Our Plant Pick of the Week: Silverberry
Silverberry (Elaeagnus 'Olive Martini') is an evergreen shrub which lends a subtle, understated elegance to the landscape. Its deep green foliage is rimmed with gold and covered in a soft silvery blush, which entices visitors to pause and admire its unusual beauty. In the fall, you might be lucky enough to catch a whiff of its inconspicuous flowers in bloom, which smell somewhat like Gardenias.
Though some species of Silverberry produce edible fruit, this cultivar is grown for its unusual foliage color and incredible drought tolerance. Reaching 10-15 feet high and wide, it is an excellent screening shrub to cover up an unsightly fence or provide you with privacy from adjacent houses.
It's Jan's plant pick-of-the-week because:
"The silvery-green foliage with just a hint of gold tends to pick up golden hues in surrounding plants, making them seem brighter."
Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: California Fuchsia
California Fuchsia (once botanically known as Zauschneria, recently reclassified as Epilobium) is probably the most recognizable California native perennial besides the famous CA poppy. It's no wonder- the flowers are such a vivid red-orange that they're highly visible from yards away. Thanks to this perennial's dazzling blossom, many new cultivars are being sold each year, which is great news for water-conscious gardeners, hummingbirds and native pollinators too!
There are many new varieties of California Fuchsia on the market that vary widely in size, but they generally reach 1-2' high with a spreading habit 4-6' wide. They grow in areas with very poor soil and little water, so don't make the mistake of "loving them to death" with rich soil, plenty of fertilizer and regular irrigation. If you place your California Fuchsia in full sun and give it barely any attention, it will be far happier than if you pamper it like a prima donna.
If you're inspired to give this fuss-free beauty a try, remember that fall is the best time to plant, especially when it comes to native plants. This is because the cool weather allows the plant to establish an extensive root system and adapt to your soil before the weather gets hot again. It's Nick's pick-of-the-week because:
"California Fuchsia is easy to grow, very drought tolerant, and a hummingbird magnet! It's a great pop of color in the dead heat of summer when most other plants are bloomed-out."
Yearning for more un-thirsty plants?
Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Rain Lily
Rain lilies are sometimes known as "fairy lily" and it's easy to see why. These little bulbs emerge as a petite 1x1' mound of grass-like foliage in the spring, where they look lovely nestled among sunny or partly shady borders. Somewhat reminiscent of Crocus, the flowers are small, funnel-shaped, and usually white or yellow. Rain lilies are the epitome of low maintenance, the only thing they require is well-draining soil. They thrive on neglect and will produce flowers in late summer or autumn, usually after rain, hence the name. Extra bonus: they are deer resistant!
Rain lilies are best used in the landscape as an accent in a border, their tidy growth habit makes them ideal candidates for filling in spaces around taller, summer blooming perennials. Just as the summer perennials are fizzling out, the rain lilies begin to shine, providing the late-summer garden with a pleasant pop of color.
It's Kevin's pick-of-the-week because:
"It's a very easy, low maintenance perennial. The flowers are a nice late summer surprise and the foliage adds textural contrast to a water-wise garden."
It's McKenna's Pick-of-the-Week because:
"It's an easy-to-grow perennial that comes back strong every year! The flower color is spectacular, and I'm impressed by how it blooms all summer without a lot of water."
Are you crazy for California natives? Learn more about the best California natives for the Sacramento valley.
For more ideas on how to re-vamp your yard to be more water wise, check out our Drought Tolerant Plant List.
Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Gomphrena 'Pink Zazzle'
Gomphrena 'Pink Zazzle' is a relatively recent introduction to the world of horticulture, and it has already made quite an impression. That's because this sun-loving, drought tolerant perennial flourishes in the scorching Sacramento valley summers. Even its flowers hold up in 100°F heat, because what appears to be the 'flower' is actually flower bracts. The true flowers are the small yellow star-shaped flowers nestled within these bracts, punctuating it with bursts of color as it slowly unfurls from the center.
It forms a low mound of fuzzy, bright green foliage about 8-16 inches high and wide. Its tidy growth habit makes it perfectly suited for container culture, where it looks stunning paired with "fillers" such as Nemesia and "spillers" such as Bacopa. Butterflies and hummingbirds will find it hard to resist those stunning blooms, making it a truly valuable plant to have in your garden. 'Pink Zazzle' loves the heat but hates the cold, so it's a perennial grown as an annual in our area. If protected from frost, it will likely return to dazzle you with another long-lasting show of flowers next year.
