south africans in south oregon
greetings all---just wanted to post my experiences with south african plants along the south coast of oregon. here certain s.a. plants are literally almost weeds---crocosmia and schizostylis spread all over the place and the standard calla/arum/pig lily forms huge clumps which persist forever even after the original garden has disappeared---the same for amaryllis belladonna (industructable). agapanthus orientalis (a. praecox orientalis) is not uncommon and kniphofia/red hot poker hybrids are especially valued for being resistant to both ocean salt spray and deer browsing. aristea ecklonii does fine and watsonias (deciduous hybrids)are extremely tough as well as beautiful. ditto for angels fishing rods (dierama). melianthus does only so so, probablly because my soil is extremely nutrient poor and very dry during the summer---certain gardens further north have huge clumps. aloe pratensis, aloinopsis, ruschia, stomatium, and delosperma spp. all grow here---ruschia and stomatium are especially good. the succulents seem to appreciate very well drained scree/rockgarden conditions with summer moisture (and protection from rampaging slugs). the only woody plant i am growing in the ground is podocarpus henkelii which grows slowly but satisfactorily---had some slight frost damage because it came into growth very early this year (january)because of a spell of mild winter. seedling material of podocarpus latifolius grown outside in pots in a protected area may be an even better bet because it has not started into new growth yet. most of the material mentioned has been in cultivation in southern oregon and northern california for some time but i don't think people really appreciate just how much s.a. stuff is both available and wonderfully suitable for our conditions as both tough and beautiful garden plants.