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Winter Greenery

Winter Greenery

Winter doesn’t have to be a barren time. With some planning you can create an appearance of lushness in the garden with an abundance of winter greenery to enjoy outdoors and indoors.


Well-behaved Ivy and relatives

People get a bit nervous about planting anything in the ivy realm but there are some useful choices that are well-behaved and provide beautiful winter greenery. It’s always wise to check for potential invasiveness of a given species in your area before planting.

Himalayan Ivy

Consider Hedera nepalensis with it’s striking leaves streaked in silver and burgundy in winter.

Close up of lime green shrub with lancet shaped leaves
Hedera nepalensis or Himalayan Ivy provides winter interest with striking lancet-shaped leaves. Photo by plant lust.

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Or you can play it safe and go with one of the Fatshederas which are a hybrid between the Japanese Aralia Fatsia japonica and common ivy, and have some of the most eye-catching evergreen foliage in the plant world.

Close up of ivy-shaped leaves in green and white.
x Fatshedera lizei ‘Angyo Star’ is a striking variegated option with glossy leaves. Photo by plantlust.

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Close up of large ruffled shiny leaves in light green.
x Fatshedera lizei ‘Ribbon Candy’ is a newer fatshedera with gorgeous glossy and ruffled leaves. Photo by Secret Garden Growers.

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Close up of heavily variegated glossy dark leaves.
x Fatshedera lizei ‘Yvonne’s Petticoat’ provides wonderful texture and can handle shade. Photo by Secret Garden Growers.

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Holly plants

For your holly fix, consider the adorably small-leaved and small-statured Dwarf Pagoda Japanese Holly or Ilex crenata ‘Geisha‘. Every garden can work one of these in to provide form and structure to the Winter landscape.

Dwarf Pagoda Japanese Holly

Tiny dark green glossy leaves.
Ilex crenata ‘Dwarf Pagoda’ will charm year-round with tiny glossy leaves. Photo by Grace Peterson.

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Geisha Japanese Holly

close up of tiny leaves on Ilex crenata 'Geisha'
Ilex crenata ‘Geisha’ is very pleasant dwarf mounding plant with tiny glossy leaves.

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Sky Pencil Japanese Holly

Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’ is another very useful plant. I love to think of it as a stand-in for an Italian Cypress in mini form. Very charming and elegant.

Columnar dark green shrub in landscape.
Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’ lends a formal look with no pruning required. Photo by Secret Garden Growers.

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Living Christmas trees for indoors or out.

So many expected and unexpected choices for living Christmas trees which you can continue to enjoy in the garden years after the season has passed, from Spruce to Olive.


Van Speybrock Oriental Spruce

Small potted Christmas tree in nursery pot.
Picea orientalis ‘Van Speybrock’ makes a lovely little Christmas tree that can be enjoyed in a pot indoors and returned outside for the rest of the year. Photo by Conifer Kingdom.

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Skyland’s Oriental Spruce

Chartreuse colored evergreen tree in classic columnar Christmas tree shape.
Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’ is a slow-growing Oriental Spruce that sports a classic and bushy Christmas tree shape and really glows in the garden with bright gold foliage. Photo by Conifer Kingdom.

Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’


Dwarf Norway Spruce

Close up of bushy evergreen branches tipped with burgundy pinecones.
Even the smallest garden can make room for little Picea abies ‘Pusch’. Photo by Karl Gercens III.

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Olive Trees

Long a symbol of peace–what better tree to represent the spirit of the season? Olive trees may not jump to mind when thinking of winter interest but they have lovely silvery evergreen foliage that really shines in the darker season.

Close up of shine lancet shaped leaves with small light green berries.
Olea europaea – 11th Avenue has shiny lancet shaped leaves that lend a graceful air to the garden and make a nice container plant. Photo by plant lust.

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Greens to bring inside.

When flowers are in short supply you can still bring the outside in with winter greenery. Be sure to plant some treasures with interesting foliage and leaves to enjoy indoors.We have gorgeous greenery you will have to guard from any neighborhood florists.


Eucalyptus perriniana has the classic florist foliage. A very quick grower that easily rebounds even if frozen to the ground, it can be cut back regularly and grown as a shrub.

Close up of branches with coin shaped leaves in pale grey and lime green.
The coin-shaped leaves of Eucalyptus perriniana in pale grey and lime green are wonderful in mixed bouquets but also beautiful on their own. Photo by Patricia Cunningham.

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Tasmanian Mountain Pepper

Close up of dark red branches with grey green leaves,
Drimys lanceolata is a broadleaf evergreen shrub with red and green foliage, the color palette of the season. Photo by plant lust.

