Fruit Trees & Drought Tolerant Plants
Landscapes are becoming dry and dusty in our Mediterranean climate as we head into the late summer. With water conservation on everyone’s minds, we continue to focus on and stock drought tolerant plants that will best survive and still look good with limited irrigation.
We have some beautiful perennials in stock, such as Salvia, Verbena and Lantana – among many others. These beauties will not only survive with less water but will thrive. This is also true of our multi-colored featured plants: Agastache ‘Kudos Ambrosia’, Agastache ‘Peachie Keen’ and Agastache ‘Rosie Posie’. Any of these cultivars will certainly bring a welcome burst of color, as well as pollinators, to your late summer and fall perennial garden. Visit us to add some drought tolerant and native plants to your garden and save water.
Continuing our water-saving theme, we also stocked up on one of your favorite Bay Area trees – Arbutus x ‘Marina’. This variety of strawberry tree can be seen in San Francisco as a resilient street tree but also works beautifully as a focal point tree in your garden. We can’t recommend it enough as a drought tolerant addition to your yard, for all its many enticing features.
We also have in stock Prostanthera variegata, otherwise known as the variegated mint bush. This shrub is a fantastically versatile plant to add to your landscape. Its bright variegated foliage will light up any shady spot in your yard. It is evergreen and therefore excellent to use as a screening plant, as well as having pleasantly fragrant foliage and attractive blooms.
Last but not least, new shipments of fruit trees and berries have just arrived! If you’ve been wanting to add a citrus tree to your yard – perfect for providing fruit to flavor your cooking and cocktails – then stop by and check out our wide selection. We have lemons, kumquats, limes and Mandarin and Navel oranges. We also have Pomegranate trees, whose fruit is so tasty in salads, as well as blueberry bushes and raspberry vines. Remember to pick up at least two blueberry shrubs of a similar fruiting time to ensure cross-pollination and a good fruit yield. Plant them this year and enjoy delicious berry pies next year!
Check out our webshop to see what soils, mulches and fertilizers we have in stock before your visit.
We are open seven days a week, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
The Evergreen Team
Plant of the Month: Agastache cultivars
Agastaches, commonly known as hyssop or hummingbird mint, are eye-catching perennials that will make a wonderful addition to your flower borders and containers. Agastaches are members of the mint family (Lamiaceae) and consequently have a pleasant fragrance when their leaves are crushed. They originate in North America and are found in many regions across the US and Mexico.
Hyssops bring the color to your yard! They will explode in summer with bright tubular blooms that arise from often darker colored calyxes – the outer protective sepals from which the flower emerges. These color contrasts, as well as their multi-colored flowers, will contribute to the drama they create with their blooms. As a bonus, these blooms persist into the fall when many other perennial flowers are waning. Their leaves are soft and wavy and vary in color from dark to mid-green. They are long, bluntly serrated and terminate in a point, similar to true mint leaves. This foliage provides a beautiful backdrop to highlight the blooms, whose architectural flower spikes bring interesting texture and lines to the landscaping. Their nectar also brings all pollinators, including hummingbirds, bees and butterflies!
The many varieties and cultivars of Agastaches complement and contrast nicely with ground covers such as Sedums (stone crop) and Nepeta (catmint), perennial grasses such as Miscanthus and Pennisetum, and other perennials such as Verbena and Salvias. Hyssops contribute to a vibrant Mediterranean-climate garden that wiIl thrive in the sun and heat. Like many of these plants, Agastaches prefers good drainage and tolerate many soil types.
Agastaches work well in cottage gardens mixed with many different perennials to achieve a long-blooming landscape. They also integrate effectively into wildlife and pollinator gardens, mixed with milkweed and other perennials and shrubs that sustain wildlife. Hyssops can also make a huge impact in mass plantings rock gardens, lighting up a landscape.
How to Care for Agastache Cultivars:
- Plant in full sun for best flowering performance.
- Plant in a hot location – they thrive in the heat.
- Improve soil drainage by digging in amendments to lighten the soil.
- Dead head spent flowers to avoid too much re-seeding.
- Water every 7-14 days once established.
- Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer in the spring.
- Leave stems on the plant in the fall to protect it through the winter. Cut back in early spring to keep it compact and avoid legginess.
Agastache ‘Peachy Keen’ has a dark purple-pink calyx that complements the bright peach-colored flowers. Pair with lavender for great effect. A. ‘Peachy Keen’ blooms from mid-summer and into the fall. This is a slightly bigger cultivar, reaching 2′ tall and 2.5′ wide, and has a nicely compact growing habit. USDA Zones: 5-9.
Agastache ‘Rosie Posie’ has a big impact. If you like pink blooms, this is the hyssop for you! Hot pink flowers burst from a magenta calyx, providing some drama for your garden. This cultivar blooms from early summer into the fall. A. ‘Rosie Posie’ reaches around 18″ tall and 24″ wide. USDA Zones: 5-9.
