This week at Lichtenfelt’s, ‘Bronze Beauty’ and ‘LeeAnn’ Cleyera are 25% off, in-store or online. Limited numbers of each remain! Both variants of the popular species Cleyera, these shrubs are excellent for a larger-growing landscape shrub or for a dense hedge to provide a buffer from neighbors or road noise. ‘LeeAnn’ is grown for her beautiful bronze-colored new growth and neat, dense, evergreen foliage. She grows quickly to mature at 10-12′ tall by 8′ wide. ‘Bronze Beauty’ grows much slower than other Cleyera varieties, making it easier to maintain at a smaller size. It matures at 8-10′ tall by 5-6′ wide. Cleyera is one of the few plants that grows well in sun or shade.
Don’t let these great shrubs sell out! Now that the flood waters have receded (at least for now!), stop by Lichtenfelt’s today to get a head start on your Spring planting.
With its dense habit, diverse foliage, and wonderfully unique blooms, Pieris japonica should be a top choice for your shade garden. Like a string of pearls, Pieris blooms with cascading bell-shaped flowers contrasted against dark green foliage. New growth emerges differently depending on variety, with hues of red, bronze, and bright green. March is generally Pieris’s time to shine, though unseasonably warm or cool weather could provide some variation.
‘Mountain Fire’ is an especially striking variety. Young, showy foliage emerges a fiery red while maintaining an especially compact growth habit. While many Pieris varieties mature at 5-6′, ‘Prelude’ provides a proper dwarf variety, with a mature height and spread of around 3′. Lichtenfelt’s offers many other varieties, with ‘Forest Flame’, ‘Mountain Snow’, ‘Giant Southern’, and others to peruse. If your location has well drained soil and a shady setting, Pieris should be a permanent fixture in your landscape.
Perhaps no other plant welcomes Spring with the flourish of the redbud. Cercis canadensis, or Eastern Redbud, unfolds a blanket of brilliant pink, red, and purple tones in late Winter to early Spring. South Carolinians may recognize the redbud from its presence throughout Falls Park in Greenville. What a sight it is to behold contrasted with the stately Liberty bridge!
While the species redbud still makes its appearance in garden centers around the Southeast, Lichtenfelt’s typically stocks some of the more interesting offerings. ‘Avondale’ and ‘Oklahoma’ contrast magenta flowers against dark green foliage, while ‘Forest Pansy’ and ‘Black Pearl’ display gorgeous purple leaves after its rosy pink flowers have faded. Weeping varieties add character and interest to the mix, with both green (‘Lavender Twist’ and ‘Rising Sun’) and purple (‘Ruby Falls’) leafed cultivars.
Most upright redbuds mature at 15-25′ in our area, depending on variety, while weeping cultivars top out under 15′. Redbuds prefer to be sited with some afternoon shade to provide respite from the hot summer sun. Moist or dry soil can provide an environment for redbuds to thrive.
While Spring may be a few weeks away, the early appearance of redbud blooms remind us just how close we are to the excitement of the Spring season. Come out to Lichtenfelt’s in the coming weeks to see our redbuds in full display.
We’ve all been there (and perhaps you’re there now)—the winter doldrums, those periods of stagnation and dullness that sweep over us during the colder months. And for the gardener, who is longing for those spring days when the morning suns breaks into the garden and kisses each new leaf and bud, winter can be an especially depressing season. What are we to do?! Well, winter isn’t going away, but we can adjust our perspective on the coldest of seasons by thinking about what’s available for us in the winter garden.
One plant that can help reinvigorate our winter gardens is Winter Daphne, or Daphne odora. Known for its sweet fragrance, as its name reveals, Winter Daphne is an evergreen shrub that bears clusters of rosy-purple star-shaped flowers with a whitish center in late winter. An especially striking variety of Winter Daphne is Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata,’ or Variegated Winter Daphne, for zones 7–9. Its name says it all: aureo means “golden” and marginata means “border” or “edge.” In other words, the gold-colored variegation of this variety appears along the edges of its leaves, giving the plant its memorable appearance. Because of its distinct look and incredible aroma, Winter Daphne often works well as a specimen plant near a walkway, porch, or deck, where you and your guests can enjoy it. Winter Daphne grows slowly at a rate of 2-3 in. per year to mature at 3-4 ft. tall and wide.
