Saturday, January 7, 2012

I think I'm going to have to declare this a garden oops

Planting a Mexican Orange here seemed like such a good idea. It's evergreen, pretty, and full of good-smelling flowers. But sadly, the color is all wrong for this area.

Screaming yellow Choisya ternata 'Sundance' in late November

Neon yellow just isn't playing nicely with the rust and orange here. I need a small, evergreen shrub that will play nicely with this warm color palate. I'd love to put in a Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy' but it's deciduous. But look how pretty. So pretty!

Image yanked from here.

I kind of want to plant it anyway. But I need evergreen elements! Maybe another daphne? Or maybe an Osmanthus delavayi? I was hipped to it by Loree and made sure to pay attention to it when I visited the Chinese Garden with my parents. Or maybe I should finally give in to Oregon grape. This is the corner that we look at from our bed, so whatever goes here needs to be beautiful in every season.

The Choisya is going to move to the other side of the yard where it will get morning sun and a reprieve from the hottest part of the day. This supposedly leaves them less screaming yellow. And you know what? I KNEW that it would turn that color in full sun and I planted it anyway, thinking that it would magically behave differently. Like if I loved it enough it would just caramelize or something? It's this same kind of thinking that makes me plant all of my shrubs too closely together.

And I think the Lonicera nitida 'Baggensen's Gold' is gonna have to go somewhere else, too. It's just not the right color even though it's going to be a pretty little shrub.

One of you knows the perfect plant to put here. Come on, give it up already. Lend a fledgling gardener a hand.


  1. A nice evergreen low shrub is Zenobia pulverulenta, or honeycups. I know, you've never heard of it. Here's mine:

    If you do mail order you can get a really nice 1 or 2 gallon shrub from (not .com), their plants are very good quality. Get the cultivar 'Woodlanders Blue' it is very glaucus and would be a cool color to contrast with your tawny warm colors in this garden. Lovely little blueberry type flowers in spring, and beautiful foliage. I love this shrub and can totally see it in your space. It does need somewhat acid soil. Don't do mahonia, too predictable.

    I have enjoyed finding your blog and got a kick out of the Portlandia filming. Loved the house sitter episode, and what a kick to know it was your house! So fun.

  2. Or just like how I put the cucumber trellis smack up against the tomatoes, believing that by sheer force of will I could create enough space? When of course what actually happened was that the cucumbers climbed up the tomatoes, and the tomato branches, ripe with fruit, pulled down the trellis. Garden stubbornness!

  3. I'm confused, you mean you're not supposed to plant shrubs too close together? Who told you that?

  4. Could you balance it out with some cooler annuals in lieu of moving it? (that's the lazy in me coming out). I need a fancy arrow. Which plant is it in the picture?

  5. Sorry, I knew I should have put an arrow in there! It's the bright yellow one in the lower right of the photo.

    I love moving plants and I'll use any excuse to buy new plants, so while your suggestion is excellent I'll probably just move it. :)

  6. Laurrie, you rock. That sounds perfect. Thanks!

    Our episode hasn't yet aired yet--I believe it is scheduled for February. It's called Adult Babysitter. I know the episode you're talking about and I wish that was our house! Such a beautiful house and that scene in the kitchen made me laugh until I cried.

    Thank you for stopping by--I love reading your blog so much.

  7. Whoever said that we should space them out is getting ignored. ;)

  8. I'm afraid I'm not much help here...I'm not overly-fond of most broad-leaf evergreens...but...depending on the size you are looking for...perhaps an Arctostaphylos (Manzanita) would fit the bill? I believe they come if a variety of sizes/shapes...there are even some sprawling forms. I find them to be one of our MOST beautiful PNW natives...and I'm always trying to find room for one in my garden ;-) Do let us know what you decide to do...and I'm with you...I can never stop moving plants around! My internal "musical plants" song is on endless repeat :-)

  9. That's a great suggestion, actually. I'm sort of nervous that I'll lose my Audubon certification because I've planted so many non-natives, so this would help there.

    Man, the garden blogging community is amazing!

  10. The osmanthus is beautiful. A couple other choices are loropetalum which is brownish plum and pieris mountain fire. They are both pretty hardy, but like a little shade.

  11. Thanks for the input--I love loropetalum! This spot is in full sun so the pieris might not work here. Pieris is the one that is more prone to insects in full sun, right?