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The Ideal Touch: Fuzzy Plants for Gardens and Pots, 13 Soft

There are particular plants whose fuzzy leaves and blossoms just beg to be touched. They create walking a joy for greater than just the eyes. Luckily, some of the most touchable plants are relatively easy to include in a landscape. There are even some that are somewhat more at home within your house, perfect for those times once you simply can’t get outside to the garden.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Lamb’s Ears
(Stachys byzantina)

Having a name such as lamb’s ears, what else could these crops be but warm and fuzzy? Their thick, densely packed leaves in shades of gray or green propagate readily, and this plant could handle dry conditions, although an excessive amount of rain will damage the leaves. Some types produce spikes of both soft purple blossoms.

Where it will grow: USDA zones 4 to 10 (find your zone)
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Water: Moderate to routine

Use it as a ground cover or an edging plant. Clean out frost-damaged or dead leaves.

Waterwise Landscapes Incorporated

Dusty Miller
(Senecio cineraria)

A gray-leafed shrublike perennial, dusty miller combines woolly light gray leaves with yellowish foliage. If you live in a warm-winter climate, then it’s possible to even get blossoms year-round. It is the leaves which stand out, though. Almost silver, they are a great contrast to other crops and actually shine in the moonlight.

Where it will grow: Grow as an annual in most zones
Light: Total sun
Water: Small to medium

Plant it where there’s good drainage and cut back it occasionally so it doesn’t become rangy. Miller manages drought and heat well.

Other crops also called dusty miller feature comparable foliage, such as Artemisia stellerana, Centaurea cineraria, C. gymnocarpa, Chrysanthemum ptarmiciflorum, Lychnis coronaria and Senecio vira-vira.

Small Miracles Designs

Angel’s Hair Artemisia
(Artemisia schmidtiana)

Angel’s hair artemisia does not generally grow too tall, but it is beautiful silver-gray foliage is worth reaching down to stroke. It is a fantastic selection for drier climates and has the benefit of attracting bees, butterflies and birds. ‘Silver Mound’ is a streamlined version that’s perfect for the front of a garden bed.

Where it will grow: Zones 4 to 9
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Water: Small to medium

Though it is generally not overly big, it can be invasive in perfect conditions. Cut it back when it is beginning to “part.” This artemisia does not like wet climates; for those places A. ‘Powis Castle’ is a fantastic option.

Waterwise Landscapes Incorporated

Jerusalem Sage
(Phlomis fruticosa)

Despite its name, Jerusalem sage isn’t a member of the family. It’s got a similar look to many true sages, though, with woolly leaves and almost equally woolly blossoms. This Mediterranean native is a favorite selection for warmer climates (zones 8 to 10), where it is grown as an evergreen, but it also does well in zones 5 to 7, even though it will die back in winter.

Where it will grow: Zones 8 to 10 as an evergreen; expires back in zones 5 to 7
Light: Full sunlight; can take light shade
Water: Small to medium

Jerusalem sage can handle drought conditions where summers are cool, but it requires a little more water in warmer areas. Freshly picked, it is a fantastic addition to flower arrangements. The blossoms also dry well.

GARDENIA-Sharly & Tanya Illuz

Mexican Bush Sage
(Salvia leucantha)

Mexican bush sage is a true member of the salvia household. It’s also quickly becoming a staple of gardens at the Southwest and California. It is easy care, using a long bloom season that could last during a mild winter. It is the blossoms which are the tender, almost furry, part of the plant. They could withstand a fair amount of touch and explain that the plant’s other common name: velvet sage.

Where it will grow: Zones 8 to 10 as a perennial; grow as an annual elsewhere
Light: Total sun
Water: Light to medium

Prune it just after bloom or in early spring to keep it in check, since it spreads readily. Cut off the flower spikes as they fade to promote repeat blooms.

Le jardinet

Licorice Plant
(Helichrysum petiolare)

How do you withstand licorice plant? Grow it to the fuzzy leaves and foliage colour, which can vary from gray-green to chartreuse to variegated shades of green and cream. The name comes from the faint licorice aroma, but it is best used as a spiller plant in a container arrangement.

Where it will grow: Zones 9 to 11; grow as an annual or a houseplant in most zones
Light: Total sun
Water: Moderate

Though the plant could be increased in the landscape, it can become invasive. The flowers are tiny, so expand it to the foliage colour you prefer.

