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Plant of the Month - 2015Each month The Natural Gardener will be highlighting one of the many unique and unusual plants here at the nursery.
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March: Edgeworthia chrysantha
am always looking for plants that are going to bloom in the winter to help mitigate the gloomy days of winter. I know that is why I like hellebores so much not to mention snowdrops and eranthis. But these are fairly small bulbs and perennials and what I have been looking for the last few years is an attractive winter flowering shrub. I have finally found it in Edgeworhia chrysantha. This small shrub, 6 feet x 6 feet, originates in China and produces wonderfully fragrant balls of tubular yellow flowers from February to March. The flowers appear first and then the leaves. It also has a lovely papery, cinnamon coloured bark which gives it its common name of Chinese Paper Bush.
The first time I saw it I knew that eventually I was going to have to have one. The only thing was that I had heard that they are a bit tricky to grow. Not one to let that stop me I have finally acquired a lovely specimen which I have added to my garden this winter. The reason they are a bit tricky is that they require good, rich, humus-rich soil and a sunny, sheltered spot away from wind. They also need regular watering during our dry summers as that is when they set buds for the next year. If they don’t get enough water they won’t bloom well for you. If you have a location like that in your garden I would highly recommend one to add to your garden.
Soil: Rich, well-drained, moist
Light: Full sun to dappled shade
Height: 6 feet
Spread: 6 feet
May: Hosta ‘White Feather’
Hosta ‘White Feather’ is a truly unique hosta. When I first saw it at the UBC Botanical Gardens rare plant auction a few years ago I couldn’t believe my eyes. A White hosta! Who knew. Of course I had to have one but they were incredibly hard to find at that time and I despaired of ever getting one until two wonderful friends of mine bid on the one in the auction and gave it to me.
‘White Feather’ emerges in the spring completely white. It is delicate and vulnerable to slugs and bad weather at that time so it needs to be protected a bit. Eventually the leaves begin to get streaks of green in them and the leaves becoming a bit greener over the summer but are still predominantly white. They can’t take much sun at all and because of the lack of chlorophyll take a couple of years to begin to bulk up but it is definitely worth the wait. You can find it at Phoenix Perennials.
Soil: Moist, well-drained
Height: 10 inches
Spread: 12 inches
gifts & accessories
fertilizer & soil
plant of the month
natural garden guy blog
links & resources
› A Checklist of Things To Do in the November Garden
› Poinsettia Care in the Home
› Fall Clean-up
› Fall Planting of Trees, Shrubs and Perennials
› Planting Perennials
› A Checklist of Things To Do in the December Garden
› January To Do List
› Fall Planting
› Growing Aloe Plants
› Pruning your Clematis
› Growing Jade Plants
› Planting and Growing Bulbs
› Pleione Formosana
› Caring for Sarracenia - North American Pitcher Plants
› Caring for the Venus Fly Trap - Dionaea muscipula
› Growing Winter Heather
and many more
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