Low Water

Plants Express Landscape Ideas – Low Water, Wow Color

Plants Express
 
Landscape Ideas – Low Water, Wow Color

Low Water, Wow Color! 
Five Great Plants that Sip Water

Psst, here’s a word to the water wise – you can dramatically reduce your water consumption and still have a bright colorful garden that knocks your socks off. It can be our little secret. Here are some proven performers that are water-wise, easy care, and great for people on the go. These joyful selections love full sun, hate pampering and welcome visitors of all sorts, including butterflies and hummingbirds. With adding a source of flowing water, like a fountain, your winged friends will feel like they’re in heaven.

  Grevillea ‘Noellii’
Please click on the following images for more detailed information.   Grevillea ‘Noellii’
         
Agonis flexuosa ‘Jervis Bay After Dark’ Agonis flexuosa ‘Jervis Bay After Dark’ – This delicate weeping tree says “Old California” with an Australian accent. The narrow distinctive leaves start as an eye-catching scarlet color in the spring, gradually deepening to a burgundy color. The shaggy bark and dark leaves provide a background for the clusters of small fragrant flowers that appear from spring into early summer. Leaves smell like peppermint when crushed. Makes a beautiful hedge or screen if pruned regularly.   Cistus x purpureus Cistus x purpureus – This fragrant Rockrose loves to make a spectacle of itself. The flower buds look quite innocent until they suddenly unfurl into large (3 inches or more) rich pink blooms marked with a distinctive purple-red spot at the base of each petal. The flowers and exotic aroma last for months. Grows to 5 feet tall by 8 feet wide and can be sheared to size once a year after blooming has finished. Loves to be neglected and is an excellent choice for erosion control and firescaping.
Grevillea ‘Noellii’ Grevillea ‘Noellii’ – The graceful branches of this evergreen sport dense, bright green, needlelike foliage and long-blooming pink and white flowers. Also called ‘Flowering Pine’, this low, compact shrub reaches 4 to 5 feet tall and wide. Look closely and the flowers have a resemblance to tiny pink elephants. Prune after bloom period to keep looking dense.   Salvia leucantha Salvia leucantha – Graceful arching stems and soft downy foliage make Mexican Sage a favorite among Salvias. The main show is the profuse display of pretty purple calyces from late spring through fall. The abundance of flower clusters tend to make this lovely shrub top heavy, so remove blooms as they fade. Velvet Sage needs plenty of room to spread and prune back in early spring to promote a bushier habit. Grows up to 4 feet tall and wide.
Verbena bonariensis Verbena bonariensis – Purple Top Verbena will have you floating on air. This outstanding perennial makes an architectural statement with tall, upright branching stems that are topped by clusters of rich rosy-purple flowers that look as if they’re floating. Amazingly, the slender, willowy stems that reach 3 to 6 feet tall do not need staking. Butterflies and hummingbirds add to the magical effect of this unforgettable display.      
 
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Succulents

Plants Express Landscape Ideas – Succulents

Plants Express
 
Landscape Ideas – Succulents

Drought Busters:
Five Beautiful Succulents to Improve your Thirsty Garden

A succulent is any plant that stores water in juicy leaves, stems or roots to withstand periodic drought. Technically speaking, even Epidendrums are a part of this large family of plants! But most landscape professionals associate succulents with desert-style plants.

Bring a touch of the Southwest to any landscape design

Succulent plants provide dramatic, sculptured qualities unique to Southwest gardens. The great variety of form and subtle foliage color makes these plants attractive and useful for landscape projects with dry or difficult areas to landscape, including: hillsides, dense hardscapes, against sunny walls, verandas, patios and porches and, of course, containers.