Brian Maloney Design Associates

Mulleins
(Verbascum spp)

Mulleins could strike a note of fairy tale familiarity; they are rumored to be the beds which fairies sleep. It makes sense; their leaves and stems are the furry parts and would be the perfect bedding for a little creature. For people-size gardens, these exact same low leaves provide a base for tall stalks of flowers. Quite a few verbascum (the botanical name) species are accessible; the list of common names for these crops might be even more.

Where it will grow: Zones 4 to 10
Light: Total sun
Water: Small to medium

V. thapsus, shown here, has made a name for itself as a successful self-sower and a street weed, but it can be a stately addition to a mixed border so long as you don’t let it take over. It thrives even with poor soil and little water. This species is thought to have medicinal applications.

Fountain Grasses
(Pennisetum spp)

The fuzzy flower plumes of this fountain grasses are a graceful addition to the garden. You’ll discover these blossoms in a range of heights, colors and chilly tolerances, therefore there’s usually something for every garden spot.

Where it will grow: Zones 5 to 10
Light: Full sun or partial shade
Water: Small to routine, depending on the species

These can become invasive, so check with local nurseries about that fared well in your climate and also don’t self-sow too easily. In addition to using these to fill in garden beds, cut the stems early to add them in flower arrangements.

Debora carl landscape design

When it comes to touchable crops, this bud garden gives you two options in one space. In the front, a broad planting bed filled with Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima, zones 6 to 10) creates a sea of soft waves. Its cloudlike appearance belies its hardiness; it manages low-water conditions well and can readily self-sow to the point of becoming invasive.

Notice: Cut back the plants before the seeds are ripe to block it from self-sowing.

Behind it ‘Morning Light’ silver bud (Miscanthus sinensis, zones 5 to 9) softens the fence line. Grass species are famous for their size range and showy plumes.

A wide array of silver grass species and hybrids is accessible; look for alternative common names such as eulalia grass, Japanese silver grass and maiden bud. Most thrive in partial to full sun.

Irish Moss
(Sagina subulata; also sold as Arenaria verna and A. v. caespitosa)

What can be softer than moss underfoot? In this instance it is Irish moss, the greener of the two most common landscape mosses (Scotch moss is yellower).

Both Irish and Scotch moss can be somewhat tougher to grow than other ground covers, since they want good soil, fantastic drainage and regular fertilizer. But if you make the effort, you will be rewarded with a soft ground cover that’s almost irresistible.

Where it will grow: Zones 6 to 10
Light: Full sun or partial shade
Water: Regular

This really does best with little to no foot traffic. It might mound.

Chenille Plant
(Acalypha hispida, A. pendula)

The chenille plant will surely stand out among other houseplants. Its tender tassels, looking somewhat like furry red caterpillars, give it its name. Show them off at a spot where they can drape downward, including in a hanging basket or above the edge of a ledge. In tropical gardens that the true chenille plant (Acalypha hispida) can reach up to 10 ft tall with tassels 11/2 feet extended.

Where it will grow: Grow as a houseplant
Light: Partial shade and indirect light; keep it from direct sun
Water: Regular; keep the soil moist; enjoys humid conditions

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Pussy Willow
(Salix discolor)

Get a head start on spring by growing a pussy willow. It will not bloom any sooner outdoors, but it is perfect for pushing into “blossom” as early as January. As a bonus, the soft catkins will remain fresh looking for a long time.

Where it will grow: Zones 4 to 9
Light: Total sun
Water: Regular to plentiful

Place cut branches in water and place them into a bright window. Or wait till spring and revel in the branches from the garden.

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Central Plains Gardener's April Checklist

In March you cut down the perennials in anticipation of this — the very first green slopes pushing through the mulch. Now it’s time to sit back and revel in the quick spurts of growth. You might want to keep fine-tuning and trimming shrubs, but return on those that flower in April and May; there’s plenty else to do in the border throughout the hot afternoons and cool mornings that make spring so invigorating.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Sow vegetable seeds. Toward the center of the month it’s possible to start sowing seeds for veggies such as lettuce, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Then at the end of April, sow corn, legumes, squash, melons and sunflowers. See that last frost date along with the weather prediction — you might have to put a sheet or 2 over the plants, and one or two over yourself.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Watch for early-blooming natives. We left it. Winter can be a magic and magnificent year, but you know what? So can spring up. One of the very first flowers you could have coming up is your pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris). This short wildflower is covered in insulating own hair and will take the cold nights of April while perking up the hot afternoons with its gentle colors.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Resist the need to prune spring-blooming shrubs, such as viburnum, dogwood and spiraea, because they bloom on old growth and not brand new. As soon as they’re done blooming and setting fruit, you are able to prune if you need to.