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Hebe pimeleoides ‘Quicksilver’

Hebe-jeebies are among many excellent options officially in the genus of Veronica. Often forgotten, Little Prince Nursery reminds us they are versatile plants excellent for borders, containers and mass plantings.

Fine airy foliage with tiny silver leaves.
Hebe pimeleoides ‘Quicksilver’ is a stunner with tiny silver leaves and contrasting black branches. It would make a great foil for precious Winter hellebore bouquets. Photo by Anna Kullgren.

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Shop all plants in the Veronica genus


Consider plant choices year-round for an all-season garden

While spring is the traditional busy season for nurseries, winter is a wonderful time to take stock of the spots in the garden that could use some seasonal interest. Browsing nurseries during the off-peak months is a great way to find gems that sparkle all year round.
Shop winter interest plants


Spring Scheming–Unusual flower bulbs from Secret Garden Growers

Spring Scheming–Unusual flower bulbs from Secret Garden Growers

Planting now for Spring feels like money in the bank.


Read on for 6 unusual Spring flower bulbs that are true treasures from Secret Garden Growers nursery:


Honey Garlic

Allium siculum sends up spires topped with pendulous flowers in dusty shades of mauve and yellow. Definitely a showstopper. Plus it’s easy to grow and looks good even after blooming. The dried flower heads are a florist’s dream.

Chandelier-shaped flowers in pale cream atop green spired stems.
Also knows as Sicilian Honey Lily, Allium siculum is a surprising Spring bulb that pairs well with other soft colors. Photo by Leafari.

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Species Tulips

Given good drainage and dry conditions in Summer, Tulipa turkestanica is a species tulip that will return and naturalize, spreading cheer for many Springs to come.

Close up birds-eye view of star shaped flowers of pale yellow with bright yellow centers.
Tulipa turkestanica is a wonderful tulip for naturalizing in spots that stay dry in Summer. Photo by Secret Garden Growers.

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Galanthus ‘Hippolyta’ is one of the first signs of Spring, blooming in late Winter and earning it the nickname ‘snowdrop’ for its ability to poke its head out of the snow. This is an extra rare and beautiful variety. Plant in pots to get the precious blooms in closer proximity.

Close up of single white flower with multi-petaled center of lime green.
Snowdrops are always an exciting sight and Galanthus ‘Hippolyta’ thrills even more with it’s fanciful bi-color blooms. Photo by Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.

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I’ve never understood why fritillaria aren’t as popular as daffodils and tulips, because as Spring flower bulbs they are just as magical and easy to grow. Fritillaria uva-vulpis is a graceful and exquisite variety with fine, blue-grey foliage that pairs well with all sorts of Spring color-schemes.

Close up of single pendulous flower in mint green striped with burgundy and yellow tips.
Fritillaria uva-vulpis is not quite as showy as the checkerboard Fritillaria but enchants just as much. Photo by Annie’s Annuals & Perennials.

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Wild Blue Hyacinth

If you have a rain swale or area of your garden that stays moist in the Spring this regal and graceful PNW native Camas Camassia cusickii will naturalize, creating an enchanted meadow look.

A collection of light green, grassy plant spires topped with star shaped blooms in icy blue.
A light blue version of the PNW native camas flower, Camassia cusickii provides charm and height to Spring gardens. Photo by Far Reaches Farm.

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Variegated Japanese Iris

Iris japonica ‘Variegata’ would be worth growing for the high-contrast foliage alone but also produces striking orchid-like flowers. A stunner all around.

Close up of open flower with fringed white petals with painted-looking splashes of yellow and purple.
Iris japonica ‘Variegata’ has variegated leaves with fringed white flowers painted in yellow and purple. A masterpiece. Photo by Secret Garden Growers.

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So many interesting and unusual bulbs, corms, and tubers for a sophisticated garden

There are so many to love, it’s hard to pick just a few. The checkerboard lily Fritillaria meleagris seen in the first photo can be found here.
Honorable mention:

Playing favorites with Little Prince of Oregon

Playing favorites with Little Prince of Oregon

Little Prince of Oregon Nursery always has something to inspire plant lust. Here is a selection of some new and old crushes.

Oddities and rarities:

Alocasia ‘Red Secret’

First up on my list of plants making me swoon is Red Jewel Alocasia. Ooh la la. Alocasia ‘Red Secret’ lends an exotic and tropical look to gardens with metallic maroon-brown leaves. I love thinking about growing it as a houseplant to enjoy inside.

detail of deep burgundy shield shaped, heavily creased metallic looking leaves
Alocasia cuprea ‘Red Secret’ has sculptural looking bronzed leaves that really pop against bright green. Place it strategically for maximum impact. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.

