.  However, it’s huge, the sources say 40 feet tall by 40 feet wide, but I have seen larger specimens.  Plantsman Michael Dirr calls it a “cumbersome giant”, and it takes forever to bloom.  Imagine how excited I was when I discovered a small version of this tree tucked into a courtyard at Chanticleer.

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Magnolia asheiThe flower bud on the Ashe magnolia.

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Ashe magnolia, M. macrophylla ssp. ashei, is a subspecies of the bigleaf magnolia, or maybe it is its own species, but the important thing is that it only grows to 15 to 20 feet tall with a similar width.  The specimen at the Scott Arboretum is 10 feet tall after 20 years.  It has the same spectacular, tropical-looking 24″ leaves.  The huge 10″, highly fragrant flowers are pure white with a purple center spot and bloom in early summer.  Unlike its big relative, it blooms at a very young age in sun to part shade.  It originates in the Florida panhandle and its hardiness range is unclear.  However, it does fine in the Delaware Valley.

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Stewartia koreanaKorean stewartia has attractive exfoliating bark that is especially ornamental in winter.

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Stewartia koreanaStewartias are known for their striking fall color.

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Stewartia koreanaKorean stewartia blooms in the summer with white, camellia-like flowers.

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Korean stewartia, S. koreana,  is another small tree that is easily integrated into home gardens.  It reaches 25 feet in height and has an upright, pyramidal shape.  Its large, white, camellia-like flowers appear over a long period of time in June and July.  Its cinnamon-colored, exfoliating bark is visually interesting in winter.  The refined dark green leaves turn a beautiful orange-red color in fall.  Korean stewartia has received the coveted Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant award.  For details, click here.  This is an elegant tree for the smaller landscape with a solid 365 days of ornamental interest.

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Camellia x 'Long Island Pink'Fall-blooming hardy camellia ‘Long Island Pink’

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Fall-blooming camellias hardy in zone 6, the zone for most of southeastern Pennsylvania, are hard to find for sale especially in a decent size.  Even though hardy camellias suitable for our more northern climate were developed over 20 years ago, they are not well known to most gardeners and even to the horticultural trade.  That is why I always include a nice selection in my offering.  For more information on them generally, you can read my posts by clicking here, which will take you to Part 4 in the series and provide links to the first three parts.  To summarize, they bloom in part to full shade in the fall, generally from October through December, with large showy flowers and have glossy evergreen leaves and a lovely habit.

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Camellia Northern Exposure Monrovia‘Northern Exposure’ fall-blooming camellia

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I am offering three camellias this time.  ‘Long Island Pink’ has a compact and upright habit reaching 5 feet tall and three feet wide.  It produces lovely single pink flowers in mid-fall and has glossy dark evergreen leaves.  ‘Northern Exposure’ grows to 6 feet tall and five feet wide.  Its pale pink buds open to very large, single white flowers with bright yellow stamens over a long period of time in fall.  The flowers look gorgeous against the glossy dark evergreen leaves

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Camellia 'Winter's Dream'‘Winter’s Dream’ fall-blooming camellia

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‘Winter’s Dream’  also has a compact and upright habit, reaching 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide.  It produces very showy semi-double pink flowers in early fall.  ‘Winter’s Dream’ was developed by famous camellia breeder Dr. William Ackerman at the U.S. National Arboretum.  All three of these camellias are fully cold hardy in our area but benefit from siting to protect them from winter sun and wind, which generally comes from the northwest.

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Callicarpa americanaThe berries of our native American beautyberry are eye-catching to say the least.

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I always try to plant native trees and shrubs when I can for many reasons ranging from their durability and beauty to the ultimate survival of the human species (for more on this read My Thanksgiving Oak Forest).  So you can imagine how happy I was to find a source for native American beautyberry, Callicarpa americana.  I immediately planted three of them on the shady open hillside above my nursery and have been very impressed with the spectacular berries they produced this fall.

American beautyberry grows 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide in sun to part shade.  Its pink flowers in early summer are nice, but, like all beautyberries, it takes center stage in fall.  Right now large clusters of spectacular, long-lasting, magenta-purple berries march up and down the branches wherever the leaves join the stem.  The color is so unusual it stops people in their tracks.  This striking native plant is also deer resistant and attractive to birds.  I am thrilled to be able to offer this wonderful native to my customers.

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Edgeworthia chrysanthaRight now edgeworthia is just forming its gorgeous silver buds, which remain ornamental all winter.

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Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Snow Cream' Cresson gardenThe whole bush is loaded with these buds all fall and early winter before the flowers open.

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Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia’s fragrant and unusual yellow flowers are very long-blooming.

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I have profiled Edgeworthia chrysantha (supposedly called paper bush but everyone calls it edgeworthia) before in my woody plants for shade series and written a post on what is one of my top five favorite shrubs.  For all the details, see Edgeworthia, A Shrub for All Seasons.  I continue to offer it again and again because it is very hard to find for sale.  I am not sure why because it is ornamental 365 days a year with an elegant habit, reddish bark, large tropically-textured leaves, gorgeous silver buds from fall to late winter, and fragrant flowers from January to March.  For all the details, including a discussion of edgeworthia’s cultural requirements, you will have to read my post.

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Hydrangea arborescens 'Incrediball' & 'Invincible Spirit'‘Incrediball’ smooth hydrangea in my garden.

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Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' photo MOBOTThe flowers of ‘Incrediball’ are gorgeous in both their white and green stages.  They last forever in a vase.

