Commonly grown in North America and Eastern Asia, Japanese Yew is an excellent fit for porches year-round since it’s drought tolerant, and thrives in both full sun and partial sun settings. Known to survive harsh winters as cold as 30 degrees below zero, the Japanese Yew is popularly used as ground cover; however, when grown as a tree, it can reach up to 50 feet in height. For proper growth, plant Japanese Yew in in a damp setting.
Versatile and tough, Taunton spreading yew (Taxus x media ‘Tauntoni’) has short needles that resist winter wind burn and stand up to summer heat. Yew grows well in sun or part shade, with plants reaching 3 to 4 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. Choose Taunton spreading yew for a screen, foundation planting or hedge. It also works as a shrubby ground cover beneath trees. Hardy in Zones 4-7.
Dwarf Alberta Spruce With Hat
Usually dwarf Alberta spruce is a go-to plant for adding an air of formality to gardens. But the topiary forms also lend themselves to playful garden whimsy, like this pom-pom spruce decked out with sun hat and shoes. It’s a great choice for a children’s garden. If your dwarf Alberta spruce develops brown needles or dead spots due to winter burn or spider mites, you can always prune out those branches to create your own one-of-a-kind topiary style.
Trailing Pansy Fall Hanging Basket
If you’re a gardener who craves pure splashes of single colors, try something different this year. Mimic Mother Nature’s fall color show and treat yourself to a hanging basket planted with a mix of hues. The effect is truly a garden party in a pot. Cool Wave Mix Spreading Pansy delivers a just-right blend (designed by the seed breeders) that’s eye-catching and perfect for fall. Tuck a pot into the ground at least six weeks before frost, add extra mulch once the ground freezes, and you’ll be rewarded with early spring pansies. Cool Wave pansies handle temperatures as low as -13°F. They’ll look frozen solid during winter, and leaves and stems may turn brown, but watch what happens when spring peeks ‘round the corner. Of course, plants in pots won’t survive freezing temperatures.
Like brunnera, bergenias are great for brightening up shady areas in your garden. Their small blooms are charming in a woodland setting, as a groundcover, in borders or in a cottage garden. Give the plants moist soil that’s rich in organic matter and shade to partial shade. They’ll bloom in spring. By fall, some of the leaves will turn brown, while others will become purplish-bronze. Remove the dead leaves, but let the others remain over the winter. Bergenia is hardy in zones 3-9. This variety is 'Pink Dragon'.
Violet to brown tinted centers on these clematis flowers contrast strikingly with pure white petals. The largest blossoms appear on plants in early summer, followed by smaller flowers on new stems in midsummer to early fall. Gardeners often grow ‘Henryi’ as a trailing clematis at ground level, letting stems tumble along and cascade over rock walls. For best flowering, prune stems in late winter or early spring, cutting stems back to 6 to 9 inches above a pair of fat buds. Vines grow 6 to 10 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.