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planting under a California pepper tree

Posted by asc_4dianne (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 1, 05 at 17:27

We have a spot that gets 1/2 sun, hot. It is beside/under a pepper tree. We have tried all kinds of plants there and are looking for a specimen that would grow there. We have tried a strawberry bush, didn't die but didn't grow. Agapanthas grow there. Azaleas do not. Any suggestions??

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RE: planting under a California pepper tree

asc 4dianne,
Do you really need a shrub there? What about groundcovers? Maybe Mondo grass. Then comes the Coleonema pulchrum Sunset Gold, a great looking groundcover with tiny pink, star-like, five-petaled flowers. A great gc for sun (of course). It can tolerate drought but not frost. With its aromatic foliage, it serves wonderfully as a foil to a low-lying set of steps one can pass closely by and around, and can be shorn to appropriate height and width. Again introd from Australia into New Zealand, then to CA. In the summer months in this region, its foliage is golden, in the winter, the foliage is green, and then in early spring there are thousands of tiny pink flowers! How great can it get?
The Spirea bumalda 'Magic Carpet' is a wonderful small shrub, with great fall color which I saw on a San Fransciso east Bay Garden Tour last October. Great small size to and easy to make cuttings of.

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