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Another native, ‘Incrediball’ smooth hydrangea, H. arborescens,  grows to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide in part shade and is full shade tolerant.  Its very showy pure white, 12″ and larger globular flowers are set off beautifully by smooth bright green leaves from June through August.  Unlike some other hydrangeas whose flowers turn brown, these flowers age to a lovely green and are wonderful in dried arrangements.  ‘Incrediball’ is a vast improvement on ‘Annabelle’ because it has very sturdy upright stems and its flowers do not flop even in the torrential rains we had early this summer.  My one-year-old plants shown above were loaded with upright flowers all summer.  Smooth hydrangea is said to be deer resistant and mine, which are exposed to deer, have not been touched.

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Hydrangea macrophylla 'Forever Pink'The leaves and flowers of ‘Forever Pink’ are both beautiful.
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I chose ‘Forever Pink’ bigleaf hydrangea, H. macrophylla,  for the offer because its leaves still look beautiful in the fall and it has striking flowers.  It grows to 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide in sun to full shade.  The vibrant, large, dark pink flowers cover the plant for an extended period in summer.  It has a compact, globe-shaped form with thick stems that resist falling over.  ‘Forever Pink’ is very tolerant of cold temperatures and salt and can take more sun than other bigleaf hydrangeas due to its thick leaves.

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Hydrangea quercifolia 'Pee Wee' at Carolyn's Shade Gardens‘Pee Wee’ oakleaf hydrangea is small enough to fit almost anywhere in the garden.

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Hydrangea quercifoliaAll oakleaf hydrangeas have lovely red to burgundy fall color.

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Hydrangea quercifoliaOakleaf hydrangea’s large flowers

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Everyone should have a native oakleaf hydrangea in their garden for four-season interest.  They get quite large, but  ‘Pee Wee’ dwarf oakleaf hydrangea, H. quercifolia,  is the perfect cultivar for  smaller gardens and smaller spaces.  It grows to 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide in full sun to full shade.  The large, long-lasting, upright pyramids of white flowers in June and July change to pink as they age and even look good brown.  The bold-textured leaves with burgundy-red fall color and cinnamon-colored exfoliating bark move the season of interest through fall and winter.  Oakleaf hydrangeas are walnut tolerant and native to the southeastern US.

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Symphoricarpos 'Amethyst'The berries of ‘Amethyst’ coral berry cover the shrub.

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I was looking through my supplier’s availability list when I came across native  ‘Amethyst’ coral berry, Symphoricarpos x doorenbosii, a shrub unknown to me.  I was very excited when I discovered that it is a hybrid of two Pennsylvania natives and thrives in the shade.  ‘Amethyst’ grows to 3 to 5 feet tall with a similar width in part shade, but is full shade tolerant.  Small pink flowers appear in June.  In the fall, abundant and unusually striking pink fruit are set off beautifully by fine-textured blue-green leaves and then remain after the leaves drop.  Coral berry is deer resistant and attractive to birds.

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I hope I have introduced you to some new trees and shrubs that excite you.  Remember orders must be received by September 29.

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens will hold a full-fledged open house sale on Saturday, September 28, from 10 am to 3 pm.  Shrub and tree orders are due by September 29.  For details, click here.  We are currently offering double hellebores, both by pre-order and at the nursery.  For details, click here.   Now that it’s cool, we are also shipping miniature hostas again.  For details, click here.  Low maintenance seminars are in the works.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Woody Plants for Shade Part 8

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, native plants, Shade Shrubs, shade vines with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum 5-7-2011 7-14-31 PM 5-11-2011 8-29-02 AMMy garden reaches one of its peaks when the doublefile viburnum, V. plicatum var. tomentosum, is blooming.  It has such a beautiful habit and way of holding its flowers.  I am offering the award-winning cultivar ‘Shasta’.

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My nursery, Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, specializes in perennials for shade with an emphasis on hellebores, unusual bulbs especially snowdrops, hostas particularly miniature hostas, native plants, and ferns.  However, a satisfying shade garden does not consist of just perennials but includes trees, shrubs, and vines.  I provide a quality source for these plants by doing a special offer three times a year. 

I have just sent my second 2013 list to my customers.  To view the catalogue, click here.   However, I always do a post on the plants offered so that my blog readers who are not customers can learn about the woody plants that I would recommend they add to their shade gardens.  And doing an article allows me to add more information and explain why I chose the plants I included so customers might be interested also.

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Camellia x 'Winter's Darling'‘Winter’s Darling’ fall-blooming camellia with ‘Moudry’ black fountain grass.

This offer focuses on plants that are late spring-, summer-, or fall- blooming, evergreen, and/or native..  Included are two camellias, two additional evergreen shrubs, four deciduous shrubs, and three vines.  Four of the plants I have chosen are evergreen, and five bloom off season, in summer or fall.   This reflects  my desire to see gardeners expand their gardens’ season beyond spring to become a year round paradise for them to enjoy.  With that introduction, here are the plants I am highlighting:

Camellia x 'Winter's Darling'‘Winter’s Darling’


I have included two fall-blooming hardy camellias for their spectacular late season flowers and elegant evergreen leaves. These camellias, along with many other cultivars, have been selected to be fully cold hardy in the mid-Atlantic U.S., zones 6B and 7A.  Nevertheless all camellias benefit from being sited to shelter them from winter wind, which comes from the northwest.  They also maintain their lustrous dark green leaves in better shape if they are sheltered from winter sun.

‘Winter’s Darling’ is a camellia cultivar suitable for our area because it was selected for its cold hardiness by Dr. William Ackerman at the U.S. National Arboretum.  It has very showy deep cerise pink anemone form flowers in November and December and glossy dark evergreen leaves.  It grows slowly to 6′ tall and 5′ wide in part to full shade.  In my garden, it has a  shorter and more relaxed habit than my other camellias.

