By Karen Chapman of Le jardinet
If you love tangy citrus shades in your garden you will want to seek out this new variety of heavenly bamboo whose foliage emerges vivid lemon and fades to lime without acquiring the more typical red tones of the species, even during colder months. It will add a spotlight to partially shaded areas or gleam brightly in full sun, but wherever you plant it the bright foliage is an invitation to try adventurous pairings.
This evergreen shrub offers far more than just great color however. Its compact size will fit into almost any landscape as an informal hedge or as part of a mixed planting and it is drought tolerant once established. It also adapts well to growing in containers where the beautiful foliage can shine, especially when used for high contrast combinations such as those suggested here.
With its finely dissected leaves and tidy, mounding habit 'Lemon Lime' Nandina (Nandina domestica Alba ‘Lemon Lime' PP24749) is a true five star shrub that you'll turn to again and again since it offers year round interest and offers great design versatility.
Don't let your garden become a boring mélange of mid-green. Ramp up the wow factor by planting tangy 'Lemon Lime' Nandina and introducing high contrast with shades of violet, purple and black.
Landscape Wow Factor
'Design-A-Line' Cordyline (Cordyline) grows as 3' fountain of broad strap-like foliage in a warm shade of eggplant. While its size is comparable to the heavenly bamboo the contrast in color, form and leaf texture will create a captivating combination that is both drought tolerant and low maintenance. Where this cordyline is hardy the evergreen foliage can be enjoyed year round.
To complete the scene and introduce a floral accent add a group of 'Amistad' Salvia (Salvia ‘Amistad' PP23578) to one side. This may be the hardest working perennial in your garden, pushing out endless deep purple flowers from spring until fall much to the excitement of hummingbirds. The black stems and bold flowers look truly stunning against the bright foliage of the heavenly bamboo. This deer resistant, drought tolerant beauty is worth including in your summer garden even as an annual if it is not hardy where you live as it offers so much color and wow factor for so little in return.
Pizzaz in a Pot
Substitute the larger cordyline for a dwarf purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Red Riding Hood). This will give a similar color albeit with a finer texture but it grows to just 18-30” tall and wide.You can create a similar vignette to the one above but downsize it for a container using these two plants.
Trailing verbena is a popular addition to sunny containers for its succession of flowers and vibrant colors. The variety Empress Imperial Blue has velvety deep purple blooms that would work perfectly in this design.
All three plants are drought tolerant in the landscape but will dry out more quickly in containers so while they may not need daily watering, they will benefit from a high quality potting soil and regular monitoring.
Hardiness; USDA zones 6-9, Sunset zones 3 (with protection), -33
Light; Full sun, part shade
Mature size; 3-4' H x 3-4' W