My shop CONTAINED EXUBERANCE is open for the spring season.
Thursday-Sunday; 10am – 6pm
My shop CONTAINED EXUBERANCE is open for the spring season.
Thursday-Sunday; 10am – 6pm
“Your garden should delight and excite you year-round. I design plant-driven gardens that offer bang for the buck through all seasons.”
After a tough winter, it’s time to plan for garden improvements or design new plantings.
My Shop is closed for regular retail until March 2nd…so I have greater availability to schedule garden consultations.
AT YOUR GARDEN OR BUSINESS
Introductory Consultation @$125… Includes site visit, planting recommendations, and preliminary plant list
Planting Design @$85/hour… Small spaces to large properties. Plant-driven, climate-adapted, easy-care gardens.
Container Design for Home and Business @$85/hour… Streetside, entryways, patios, balconies & terraces. I help you choose and purchase the best pots for your situation and design container plantings.
AT MY SHOP Contained Exuberance; 1114 SE Clay Street, Portland, OR 97214 (next to Xera Plants)
Pots, Fountains, Benches, Garden Ornament
Eclectic, contemporary, rustic & lightweight designs. Custom-ordering available.
RED is commonly associated with heat, activity, passion, sexuality, anger, love and joy. It is the universal color for stop, pay attention…LOOK AT ME!
In planting design, red and its many hues can immediately focus attention on a particular element or view. With less color competition in the winter garden, chestnut bark, cardinal stems, garnet fruits, bronzy red foliage, and burgundy flowers really zing.
I am a big advocate of bold, red, coral, orange, and yellow winter stem color in my garden designs. I lived for a good chunk of time in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions surrounded by a predominantly gray-brown, deciduous winter landscape for close to 5 months of the year. In Portland (thankfully!) winter is now a few months shorter, generally benign, and much more evergreen than back East.
A simplistic (but compelling!) winter planting that I left in the Hudson Valley consisted of copses of Betula nigra ‘Heritage’ (river birch) surrounded by thickets of Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’, a vibrant red-twig dogwood with cardinal-red stems. I immediately understood the cultivar name after watching a male cardinal perched for hours on this dogwood’s twiggy silhouette in a snowy white landscape at our former nursery…it was the perfect color match between flora and fauna! Other spectacular winter red-twig dogwoods include Cornus sericea ‘Baileyii’ with bright red (carmine) winter stems (green foliage in season) and C. sericea ‘Hedgerow’s Gold’, with deep garnet branches covered in season with spectacular bright golden-yellow variegated foliage.
Acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku (coral bark Japanese maple) is a small tree standout that tones up gardens in winter with its brilliant scarlet bark. After leaf drop, the bark and twigs take on a coral-red tinge that grows deeper as winter advances. Another is Acer rufinerve ‘Erythrocladum’ (in the snake bark maple group) that shines with winter bright coral-orangey red bark. And, of course, there is Acer griseum (paperbark maple) with its textured, peeling, papery sheets of chestnut bark that reveal cinnamon-brown underneath. In the same vein is Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Natchez’, which as it ages, shouts out in the winter landscape with a bark mosaic of cinnamon-brown.
Winter fruits play heavily in my winter gardens. I favor trees and shrubs producing red fruits that don’t mush and ferment quickly in cold weather, persisting well into winter as a food source for resident birds (and a source of enjoyment for we humans). A good example is the crabapple, Malus x ‘Donald Wyman’, a small, but spreading tree that produces lots of bright red, persistent crabapples (to 3/8” diameter). A few other red-fruited crabapples with the same qualities are Malus sargentii and M. ‘Jewelberry’ (both better suited for small gardens) and M. ‘Sentinel’ a narrow, upright tree for tight spaces.
On Portland streets, Crataegus lavalleei (Lavalle hawthorn), Crataegus phaenopyrum (Washington hawthorn), and C. viridis ‘Winter King’ turn my head in December and January. All of these hawthorns produce abundant, showstopping clusters of red to orange-red fruits that ride well into winter. A bonus is their toughness and adaptability to our summer dry climate.
Evergreen English holly (Ilex aquifolium) produces the stereotypical holiday red berry in Pacific northwest gardens. While here to stay, natural resource managers and gardeners alike are concerned about this holly species spread in natural areas, parks, and national forests. In my own garden, I see the pervasive germination of seedlings from a female English holly that came with our northwest Portland house five years ago. But how I love this spiny evergreen laden with red, look-at-me fruit from November through March and the birds that slowly peck away at them.