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Camellia Northern Exposure Monrovia‘Northern Exposure’ fall-blooming camellia.  Thanks to Monrovia for allowing me to use their photo.

I don’t currently grow the fall-blooming camellia ‘Northern Exposure’, but I am ordering one now to add to my garden.  It has gorgeous pale pink plump buds that open to very large, single white flowers with bright yellow stamens over a long period of time in fall and winter and glossy dark evergreen leaves.  It is 6’ tall and 5′ wide, growing in part to full shade.

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Osmanthus heterophyllus Gulftide PRN‘Gulftide’ holly osmanthus (also known as holly tea olive or false holly), O. heterophyllus, blooms in the fall and is fragrant.

Fall-blooming holly osmanthus ‘Gulftide’  is one of two additional evergreens in the offer, and I would grow it just for its dramatic, stiff and pointy, lustrous dark leaves.  Its small fragrant flowers perfume the garden in fall and the prickly foliage repels deer.  It grows slowly up to 8 to 10’ tall and 4’ wide in part to full shade.  It has a dense and compact habit and is very adaptable as to soil type  It is the most cold hardy of the osmanthus, suitable for zones 6 and higher.  For some reason it is hard to find and sells out immediately so if you want one, send me an email right away.  The nursery just notified me that they also have available a very limited number of the cultivar ‘Sasaba’ which sold out in my last offer.

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Viburnum x rhytidoppylloides 'Dart's Duke'I have offered the hybrid leatherleaf viburnum ‘Dart’s Duke’, V. x rhytidophylloides, before, and it is profiled in Woody Plants for Shade Part 3.  I am including it again because it is such a versatile evergreen, deer resistant plant, growing in sun or shade and making an excellent screen or hedge with gorgeous flowers.  A Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Plant in 2012.

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There are four deciduous shrubs in the offer:

Calycanthus x 'Hartlage Wine'Native hybrid ‘Hartlage Wine’ sweetshrub, Calycanthus raulstonii, is another repeat and was profiled in Woody Plants for Shade Part 1.  This shrub is in its glory right now with its gorgeous wine-red flowers set off beautifully by the smooth bright green leaves, one of my favorites.

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Hydrangea macrophylla Tokyo Delight PRNThe lovely flowers of ‘Tokyo Delight’ bigleaf hydrangea have an outer rim of white with a deep sky blue center.

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Hydrangea macrophylla Tokyo Delight 2 PRN‘Tokyo Delight’ has an excellent habit and produces copious amounts of blooms.

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‘Tokyo Delight’ bigleaf hydrangea,  H. macrophylla, is a wonderful compact hydrangea that produces beautiful lacecap flowers with large white outer blooms and sky blue inner blooms for an extended period in summer.  The flowers age to a lovely, long-lasting rose color.  It is very cold hardy and blooms reliably every year.  It grows to 4’ tall and 3’ wide in part to full shade in zones 5 to 9. 

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Rhododendron prunifolium PRNPlum leaf azalea is one of our wonderful deciduous U.S. native rhododendrons.

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Native plum leaf azalea’s, Rhododenron prunifolium, striking 2″ orange to red flowers from June into August make this deciduous rhododendron a wonderful addition to the summer shade garden.  The flowers attract hummingbirds.  Plum leaf azalea has delicate, bright green leaves and a lovely upright habit with tiered branching.  It grows up to 8’ tall and 4’ wide in full sun to almost full shade in zones 5 to 9.

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Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosumThe elegant flowers and pleated leaves of doublefile viburnum.

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‘Shasta’ doublefile viburnum, V. plicatum var. tomentosum, was introduced by the U.S. National Arboretum as a cultivar with extra large flowers and a shorter more horizontal habit.  It produces its showy lacecap flowers in May and June, and they are displayed in a unique “doublefile” along the stems.  Its has pretty pleated medium green leaves and produces bright red berries in late July, which the birds love.  It grows quickly to 7’ tall and 10’ wide in part to full shade in zones 5 to 8.  ‘Shasta’ is deer resistant and is a PHS Gold Medal Plant.  I treasure my doublefile for its elegant “wedding cake” habit (see the first photo in the post)—one of the most noticed plants in my garden.

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Lonicera sempervirens 'John Clayton'‘John Clayton’ is the most vigorous and produces the most flowers of any of the native honeysuckle vines.

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Lonicera sempervirens 'John Clayton'‘John Clayton’ native trumpet honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, was featured previously in Woody Plants for Shade Part 3, but I am offering it again because it is such a carefree vine for part shade.

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Wisteria frutescens 'Amethyst Falls'Native ‘Amethyst Falls’  American wisteria, W. frutescens, was profiled previously in Woody Plants for Shade Part 2, but again it is such a wonderful vine as shown by its PHS Gold Medal Plant status that I am including it in this offer.

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Wisteria frutescens Nivea PRN‘Nivea’ American wisteria

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Native ‘Nivea’ American wisteria, the white-flowered form of W. frutescens, is the final plant in the offer.  It is identical to ‘Amethyst Falls’ and produces copious amounts of fragrant white flowers from June to August.  It has fine-textured, attractive foliage and is less rampant than the Asian species of wisteria.  It grows to 20′ in full to part sun (it is not technically a shade plant) in zones 5 to 9.  It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant.