  Echeveria elegans
Please click on the following images for more detailed information.   Echeveria elegans
         
Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop' ('Schwarzkopf') Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ (‘Schwarzkopf’)Erect stems with dense rosettes of black-purple foliage held on top. Full sun only in coastal or cooler climates. Provide partial shade in hot climates. Semi-deciduous, ‘Zwartkop’ may drop its leaves during high summer heat and humidity.   Agave Americana Agave Americana – A large agave with smooth, grey-blue, hard, nearly rigid leaves. Margins have down curved spines and a long spine at the tip. A large dramatic plant that also does well in containers.
Aloe striata Aloe striata – A solitary succulent, this aloe has broad, flattened leaves with smooth margins, and faint vertical lines. The foliage color can be variable depending on the amount of sunlight from either a dull reddish-green, or a grey-green with a pinkish-red edge. Clusters of pendulous, glossy coral-red flowers on branched stems appear in spring.   Echeveria elegans Echeveria elegans – This free spreading succulent forms tight rosettes of greyish-white foliage useful for small scale ground covers, containers, edgings, and pattern planting. Clusters of yellow-lined pink flowers from spring to summer.
Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' (S. reflexum) Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’
(S. reflexum)
– ‘Angelina’ is an attractive dense, low-growing sedum with brilliant golden yellow foliage. A vigorous evergreen perennial with alternating needle-shaped succulent leaves. Dramatic foliage color for use as a groundcover, in rock gardens or containers. Color is stronger in high light conditions. Clusters of small star-shaped yellow flowers in summer.
     
 
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Hedges and Screenings

Plants Express Landscape Ideas – Hedges and Screenings

Plants Express
 
Landscape Ideas – Hedges and Screenings

Annoying Neighbor?
Five Great Plants to Screen a Backyard

Are you looking for some creative ideas for your garden, but feel like you’re staring at a blank wall? Transform that blank wall with exceptional hedges that help you take a break from the world, the wind, and the sun. Whether you want to achieve a bit more privacy, add classic touches to your garden or soften the look of walls and fences, a variety of inspired options await in sizes, shapes and foliage to fit any style.

  Myrsine Africana
Please click on the following images for more detailed information.   Myrsine Africana
         
Cupressus sempervirens Cupressus sempervirens – What could be more timeless than the classic Italian cypress? Reminiscent of Roman villas, this tall and stately tree is perfect for the Mediterranean garden. Reaching 40-70 feet in height, this columnar cypress draws the eye upward to add a vertical element to the landscape. Makes a beautiful backdrop, screen, and property divider.   Bambusa oldhamii Bambusa oldhamii – This ornamental timber bamboo is a jaw-dropping addition to the tropical garden. Growing to an impressive 55 feet, thick bamboo canes and lush green leaves provide a dense and vivid green screen. Looks better and grows faster with ample water. Young plants require protection from winter chill.
Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy' Berberis thunbergii ‘Crimson Pygmy’ (‘Atropurpurea Nana’) – Pretty in purple describes this diminutive Japanese barberry. The colorful reddish-purple foliage makes this an eye-catching low hedge that grows to only 2 feet tall. The more sun, the brighter the foliage. Although deciduous, the bright red berries attract our feathered friends for a winter show. Very adaptable to urban environments and low water.   Nandina domestic Nandina domestica – As showy and exotic as bamboo, but in miniature form, Heavenly Bamboo is a striking ornamental with upright cane-like stems covered in lacy green leaves that turn bright red in fall. Creamy summer flowers produce a spectacular display of bright red berries from fall through spring. Upright to 6-8 feet tall and only 3 feet wide, this shrub is excellent for narrow spaces.
Myrsine Africana Myrsine Africana – African Boxwood may be small, but is much loved for its toughness, low maintenance, drought tolerance and ability to thrive in urban environments and poor soil conditions. Easily kept to 3-4 feet tall, grow as a low hedge to divide flower beds, as a foundation planting, or to define a pathway. Young plants grow faster with regular deep watering. Shear to maintain shape.      
 
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Citrus Trees

Landscape Ideas – Citrus Trees

Plants Express
 
Landscape Ideas – Citrus Trees

From Backyard to Table: Five Great California Fruit Trees

Citrus Trees are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the taste. This family of sub-tropical evergreens with lush glossy leaves and fragrant white flowers are perfectly suited to the West’s warm days and cool nights, requiring very little maintenance. They can be planted in groves or individually, in pots, as hedges or along walkways. Standard citrus reach 15-20 feet in height and are as wide as they are tall. At about half the size, dwarf varieties still produce the same full-size fruit in a much more manageable size. These edible ornamentals can be grown indoors, outdoors, in containers or in the ground. Citrus in shrub form offers a new artistic potential to showcase the fruit using the espalier technique or pruned into hedges. Unlike most other fruit trees, citrus don’t require regular pruning although hand pruning opens up the trees to allow more sunlight into the center.

