Here are a few highlights from a walk through the nursery to showcase some favorite southern shrubs, though these are just a few of many!
Tough and durable, we start with a shade garden stalwart, leucothoe, a wonderful evergreen screening plant that reaches 8′-10′. Cut stems are long lasting in flower arrangements, and it’s utilized by Birmingham florists throughout the year, culminating in gorgeous additions to holiday arrangements. The long arching stems are quite graceful, and some companions include azaleas, pieris, mountain laurel and hydrangeas, just to name a few.
If you live in Birmingham and have an area in your landscape with some afternoon shade (though they tolerate sun with adequate water) you really should have an oak leaf hydrangea or many! With their dramatic, oak leaf shaped leaves, white blossoms fading to pink, and gorgeous red fall foliage color, they add year round interest – not to mention beautiful winter bark and form. A must have! Or, you might prefer the ‘Nikko Blue’ french hydrangeas? We have those too!
Sweet tea olive, Osmanthus fragrans, has a bloom you might miss while walking through the garden, but you won’t miss their fragrance! A broad leaf evergreen growing 8′-10′ (sometimes taller) these are best situated where their unbelievable fragrance can be enjoyed – near your home, which also will offer cold protection, and in a spot that offers some sun. Enjoy their blooms fall, winter and spring and sporadically through the summer.
Another Osmanthus we have now is the yellow variagated false holly, ‘Goshiki’. This is one tough plant – useful for those hot spots in the yard where you’d like an evergreen shrub that grows to roughly 6′ and almost as wide. This is another that is beautiful used as a cut specimen in floral arrangements any time of the year. It’s very prickly though! (Hence the name, false holly…)
In addition to those listed above, we have a very good selection of hollies and gardenias in stock. Take a walk down to the end of the nursery near the pinestraw and you’ll see the selection. Have a question about them? Billy loves hollies and is very well versed on them – he’d love to help you!
We’ll continue our tour of tough shrubs and vines in our next post..meanwhile, take a look through your landscape – maybe you could you use one of these southern gems too!
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