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I grow most of these plants in my garden so I know you can’t go wrong by adding them to yours!  If you are a customer, click here for details on how to order these wonderful shade plants by noon on May 18.  If not, now you have some plants to ask for at your local independent nursery.  If you want to read about all the woodies I have profiled, here are the links:

Part 1,   Part 2,   Part 3,   Part 4,   Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US, zone 6b.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings:  The 2013 Spring Shrub Offer is now in full swing and orders are due May 18.  To read about the plants available and place an order, click here.  The 2013 Miniature Hosta Mail Order Catalogue, containing 34 choice selections of miniatures for shipping all over the US, is now on the right sidebar here, and we are ready to ship.  If you are local, you can use the catalogue to see what miniatures are available at the nursery.  Next up is open hours over Memorial Day Weekend.  If you are a customer, expect an email shortly with all the details.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Woody Plants for Shade Part 7

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, Fall Color, native plants, Shade Shrubs, shade vines, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Camellia x 'Spring's Promise'Spring-blooming camellia ‘Spring’s Promise’ is available in the current offer but was profiled in a previous woody plant post so I am not describing it here.  However, it is a favorite of mine, and I wanted to include a photo.  For a full write up of this plant,  go to Woody Plants for Shade Part 1.

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My nursery, Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, specializes in perennials for shade with an emphasis on hellebores, unusual bulbs especially snowdrops, hostas particularly miniature hostas, native plants, and ferns.  However, a satisfying shade garden does not consist of just perennials but includes trees, shrubs, and vines.  I provide a quality source for these plants by doing a special offer three times a year. 

I have just sent my first 2013 list to my customers.  To view the catalogue, click here.   However, I thought my blog readers who are not customers might be interested in learning about the woody plants that I would recommend they add to their shade gardens.  And doing an article allows me to add more information and explain why I chose the plants I included so customers might be interested also.

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Camellia japonica 'Korean Fire'Spring-blooming camellia ‘Korean Fire’ has the most beautiful leaves of any camellia.

The offer focuses on winter- and early spring-blooming plants, evergreens and winter interest, native plants, and fragrance.  Included are four camellias, six other shrubs, and one vine.  Six of the plants I have chosen are evergreen, and seven bloom off season, in fall or late winter/early spring.   This reflects  my desire to see gardeners expand their gardens’ season beyond spring and summer to become a year round paradise for them to enjoy.  With that introduction, here are the plants I am highlighting:

Camellia japonica 'Korean Fire'‘Korean Fire’


I included four hardy camellias for their spectacular early (or late) season flowers and elegant evergreen leaves. These camellias, along with many other cultivars, have been selected to be fully cold hardy in the mid-Atlantic U.S, zones 6B and 7A.  Nevertheless all camellias benefit from being sited to shelter them from winter wind, which comes from the northwest.  They also maintain their lustrous dark green leaves in better shape if they are sheltered from winter sun.

‘Korean Fire’ is a Camellia japonica cultivar hardy in our area because it was selected from the most northern range of the species.  It has very showy bright red single flowers in April and May and glossy dark evergreen leaves.  It grows to 10′ tall and 6′ wide in part to full shade.  It was introduced by Barry Yinger of Asiatica Nursery from plants collected in Korea in 1984 and has received the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Award for outstanding plants for our area.

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Camellia x 'April Rose'‘April Rose’ spring-blooming camellia

Camellia x ‘April Rose’ is a spring-blooming hardy camellia with gorgeous plump buds opening to formal double rose-pink flowers in April and May.  It has large glossy dark evergreen leaves.  It is 5’ tall and 4′ wide, growing in part to full shade.  It is part of the April series of exceptionally cold hardy camellias developed by Dr. Clifford Parks of North Carolina.

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Camellia x 'Winter's Star'Fall-blooming camellia ‘Winter’s Star’

‘Winter’s Star’ is a fall-blooming, cold hardy camellia with single pink flowers in October and November and glossy evergreen leaves.  It is a vigorous plant with an upright habit, reaching 6′ tall and 5′ wide at maturity and sporting lustrous dark evergreen leaves in part to full shade.  It was selected for cold hardiness by Dr. William Ackerman at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC.

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Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Sasaba'‘Sasaba’ holly osmanthus (also known as holly tree olive), O. heterophyllus, blooms in the fall and is beautifully fragrant.

Fall-blooming holly osmanthus‘Sasaba’  is the fifth evergreen in the offer, and I would grow it just for its dramatic, deeply incised dark evergreen leaves.  Its delicious fragrance perfumes my whole hillside in November when it blooms: if you are visiting you can see it on the back hill.  Its prickly foliage repels deer.  It grows 6’ tall and 4’ wide in full sun to full shade.

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Japanese mahonia, Mahonia japonica, is the sixth evergreen in the offer.  It was previously profiled here, but I am including it again because I think it is the most fragrant and best all round mahonia species.

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There are four deciduous shrubs in the offer:

Chaenomeles speciosa 'Texas Scarlet'‘Texas Scarlet’ flowering quince, Chaenomeles x superba, is another repeat.  This compact selection gives you the wonderful early flowers of quince without the lethal thorns and out-of-control growth habit of normal quinces.  For a complete profile, click here.

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Fothergilla MOBOTThe lovely fragrant flowers of fothergilla.

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Fothergilla gardeniiThis is a photo of my unselected fothergilla so I can only imagine what ‘Red Licorice’ must look like in the fall.

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Native ‘Red Licorice’ fothergilla has honey-scented, white bottlebrush flowers in April and May.  It is a new fothergilla cultivar selected for its spectacular cherry red fall color.  It grows to 6’ tall and 5’ wide in full sun to full shade.  It is wet site tolerant,  deer resistant, and attracts butterflies.  It is native to the southeastern US.

