5 Plants for Garden-Inspired Holiday Decorating

November 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

Nandina (Nandina domestica) or Heavenly Bamboo

Nandina (Nandina domestica) or Heavenly Bamboo

At Maymont, we are fortunate to have a landscape filled with fresh greenery to use in classes like our upcoming Wreath Workshops (Dec. 3-5) and Deck the Halls Workshops (Dec. 7). With a little planning and care, your garden can be a source as well. Consider planting the following plants for your own holiday décor.

1. Boxwood (Buxus ‘Green Beauty’)
With the concern over boxwood blight, we recently replaced the overgrown English boxwood surrounding the Herb Garden with the blight resistant Buxus ‘Green Beauty’. Full sun, mulch and organic or slow release fertilizer plus a 6.5 pH provide optimum growing conditions for most boxwood, especially ‘Green Beauty’.

2. Native Hollies (Ilex opaca, Ilex verticillata and Ilex decidua)
Virginia’s native hollies are a source of berries for the holidays. While not every gardener has room for the evergreen Ilex opaca, American holly, most gardeners do have room for the red berried stems of deciduous hollies, Ilex verticillata and Ilex decidua. Hollies grow best in full sun with well-drained acidic soil. These plants are diecious, meaning some plants have male flowers and some have female flowers, so a gardener must grow both cultivars for the beautiful berries to form.

3. Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
We have learned that Cryptomeria japonica, Japanese cedar, holds up very well in outdoor decorations and indoors in water. With a plethora of cultivars that grow to varying heights and widths, it is easy to place one in any landscape with full sun and acidic soil. The extra bonus is that they are deer-proof!

4. Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Our sun loving native Eastern red cedar, Juniperus virginiana, is a type of greenery we can’t do without during the holidays. Consider growing the cultivar ‘Emerald Sentinel’ as it is filled with the beautiful blue berries and has a conical shaped growth habit. Junipers are diecious, just like the hollies, and the berries appear on the female.

5. Nandina (Nandina domestica)
The Japanese native, Nandina domestica, is another source of holiday color. Sometimes called Heavenly Bamboo, this plant grows and berries in full sun with acidic soil. This easy-to-grow plant has one challenge: the berries do drop, so decorate with it in areas away from foot traffic both indoors and out!

Peggy M. Singlemann, Director of Horticulture

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Fall is a whole new gardening season! March is Garden Madness at Maymont!

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