It's Jack's pick-of-the-week because:
"The flowers last forever, and when they start to fade to light pink on the edges, it gives a really cool transitional color effect."
More water-wise pollinator attracting container ideas...
Topics: Waterwise, Sacramento Low Water Plants, What Can I Plant This Season?, Flowers, Flowers in the Heat, Flowers for Hot Weather, Low Water Plants, Beneficial Insects, Container Ideas, Summer Flowers, Drought Tolerant
Our Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Coneflower 'Double Scoop Cranberry'
Coneflower or Echinacea is a classic garden staple for a multitude of reasons. It's easy to grow, tolerant of a wide variety of soils, blooms profusely summer through fall, and thrives in our hot, dry summers. Because of it's amazing versatility, it has been hybridized into many fantastic colors and cultivars, one of the most dramatic being the 'Double Scoop' series. Tantalizing in their color descriptions: Cranberry, Orangeberry, Bubblegum, and Raspberry, this series has some of the largest flower-size of all the Echinacea family.
Reaching about two feet tall and wide with a sturdy, well-branched form, this lovely perennial also makes a great container "thriller". It's deer resistant and drought tolerant when established. Plus, it makes a great addition to the cut-flower garden that will come back reliably every year.
It is Matthew's pick-of-the-week because:
"The vibrant color that radiates from these blooms attract beneficial insects to the garden."
Click for more tips & tricks on attracting beneficial insects to your garden!
Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Evolvulus 'Blue My Mind'
Evolvulus 'Blue My Mind' is a variety of Dwarf Morning Glory, which shares all of the strengths of the classic Morning Glory vine, but is far more well-behaved. It's genus name Evolvulus means 'to unroll' in latin, which describes it's tendency to drape rather than twine like standard morning glories do. It's bright, clear true blue flowers would make a wonderful addition to a patriotic red, white & blue pot-up!
Evolvulus is a tender perennial, meaning it's only hardy to around 35° F and may not survive the winter. It makes up for this by performing wonderfully spring through fall with bountiful sky-blue blossoms, graceful silvery-green foliage and incredible heat and sun tolerance. Plant in full sun or light shade with moderate water- it will be drought tolerant once it's established. No dead-heading necessary, but it's a good idea to pinch it back occasionally throughout the season.
It's Jeremy's plant pick-of-the-week because:
"I love everything about this plant! It's name, the soft gray color of the foliage, the trailing habit, and the striking blue flower color. It makes a great 'spiller' for containers."
For more beautiful low-water planting options, check out:
Plant Pick-of-the-Week: Clarkia amoena
Clarkia amoena goes by many names. Godetia, Farewell-to-Spring, Summer's Darling, Satin Flower, and Fairy Fans, to name a few. It's scientific name honors the famous American adventuring duo, Meriwether Lewis & William Clark, while the specific epithet amoena means "beautiful" or "pleasing" in Latin.
It is native to California and many regions of the pacific northwest, and bears silky poppy-like blossoms in varying shades of pink, from late spring to mid-summer. It forms a low mound 1-2' tall by 1' wide, and thrives in full to partial sun with low water. It will free-seed readily, so deadhead if you don't want it to spread.
Robyn chose Clarkia as her pick-of-the-week because:
"Clarkia is a fantastic native to have in any garden! It is the showy sequel to the California Poppy, and is under appreciated next to our easily recognizable state flower."
To learn more about our fabulous native plants, download our native list
Don't miss the workshop this Saturday, May 9 entitled Clever Container Gardening. Just like it takes flair to put together a killer outfit, it also takes creativity for container gardening. Learn tips and tricks at this hour long workshop. It's free and at all locations and just in time for Mother's Day.
Here is a sneak peak of one of the designs we will be sharing with you.
Another workshop worth your time and attention is our Water Efficient Traveling Workshop! The workshop will travel between Green Acres locations showing live demonstrations of irrigation retrofits. We mean that you will actually see us set up an irrigation system from scratch and see how newer more efficient technology can save water. We will also demo the best water-wise plants for Sacramento. Come by on your lunch break from 12 noon to 1pm. Attending will benefit your yard and our state.
Dates and locations of the Water Efficient Traveling Workshop:
- May 12- ROSEVILLE STORE
- May 14- FOLSOM STORE
- May 19- ELK GROVE
- May 21- SACRAMENTO