In the background here is your early-May-blooming shrub Viburnum dentatum, an integral nectar resource for spring bugs and a big berry manufacturer for birds.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Another no-no for mid- to – late-spring pruning is crabapple. I mean, why do you want to deprive yourself of this dazzling show? Walk your landscape as you’re at it and see where you can jam in a few more spring-blooming trees and shrubs — you can never , ever have a lot of.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Enjoy spring-blooming trees. Following Is a dogwood shrub (white) facing a redbud. Both like well-drained soils and blossom in April. These trees are good sources of fruit for wildlife and are ones that you might consider for shorter specimens close to a patio or below taller trees in a wooded border.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Nurture perennial borders. This is what your perennial beds ought to appear to be — a moonscape with bits of green. Make certain that you keep out of those beds and borders, as your heavy gaze will compact the dirt and damage the roots of both old and new plants revving up for your growing season. Once things are up and you also know where they all are, go on and mulch — but do wait until you’re sure all the plants are over earth to give them a helping hand toward sunlight.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Layout sinuous garden beds. It’s never too late to generate a new garden bed. Even in vegetable beds, try to steer clear of square borders that parallel structures or walkways — go back to the 1960s and ask yourself whether you truly want to be square. On occasion a curved line also can help echo the types of flowing trees and perennials that will soon grace the mattress, making an appealing flow for your eye.

More regional backyard guides

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10 Evergreens for Beautiful Foliage All Year

Evergreens will be the structural backbone of this garden in warmer weather, providing a backdrop for showier blossoms and foliage. But in winter evergreens take the spotlight, providing visual interest within an otherwise barren landscape.

The subsequent 10 trees, plants and shrubs will keep your garden looking lively through the coldest of months.

Kim Gamel

Not many evergreens are green. The ‘Fat Albert’ number of Colorado spruce is a gorgeous blue specimen. It’s slow growing, forming an ideal cone with a distinguished silver-blue needle shade.

Colorado Spruce
(Picea pungens ‘Fat Albert’)

USDA zones: 3 to 7 (find your zone)
Mature dimension: 10 to 15 feet tall and 7 to 10 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun
Water requirement: Moderate

Kim Gamel

A lovely evergreen that looks great alone or in a group is untrue cypress ‘Soft Serve’. This is a compact, cone-shaped evergreen with gentle, lacy branches. Bonus: It’s deer resistant.

False Cypress
(Chamaecyparis pisfera ‘Soft Serve’)

USDA zones: 5 to 7
Mature dimension: 6 to 10 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide

Light requirement: Full sun to partial sun
Water necessity: Medium moisture; well-drained soil

Kim Gamel

If you’d prefer a more compact evergreen for container gardens or as a hedge, then boxwood ‘Green Gem’ leaves a good option. It’s a broadleaf evergreen shrub that forms a dense 2-foot sphere at maturity.

Boxwood
(Buxus ‘Green Gem’)

USDA Islands: 4 to 9
Mature dimension: 1 1/2 to two feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial sun
Water necessity: Medium moisture; well-drained soil

Arlington Landscape

If a glowing yellow-green would look better on your landscape, think about false cypress ‘Lemon Thread’. It’s delicate chartreuse thread-like foliage that offers a bright pop of color throughout the often cold winter.

Japanese False Cypress
(Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Lemon Thread’)

USDA zones: 4 to 8
Mature dimension: 3 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Water necessity: Moderate

Another consistently green option for hedging is cherry or English laurel. The one displayed in this photo was pruned judiciously to keep it in a lower height. Otherwise, it can grow to ten feet tall.

The number ‘Otto Luyken’ has shiny green leaves and creamy white fragrant flowers that appear in the spring.

Cherry Laurel
(Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’)

USDA zones: 6 to 8
Mature dimension: 6 to 10 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Water necessity: Moderate

Another chartreuse option that would make a wonderful low-growing hedge is Japanese holly. To find the best yellow shade, plant it in sunlight.

Find out where this shrub is invasive.

Japanese Holly
(Ilex crenata ‘Golden Gem’)

USDA zones:5 to 8
Mature dimension: 1 1/2 to two feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Water necessity: Moderate

Kim Gamel

With its unconventional weeping habit, blue atlas cedar could function nicely as a specimen plant from your backyard. Use the stunning type to draw the eye to a desired spot in the landscape.

