Three favorite plants off the truck…

April 23, 2014 12:00 am

Plant your own sunshine if the spring rains don’t let up! Berberis s. ‘Nana compacta’ or Coral Barberry. Stunning, compact little shrub with tiny, evergreen leaves and eye-popping orange-yellow bells in spring. So cute! Will grow to about 18″ tall in full sun or part shade. Is hardy to Zone 5, and has average water requirements. Who needs pansies when you can have this???

This one needs more space, but will reward you with beautiful structure as well as texture. Trochodendron araliodes, commonly know as Wheel tree – I imagine because of how the leaves form around the unusual flowers. (See photo below.) Grows slowly to 20′ tall and 15′ wide, and is not picky. Will flourish both in full sun and full shade. Hardy to Zone 6 and thrives in moist, well-drained soil, and requires regular water. Beautiful!

Note the small, wheel-shaped flowers. You can admire a large specimen of this tree at the Lan Su garden here in Portland. Photo borrowed from

Last one out is Phyllocladus alpinus – an unusual, evergreen, slow-growing, grayish green shrub from New Zealand. Celery-like foliage on flattened stems, and scarlet, male cones emerging in spring. Up to 6′ with an upright, narrow growth habit. Perfect for tight places!

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