This Agastache cultivar has dark orange buds that develop into unusual pink or orange blooms with light orange-cream highlights in summer and fall. The profusion of unusual color and bright contrast makes this a highly desirable cultivar for the dry garden. A compact perennial, A. ‘Kudos Ambrosia’ will grow 18″ tall and 12″ wide’. It likes full sun and tolerates deer and rabbits. The dried seed heads are attractive to finches. USDA Zones: 5-10.
Featured Drought Tolerant Tree: Arbutus x ‘Marina’ (Marina Strawberry Tree)
The Marina strawberry tree is likely a cross between two European Arbutus species, which were introduced to California in the eighties. But one of the first specimens was mysteriously thought to be planted in Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco closer to the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Arbutus x ‘Marina’ is a wonderfully useful tree to grow in city gardens and provides year-round interest. It has stunning, peeling cinnamon-colored bark, similar to that of the Pacific madrone tree (Arbutus menziesii). The white and pink bell-shape flowers are followed by large red and yellow strawberry fruits that appear in fall and late winter and are very similar to those grown by its smaller cousin Arbutus unedo. The bell flower shape is common to some plants in the Ericaceae (Heath) family, which also contains blueberries, huckleberries, heathers and Pieris. This family prefers acidic soil, and the Marina strawberry is no exception. It also tolerates poor soil.
The Marina strawberry tree has a rounded crown, low-growing branches and flourishes in the full sun. It is a useful tree to plant in a ‘firewise’ landscape, as well as a drought tolerant one – needing only occasional summer water once established. It provides a habitat for birds who eat the fruit and is a useful broad-leafed evergreen tree that can be used as a screen between neighbors and to buffer strong winds. This tree attracts hummingbirds and bees and is therefore an ideal addition to a pollinator garden. USDA Zones: 7-9.
Featured Drought Tolerant Shrub: Prostanthera ovalifolia ‘Variegata’
Prostanthera ovalifolia ‘Variegata’ is a lovely shrub whose versatility makes it a useful addition to a landscape. It originates in Australia, from the regions of New South Wales and South Queensland. Like Agastache, Prostanthera is also in the Lamiaceae, or mint family, and has leaves that are aromatic when crushed. Its common name is variegated mint bush. ‘Variegata’ refers to the leaves that have attractive cream margins edging its olive-green oval-shaped foliage. This trait makes the shrub a great addition to a partially shady corner of the garden, where its bright leaves highlight the many tubular purple flowers, creating interest amongst green shrubs.
Variegated mint bush has a moderately fast growth rate and an erect and open growing habit. This shrub thrives in full sun as well as part shade. It can tolerate some low water situations, particularly in the shade, but would prefer a little more water. It is a good gauge that a garden needs watering, as it will droop when the soil dries but easily revive when receiving water again.
Prostanthera is also known as the ‘variegated thousand flower mint bush’. This refers to its prolific blooms, which appear in the spring in terminal clusters on the end of branches. The plant can be tipped back after blooming to prevent any long branch growth and encourage a more compact shape. Variegated mint bush is a densely growing, evergreen shrub, and as such, is useful as a low-growing screen. It reaches 4-6′ in height and 3-5′ in width.
Prostanthera ‘Variegata’ fits into many garden aesthetics, such as Mediterranean, cottage, low maintenance shrub borders, urban gardens and even highlighted in containers. Plant near patios to enjoy its inviting fragrance. USDA Zones: 9-11.
In Your Garden: What to do in August
- Re-pot indoor plants. If your indoor plants have grown too large for their pots, it’s time to upsize their planters. Repot now to acclimatize them through the fall.
- Select and plant fall blooming perennials: Aster, Rudbeckia, Japanese anemones, and Salvia.
- Choose drought tolerant plants that attract butterflies. We have a large selection in our nursery. Remember to plant some with nectar to attract the adults, such as Lantana, and some to feed caterpillars, such as native milkweed, Ceanothus, buckwheats and dill.
- Don’t forget to feed vegetables and flowers with a steady-release fertilizer such as E.B. Stone Organics All Purpose Plant Food.
- Make sure to support all tall and vining vegetables by adding cages, stakes, or trellises to avoid crop loss.
- Time for summer pruning of fruit trees to control height, maintain shape, and eliminate suckers.
- Feed container plantings with Maxsea. And revitalize containers by adding new annuals and perennials.
- Mulch vegetables and flower beds now to conserve moisture.
- Check plants for whitefly. Brugmansia, Lantana, tomatoes, and Verbena are susceptible. Put out yellow sticky traps to monitor populations.
- Remove runners from strawberries to promote buds for next year and to strengthen the mother plants. Plant the rooted runners.
- Plan out your vegetable garden for crop rotation to avoid re-planting the same plants in the same area for two seasons in a row.
- Be proactive about insects. Reduce the number of flies: remove pet waste and fallen fruit from the ground. For fleas: use nematodes in outside breeding areas.