Blue Atlas Cedar
(Cedrus atlantica, Glauca Group, ‘Glauca Pendula’)

USDA zones: 6 to 7
Mature dimension: 3 to 12 feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Full sun
Water necessity: Moderate

Kim Gamel

If you’re searching for a ground cover that carries its color through winter, consider creeping juniper. It spreads by long branches to form a thick mat over time. The cultivar ‘Emerald Spreader’ retains its glowing emerald-green color throughout the winter.

Creeping Juniper
(Juniperus horizontalis)

USDA zones: 3 to 9 (find your zone)
Mature dimension:1/2 foot to 1 1/2 feet tall and 5 to 8 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun

Water necessity: Medium moisture; well-drained soil

Kim Gamel

And if you’d prefer some constant shade in a shady perennial garden, Christmas fern is a good bet. Clumps grow to two feet tall and gradually spread by rhizomes to present excellent evergreen color perfectly suited to some dry shade area.

Christmas Fern
(Polystichum acrostichoides)

USDA zones: 3 to 9
Mature size: 1 to 2 feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Partial shade to full shade
Water necessity: Dry to moderate

Inform us What are some of your favorite evergreens?

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How to Cut Back Butterfly Milkweed

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) creates green foliage through summer and spring and clusters of small red, orange or yellow flowers. It rises at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 10. The plant dies back each winter, but it yields out of its ongoing root system annually if it is maintained properly pruned. All areas of the butterfly weed are poisonous if eaten.

Wipe the pruning shears with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol to disinfect them before pruning, and then wipe them again when moving between plants. Wear heavy gloves to protect your hands in the sap, which can cause skin irritation.

Cut back the entire plant by one third to one-half its previous height in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. Make the seams in 1/4-inch of a leaf or leaf bud so the bush doesn’t have bare stems poking out. Eliminate all pruning clippings in the bed after pruning and dispose of them.

Eliminate the wilting flowers after the first flush of blooms begin to fade, slowly cutting the blossom cluster above the topmost group of leaves on the stem. Removing the dead flowers prevents seed formation, which promotes butterfly weed to produce more flowers. Stop deadheading in late summer if you would like ornamental seed pods on the plants in autumn and winter.

Prune off the seed pods in late autumn or early winter should youn’t want the butterfly weed to self-seed, or simply to enhance the garden’s look. Wait until spring to cut back the entire plant.

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Maidenhair Fern Brings Lacy Grace into a Room

Maidenhair ferns are delicate plants with quite fine stalks and a lacy look, thanks to little leaflets writing the fronds. They need high humidity and also have other special care requirements, but their beauty and elegance may very well slip your heart, which makes the extra care well worth it.

Kate Jackson Design

Maidenhair fern will grow to about 3 feet tall in its natural habitat, but forms produced for houseplants are generally much smaller.

Julie Williams Design

A countertop location in a bright toilet may be the perfect humid environment for a maidenhair fern. Bowed fronds make it particularly suited to tall-footed urns, which give a graceful look as well as keep the fronds from touching the base surface, which may cause damage.

Sally Wheat Interiors

Supply indoor maidenhair ferns with warmth and moisture to keep them active. If the temperature goes lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit or the plant dries out, it will probably go dormant. (More on what to do about that later.)

While the maidenhair fern with this coffee table looks stunning, a positioning such as this is recommended only if you live in a humid environment or do not mind misting your plant several times every day.

creative jewish mom.com

Maidenhair ferns grow from rhizomes that spread rapidly just under the surface of the soil. The fronds come from brownish-black leaf stalks, which unfold to exhibit their apple-green leaflets.

West Elm

A tiny potted maidenhair works well on a bed of damp stones in a footed terrarium (or even a goldfish bowl), which creates an perfect humid environment.

California Home + Design

It’s not called maidenhair for nothing. A planter is a fun way to liven up a space that is living.

How to look after a maidenhair fern:

Temperature: 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 24 degrees Celsius), although above 70 degrees is greatest. This plant is especially sensitive to cold drafts.

Light:
Color or a moderately lit spot. Intense bright light is not favored; direct sun will burn off the delicate plant.

