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.
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.
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.
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.
Unusual and wonderful groundcovers:
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.
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.
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!