  Eureka Lemon
Please click on the following images for more detailed information.   Eureka Lemon
         
Valencia Orange ‘Valencia Orange’Preferring warm environments given it has some protection, these oranges mature in summer and store on the tree for months. Plant with ‘Washington Navel’ for year-round fresh fruit.   Oroblanco Grapefruit ‘Oroblanco’ – This hybrid of a grapefruit and pummelo looks like a normal grapefruit but its white-fleshed fruit is much sweeter and requires less heat. Produces from November to February in hotter areas and sweetens up along the coast from March to April.
Moro Blood Orange ‘Moro Blood Orange’ – This unique orange has a red skin and blood-red flesh. The blood-colored juice has an exotic berry flavor. This tree is very productive and matures early. Requires cool temperatures to turn its deepest red.   Nagami Kumquat ‘Nagami Kumquat’ – Prized for its beauty in pots and hedges, the oval-shaped fruit is lush and compact. Another draw to this productive cultivar is its self-fertile nature and low maintenance.
Eureka Lemon ‘Eureka Lemon’ – The number one market lemon, the Eureka matures slowly to produce some of the best lemons. A somewhat open growth yields fruit that are perfect for aesthetic purposes as well as excellent juice.      
 
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Small Trees

Plants Express Landscape Ideas – Small Trees

Plants Express
 
Landscape Ideas – Small Trees

Five Small Trees to Make an Old Garden Look New Again

Small trees provide colorful flowers and foliage when space is limited in urban and suburban environments. Small trees are well-behaved and won’t take over when space is tight. Plant one singly as a patio tree or a stunning specimen in a small lawn. Planted in containers they grace an entrance or walkway, or group in a colony for an attractive grove effect. Evergreen varieties make excellent privacy screens.

  Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’
Please click on the following images for more detailed information.   Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’
         
Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’A true harbinger of spring, ‘Forest Pansy’ produces long-lasting clusters of tiny, rose-purple flowers that bloom profusely in early spring before the foliage emerges. This cultivar of the popular Eastern Redbud can eventually grow to 15-25 feet tall. Heart-shaped leaves open bright reddish-purple and gradually mature to a more muted purple. Its graceful branching structure stands out in winter.   Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ – This compact, upright tree has half-size leaves and large flowers that make it unique among Magnolia cultivars. Little Gem produces flowers often and at a comparatively young age, at only 1 to 2 years old. Grows to 20 feet and blooms constantly throughout summer and into fall.
Ficus benjamina Ficus benjamina – The most popular indoor tree, Weeping Fig grows to 30 feet tall outdoors. Its graceful drooping branches are blanketed in glossy green leaves. It is often seen in entryways and patios due to its elegant growth and tolerance of poor growing conditions.   Geijera parviflora Geijera parviflora – Australian Willow has a graceful shape reminiscent of the weeping willow, but with the toughness of a Eucalyptus and non-invasive roots. This attractive evergreen needs only light pruning and is relatively pest free. Moderate growth to 20-30 feet tall and 20 feet wide.
Acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’ Acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’ – Vigorous and upright to as tall as 30 feet, the twigs and branches of the Coral Bark Maple have a striking coral color prized for its winter interest. A nice tree for all seasons, the green leaves of spring and summer turn golden-yellow in autumn.      
 