Water: Keep the soil evenly moist year-round. If you allow the soil to dry out, even for a brief period, the foliage will quickly turn brown, and the plant will look lifeless. Not all is lost, however; the plant can return to life if you cut all the brown foliage and restart care as stated. To conserve a plant which hasn’t dried out completely, submerge the pot in a bucket of water keep it submerged until air bubbles stop rising to the surface. This may thoroughly moisten the soil and help keep the plant out of going into a dormant phase.

Soil: Use wealthy, loose, organic mulch; half potting mixture and half peat moss. Avoid potting mix containing fertilizer, since it can dissolve too fast and burn the delicate fern roots.

Feeding: Feed weekly with a weak liquid fertilizer during the growth season.

Humidity: High humidity is required.Unless your plant is in a humid toilet, use a tray of pebbles to keep the humidity elevated. Mist frequently. This is the perfect plant to use in a terrarium or even under a cloche (shown here), especially if high humidity is not functional in your house.

Repotting: Potting in a little container will not damage the plant, but keep your eye on the main development. If the roots fill the container, then it’s time to repot.If your plant is joyful, repotting may be necessaryonly one or two times per year, based on the bud size and expansion rate. Maidenhair can be divided by separating the rhizomes during repotting to make more plants. Each rhizome section requires just a few leaf stalks to grow into a new plant.

Toxicity: Nontoxic.

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Desert and Texas Southwest Gardener's January Checklist

This month we are trying something a little different: We are including our neighbors over in the desert Southwest in our garden chores here. While we could only talk with regards to USDA hardiness zones, that would give you just partial information, as 8a Dallas and 8a at Las Cruces and in parts of Arizona are not created equal.

Soil differences and average rainfall vary so enormously in such areas that we can not make blanket statements about what to plant or prune. So look for breakout notes on various areas and, as always, ask your county’s extension office to get even more specific information.

Amy Renea

Start seeds. Texas gardeners can begin tomato and pepper seeds indoors, but make certain to use a expanding light or maintain the seeds with a bright window. Rotate your seeds daily to help them grow strong, straight stalks.

Desert Southwest gardeners can begin seeds of larkspur, poppies and other wildflowers, which may be somewhat difficult to find if you actually want them in your garden.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

care of fruit trees. If you live in the desert Southwest, you’ll want to receive your fruit trees at the ground as early in January as possible and prune your deciduous fruit trees and grapes.

Texas gardeners need to spray their own fruit trees with dormant oil and sharpen their pruning shears also, as January is your last opportunity to make those cuts.

Amy Renea

Plant vegetables. There are lots of vegetables to be planted this month! Both Texas and desert Southwest gardeners can plant broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Asian greens, spinach, kale, cauliflower, collards, lettuce, mustard, artichokes and asparagus crowns. Make sure to prepare your beds by simply amending the soil if necessary and by choosing a bright, sunny place for the ideal harvest.

More on growing vegetables in cool weather

Gardening with Confidence®

Add yearly color. For most areas it is still a fantastic time to plant pansies, snapdragons, cyclamens, violas, inventory and alyssum in garden beds as well as containers. These annuals enjoy sunny sites but will tolerate some light, dappled shade.

Jean Marsh Design

Plant perennials, trees and shrubs. Trees should be planted in both Texas and the desert Southwest in January, but with a few differences.

In Texas, plant evergreen and deciduous trees; at the desert Southwest, make your shade trees at the ground as early in January as you can. Bare-root trees should be planted before they leaf out.

For these areas, it is still a fantastic time to plant shrubs and perennials.

Desert Southwest gardeners can plant desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata), guara (Gaura lindheimeri), angelita daisy (Hymenoxys acaulis) and canyon penstemon (Penstemon pseudospectabilis).

Texas gardeners can plant blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum), autumn sage (Salvia greggii), Mexican mint marigold (Tagetes lucida) and copper canyon daisy (Tagetes lemmonii).

Niki Jabbour

Protect your crops. In warm areas, winter may sport some fairly cold temperatures, so it is important to protect your crops from freeze damage.

Throw a frost blanket over your own vegetable transplants, or sew Styrofoam cups smaller cacti and succulents. Make certain to remove the coverings by about 9 a.m. the following morning, since the sun will heat up everything; you do not need to make a muggy greenhouse outside there.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Check your irrigation. Texas gardeners that have inground irrigation systems should conduct a test on all zones to be certain there are no breaks in the lines or heads.