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Santolina rosmarinifolia ‘Lemon Fizz’

A longtime favorite plant of mine which deserves a home in all gardens is Santolina rosmarinifolia ‘Lemon Fizz’. I first got into Santolina when studying about medieval monastic gardens. It would provide evergreen structure and color to the lovingly tended monk’s herb gardens. It smells wonderful and in Spring is covered in charming little flowers.

Close up of chartreuse, twiggy mound-like plant growing in gravel.
Santolina rosmarinifolia ‘Lemon Fizz’ has a mounding habit which works well in naturalistic plantings but can also be pruned into more formal shape, even topiary. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.

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Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’

Next up is the marvelously weird mayapple, Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty,’ which really thrives in the Portland rain. It makes me think of mint chocolate chip ice cream with its pale green leaves dotted in burgundy. Make it happy and it will reward you by multiplying considerably each year.

A cluster of flat maple-leaf shaped leaves in light green covered in chocolate brown spots.
Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ emerging from the soil and unfurling its impressive leaves is a favorite Spring show. Photo by Patricia Cunningham for Plant Lust.

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Dianthus ‘Sooty’

In the flower department we have Dianthus, or Sweet William, which is such a long-lasting cut flower but largely ignored by the current trend-setting florists. I think the very stylish ‘Sooty’ could help turn things around.

Close up of a flower cluster in deep red burgundy.
Dianthus ‘Sooty’ is a sophisticated version of this old cottage garden favorite. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.

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Unusual and wonderful groundcovers:

Ledebouria cooperi

Ledebouria cooperi is a Spring showstopper from South Africa which has striped grassy foliage and is adorned by racemes of star-shaped pink flowers. It’s makes a nice groundcover or use it in containers where you can really appreciate all this little plant has to offer.

Short, wide grassy blade leaves with dark burgundy stripes surrounded by a sea of pink star-like flowers.
Ledebouria cooperi is a Spring charmer with sophisticated green and maroon striped leaves. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.

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Muehlenbeckia axillaris

Among my favorite groundcovers is Muehlenbeckia axillaris, also know as Mattress Vine, for its ground-hugging growth habit. It’s a vigorous grower which can easily engulf large areas so is best used with some caution and intent. I love the way it’s used here–confined to an area and then allowed to really do its thing.

A mossy textured ground edged with a short bamboo fence.
Muehlenbeckia axillaris is a fast growing groundcover and climber that can withstand some light foot traffic. Photo by Anna Kullgren.

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Sagina subulata

Finally, Sagina subulata, also known as Irish Moss, is a charming evergreen or semi evergreen groundcover. Like Muehlenbeckia axillaris it can tolerate some foot traffic and provides a pretty, low-growing tufted texture. As an added bonus it’s covered in cute little flowers come Spring!

A close-up view of a field of green plants dotted with little white flowers.
Sagina subulata forms a cushiony mat of green dotted with yellow flowers in Spring. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.

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Shop the entire Little Prince Catalog:

Shop more of the wonderful offerings from Little Prince of Oregon including the plant collector’s dream, Agave attenuata shown in the cover image.
Shop Agave attenuata
Shop Little Prince of Oregon

13 plants for a Goth Garden

13 plants for a Goth Garden

From bats to spiders to ghosts, read on as we shine a light on our top 13 strange and dark plant selections for goth gardens.

And to be honest, most of these plants are less Miss Havisham’s macabre garden and more sophisticated plant collector, in case that’s not your style.

Making Mums Cool

Making Mums Cool

I’ve long had mixed feelings about mums that suddenly pop up at grocery stores in the Fall, looking like outsize flower mushrooms. I’ve tried not to be a stick-in-the-mud, but they’re just so loud and unnatural looking.

However, a few years ago I happened upon some chartreuse-flowered chrysanthemums. I’m weak for any chartreuse plant, so I succumbed to the purchase and I potted them up with some classier-to-my-eyes companion plants and felt very pleased with them. And then I went back for some pale yellow ones. And after they lived through the Winter and Spring and Summer to bloom again, I was hooked. It never occurred to me that they were perennial. Duh. Now I’m wholly enthusiastic about mums and am even happier to see that there are some very chic and more subtly-colored versions out there. 

Big planting project? Plants with large quantities available

Big planting project? Plants with large quantities available

Fall is time to dream big and a great time for planting. We have so many good plant choices for landscape projects you can purchase in abundance. Have them delivered right to your doorstep ready for planting day. Read on for highlights of our favorite plants currently available in large quantities for landscapers or those tackling big areas of their own gardens.


