Posts Tagged ‘plant lists’

Japanese Umbrella PinePinus flexilisChamaecyparis pisiferaPicea pungenspicea orientalis 'skylands'Chamaecyparis nootkatensis

When space permits, we like to screen views with a mixed evergreen planting, rather than a boring arborvitae hedge. Here’s a list of favorite evergreen trees in more compact sizes. All prefer full sun and grow 10’-20’ unless otherwise noted.

  1. Abies koreana – Korean Fir
  2. Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ – Weeping Alaskan Falsecypress – elegant upright leader with weeping branches; tolerates some light shade
  3. Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Filicoides’ &  taller C. pisifera cultivars – unusual, thread-like foliage texture in green and gold
  4. Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwulf’s Pyramid’ – Limber Pine – Soft, airy texture to the white-ribbed needles.
  5. Pinus cembra ‘Glauca’ – Swiss Stone Pine
  6. Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’ – Oriental Spruce – Sexy! Gold needles and purple new cones.
  7. Picea pungens ‘Montgomery’ – Blue Spruce – Classic blue color in a compact size
  8. Picea abies ‘Acrocona’ – Dwarf Norway spruce
  9. Sciadopitys verticillata – Umbrella Pine – thick, shiny needles, grows slowly to 30’
  10. Thuja (arborvitae) – Still has its place. Good for filling in space inexpensively while other plants grow in; remove when others reach mature size.

Need more ideas? Missouri Botanic Garden’s Plant Finder is a great resource for researching plants or developing a plant list based on specific criteria (form, height, sun/shade, hardiness zone, etc.).

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layers of spring bulbs in a pot

This weekend promises to be beautiful weather for some final gardening chores. Guarantee yourself weeks of spring blooms by making “bulb lasagna.” Line the bottom of a 14″ or deeper container with gravel for drainage. Then layer potting soil and bulbs in 3 layers, starting with the largest bulbs on the bottom. Choose bulbs which will flower at different times to make your planting really work.  Keep in mind that there will likely be some overlap in bloom times, so choose a color scheme that will be pleasing, such as monchromatic, contrasting, warm or cool colors.

Spring bulb bloom sequence (Boston area):

Iris & crocus

Iris reticulata ‘Gordon’ and yellow crocus


Dwarf Iris
Galanthus (Snowdrops)
Snow Crocus

Late March-Early April

Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow)
Kaufmanniana Tulips
Large Crocus
Eranthis (Winter Aconite)

Mid-to Late April

Daffodils & Muscarii

Narcissus ‘Sailboat’ and Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum)

Darwin Hybrid Tulips
Large-Flowered Hyacinths
Muscari (Grape Hyacinths)
Double Tulips
Lily Flowered Tulips
Single Early Tulips
Fritillaria (large and small)
Mid-season Daffodils
Triumph Tulips

Early to Mid-May
Bunch Flowered Tulips
Giant Allium
Scilla campanulata
(Wood Hyacinths)
Darwin Tulips

Flaming Parrot Tulips

Flaming Parrot Tuli

Parrot Tulips
Viridiflora Tulips
Fringed Tulips
Peony Flowered Tulips

Mid to Late-May
Dutch Iris
Single Late Tulips Dutch Iris
Small Alliums
Madonna Lilies

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Ok, if you’re a plant geek like me, they’re *all* flowers for geeks, but…

Bulb catalogues just started arriving, and I was struck by two new Asiatic lilies with high-tech names: Lilium ‘Dot Com‘ and L. ‘White Pixels‘. It got me wondering how many other computer-themed plant varieties there are out there.

Two that came to mind immediately (and maybe I’m dating myself here) were the ‘Big Blue’s – Lilyturf and sea holly (Liriope & Eryngium ‘Big Blue’). A quick search also yielded Kniphofia “Ada” and
Clematis ‘Countess of Lovelace’, and there’s always Lilium ‘Mona Lisa’ for the William Gibson fans.

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Native Perennial Bed at Brookfield Farm

Native Perennial Bed at Brookfield Farm

The CSA where my family gets our veggies and dairy, Brookfield Farm, is expanding their accessible garden.  I wanted to share the starter list of plants for a sensory garden, which I compiled to spark their creativity at their first planning meeting.  Some of these plants would also be fun in a garden for children, because they appeal to senses of touch and smell, as well as having eye-catching, bright colors. Enjoy!

Unless otherwise noted, all perennials are native to North America (many to New England), hardy to zone 5, drought tolerant, and low-maintenance.  Many of the red flowers will be butterfly-attractive.


Latin Common Notes
Achillea millefolium Yarrow Red/yellow, long bloomer
Artemesia Wormwood Fragrant, fuzzy leaves; *poisonous*
Ascelpias tuberosa Butterfly-weed Seedpods explode into soft floss
Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’ Non-native climber, fragrant
Comptonia peregrina Sweetfern Fragrant, foliage plant
Echinacea hybrids ‘Tomato Soup’, ‘Sunrise’, ‘Sundown’ Coneflower Red/yellow, fragrant, cones for texture
Meehania cordata Mountain mint Fragrant groundcover
Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ Bee-balm Red, fragrant
Rudbeckia nitida Black-eyed Susan Yellow, cones for texture
Sedum telephoides/ nevii/ ternatum Stonecrop Succulent leaves for texture; winter structure
Solidago rugosa Goldenrod Excellent value for pollinators
Stachys byzantina Lambs’ Ear Thick,fuzzy leaves; deer-resistant; non-native



Amaranthus caudatus Love-lies-bleeding Velvety flower spikes
Brugmansia Angel Trumpet Fragrant; can be overwintered indoors if grown in a pot, *poisonous*
Pennesetum ‘Rubrum’ Purple Fountain Grass Fluffy seedheads
Petunia Petunia Fragrant
Tagetes’ Inca Yellow’, ‘Safari Red’ Marigolds Fragrant

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