• Plants & Gardening

    8 Fun Facts About Hellebores That Might Surprise You


    Hellebores are excellent shade perennials for almost any garden. They have pretty glossy leaves and never overgrow their area or get in the way. Plus, they’re evergreen. And when there are slim pickings in late winter for foliage and color, hellebores reliably bloom in February, March, and April. How cool is that? The most common types are Helleborus orientalis, helleborus niger, Helleborus x hybridus. They like shade and are hardy to Zone 5. Unlike some other perennials, hellebores don’t flop or trail or put on uneven new growth. They just expand in…

  • Plants & Gardening

    An Azara is Exotic but Easy to Grow

    Andean Gold Saw-toothed Azara, An Azara is Exotic But Easy to Grow, Karen Hugg, https://karenhugg.com/2020/06/30/azara #azara #exotic #tree #SouthAmerica #Chile #evergreen #fragrant #floweringtree #easytogrow

    If you’re looking for an exotic tree that offers unusual foliage but is easy to grow, try an azara in your garden. This native of South America has tiny glossy leaves, a tidy upright habit, and super cute pompom flowers. It requires little to no pruning and stays evergreen for those down to zone 7. At its tallest, it’s 15-20 feet and maybe 6 feet wide. I grow three azaras in my yard and I adore them. They all offer unique gifts. Box-Leaf Azara The straight species of azara microphylla…

  • Plants & Gardening

    A Fantastic Evergreen Shrub for Winter Interest

    Scarletta Leucothoe, A Fantastic Evergreen Shrub for Winter Interest, Karen Hugg, https://karenhugg.com/2020/01/21/leucothoes/, #leucothoes #leucothoescarletta #evergreenshrubs #gardening #plants #garden #mediumshrubs

    Leucothoe shrubs (pronounced “Lew-kohth-oh-wey”) are wonderful plants that offer evergreen structure and pretty color to a garden all year. They have a mounding form with branches that shoot from the base before drooping for a lovely shaggy structure. With insignificant flowers, these blueberry relatives instead feature easy-care maintenance and stunning foliage. All cultivars like part or dappled shade. They do have weird common names like “dog hobble” and “black laurel” and “fetterbush,” so I prefer their botanical name “Leucothoe.” Here are several cultivars I recommend that most gardeners in the…

  • Plants & Gardening

    What Happened to My Skimmia? From Stately Shrub to Plant Skeleton

    Skimmia, What Happened to My Skimmia? From Stately Shrub to Plant Skeleton, Karen Hugg, https://karenhugg.com/2019/06/08/skimmia #skimmia #shade #shrub #evergreen #broadleaf #berries #gardening #plants #dogs

    Skimmia japonica is a lovely broadleaf evergreen shrub — except when your dog goes the bathroom on it. Then it turns into this, a yellowed sad skeleton. It used to be stately and lush, a perfect plant for deep shade, but that all changed. A Pretty Green Scheme I planted this skimmia in an effort to contrast with the variegated dogwood growing behind it. For years it worked perfectly. The deep green leaves of the broadleaf evergreen mounded horizontally against the upward vase shape of the light-colored dogwood. But then…