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Kerria japonica Golden Guinea_DK‘Golden Guinea’ Japanese kerria, Kerria japonica, produces copious amounts of large, bright gold flowers.

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Kerria japonica Golden Guinea2 apr_LS (1)A close up of ‘Golden Guinea’

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‘Golden Guinea’ Japanese kerria is covered with 2 ½” yellow flowers  in April and May and then reblooms sporadically.  It has delicate, bright green pointed leaves, and its graceful stems are a vibrant green providing great winter interest.  It grows to 5’ tall and 4’ wide in part sun to almost full shade (full sun bleaches the flowers).  Kerria grows in average garden soils, is tough and adaptable, and resists deer.

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Rhododendron arborescens 1-15-13_LS (1)The lovely buds of native sweet azalea, Rhododendron arborescens.

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Rhododendron arborescens 4-27-12_LS (2)The fragrant flowers of sweet azalea.

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Native sweet azalea’s very attractive buds, which are on the plant right now, produce light pink to white very fragrant flowers with showy red stamens from May to June.  Its lustrous green leaves turn a stunning orange to red in fall.  It can grow to 10’ tall and 7’ wide in full sun to almost full shade but is usually smaller.  Sweet azalea is wet site tolerant and is one of Pennsylvania’s hardiest native deciduous azaleas.  It was first described by John Bartram in 1814.

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Gelsemium sempervirens 'Margarita'Carolina jessamine ‘Margarita’, Gelsemium sempervirens, is a vine that I have offered before but its many fragrant, bright yellow flowers, semi-evergreen leaves, and the fact that it is native to the southeastern US make it a very desirable plant.  For a complete profile, click herePhoto courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder.

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I grow most of these plants in my gardens so I know you can’t go wrong by adding them to yours!  If you are a customer, see Nursery Happenings below for details on how to order these wonderful shade plants by noon on March 30.  If not, now you have some plants to ask for at your local independent nursery.

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US, zone 6b.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings:  The nursery is open and fully stocked.  If you can’t come to an event, just email to schedule an appointment to shop.  If you wish to order shrubs, everything you need to know is in the catalogue, which can be accessed here.   The deadline for shrub orders is noon on March 30.  Our Native Wildflower Weekend takes place on Friday, April 5, from 10 am to 4 pm, and Saturday, April 6, from 10 am to 2 pm.  If you are a customer, expect an email shortly with all the details.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

New York Times Photos

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, Fall, Fall Color, Shade Shrubs, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , on January 29, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Camellia x 'Autumn Spirit'‘Autumn Spirit’ (fall blooming), the lead photo in the NYT article.

Readers will soon tire of me featuring myself in my posts, especially since the recent snowdrop post did just that.  However, I am bursting with excitement and will explode if I can’t do it one more time.  I was recently hired by the New York Times as a free lance photographer to provide the photos for a camellia article interviewing camellia expert Charles Cresson.  The print article “Camellias Ready for a Cold Snap” appeared on January 17, 2013.  One photo is on the cover of the Home section with the full article on page D4.  If you read the small print you will see my name.  You can find the on line version here.  Be sure and click through the slide show.

Camellia "Wax Lips"Unnamed Korean Camellia japonica seedling (spring blooming)

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Camellia japonica 'Berenice Boddy' Cresson Garden‘Berenice Boddy’ (spring blooming)

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While letting you know about the New York Times article, I thought this post would be a good place to list helpful articles on cold hardy camellias for easy reference.  I did this in the snowdrop post, and it has already proved invaluable to me.  I have interspersed the article names and links with some of my favorite camellia photos to keep the attention of those of you who don’t want to read up on camellias.  I am also going to list the camellias covered in each article in case a reader is interested in a particular cultivar.

Camellia 'April Tryst'‘April Tryst’ (spring blooming)

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Camellia x (Ackerman seedling)Unnamed Ackerman Seedling (fall blooming)

December 8, 2010

“Fall-blooming Camellias Part 1″

Camellia oleifera, Elaine Lee, Winter’s Darling

click here to read

Camellia x 'Moon Festival'‘Moon Festival’ (fall blooming), not hardy in zone 6.

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Camellia x 'Winter's Interlude'‘Winter’s Interlude’ (fall blooming)

December 17, 2010

“Fall-blooming Camellias Part 2″

Snow Flurry, Winter’s Dream, Autumn Spirit, Winter’s Snowman, Winter’s Charm, Scented Snow, Winter’s Beauty

click here to read

Camellia x 'April Rose'‘April Rose’ (spring blooming)

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Camellia x 'Winter's Snowman'‘Winter’s Snowman’ (fall blooming)

November 10, 2011

“Fall-blooming Camellias Part 3″

Snow Flurry, Winter’s Snowman, Winter’s Star, Winter’s Interlude, Moon Festival, Carolina Moonmist

click here to read

Camellia x 'Elaine Lee'‘Elaine Lee’ (fall blooming)

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Camellia x 'Pink Icicle'‘Pink Icicle’ (spring blooming)

December 2, 2012

“2012 Fall-blooming Camellias”

Winter’s Joy, Winter’s Snowman, Snow Flurry, Autumn Spirit, Survivor, Long Island Pink, Polar Ice, Ashton’s Ballet, Winter’s Rose, Winter’s Fire

click here to read

Camellia x 'April Blush'‘April Blush’ (spring blooming)

January 2006

“Camellias for Cold Climates” by William L. Ackerman

details Dr. Ackerman’s cold hardy camellia breeding at the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC, and describes each cultivar’s ornamental attributes and hardiness

click here to read

Camellia x 'Winter's Beauty'‘Winter’s Beauty’ (fall blooming)

January 17, 2013

The New York Times

‘Camellias Ready for a Cold Snap” by Anne Raver

excellent article profiling cold hardy camellias for the mid-Atlantic and discussing many additional cultivars not mentioned in my articles

click here to read

 

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I hope that this post will act as a central reference point where I can collect information on cold hardy camellias for the mid-Atlantic.  I intend to add titles and links as I discover more information about one of my favorite topics.  I can see already that I have neglected spring-blooming camellias in favor of the fall-blooming varieties.