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Plants Express Landscape Ideas – Citrus Trees

Plants Express
 
Landscape Ideas – Fall Colors

5 Great California Plants for Fall Planting!

If four-season color is what you seek in your California landscape, we have some fantastic ideas to make it happen. Brilliant fall color is not just an East Coast thing; there are loads of possibilities when it comes to creating spectacular autumn color in mild climates, from trees to shrubs to vines in glowing shades of red, orange, yellow and purple

  Koelreuteria paniculata
Please click on the following images for more detailed information.   Koelreuteria paniculata
         
Parthenocissus tricuspidata 'Veitchii' Parthenocissus tricuspidata ‘Veitchii’Light up the onset of autumn with intense hues of scarlet and fiery purplish red with this variety of Boston ivy. Veitchii makes a good textured covering for any large sunny surface, making it an ideal choice for a wall or fence covering. This vigorous climber has small maple-like leaves that are bright green in summer and a spectacular red in fall.   Berberis thunbergii ‘Atropurpurea’ Berberis thunbergii ‘Atropurpurea’ – The spreading Redleaf Japanese Barberry is a great all-purpose shrub with showy bronze and purple foliage that turns deep amber in fall. The dense branching habit makes it a superb hedge plant and a fine background shrub against fences and foundations. In spring, scented yellow flowers appear on arching stems.
Koelreuteria paniculata Koelreuteria paniculata – The Goldenrain tree is a triple hitter for the aesthetic appeal of its flowers, leaves and seed pods. The remarkable display of bright yellow flowers in mid-summer is followed by even more ornamental clusters of papery salmon-colored seed pods that last into October.   Pistacia chinensis Pistacia chinensis – If you are looking for summer shade and a fall focal point, Chinese pistache is the tree for you. While its leaves are an attractive dark green during the summer, its primary season of interest is the fall when those leaves turn brilliant colors that rival East coast autumn foliage. Sun-hardy with only occasional water requirements once established, this ornamental tree is a real hit in home gardens and streetscapes.
Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ – This vigorous tree seems to vibrate with color in the fall. ‘Bloodgood’ is probably the single most popular upright purple-leafed Japanese maple. Beautiful in color and form, it’s easy to grow and has excellent proportions for smaller yards. Leaves are wine-red in spring, holding their color through summer to become vibrantly scarlet in fall.      
 
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Plants Express Landscape Ideas – Citrus Trees

Plants Express
 
Landscape Ideas – Great Bloomers

5 Great California Bloomers for Fall!

Plants Express brings you an international showcase of beautiful bloomers. These selections flower for a long period, do well in a range of conditions, and provide an incredible variety of fragrance, bloom habit and color without a lot of maintenance. Plant individually, in containers or in borders, or plant en masse to dazzle with drifts and explosions of color. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the antics of all the butterflies, hummingbirds and other birds you’ll attract.

  Ceanothus 'Concha’
Please click on the following images for more detailed information.   Ceanothus ‘Concha’
         
Tibouchina urvilleana Tibouchina urvilleanaLet the lush purple flowers of this evergreen shrub transport you to the tropics. Enjoy the large tropical blooms spring, summer, and fall. The rich royal purple flowers and soft velvety leaves of this Brazilian rainforest native are outstanding around a courtyard, patio, or pool. Grows to a robust 6-8′ tall and wide.   Begonia 'Richmondensis' Begonia ‘Richmondensis’ – Preferring warm environments given it has some protection, these oranges mature in summer and store on the tree for months. Plant with ‘Washington Navel’ for year-round fresh fruit.
Ceanothus 'Concha' Ceanothus ‘Concha’ – Grace, beauty, fragrance and a dazzling display of flowers in spring make California Lilac one of the most popular lilacs in the western landscape. The gracefully arching branches and dense foliage look good all year, but spring is the real show-stopper when reddish buds burst forth with masses of cobalt blue, slightly fragrant flowers. Grows vigorously to 8′ tall by 8′ wide and thrives in full sun.   Salvia leucantha Salvia leucantha – The arching branches and downy gray-green leaves of Mexican Sage give an old-world romantic look to the water-wise garden. Velvety purple flowers bloom from spring to early fall, and almost year-round along the coast. Cut back in winter for best appearance. Grows quickly to 3′ tall and wide.
Salvia chiapensis Salvia chiapensis – This cloud-forest native of Chiapas, Mexico is a real eye-catcher with bright magenta flowers and glossy green leaves. Give this tireless bloomer the moisture and shade it craves and you’ll be rewarded with lush foliage and brilliant color for months. Cut back hard in spring to give it the rest it needs before fresh growth begins. Grows 3′ x 3′.      
 
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