Sully (& Clara) need advice!

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Sully, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. Sully

    Sully Member

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    Location:
    Burnaby
    Hi Doug!

    We're doing some research what would be best in our garden (still under construction) and was wondering if you can give us some feed back on the following suggestions. We'd like fragrent and/or flowering bushes that would give us year-round camoflage (privacy). We also need something low-maintenance and a shrub that won't be unruley.

    I think we're a Zone 8. Rodo's do very well here - we may have a clay mixture in the soil. We would be supplying topsoil by Nutrifor. We have full sun in the afternoon only, as it is a Western exposure.

    Do you think the following would be suitable in our terrace area in Burnaby?

    Choisya (Orange, Mexican)
    Syringa (Lilac)
    Jasminum (Jasmine )
    Roses (Snow Dwarf)
    Potentilla (Katherine Dykes)
    Raphiolepis (Enchantress)
    Cotinus (Smoke Tree)

    Say hi to Karen for us!! PS: Nice website!
    Talk to you soon - Sully! :D
     
  2. westgatea

    westgatea Active Member

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    ceonothus "Victoria"

    Maybe you could add to your list Ceonothus "Victoria" - a gorgeous evergreen shrub, very scented when in bloom (now) and covered in masses of small blue flowers. Bees love it! It can grow to 10ft but can easily be contained by pruning.
     
  3. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Hey Sully!

    Good of you to check your list with us. I do have a few opinions on your selections, but I see that you've wisely chosen heat-tolerant plants (good for western exposure).

    Choisya ternata (Mexican mock orange) is a great plant, but needs good light and drainage to flower well and stay compact. There are a couple of cultivars available -- 'Sundance' is a good golden hue in the sun, greener in the shade. 'Aztec Pearl' (actually a hybrid of C. ternata and C. arizonica) is finer textured overall and vigorous.

    Syringa vulgaris (common lilac) are long-lived, but unfortunately fairly disease prone in this climate. Stay away from the double-flowered cultivars, as they seem to be the worst for disease. Lilacs must have excellent air circulation and need good light to flower well.

    In the Vancouver area the only garden adaptable true jasmines are Jasminum nudiflorum (winter jasmine) and J. officinale (common jasmine). Winter jasmine produces primrose yellow flowers on arching green stems in February, while common jasmine is a weak climber (a scrambler, really) with fragrant white flowers in early summer. Confederate jasmines (Trachelospermum jasminoides and the hardier T. asiaticum) are evergreen climbers with intensely scented flowers in early summer.

    Ceanothus (California lilac) are great plants -- evergreen and twiggy (little birds love 'em) with good blue flowers in June. As long as you can give them excellent drainage, good air circulation and sun all day, they'll perform well.

    Roses are often a maligned bunch because of their disease problems, but there are many good ones out there. I couldn't tell you whether 'Snow Dwarf' is as good as the advertising says. To be safe, consult a local rosarian. I know two who have written books for this area: Christine Allen (Roses for the Pacific Northwest) and Brad Jalbert (Roses for British Columbia).

    Potentillas are great if somewhat short-lived in our mild climate. The cultivar 'Yellow Gem' is a UBC Botanical Garden introduction with large flowers and an attractive squat habit (picture below). It originated in the mountains of the Olympic Penninsula, so is arguably the best adapted commercially available potentillla for this area. They all need sun and good air circulation.

    Raphiolepis is a beautiful plant both in pictures and in California. It's been doing well here, but if we get -10C this winter, you can forget it.

    Last but not least, Cotinus coggygria (smoke bush) is a fabulous plant for a sunny, well-drained site. They do get large, but they can be renovated (cut to the ground) every few years to keep them compact. Consider the green or coppery ones -- they're much easier on the eyes than the purple ones in the long run.

    For other suggestions, try the Great Plant Picks of the Pacific Northwest website. Most of the plants listed there are available widely.
     
  4. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Potentilla fruticosa 'Yellow Gem'
     

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  5. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Most of that first post was deciduous. You want all-year?

    That 'Victoria' of Ceanothus is nifty. Our bees leave us alone.

    Ours will be a tree, but it can be pruned to retain. If you want it to grow naturally upward, it will be one of the most unique pruning operations to keep track of. Can't explain it, you will just have to see.

    If formal is okay, how about a variegated columner Irish Yew? At least when Yew get too big, they can be pruned to bare wood and still push buds. Very few conifers can do that.

    Maybe that as a hedge (even a staggered hedge) and plant a row of Camelia sasanqua 'Kanjiro' (hot pink) in front - it blooms in winter.

    Ours just sustained almost a week of high 90s to near 100 F. weather in full sun all day with no consequence to the leaf - we did water it daily in that near record heat though.

    You may get a kick out of the big New Zealand Flax (Phormium) - Giant size strap like leaves.

    See me by them at home page - www.mdvaden.com

    Those are in "okay" soil and what you see is 1.5 years from a 1 gallon plant. They stay that size now. All I do is cut old leaves once a month.

    A customer had me put them in into "very" good soil. Their's went to almost 8 feet to the tip of the tallest blade. They hold foliage in winter.

    A cold snap could terminate them, but I'm willing to replace if I have to - too bold, too cool.
     
  6. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Leucothoe can be cool. Escallonia spp., Abelia, Clematis armandii, Ilex spp., Yucca spp., Arbutus unedo, Eucalyptus ( a bit big perhaps), Daphne spp., Viburnum spp.

    Just a few ideas to consider.
     

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