Grassy effects

In the groundcover department we love the tough-as-nails yet strikingly beautiful Japanese Sedge, Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’, which is great for massing under trees or prized specimens and offers year-round interest. Carex is such a handy plant for a grass texture in the shade where true grasses would not thrive.

The evergreen plant Carex oshimensis 'Evergold' planted en masse under a tree
Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ Japanese Sedge. Photo by Karl Gercens III


About as black as you can get in the plant world, the sophisticated Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Kokuryu’ Black Mondo Grass is a very low maintenance plant and resistant to slugs and snails. It makes such a high-impact combo with grey or chartreuse foliage

Large quantities of the plant Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Kokuryu' Black Mondo Grass in a gravel garden landscape.
Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Kokuryu’ Black Mondo Grass in gravel garden. Photo by Danger Garden

Shop all grass-like plants available in large quantities


Another special groundcover choice which is also wonderful in pots or tucked into any bare nooks and crannies is Sempervivum ‘Royal Ruby’ which is hardy to zone 4 (!!!) and looks stunning looks incredible en masse. In rainy Portland it will transport you to the warmer climes of pink terracotta walls. 

Sempervivum 'Royal Ruby' plants grouped closely together.
Sempervivum ‘Royal Ruby’. Photo Little Prince of Oregon

Shop all succulents available in large quantities
Shop all groundcovers available in large quantities

Statement perennials

Bold, glossy, rich, and architectural! And all that before the pineapple flower spikes even emerge. Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’  is so chic and makes an exciting pairing with so many things. 


The dark foliage of a large grouping of Eucomis comosa 'Sparkling Burgundy' plants in the landscape.
Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ Pineapple Lily. Photo by SuperFantastic

Ogle all the Eucomis varieties

There have been so many gorgeous new Echinaceas developed recently. Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’ is an easy-to-grow, low-water coneflower which is a real stand-out in the garden and in the vase. Be sure to leave the pretty flower heads to enjoy for Winter interest. 

Echinacea 'Hot Papaya' flowers in shades of red planted in groups in the landscape.
Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’ Coneflower. Photo by Karl Gercens III


Shop all perennials available in large quantities

Hardworking evergreen shrubs

To be honest I’d plant Kleim’s Hardy Gardenia in abundance without ever seeing the flowers. I love the shiny, dark, evergreen foliage which adds some solid structure and an heir of formality to the garden. But the flowers really make me swoon and remind me of my childhood on Maui where I used to pluck one to wear behind my ear on the way to school so I could keep the scent with me all day. 

Close up image of the gardenia flower blossom on Kleim's Hardy Gardenia.
Kleim’s Hardy Gardenia is a beautiful, evergreen shrub with some of the most intensely fragranced flowers on earth. Photo by Plant Lust.

Shop all shrubs available in large quantities

More options for landscapers, botanical gardens, and ambitious home projects

Ready to tackle something BIG? Browse the motherload of plants available in large quantities by variety and current stock. 

Favorite Groundcovers to Plant Now

Favorite Groundcovers to Plant Now

Let’s all make some jazz hands for…GROUNDCOVERS! I know, I know, they may seem boring or like a filler, an afterthought, a placeholder for something more exciting. 


But they can be a main attraction when they look as dazzling as the glowing and cascading variegated Japanese Forest Grass, Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’. Even the smallest garden can use some cascading out of pots, it adds a sense of movement and softness and is a great backdrop for dark foliage or flowers. 

Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' Japanese Variegated Forest Grass in the landscape
Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ Japanese Forest Grass. Photo by Megan Hansen.


Admire all the Hakonechloa


Selaginella kraussiana 'Aurea'
Selaginella kraussiana ‘Aurea’  Spikemoss. Photo by Megan Hansen.

And another one for you charteuse lovers, the groundcover Selaginella kraussiana ‘Aurea’ creates shape and drama in its own way by acting as a soft, tufted mound. Cute and sculptural and a great underplanting for specimens you really want to highlight. 

Check out more wonderful Spikemosses


Sempervivum 'Hopewell' hens and chicks plants.
Sempervivum ‘Hopewell’ Hens and Chicks. Photo by Little Prince.

Use Sempervivum ‘Hopewell’ as a groundcover for serious impact. With all its hot and cool tonal variations you can really have fun combining it with vivid reds or yellows.

Browse all the incredibly collectible varieties of Hens and Chicks


Phlomis russeliana Jerusalem sage planted en mass.
Phlomis russeliana Jerusalem sage. Photo by Georges Jansoone.

A star of the Winter garden, Phlomis russeliana is an attention-getter year-round but really shines in the skeletal cold. Combine with grasses for that dreamy Piet Oudolf meadow look. 

Shop all Phlomis varieties

Browse more groundcovers for all your needs from drought tolerant to chartreuse-folliaged on the site.