Desert Southwest gardeners will likely be on drip irrigation, however, these systems need to be checked occasionally as well. Be certain the drip emitters do not have any damage from critters chewing on them, and that they’re reaching the plants that need watering.

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Fantastic Design Plant: Rock Cotoneaster

While fall and winter holidays might have the seasonal decorating market, I love to think that in the house — and backyard — ornamental festivities can be appreciated yearlong. Foliage, flowers and berries denote the changing of the seasons, and stone cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis) provides up all three. Its elegant sprays of small leaves, rich blossoms and vibrant red berries shine in the backyard and home out of spring’s development through winter’s close.

Botanical name: Cotoneaster horizontalis
Common names: Rock cotoneaster, rockspray cotoneaster
USDA zones: 5 to 2; tolerant to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (find your zone)
Water requirement: Moderate to low
moderate requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 2 to 3 feet tall and 5 to 2 feet wide
Benefits and tolerances: Attracts birds, birds and butterflies; aids in erosion management; tolerant of wind, contamination, rabbits and deer
Seasonal curiosity: Abundant blossoms in spring and summer; showy red berries in fall through winter; colorful fall foliage
When to plant: Plant cuttings in summer.

Distinguishing attributes. Cotoneasters are noted for their petite foliage and showy red berries, but stone cotoneaster is most distinguished for its distinctive form and distinct branching pattern. Low growth, stone cotoneaster jobs vertically, forming a dense yet arching mat of leaves.

Photo by Père Igor

Rock cotoneaster’s branchlets form a distinct herringbone pattern. Though the plant is only briefly deciduous over winter, it is a nice time to appreciate the skeletal attractiveness.

Dark green foliage covers the plant during the year. Spring and summer are a profuse flowering period, once the plant attracts bees and butterflies. The blossoms transition into showy red berries in fall through winter. (Beware: Birds love these berries, therefore they might not make it through winter) The foliage turns a vibrant crimson and purple (shown) prior to falling.

Monrovia

How to use it. The dense, low branching structure of rock contoneaster functions nicely as a ground cover. It is recommended that you space plantings 5 feet apart. Group rock cotoneaster on a bank or hillside for appealing erosion management and to dissuade garden traffic from straying.

Rock cotoneaster includes a naturally beautiful form if it is allowed to disperse, so don’t plant it too close to garden or paths borders. Instead, allow the plant to spread elegantly in rock gardens or above rock walls.

The arching branchlets provide distinct yearlong beauty in the backyard. Consider bringing flowering branches inside during summer and spring; showy red berries in fall provide natural alternatives to conventional holiday decorations within the house and outside also.

Planting notes. Rock cotoneaster is widely used for a lot of reasons, but its adaptability and easy-grow nature make it to stick around. Faring best in well-drained, dry dirt, it’s a moderate grower, prefering full sunlight and medium to light water. It is heat resistant, thriving in dry summers and wet winters.

Rock cotoneaster self-sows, therefore eliminate seedlings you don’t wish to grow bigger. It’s possible to trim back dead or disfigured branches, but crops looks best if allowed to grow to their full form.

It is a powerful weed suppresser when utilized as a ground cover. During the time that it takes for the plants to fill out, use mulch to control weeds.

Photo by Père Igor

More: 6 Branches and Berries to Spruce Up Holiday Decor

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Southwest Gardener's October Checklist

With the latest autumnal equinox, the mild has become sexier here in the desert. This changes how we see our garden distances, and warmer temperatures are changing how we can utilize them.

The arid Southwest is divided into three zones:
The Minimal zone: The hottest areas without winter; comprises Phoenix; Palm Springs, California; Laughlin, Nevada; and Yuma, Arizona (USDA zones 9 to 10)The middle zone: Hot with Minimal winter; comprises Tucson, Arizona; warm areas of Las Vegas; China Lake, California; and Presidio, Texas (USDA zones 8 to 9b) The high zone: Moderately hot with short, certain winters; includes El Paso, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Payson, Arizona; and Saint George, Utah (USDA zones 6b to 8)

Exteriors By Chad Robert

Fall planting. Many plants will love being transplanted in October, since mild temperatures and still-warm soils permit optimal plant growth.

At the middle and high winds, wait till spring to plant heat-loving to tender perennials, like Lantana and some broad-leaved citrus trees and shrubs (including evergreen oak species and India hawthorn). It’s unlikely they will set before colder weather, an planting them at the fall may lead to severe damage to foliage and newer branches.