Enjoy, Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US, zone 6b.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings:  The 2013 Snowdrop Catalogue is on the sidebar of the website and orders are being accepted.  To view the catalogue, click here.  There are a few spaces left in both sessions of Charles Cresson’s 2013 Winter Interest Plants Seminar.  To view the brochure and register, click here.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

December 2012 Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Posted in bulbs for shade, Camellias, hellebores, Shade Gardening, Shade Shrubs, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

DSCN8663The first of my hybrid hellebores is just about to bloom: Helleborus x ‘Snow White’ (aka ‘Snow Bunting’).

I am two days late for the official Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  On the fifteenth of each month garden bloggers from all over the world post photos of what’s blooming in their gardens, and their posts are collected by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  Nevertheless, I thought it would be fun to see which plants are pretty enough to get me outside in December on a somewhat warm but dreary, rainy day.  I also wanted to add a new twist by allowing myself only one pass through the garden for photos instead of the numerous trips required by a normal post.

Not surprisingly if you read my blog, Italian arum, hellebores, snowdrops, camellias, hardy cyclamen, and coral bells are hogging the show this time of year accompanied by a few others.  Let’s see what we have:

DSCN8642 Fall-blooming camellia ‘Winter’s Snowman’ has been blooming since October and still has buds waiting to open.

My late fall garden has been immensely improved by the addition of fall-blooming hardy camellias.  All five of mine are blooming now and have plenty of buds left.  For more information on fall-bloomimg camellias, click here.

DSCN8641‘Winter’s Joy’

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DSCN8650‘Lu Shan Snow’

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DSCN8656‘Winter’s Darling’

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DSCN8655‘Elaine Lee’

Italian arum is always a highlight this time of year after its fresh foliage emerges from dormancy in early fall:

DSCN8645‘Pictum’ Italian arum

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DSCN8659dwarf Italian arum ‘Tiny Tot’

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DSCN8654‘Gold Rush’ Italian arum, my favorite

Hellebores are just about to take over as the stars of the garden for the next few months.  For more information on hellebores, click here and follow the links at the end of the post.  If it wouldn’t violate my parameter for this post, I would run out and photograph bearsfoot hellebore and ‘Praecox’ Christmas rose, which are both almost open.  As it is, I have these two hellebores for you:

DSCN8662Another shot of the first flower on ‘Snow White’.

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DSCN8643After blooming in October, ‘Josef Lemper’ Christmas rose is at it again and will continue to bloom into spring.

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My favorite coral bells or heucheras are the cultivars that give me 365 days of colorful foliage, some of which are pictured below.  If I could go back outside, I would add ‘Frosted Violet’ and ‘Bronze Wave’.  I would also include some photographs of pulmonarias, especially ‘Diana Clare':

DSCN8646‘Caramel’ heuchera continues to change from one beautiful hue to the next through out the winter.

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DSCN8652Green Spice’ is new to my garden this year and looks like a winner.

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DSCN8653‘Citronelle’ is a customer favorite for brightening dark corners.

You know I couldn’t resist showing you a few snowdrops:

DSCN8640  ‘Potter’s Prelude’, a fall-bloomimg snowdrop cultivar, is getting to the end of its bloom period which began in mid-November.

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DSCN8658A clump of early blooming giant snowdrops, Galanthus elwesii, hides in the Japanese holly ferns and hellebores.

Except during the heart of the summer when they are dormant, hardy cyclamen are stars in my garden.  I find their highly variable leaf patterns endlessly fascinating.  For more information on hardy cyclamen, click here.

DSCN8660The last few blooms on fall-blooming hardy cyclamen, C. hederifolium, which began blooming at the end of August.

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DSCN8661Spring-blooming hardy cyclamen, C. coum, doesn’t need flowers to attract attention.

Here are some more late fall stars that might surprise you:

DSCN8639‘Brigadoon’ St. John’s wort always takes on this lovely peach color for the winter.

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DSCN8644This new mahonia called ‘Soft Caress’ was given to me by the breeders at the Southern Living Plant Collection to trial in my garden.  It is evergreen, blooms now, and is hardy to zone 7.  For more information, click here.  I have high hopes for it because I have since seen it in two other local gardens.

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DSCN8648This sedum always turns a lovely burgundy in the fall.  Unfortunately, I don’t know its exact name.

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DSCN8651Bigroot geranium, G. macrorrhizum, takes on red and pink tones for the winter.

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DSCN8649‘Black Scallop’ ajuga has quickly become one of my favorite groundcovers because its dark purple leaves remain shiny and beautiful through the winter.

You may be wondering why I would limit myself to one trip outside for photos for this post.  Every article that you read here takes me at least a full day to compose, including the photography, the research, the writing, and the editing.  I wanted to see if I could cut that back to a few hours and still produce a quality product, and I believe I have been largely successful.  It would only work for a post like this though where no significant supporting research was required. 

Enjoy, Carolyn

 

Nursery Happenings:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  The nursery is closed until spring 2013.  Thanks for a great year.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

 

A Shrub for All Seasons: Edgeworthia

Posted in Fall, Shade Shrubs, winter, winter interest with tags , , , on December 10, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Snow Cream' Cresson gardenI love edgeworthia in all its manifestations, but late winter when the buds start to swell has to be my favorite.