Truth be told, I much prefer deciduous hollies like Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’, ‘Red Sprite’, and ‘Sparkleberry’. Small white blooms mature into vivid red fruit after leaf drop in the fall. Deciduous hollies need a late-blooming male variety planted nearby in order to produce berries and they grow best in soils that retain moisture.
Viburnums are versatile, garden-worthy shrubs and consistently in my arsenal of winter red-fruits. In our garden Viburnum opulus ‘Exuberant’ displays bunches of red fruit around our front deck following the most glorious fall foliage display. Another favorite is Viburnum setigerum known as the tea viburnum because its leaves were used by Chinese monks to make a sweet medicinal tea. While I’m not steeping its leaves, I do delight in this viburnum’s fat clusters of bright red berries that often weigh down branches.
Let me not leave out another red knockout for winter gardens. Nandina domestica (heavenly bamboo) in its many forms provides lacy evergreen foliage turning brilliant shades of red in autumn, topped by clusters of red berries. My new favorite selection is Sienna Sunrise (‘Monfar’) with its intense fiery red new foliage and red highlights through winter.
Lower to the ground, I eagerly await hellebores that pull me from winter into spring. Among my favorites is Helleborus Winter Jewels ‘Cherry Blossom’ with its luscious large, semi-double blooms of rich pink with deep, cherry red centers. Towering above, dark red varieties of Camellia japonica, always remind of Alice in Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts. A sign of promise…just in time for Valentine’s Day!
ORANGE epitomizes fall. Fields of ripe pumpkins ready for harvest; Japanese persimmons turning deeper orange as the weather cools; dahlias ruling the garden, like my new orange favorite ‘Maarn’ with four-inch, pure orange pompons. ORANGE is optimistic, uplifting, and rejuvenates our spirit, particularly after a long, dry northwest summer.
From a series of articles I’ve written on COLOR IN THE GARDEN for the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon Quarterly publication.
I didn’t realize how much I favor orange flowers in our own garden until I sat down to write this article. Early in the season, it starts with Papaver atlanticum (Atlantic poppy) in single and double ‘Flore Pleno’ flower form. This delightful poppy reseeds freely on our hilliside offering wave after wave of orange. The same goes for California poppy (Eschscholzia californica). Another favorite orange-hued perennial is Alstroemeria ‘Butterscotch’ gifted to to me by Lucy Hardiman (with more plants purchased at Joy Creek Nursery). Its butterscotch and apricot tones seem to complement many companion plants on our hillside. It offers continuous mellow, pastel color points well into fall.
I am a big fan of late summer and fall-blooming Agastache (misleadingly called anise-hyssop or licorice mint) in all shades of orange. Among my favorite selections are Agastache aurantiaca ‘Shades of Orange’, ‘Mandarin Dream’ (the color of Mandarin oranges), ‘Rainbow Sorbet’ (big, flared orange flowers that shift pink over several days giving a multi-color effect), and shorter compact selections like ‘Apricot Sprite’ (peachy apricot) and ‘Xera Flame’ (orange-red).
Another orange perennial that keeps trucking in our fall borders is Kniphofia thompsonii var. snowdenii. I favor spiky perennials that punctuate border designs and this poker is a showstopper. Rather than the regular congested arrangement of flowers this Kniphofia sports widely spaced multicolored tubular flowers in candy corn orange and hints of yellow. Each flower stem rises to 4’ tall; new spikes repeat through fall and continually surprise.
Flower color is obvious, but don’t overlook orange fruit. I adore Japanese persimmon (Disopyros kaki ‘Fuju’) for the beautiful shape of its deep orange fruits that persist after leaf drop into early winter. The specimen in Portland’s Lan Su Chinese Garden is to die for!
Other favorite orange-fruited shrubs are Viburnum setigerum (tea viburnum) with heavy dangling clusters of orange-red fruits (perhaps the best fruit display of any of the viburnums) and species Rosa rugosa with cherry-tomato-sized hips in arresting orange-red. R. rugosa cultivars ‘Alba’ (single white), ‘Hansa’ and ‘Therese Bugnet’ (double pinks) and ‘Blanc Double de Coubert (double white) all produce colorful hips in gardens that I have designed.
