~red buckeye, Aesculus pavia~
Well, in a less than surprising move (after a more than rotten week), I went to Hidden Ponds Nursery this afternoon for a bit of therapy, and there I found some nice additions for the garden. First, a wonderful little red buckeye, already leafed out with several nicely formed flower buds - I've been eyeing these for awhile, and was happy to see that they had some smaller sized ones. I have actually never seen the red buckeye in flower - so I'm looking forward to this.
~leatherleaf Mahonia, Mahonia bealei~
Second, I've wondered for awhile now why I haven't added a leatherleaf Mahonia to my garden (especially since they like shade in zone 8b) - so ever since I saw their beautiful berries at Hampton Park a few weekends ago, I've thought about adding one this spring. Again, Hidden Ponds had a nice small one - that is now waiting (patiently) to be planted.
~Azalea indica 'Red Formosa'~
Then there was the Azalea indica 'Red Formosa' - that I hope will look more purple than pink (please...!) - and it will join the gardenias and other azaleas and hydrangeas and dogwoods in the area under the live oaks. I got this in lieu of the 'Ray's Rubra' that I've been trying to find (or tried to find in past years) - but have only found at wholesale places on-line (it's a deep red wine color) and I've heard it's atypically difficult to propagate (you know, one of those plant rumors). I tend to prefer the non-formosa azaleas, the ones with smaller flowers in more muted shades - but I do like the red-purple-lavender-ish formosas.
~Hollywood juniper, Juniperus chinensis 'Torulosa'~
I have slowly been warming up to some of the junipers, ever since I've been learning more about evergreens that thrive in zone 8b. They are often so over-planted, even mis-planted - that I've decided that they have been given a bum deal. I have oddly fallen for the hollywood junipers - it's probably a combination of their seuss-ian form and my fascination (as a shamefully poor pruner of plants) of Pearl Fryar's topiary garden, I don't know - but I really like them. I'm working on the area in front of a wooden fence that borders the road (along one side of the front of my property) - and I want to add some low maintenance plants that will make an interesting (and diverse) border with respect to shape and texture. I already have two small (one foot) blue italian cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens 'Glauca') to plant along side the wax myrtle and ash that are already there.
All-in-all, the plant therapy was good today. They had plants that I wanted in small pots (so it was a reasonable purchase) - and I'm excited about these new additions. If I had been motivated (and wise), I would have gotten them in the ground before the rain arrived - today is predicted to be stormy and by Monday morning, snow is predicted to cover much of the south, with a slight chance of it here along the coast.
I'm definitely ready for spring, after a few months of roller coaster weather - but I'd postpone spring for a few days to see some snow falling down.