It’s April Fools’ Day, and not too early for spring fever. I have an overwhelming urge to lie down next to the dog in the gravel outside the office and sleep in the sun. But the plants in the nursery are talking too loudly: “Plant me, you fool!” Hanging out in the sun with me, I find three plants particularly relatable: Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor), Roemer’s Idaho Fescue (Festuca idahoensis ssp. roemeri) and Oregon Stonecrop (Sedum oreganum).
The Ocean Spray is nicely sprouting its scalloped leaves. A lovely big shrub (9-12 feet tall), Ocean Spray loves full blasting-hot sun in the summer, but can also handle partial shade. Blooming in June, its graceful long clumps of tiny creamy-white flowers make it look like it’s covered in bridal bouquets. They attract tiny pollinators which in turn attracts birds. The flowers fade and hang on through the winter, which many people enjoy as “winter interest” and many insects continue to enjoy as “habitat”.
The other two talking plants make appropriate companion plants for Ocean Spray. These two perennials, Roemer’s Idaho Fescue and Oregon Stonecrop both enjoy the same conditions as Ocean Spray: well-drained soil, sunny and even hot. A clumping grass, Roemer’s Idaho Fescue has gray-green, almost bluish, very fine-textured leaves. Between the clumps of Fescue, low-growing (3-6 inches) Oregon Stonecrop finds space to creep. It is a succulent with plump round leaves that turn from bright green to bronze late in the summer. Its yellow umbrella-like clusters of flowers contrast nicely with the Fescue and provide nectar for bees and butterflies.
Come enjoy a little spring foolishness and see if these plants speak to you! (“Plant me, you fool!”)
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