For fall foliage with plays of orange, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ and Parrotia persica are hard to beat. Other standouts include Japanese maples, particularly selections like Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’ with its stunning orange new growth and yellow-orange fall color. Forever tucked in my mind is a beautiful dissected Acer palmatum ‘Waterfall’ which reliably shifts brilliant orange-red in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. That maple is now easily challenged by specimens in Portland’s acclaimed Japanese Garden.
Gardeners often forget that stem and bark color extend interest in the fall and winter. Euphorbia griffithii ‘Dixter’ glows with orange-red stems in our hillside borders during September and October. Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Flame’ (and ‘Midwinter Fire’) offer brightly colored winter stems that flicker yellow, orange and red. Acer griseum (paperbark maple) is small tree standout for its exfoliating copper orange to cinnamon reddish/brown bark and showy orange to red fall color.
Since moving back to the West Coast five years ago, I have renewed my love affair with Zauschneria (now Epilobium) species and hybrids. My favorite upright forms (at least for now!) are Zauschneria ‘Bowman’ to 2 feet tall with vermillion-orange flowers and ‘Silver Select’ to 20 inches tall with silver foliage and bright orange flowers.
Remember to knit together plantings with Carex testacea (orange sedge…and don’t forget annuals and vegetables that spread an orange glow in the autumn garden. Among my favorites are Bulbine frutescens ‘Hallmark’, Calibrachoa Superbells ‘Dreamsicle’, Oxalis ‘Copper Glow’, tomato ‘Sungold’ (yum!) and a new favorite from Xera Plants, Antirrhinum ‘Double Azalea Apricot’
I let orange float into winter with a metal hanging dish planter filled with Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’. The grass eventually shifts to a tawny hay color as it goes winter dormant, but the dish color is an everpresent, cheerful ORANGE.
My shop CONTAINED EXUBERANCE is closed for regular retail hours during winter.
BUT, you can still book garden consultations and buy garden pottery and decor by appointment.
CALL or TEXT: Bob Hyland at 518.929.0699
Summer is my favorite time in the garden. Long, warm days to kick back and enjoy a bounty of flowers and foliage in a rainbow of color.
Blue is the #1 favorite color of all people. It is nature’s color for water and sky, embraced as the hue of heaven and authority, and worn universally in denim clothing. In my garden, Agapanthus ‘Joyful Blue’ is beginning to bloom…shooting up through a sea of Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’.
Gardeners have a fascination with “true” blue flowers in the garden. We are enticed by photos of Himalayan blue poppies (Meconospis spp.) and promises of an endless summer of blue mophead hydrangeas or a lacecap like Hydrangea serrata ‘Bluebird’.
In our warm, dry, intensely bright Pacific Northwest summers, blue flowers, fruits, and foliage offer calming relief. For backdrop in my own garden, we’ve planted a few leafy blue evergreen trees, notably Cunninghamia lanceolata ‘Glauca’ with its fat, wide frosty blue needles and Eucalyptus pauciflora subsp. debuzevillei, a large-leaved version of the snow gum with chalky blue leaves that contrast nicely with its earth-toned copper-pink-green-white patchwork bark.
For blue summer fruit, nothing beats edible blueberries, either lowbush (Vaccinium angustifolium) or highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum). I am still amazed at the mind-blowing blueberry selections available to HPSO gardeners in Portland regional nurseries. Aside from the juicy summer fruit, multi-stemmed blueberries offer deciduous leaves that turn bright yellow, orange, and vibrant shades of red in autumn.
Oregon-grape (Mahonia (synonym:Berberis) aquifolium) is our state flower – yellow spring blooms that yield clusters of round, dusky blue summer fruit. The tart, edible berries don’t offer the same sweetness of fresh-picked blueberries, but who cares! Mahonia is a dynamic shrub with 4-season interest, particularly hybrid varieties like M. x media ‘Arthur Menzies’, ‘Charity’, ‘Lionel Fortescue’ and ‘Winter Sun’. No garden should be without one…or two!
Another favorite blue-fruiting shrub in our garden is Berberis darwinii. Remarkable clusters of intense blue fruit ripen in summer…and freshen up fading hellebore flowers.
I delight in all forms of California lilac (Ceanothus) and their adaptability to our dry summers. Perhaps my new favorite is Ceanothus x ‘Topaz’, a great summer-bloomer with some of the darkest, deep blue-black flowers in the genus. Flower trusses on ‘Topaz’ are loose and airy, lending informality in the summer garden.
Among blue-flowering perennials, several really sing in summer. Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Electric Blue’ leads the parade. Its zappy true blue flowers smother the foliage for up to six weeks in late spring and then sporadically through summer with some deadheading.
