People love plants for a variety of reasons. Plants can evoke happy memories, provide comfort, and uplift the mind and spirit through their fragrance and colors. No matter the reasons, we can always depend on them to provide joy in the garden throughout the entire year.
Here are a few plant gems that we absolutely love and are sure to make your heart skip a beat.
Eternal Fragrance Daphne
Exhibiting an intense, heavenly fragrance, Daphne is one of those plants that you’ll blindly fall in love with before you even see it! Our favorite amongst the Daphne’s is the Eternal Fragrance Daphne (Daphne x transatlantica ‘BLAFRA’). We have a hard time not including at least one in each of our projects! This Daphne variety has a compact mounding growth habit and their flowers form into tight clusters on the tips of the evergreen foliage. They will bloom multiple times a year starting in May and continue through October. We like to place this Daphne near an entry way or a favorite sitting area in the garden so our clients can enjoy the scent.
A late winter delight, the stunning flowers of Hellebores always captivate our attention with their array of colors and intricate flower structures. With so many wonderful hybrids available, a few of our favorite varieties include: Helleborus x hybridus ‘Cherry Blossom’, Helleborus x hybridus ‘Sparkling Diamond’ and Helleborus x ‘Blue Lady’. We love how long of a lifespan Hellebore’s blossoms have which help brighten those winter days in the garden. They are perfect in woodland gardens planted with other spring flowering plants and along pathways in dappled shade.
Himalayan Maidenhair Fern
Elegant, graceful, and romantic are the perfect words to describe the Himalayan Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum venustum). Pink croziers unfrul in spring and mature into dark, shiny black-purple stems that contrast with the bright green fronds. Appearances may be deceiving though, because unlike most Adiantum fern species, the Himalayan Maidenhair Fern is evergreen and quite tough in the Pacific Northwest. This is one of the many reasons we love this fern since we can enjoy its presence in the garden year round. Our favorite places for this plant are in shady crevices in rocks near woodland paths or under a deck where it will receive light to dappled shade.
Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia) will have you captivated by its constant kaleidoscope of colors and all year interest. Silk point flower buds start appearing in early spring, opening into Camellia-like saucer cup shaped blossoms. Leaves are dark green through spring and summer and eventually turn apricot-orange in autumn. Even in the Winter months this tree is an attractive specimen. The tree branching has a slight zigzag habit, with the bark displaying a peeling patchwork of grey, amber, and orange. A proven winner to enjoy for all seasons and one of our favorite ornamental trees for a special spot in the garden.
If you’re looking for something that requires minimal maintenance, supports local pollinators, is a dependable evergreen, and is native to the Pacific Northwest, then Evergreen Huckleberries (Vaccinium ovatum) are your match! The new growth of Evergreen Huckleberry comes out as a bronzy red in early spring and turns glossy green with a leathery feel to them. Tiny, urn-shaped white flowers hang under the foliage and are followed by blackish-blue berries that can remain on the shrub until winter. This is a lovely addition in a mixed landscape bed or by a grouping of boulders. With its irregular, branching growth habit and year round interest, it is one of our personal native favorites.
Mount Airy Fothergilla
A well behaved shrub that never disappoints us, Mount Airy Fothergilla (Fothergilla x ‘Mt. Airy) is a deciduous shrub that grows into a compact, mounded form. With a sweet licorice-like fragrance, the white bottlebrush shaped blossoms emerge in early spring before bluish-green leaves appear on the branches. As fall approaches, the leaves become a spectacular color show of burgundy, red, maroon, purple, orange, yellow, and gold. We love to place this shrub in our landscape designs as a transition plant from an ornamental garden near the house to more native areas of the landscape.
Black Scallop Ajuga
A well-loved evergreen groundcover, the little Black Scallop Ajuga (Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’) has many wonderful qualities that we have grown personally to love over the years. Deep blue flower spikes emerge in late spring from a low, dense mat of deep burgundy-green leaves. Not only is it an aesthetically pleasing groundcover, it also provides many beneficial uses in the landscape such as: suppressing weeds throughout landscape beds, helps with soil erosion on slopes, and can handle a fair amount of foot traffic. Why would anyone NOT love a plant that helps cut out on weeding time!
Do you have a special plant that is dear to you? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!