People in the minimal zone may still plant the majority of the species that the higher zones cannot, since adequate root growth is probably before colder weather strikes.

Turfgrass. Whatever your zone, it’s too late in the year to plant or seed any warm-season yards or mulch, such as Zoysia or even Bermudagrass. The exclusion is cool-season turf for the oasis regions of middle and high winds, which is sodded with proper soil preparation and normal irrigation.

Hortus Oasis

Planting by Southwest Region

Try these kinds for October plantings.

Low zone: Any native and adapted plants, including low desert wildflowers, herbs and cool-season vegetables. This also has Ironwood (Olneya tesota),Desert Lavender (Hyptis emoryi) and parsley.

Medium zone: Cold-hardy palms, and any native and adapted plants, including wildflowers, herbs and lots of cool-season vegetables. Including fan palm (Washingtonia species) and Mexican grass tree (Dasylirion quadrangulatum).

High zone: Cold-hardy native agaves, yuccas and succulents; most woody native and adapted plants; herbs with woody growth; and rugged wildflowers from the high desert. In desert grassland and foothills regions, plants are likely to germinate and develop roots with moisture from next spring. Including soaptree (Yucca elata), turpentine bush (Ericameria laricifolia) and Penstemon species.

Revealed: Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

Do a simple cleanup. Love autumn’s pleasures and also do something easy that makes a huge gap: Leave the challenging job for another month. October is a good time to simply touch up your outdoor spaces to maintain them livable, allowing additional time to enjoy them.

Remove smaller deadwood from trees and shrubs, since removal of live growth is more likely to stimulate new growth once the first colder weather occurs. Dead twigs and timber bits detract from a plant’s form — and it’s easy to tell those from the live timber at the moment. When you are finished, rake up surplus debris, leaves and other clutter from planting areas and the yard. An ordered space is much more relaxing, and a garden could be the prime spot for personal revival.

Donna Lynn – Landscape Designer

Handle water. Continue to track and reset the timers on any controllers you might have, especially in the low and middle zones. As temperatures fall, decrease the water necessary.

If you are planning a landscape to get a barren area or for a place outside plant roots, then create water harvesting opportunities to benefit plantings and some visual interest by installing delicate basins, swales and berms from constructions, where lush plantings are needed.

Contemplate capturing and storing stormwater for reuse as landscape irrigation during the inevitable dry periods to come. While the expenses of bigger systems often exceed those of potable gallon for gallon, it may be worth it to research for future requirements and changes in water availability. This is especially true in upland areas much from municipal water sources.

And as it’s late in the growing season, don’t overwater — it’ll encourage too much late-season growth.

Protect plants from nibbling rabbits. Rabbits in desert regions like to discover moist and cool things to eat. In drier seasons, they’re fond of devouring plants that they often avoid in wetter years; fresh plants are always very palatable, including lots of prickly pear cacti.

While some plant species are more resistant to rabbits compared to many others, the only plants that I know of which are rabbitproof are ocotillo and rosemary. Security is worth its time and price. Create chickenwire “cages” with three to four bets just beyond the fresh plants’ foliage, to stop rabbits from nibbling. Such protection has to be removed as the plant grows, however.

Some areas have javelina (wild pigs), which are particularly fond of a number of plants and can be very harmful. To Find out More, see “Javelina Resistant Plants,” from the University of Arizona, also “Living With Javelina,” from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Photo courtesy of Alan Vernon

BOXHILL

Plan ahead to get a garden. While we are enjoying the start to fall foliage colour, especially at the high zone, don’t overlook the need for visual interest that includes strong evergreen looks during winter. Instead of settling on a design with a strong seasonal motif that holds together visually for just a few weeks, aim for a mixture of evergreen and deciduous foliage to get a garden. Massing local native cacti and shrubs, such as turpentine bush (Ericameria laricifolia) or creosote bush(Larrea tridentata), can accomplish this job nicely.

From the lower zones, the same is true — using deciduous plants whose foliage drops is perfectly appropriate once you pair them with evergreen species. Mexican evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa), ocotillo and desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) will add some seasonal interest — and you will find a bonus of blooms during the growing season.

And no matter the Southwestern zone, it’s most beneficial to think about species which thrive and older with less water and in our often highly alkaline soils.

Revealed: threadgrass (Nasella tenuissima), prickly pear cactus (Opuntia), ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) and Texas sage (Leucophyllum).

More: More guides to Southwest gardening | Locate your U.S. garden checklist

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