Lithodora diffusa ‘Grace Ward’ may seem a rather common box store perennial, but its flowers are among the most intense deep blue. It is a wonderful groundcover or rock garden accent with sprawling to slightly mounded form.
On our northwest Portland hillside, two blue-flowered perennials dominate the summer scene. Catananche caerulea (Cupid’s dart) grows in clumps of narrow gray-green foliage with wiry flower stems of cornflower blue to violet-lavender fringed daisies. Catananche is a dynamic bedfellow with Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’ on one of our terraces.
My other newly favored perennial is Agapanthus with strappy green foliage down on the ground and aerial globes of powder blue, royal, and blue-black that drift across our summer plantings. Standouts are Agapanthus ‘Joyful Blue’ with soft blue flower heads fading to a milky lavender (a Joy Creek Nursery selection) and A. ‘Blue Leap’, a vigorous, hardy variety chosen for its ability to “leap” across our hillside. We purchased ‘Blue Leap’ from Dan Hinkley at Windcliff Plants. Dan originally selected and introduced ‘Blue Leap’ through Heronswood Nursery.
I use grasses and sedges liberally in my garden designs to knit plantings together at the ground plane. Many are blue-bladed like little bluestem (Schizachryrium scoparium ‘The Blues’), blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens ‘Sapphire’), blue fescue (Festuca ovina ‘Elijah Blue’) and blue sedge (Carex flacca ‘Blue Zinger’). I’m discovering the merits and best use of native Festuca californica and the South American blue wheat grass (Agropyron magellanica) which froms a striking evergreen clump of intense blue foliage. A couple of blue-foliaged perennials like Euphorbia rigida, Parahebe perfoliata (Digger’s speedwell), and Agastache ‘Blue Boa’ work wonderfully spiking up through some of these blue grasses and sedges. Blue foliage, flowers, and fruits offer cool summer moments, and at the same time make your garden ZING.
Saturday, September 24th at 11:00 am
1114 SE Clay Street, Portland, OR 97214
Paul Bonine, co-owner of Xera Plants.
Invigorate your containers with plantings for maximum fall and winter enjoyment.
Unlike the title and refrain from the 1974 pop hit Mellow Yellow by Donovan, YELLOW flowers and foliage in the garden are cheerful, sunny, and uplifting. Yellow can be seductively pale; yummy, bright, and buttery; punchy and fluorescent; in-your-face brassy; or screaming acid yellow.
In color theory, yellow is a primary color, along with red and blue. Green, orange, and purple are colors formed by mixing primary colors. Mixing primary and secondary colors yields tertiary colors or hues given a hyphenated two-word name, such as yellow-green or yellow-orange. There are more shades of yellow than any other color (check out any good paint line) with descriptive names like Canary, Goldfinch, Golden Honey, Sun Kissed, Tuscan Sun to name just a few!
The parade of yellow starts early in our northwest Portland garden with winter- and spring-blooming shrubs. Chimonanthus praecox (wintersweet) starts the show January-February with waxy butter yellow flowers (almost translucent) accented with maroon on the inside. There is nothing quite like the spicy, pungent smell of winterweet on a cold, damp Portland winter day. Next up are the spidery blooms of hybrid witch-hazels. My favorite for yellow color and sweet, subtle aroma is Hamamelis mollis ‘Pallida’ with wavy ever-soft yellow petals brilliantly displayed on bare branches. A close runner-up is Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ with its sturdy vase-shaped habit and clear, almost “true” yellow spidery flowers. HPSO member Lucy Hardiman has a champion specimen in her southeast Portland garden.
Overlapping and taking the lead from witch-hazels in bloom sequence are two other favored yellow-flowering shrubs – Edgeworthia chrysantha (Chinese paperbush) and Corylopsis spicata ‘Aurea’ (golden spike winterhazel). Edgeworthia produces deliciously scented umbels of yellow tubular flowers on thick, naked branches. Golden Corylopsis provides a double-whammy of dangling pale yellow flowers followed by acid yellow leaves that shift bright gold to chartreuse late in the season.
Another remarkable yellow-blooming shrub is Stachyurus salicifolius (willowleaf spiketail). It’s a lovely graceful, arching evergreen shrub from China with long willowy evergreen leaves. In early spring chains of creamy yellow bell-shaped flowers are guaranteed to start a conversation.
