Geez Louise, the first half of April has been a blur. Time flies when you’re spring planting.

The Portland forecast has temperatures in the 80s this week. Too soon!

The cooler, rainier days have been perfect for transplanting, weeding, and watering in new seedlings, but today’s our last day with rain, then the temperature climbs daily, from 51 today, to 82 on Monday.

I’ve got about 20 plants waiting to get into the ground, but hot sunny days ahead means it’s go time, before all those little nursery pots need a bunch of babysitting and watering. Can you hear the second hand ticking louder by the second?

As much as I’d love to spend the whole day gardening, there’s work to be done. We’ve been quite busy adding plants and nurseries to the site. We are slowly but surely sneaking up on 30,000 plants in our database. We’ll have to have a little celebration when we hit that number. Phew.

It’s fun to see what plants are topping the charts on plant lust searches, especially this time of year when people are shopping and planting like mad. I’m happy to see a lot of drought-tolerant plants in the mix, especially in California. I’m always surprised to read about how many lawns there still are in California, since they can grow such amazing drought tolerant stuff that’s way more interesting than turf.

Top 10 plant searches of 2015

top-1-&-2

top-3-&-4

top-5-&-6

top-7-&-8

top-9-&-10

1. Myrica californica (California Wax Myrtle)

myrica californica by Native Sons

Photo by Native Sons

The highlights:

  • West coast native
  • Zones 7-10
  • 15′- 25′ tall
  • Drought tolerant
  • Adaptable to different soil types
  • Fragrant
  • Evergreen
  • Yellow flowers
  • Black Fruit

2. Ceanothus ‘Dark Star’ (Wild Lilac)

ceanothus dark star by Loree Bohl

Photo by Loree Bohl

The highlights:

  • California native
  • Zones 7-10
  • 4′- 6′ tall, 6′- 8′ wide
  • Evergreen, glossy foliage
  • Copious blue flowers in spring / summer
  • Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, birds
  • Deer resistant
  • Drought and heat tolerant

3. Edgeworthia papyrifera (Japanese Paperbush)

edgeworthia papyrifera by Melissa Goodman

Photo by Melissa Goodman

The highlights:

  • Zones 6b-10b
  • 5′- 6′ tall, 4′- 6′ wide
  • Fragrant yellow flowers on bare stems in late winter / early spring
  • Deer resistant

4. Drimys lanceolata (Mountain Pepper)

drimys lanceolata by karl gercens

Photo by Karl Gercens, III

The highlights:

  • Zones 7-9b
  • 6′ – 8′ tall, 4′ – 5′ wide
  • Evergreen foliage on red stems
  • Fragrant yellow / green flowers in spring
  • Black berries in fall

5. Buxus sempervirens ‘Graham Blandy’ (Boxwood)

sempervirens graham blandy by karl gercens

Photo by Karl Gercens, III

The highlights:

  • 5′ – 15′ tall
  • Skinny and columnar
  • Drought tolerant
  • Adapts to multiple sun, soil, and water conditions
  • Evergreen
  • Deer resistant

6. Carludovica palmata (Panama Hat Plant)

carludovica palmata by forest and kim starr
Photo by Forest & Kim Starr

carludovica palmata by karl gercens
Photo by Karl Gercens, III

carludovica palmata Hans Hillewaert
Photo by Hans Hillewaert

The highlights:

  • Zone 10b, but don’t you wish it was hardier?
  • Looks like a palm but is in it’s own family
  • Gets 6′ – 12′ tall where it climbs wild, but smaller if you need one (and you do) and keep it in a pot
  • Seer sucker leaves
  • Likes even moisture

7. Magnolia laevifolia

magnolia laevifolia by james gaither

Photo by James Gaither

The highlights:

  • Zones 7b-10b
  • 6′-10′ tall
  • Fragrant, lemon scented flowers
  • Evergreen leaves with fuzzy charming brown indumentum
  • One of our favorites

8. Corokia cotoneaster

COROKIA COTONEASTER

Photo by James Gaither

The highlights:

  • Zones 8-10b
  • Wiry zig zag stems
  • Evergreen
  • Yellow flowers
  • Red fruit
  • Also made our most popular list in 2014

9. Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’ (Speckled Japanese Aralia)

fatsia japonica spiders web by loree bohl

Photo by Loree Bohl

The highlights:

  • Zones 7b-10b
  • 3′- 5′ tall
  • Evergreen with unusual white splashed leaves
  • Deer resistant

10. Arbutus unedo ‘Compacta’ (Strawberry Tree)

Arbutus_unedo_Compacta by kenpei

Photo by Kenpei

The highlights:

  • Zones 7-9b
  • From 4′- 10′ feet tall
  • Fantastic fruit that emerges green before turning sparkling red
  • Evergreen
  • Drought tolerant

Enjoy April as it zips past, wherever you are. Happy planting.

Featured Plants