Thursday, January 27, 2011

Evergreens in the Garden, Part 2

Accent plants are those plants that grab your attention.  The ones that make you say "Wow!".  The plants you run to your nursery to get after seeing them in a garden, a magazine, or on the web.  They are usually blooming when this happens, but not necessarily!

Some evergreen accent plants I use in my garden are:

Euphorbia 'Blackbird'
I had drooled - yes, drooled - over euphorbias in gardening books and magazines for years.  They look so unusual, so unique.  Finally, I was determined to have one.  And, lo and behold, I found one at the most unusual place - WalMart.  I wasn't even looking for it.  In fact, I was just minding my own business, just casually walking through the garden center, not really looking for plants at all (you're believing me, right?), when -BAM- there it was!!!!  Not only this one, which has such beautiful, exotic, dark foliage, but also 'Ascot Rainbow', which is a much lighter green.  I wish I had bought more than just one each.  Euphorbia 'Blackbird' is so unexpected - it makes you look!

Camellias are a great evergreen accent plant in the south.  They are wonderful for extending the garden's blooming period.  And such a joy to see when the rest of the garden is sleeping.  If you live in the south, you must, you must (!) get a camellia.  An unexpected surprise when you least expect it - winter.

Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil'
'Sky Pencil' hollies are unexpected because their growth habit is thin and tall - the Abraham Lincoln of hollies.  Most other hollies get too wide to place near the front of a home, and many have those sharp-needled leaves, which make them a definite non-welcoming front garden evergreen.  But 'Sky Pencil' holly is the wonderful exception.  A great evergreen accent for anywhere in the garden.

Tomorrow we'll touch on edgings and ground covers.  Oh, and if you missed the post on evergreen hedges, it's here.

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