When you describe yourself, do you think of yourself as a trendsetter? Do you wear the most current fashions or drive the newest style of car?
Well, anyone who knows me well, would not use the word trendsetter to describe me. Now that doesn’t mean that my clothing or car are out of style…..I am perfectly content being more ‘middle of the road’ in my tastes. My youngest sister is what you would call a trendsetter and I am always getting inspiration from her in terms of my fashion sense, books to read and so much more.
However, before you write me off as a trendsetter, there is one area in my life where I do like to be a trendsetter…..in the garden.
If you drive down any neighborhood where you live, you probably find the same types of plants in the front yard. In a given neighborhood, there can be a very limited variety of plants present.
This can be a result of the home builder designing and installing the landscape, using a limited amount of plants to choose from. Or, that the homeowners do not know that there are other plants available for them to use.
In my little corner of the desert Southwest, you will see a large amount of Lantana, Dwarf Oleander, Texas Sage, Bougainvillea and Ficus trees.
Now there is nothing wrong with these plants and they look fabulous in the warmer months. But, when so many people have these plants in their front yard, they tend to become boring. The plants actually tend to become part of the background and do not add much interest to the landscape.
Imagine if everyone wore the same 4 pieces of clothing. It would be pretty boring.
But, imagine if one of those people decided to spice up her wardrobe by putting on a different style and color shirt? You can bet that people would start to notice her.
Well, the same is true of your garden. There are many different types of plants that are just as beautiful as the more common ones found in your neighborhood.
Over the next few posts, I will show you some of my favorites.
Today, I will introduce you to one of my favorite shrubs. This shrub was introduced by Mountain States Wholesale Nursery.
My favorite shrubs
Aren’t the flowers beautiful? This is my Valentine shrub (Eremophila maculata ‘Valentine).
Over 12 years ago, I remember my nursery sales representative bringing me some free shrubs to try out on the golf course I was working at. Well anytime anyone offered me free plants, I was more then happy to try them out.
My favorite shrubs
Well, they turned out to be the best thing I had ever planted and I was soon ordering more.
Okay, here are just some of the reason I love this shrub:
It is evergreen
Beautiful flowers are produced during the winter months, when there is not much going on in the garden.
It only needs to be pruned once a year – in May.
I never had to fertilize them.
Hardy to 15 degrees F.
(Even when temperatures dipped down to 21 degrees last week, my shrubs are still beautiful and flowering).
Grows approximately 5′ x 5′ in size.
and does best in full sun.
I mean, what more can you ask for in a plant?
Still not convinced?
Here is another look……
So what are you waiting for? Go to your local nursery and pick some up. I have even seen them at our local big box stores.
Who knows? You may soon be known as the trendsetter in your neighborhood when you garden becomes a standout by using some lesser known plants 🙂
Drive By Landscapes: Winter Beauty in the Southwest Garden