Edgeworthia chrysantha also known as paper bush is a collector’s plant.  That means it is rarely seen in public and private gardens and is hard to find at nurseries.  However, I have been able to offer it to my customers in fall 2011 and fall 2012 because my wholesale shrub supplier carries beautiful specimens of it.  I have grown it in my own garden for three years so I decided it was time for a full blown profile of what has become one of my favorite shrubs.

[Note:Carolyn's Shade Gardens is retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas.]

Edgeworthia chrysantha My photos of the whole plant do not do justice to how gorgeous it is, but as I reviewed the on-line literature, I realized that everyone has this problem.  This edgeworthia is pictured in mid-April on the terrace of the main house at Chanticleer gardens in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Edgeworthia is native to China and was named for Michael Edgeworth (1812 to 1881), a plant collector for the East India Company.  It arrived fairly recently in the US.  My 1990 edition of Michael Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants contains no mention of it, and it was not covered in my 1994 Longwood course, Deciduous Flowering Shrubs II.  Although articles state that its common name is paper bush, I have never heard anyone who actually grows it call it anything but edgeworthia.  In China, its bark is used to produce very high quality paper and for various medicinal purposes.  Here it is an unusual and elegant four season ornamental notable for its leaves, buds, flowers, and habit.

Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia’s leaves are large and tropical, and its bark is an unusual reddish-brown.  This photo was taken in September and the highly ornamental buds have formed but have not yet expanded.

Edgeworthia is in the same family as daphne and has even occasionally been called yellow daphne.  It is deciduous and  has large and distinctive leaves.  They are 5 to 6″ long and about 2″ wide, blue-green on the top and silvery green on the bottom.  Although they can turn yellow in fall, you wouldn’t grow edgeworthia for fall color.  The leaves cluster at the tips of the branches giving the shrub a decidedly lush and tropical appearance that really stands out in the garden.  When the leaves drop, they reveal the slender and pliable reddish-brown bark seen above.

Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia buds in November as they start to expand.

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Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Snow Cream' Cresson gardenEdgeworthia buds as they appear through the heart of the winter.

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Edgeworthis chrysanthaPlease use your imagination to envision how gorgeous this shrub must be covered with hundreds of the silky silver buds shown in the preceding photo.  This edgeworthia is pictured at the very end of January and is in the Isabelle Cosby Courtyard at the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania.

My favorite season for edgeworthia is winter when the leaves drop to reveal the buds which form in late summer or early fall depending on where you live.  Each 1″ plus bud resembles an intricately designed tassel on the corner of an elegant Victorian pillow.  The silky hairs glow in the light, and the plant looks like it is covered with hundreds of silver flowers–simply breathtaking.  The falling leaves also reveal edgeworthia’s striking architectural habit.  It is a multi-stemmed shrub that forms an almost perfectly rounded umbrella shape of cinnamon colored branches.

Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia’s buds start to open at the beginning of March in our area and as early as January in the south.

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Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia’s flowers starting to open.

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Edgeworthia chrysanthaFully open flowers in my garden in mid-March 2012.  I wish blog posts could include a fragrance button!

Blooming begins in our area in early March and can continue through April.  Each bud expands to reveal 25 to 35 tubular flowers with a silky silver exterior and a bright yellow interior.  That would be ornamental enough but the fragrance is amazing.  I can’t describe it—you will just have to find a specimen and experience it for your self.

Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia blooming at the Scott Arboretum (photo taken by Rhoda Maurer and used with the permission of the Scott Arboretum).

I am going to give cultural information for edgeworthia with the caveat that I don’t think the plant has been grown long enough for it to be definitive.  Most sources say that edgeworthia grows in light to partial shade and requires moist, fertile, well-drained organic soil with supplemental water in summer.  I grow mine in an east-facing location with very high shade, but edgeworthisas at the Scott Arboretum and Chanticleer are in the sun while Charles Cresson has a relatively old plant in full shade.  My edgeworthisas have organic soil but are in a dry location.  This causes the leaves to go limp when it’s hot but doesn’t seem to harm the plants, time will tell.

Zone information is also variable, and the only thing I can guarantee is that specimens have been growing successfully in the Delaware Valley area of Pennsylvania for some time.  If you garden north of here, I suggest you try the plant anyway because we really don’t know how much cold it can take.  Planting in a protected location is often recommended, and all the plants I have seen are in protected spots, but I don’t know if this is necessary.  Mine are more exposed than other local plants so we will see. 

Finally, height and width estimates range all over the place with a consensus probably being 6′ by 6′.  However, the Chanticleer specimen in the sun is much lower and tighter while Charles Cresson’s shady specimen is taller and looser.  One thing is clear though: you won’t regret adding edgeworthia to your garden.

If you are growing edgeworthia, please leave a comment describing your experience with it, especially if you are from an area north of the Delaware Valley.

Carolyn

 

Nursery Happenings:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is done for the fall.  Thanks for a great year.  See you in spring 2013.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

 

2012 Fall-blooming Camellias

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, Fall, Fall Color, Shade Shrubs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Camellia x 'Winter's Joy'The fall-blooming camellias are flowering in my garden, pictured above is ‘Winter’s Joy’.  I planted this camellia last fall, and it bloomed all through our mild winter.  This year it is once again loaded with buds and began blooming in October.