It’s not all about colorful blooms, however. Flowers are fleeting and foliage rides much longer during the gardening season. An excellent example is Ribes sanguineum ‘Brocklebankii’, a golden yellow-leafed form or our native flowering currant. It has typical trusses of dark pink flowers in early spring accented against the warm foliage. Too much sun can burn the leaves so a lightly shaded spot or morning sun is best. Another currant that I am crazy about is Ribes odoratum (clove currant) and the cultivar ‘Crandall’. Both sport golden yellow trumpet-shaped flowers in racemes in spring and emit a strong, spicy, clove-like fragrance. The punchy flower color and fragrance is to die for!
Down lower to the ground, there are many perennial plants that I wouldn’t be without for their yellow springtime color. Euphorbias of all kinds lead the list, in particular architectural Euphorbia rigida with its stiff upright stems clothed in long, pointed, powder-blue leaves topped by fluourescent yellow-green flower heads. Another favorite is Euphorbia polychroma ‘Bonfire’, an herbaceous cushion spurge whose new foliage emerges deep red-purple shifting to burgundy in mid summer. The low-mounded foliage to 1.5 foot tall is covered by fluorescent yellow to chartreuse bracts. For softer yellow perennial flower color, Scabiosa ochreleuca (pincushion flower) is a bringer of bees and butterflies, practically everblooming, and drought and deer resistant. Hundreds of 1.5” soft primrose blooms cover the multi-branching, 3-foot-tall stems.
I liberally use ornamental grasses and sedges in my naturalistic garden designs to knit together and integrate plantings. One of my favorite workhorses for full sun is Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’ (variegated purple moor grass) This tufted, compact perennial has dense clumps of slender, foot-long green leaves marked with stripes of creamy yellow. In summer, slim, pale yellow flower stalks rise up 3 feet tall in a vertical pattern that glows when backlit by the sun. Molinia combines well on one of our hillside gardenslopes with the complementary cornflower blue blooms of Catananche caerulea. In the shade, I am fond of Carex oshimensis Everillo (EverColor R), a Japanese sedge with fantastic bright lime-green foliage that ages to golden yellow during the season. I wouldn’t be without Japanese Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ and ‘All Gold’. Likewise, Luzula sylvatica ‘Aurea’ (great woodrush) with bright golden foliage in late winter and early spring fading to lime-green by midsummer.
For a big bold, ever-present yellow statement in my gardens, I always find room for a specimen or clusters of Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’, my favorite golden yellow-centered variegated yucca, and Symphytum x uplandicum ‘Axminster Gold’ (yellow variegated comfrey) with large, coarse grayish green leaves artfully edged in vibrant lemon-yellow.
Yellow is a happy color that brightens and lifts gardens and souls during the spring renaissance in our gardens.
Join me and fellow Portland Metro region garden and container designers for FREE Saturday morning workshops and container planting demonstrations.
Workshop Limit: 20
FREE ADMISSION plus 10% discount coupon for purchases at Contained Exuberance
Pre-register for these workshops using contact form under “My Shop” drop down at www.hylandgardendesign.com or phone/text 518.929.0699
With Kate Bryant, garden writer, designer, and horticultural consultant. Get ideas and strategies for early explosions of color, texture and pizzazz in your garden containers. Jumpstart the season!
With Lucy Hardiman, principal and owner of the dynamic Portland-based garden design collaborative Perennial Partners. Pick up tips and observe techniques from a master gardener of container plantings that maximize visual appeal and ease of maintenance.
With Lenore Rice, co-owner of Seibert & Rice, leading American importer of handmade terracotta planters and urns from Italy. Learn about the merits and advantages of high-fired, frost-proof terra cotta pots…the best money can buy! Traditional, classic designs, and artistic, one-of-a-kind pots.
With Claire Bandfield, artist, craftswoman, pot-maker. Meet-greet and hear about locally made, LIGHTWEIGHT, beautifully crafted pots for succulents, airplants, and Japanese-inspired plantings.
With Lynn Wolfstone, Portland garden designer and past president of APLD (Association of Professional Landscape Designers). Get great ideas on how to invigorate and refresh containers with plantings and accessories for maximum outdoor summer enjoyment.
Fall is in full-swing here in Portland, OR. The brilliant yellow leaf color of Salix ‘Flame’ is good background for an outdoor seating area decorated with pots. Brilliant orange-red stems follow for months of winter enjoyment.
Vintage mid-century modern side chairs by Harry Bertoia (circa 1952) and a trio of Antico terra cotta pots complete the decor.