When planting Winter Daphne, be sure to consider several important details. Daphne prefers a location that is part shade to part sun (i.e., that receives a bit of shade from the hottest part of the afternoon summer sun) and that has well-draining soil. Never plant Winter Daphne where the soil stays soggy after rain or watering. Also, never break up or disturb the rootball of a daphne when planting, and fertilize it only with mushroom compost, either as a topdressing or mixed in the planting hole. Finally, give Winter Daphne time to acclimate to its new location; it may take a few years for it to completely adjust to its surroundings and reach its full potential.
So, if you’re deep in the weeds of winter dormancy, brush off those frosty feelings and head over to Lichtenfelt Nursery where you can find winter’s touch of gold—Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata.’
During cold snaps like the one we’ve woken up to today, Spring can seem like an eternity away. Though the blooms of last season are a distant memory, Lenten Rose reminds us of the grandeur that is to come.
Botanically known as Helleborus orientalis, Lenten Rose is not actually a member of the Rosa family. Rather, its name is a combination of its blooming season (typically before and during Lent) and its Eastern geographical origin. Recently, Helleborus hybrids have burst onto the scene, with more vibrant colors, more “upright” facing blooms, and myriad textures and foliage shapes.
In Upstate South Carolina, Lenten Rose flourishes in the shade of high-branched trees or on the north or east side of buildings. Some gardeners cut Lenten Rose to the ground around the first of the year, allowing for a neater, more compact growth habit. Rich, well drained soil amended with Mushroom Compost provides the perfect medium in which to plant.
Lichtenfelt’s stocks over 15 varieties of Lenten Rose, from the traditional orientalis to the wild and colorful hybrids. Stop in to take a look at our selection and talk with our knowledgeable staff. It’s time to consider adding Lenten Rose to brighten your winter garden.
A Hearty Native That’s Easy to Brew but Hard to Beat!
Ilex vomitoria—the name sounds stomach churning, certainly not like the name of a plant you’d want in your garden or landscape. But don’t let its name fool you. Although its leaves and stems were harvested by Native Americans to make a caffeinated tea used in purification rituals (which included vomiting), Ilex vomitoria actually has no emetic properties. European settlers incorrectly believed the plant induced vomiting (hence its name) because of its close connection with the natives’ rituals. In other words, if you drink tea made from this plant, it won’t send you running to the bathroom.
But this plant’s hearty characteristics may send you running to your local nursery, where you’ll find this native of southeastern North America under the common name Yaupon Holly. In fact, its native status and overall reliability and appearance have made it a frequenter in many southern lawns and gardens. An evergreen shrub sometimes used in hedges or along foundations, Yaupon Holly has alternating oval-shaped or oblong glossy leaves with slightly serrated edges that grow along slender light-gray shoots.
Yaupon Holly thrives in a sunny exposure but can take some shade as well, and its height ranges anywhere from 4-20 feet, depending on the variety. In early spring the plant produces small whitish green inconspicuous flowers that give way to red berry-like fruit in the fall, a welcome snack for birds. These berries, which grow only on female plants, persist into the colder months, giving the shrub its festive feel as winter takes hold.
So, if you’re feeling the chill this winter, brew yourself some Yaupon Holly tea (yep, it’s still a thing), pour it into a travel cup, and head over to Lichtenfelt Nursery, where you’ll find a warm greeting and several varieties of Ilex vomitoria, including the petite Micron Holly (Ilex vomitoria ‘Gremicr’), Dwarf Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria ‘Nana’), and the stately Weeping Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria ‘Pendula’). We look forward to seeing you!
Are your conifers browning slightly on the inside (close to the trunk) or losing some inner foliage? As worrisome as it may appear, this is a perfectly normal occurrence for this time of the year.
In the Fall, many coniferous plants will shed off some of their inner foliage, making room for bright, beautiful new growth in the Spring. For newer gardeners, varieties that are known for shedding are arborvitae, cypress, and others.