For the past two falls, I have written posts on fall-blooming camellias, shrubs that have quickly become favorites in my garden.  Who can resist their tough nature, glossy, evergreen leaves, tidy habit, and, best of all, large, elegant flowers from September through December?  To read my posts, click Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

'Winter's Snowman'‘Winter’s Snowman’ was planted in spring 2011 in dense shade and bloomed sparsely last fall.  This year it is well established and has been covered with flowers since October.

I only have four fall-blooming camellias in my garden: the two pictured above plus ‘Elaine Lee’ and ‘Winter’s Darling’.  My desire to showcase some new varieties on my blog gave me a great excuse to venture forth and visit the camellia collections of two great gardeners, both located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.  I spent two glorious afternoons obsessing on camellias with Charles Cresson, whose garden you have visited many times on my blog, and with Keith Robertshaw, a diehard camellia collector and one of my nursery customers.

Camellia x 'Snow Flurry'‘Snow Flurry’, which I have shown you before in the Cresson garden, is having a banner year this year.

The weird weather patterns we have been experiencing have had one good result, camellias are blooming early this year with an abundance of flowers.  I usually find it very difficult to photograph a full camellia shrub.  When I step back far enough to get the whole bush in the photo, the flowers lose their impact even though they look great in person. That was not a problem on my recent trip when cultivars like ‘Snow Flurry’ were bursting with flowers as you can see in the above photo.

Camellia x 'Snow Flurry'‘Snow Flurry’ is the earliest to flower of the cold hardy fall-blooming camellias selected by William Ackerman at the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC.  It is at the top of the list for additions to my garden.

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Camellia x 'Autumn Spirit'‘Autumn Spirit’ is another cold hardy camellia that blooms early and has produced a plethora of flowers this year.  Early bloomers are desirable because they are guaranteed to bloom even if we have an early winter that freezes the buds on the late bloomers.

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Camellia x 'Autumn Spirit'‘Autumn Spirit’ was selected by the North Carolina nursery Camellia Forest for its intense color, early bloom, and cold hardiness.

I have featured all four of the camellias shown above in my previous posts.  However, my visits to the Robertshaw and Cresson gardens did yield seven new cold hardy camellias that I haven’t seen before.  If you combine these with the approximately 20 cultivars profiled in my 2010 and 2011 posts, you will have a pretty comprehensive reference library of camellias suitable for the mid-Atlantic area of the US.  Here are the new candidates:

Camellia x 'Survivor'‘Survivor’ is another Camellia Forest introduction producing an abundance of single white flowers in early fall.  If you are in an area north of the mid-Atlantic, you might want to try this very cold hardy camellia which survived -9° F (-22.8° C) in the Camellia Forest Nursery garden.

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Camellia x 'Long Island Pink'Another camellia in addition to ‘Survivor’ for gardeners who prefer single flowers, ‘Long Island Pink’ is also valued for its large highly polished leaves.  Although it is a cultivar of  C. sasanqua, which is generally considered tender, ‘Long Island Pink’ was selected for cold hardiness from a Long Island, NY, garden.

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Camellia x 'Polar Ice'‘Polar Ice’ is a cold hardy Ackerman hybrid with anemone form flowers blooming in November and December.

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Camellia x 'Ashton's Ballet' ‘Ashton’s Ballet’ is an Ackerman hybrid with rose form double flowers blooming in November and December.  It has a compact form and makes a beautiful garden specimen.

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Camellia x (Ackerman seedling)I am cheating by putting this camellia in the post because you can’t buy it.  It was an Ackerman seedling given to Charles Cresson but never introduced to the trade.  The flowers are huge, gorgeous, and pure white.  I think we need to lobby to have it named! 

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Camellia x 'Winter's Rose'The Ackerman hybrid ‘Winter’s Rose’ is unusual.  It is a semi-dwarf that grows very slowly and densely with small leaves and flowers, making a great patio plant.  If you don’t have much room, this is the camellia for you.

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Camellia x 'Winter's Rose'‘Winter Rose’ has an abundance of small delicate shell pink flowers from mid-October to early December.  Charles Cresson pointed out that although the plant is exceedingly hardy, the flowers freeze easily.

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Camellia x 'Winter's Rose' ‘Winter’s Rose’ seems to be the favorite among commenters so I thought I would add another photo.

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Camellia x 'Winter's Fire'‘Winter’s Fire’ was present in both gardens and is the most intriguing camellia that I saw during my visits.  The flower color is very unusual, a beautiful mix of red, pink, and coral with contrasting white splotches.  While Keith and Charles both stated that the white was caused by a non-harmful virus and both plants displayed this coloring, I could find no mention of this on the internet.

[Thanks to reader Alisa Brown for answering my question about 'Winter's Fire'.   Variegation in camellias caused by a virus is not considered part of the official description of the flower.  You can read more about this by clicking here.]


Camellia x 'Winter's Fire'William Ackerman, who selected ‘Winter’s Fire’, characterizes it as having “spreading growth with a weeping habit.”  In the Robertshaw garden, it was growing like a groundcover.  This photo is taken from above.  I would love to try it cascading over a wall.

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Camellias in Cresson gardenThis is one corner of the Cresson garden showing ‘Snow Flurry’ on the left and the unnamed white Ackerman plant on the top right intermingled with several other large camellias.  Though it may be hard at first to get used to such big gorgeous flowers in November, as you can see they make for a beautiful fall landscape.

 

My annual fall camellia hunt is over with seven new specimens bagged.  Now I have a year to determine where I will continue my search next fall.  If you know of any local public or private gardens showcasing camellias please let me know.

Carolyn

 

Nursery Happenings:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is done for the fall.  Thanks for a great year.  See you in spring 2013.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

 

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