Saturday, November 6, 2010

Festive Winter Color

Yuletide Camellias are little known holiday bloomers that pack a real festive punch! Reaching heights of seven to ten feet, these evergreen shrubs can be pruned to satisfy any landscape. I'm personally impressed by their brave show of color that begins in late October and continues unashamedly through the holiday season! You can count on these fresh sprigs of bright red blooms with contrasting yellow faces cheering my dinner guests. They produce such an impressive profusion of buds, you'll never miss clipping a few to accent a centerpiece.

Camellias come in a variety of colors, bloom times, bloom season and sizes. As evergreen as can be, the Yuletide variety is one my personal favorites as it best suits hedging and screening, not to mention all of those beautiful flowers! Where else can you find such a large screening shrub with a dazzling display when everything else is going dormant? However, the most important thing to remember when planting any camellia is to keep them happy in the shade! Too much sun, heat and little water means instant leaf burn, petal wilt and death for camellias!

All in all, I'm itching with anticipation to put one of these fall and winter blooming camellias on my wish list. My birthday is in January after all... Now all I have to do is decide which one! White, pink, red, variegated stripes... But Yuletide is definitely high on the list! Visit our site for more information on Yuletide, as well as other blooming camellias!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Landscaping with Loropetalum

When it comes to Loropetalum, I tend to get one of three different questions from my customers.

1) Do you have that purple plant from the Southern Living magazines?
2) I need something evergreen, with color for full sun that blooms! Got any ideas?
3) What the heck is that dark purple bush with pink flowers on it in your parking lot? It's awesome!

Normally, before they're through the first three words I'm leading them towards the Loropetalums on the lot. Commonly known as Chinese Fringe Flower, this unique bloomer begins flowering in spring and will continue through summer until frost. However, with the extremely hot and dry conditions we experienced here in Richmond this past summer, the fuchsia blooms tend to wilt away and return when temperatures cool in September. As a new homeowner and beginning landscaper, I am looking forward to incorporating this semi-evergreen in my design!

Recently, horticulturists have manipulated the habit of this shrub to create a variety of versatile applications. Burgundy Loropetalum is appropriate as a backdrop or large specimen piece as it grows five to six feet in diameter! However, the Purple Pixie variety doesn't get more than 24 inches tall and spreads to five feet wide making it a perfect ground cover! I love to see a sassy purple Loropetalum drooping leisurely in a container with bright yellow pansies too!

Learn more about zone, fertilizer needs and much more from our site at Strange's Garden Center.