Great New NINEBARK – ‘Amber Jubilee’

The newest ninebark member in my collection is Physocarpus ‘Amber Jubilee’, also known as Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Jefam’.   ‘Amber Jubilee’ ninebark was named in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.  The queen took part in the ceremonial planting of this new shrub while visiting Winnipeg.
It is beautiful, and as amber, golden, glowing and colorful as the name suggests.  It is the seedling of the cross ‘Diabolo’ x ‘Dart’s Gold’ made by Rick Durand of Jeffries Nurseries in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (Canada).

foliage variations on our new Ninebark 'Amber Jubilee'

foliage variations on our new Ninebark ‘Amber Jubilee’

I was so pleased to find this and add it to our collection.    It came in a two gallon pot and cost $38.00 in one of our local nurseries.  The cost was a bit on the high side, but not enough to prevent me from buying it.

I’m really fond of ninebarks and the color they bring to the garden.  Last year I wrote a post about ninebarks, here’s the link  since then we have added ‘summerwine’ and now Amberglow to the gardens.

When doing some internet research on this great new shrub, I found this great description of the foliage.  :According to this nursery the new ninebark offers a unique blend of foliage colors including new growth that takes on shades of yellow and orange in summer before turning purple in the fall. “Foliage on mature sections of the plant is lime-green. Amber Jubilee is distinct from purple-foliaged ninebarks such as ‘CenterGlow’, ‘Coppertina’ and ‘Summer Wine’. Its foliage is an improvement over long-time cultivar ‘Dart’s Gold’. ‘Amber Jubilee’ will be effective as a medium shrub in the landscape, whether massed or planted in small groupings.” 

The Details:

The common name: Amber Jubilee® Ninebark

True botanical Name: Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Jefam’

A member of the Rosaceae family

Light: full to partial sun

Hardy to: USDA Zone 2

Soils: adaptable to a wide variety of soil types

Growth Rate: A vigorous shrub reaching a mature height of 5-6’ (2 m) and a width of 4’ (1.5 m).

Pest and Disease: No specific problems.  (In my yard- we have to protect them from the deer and elk who find them very tasty)

Propagation: Cuttings from established plants. Propagation by First Editions license only.

Landscape Value: Amber Jubilee® is distinct from purple-foliaged ninebarks such as Center Glow®, Coppertina® and Summer Wine®. Its foliage is an improvement over long-time cultivar Dart’s Gold. Amber Jubilee® will be effective as a medium shrub in the landscape, whether massed or planted in small groupings.

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Ever Wonder Who Visits Your Yard? FIND OUT… UPDATE

Bull Elk

Bull Elk

The trail camera failed several months ago.

A cautionary tale:  I won’t go into all the details, but these can also be a security camera.  Unfortunately, the camera had failed, so it wasn’t working the morning that we had an un-welcome man looking in the bedroom window and ringing the doorbell.   I had never seen him before and didn’t answer the door.  Later it turned out that it was most likely the same man who broke into a nearby house, beat up and robbed a woman, then fled.  He came back later that night,  fought with the homeowners and was killed by one of the homeowners with a kitchen knife.  He had items with him that indicated that he had very bad intent.  If my camera had been working I would have had a good photo of him for the police, and we might have been able to identify him before this happened.  I will always make sure that we have at least one working camera at all times.  We bought another Bushnell trophy cam.  It’s working perfectly.  Pay attention to your instincts.  If something doesn’t feel right, listen.  If I had ignored my instincts that day, things might have been very different.

Bull Elk

Bull Elk

On a lighter note:  here is the most pesky critter that has visited in the last week or so.  This elk has eaten literally hundreds of daylily blooms, over a dozen large hostas,  lots of hydrangea blooms and even a gunnera, Yes I said a gunnera!  Nothing eats those, this elk is crazy!  He has been coming round the clock and often with a doe.  He stands a couple of feet taller than our pick up truck.  I have a netting over some of the hydrangeas now.

Who visits your yard?

Here’s a link to the original post:  There are lots of wildlife candid camera photos.

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I don’t know about you, but I always feel that my garden isn’t quite ready to be seen.  I see all the things that need to be done instead of being able to appreciate how far we have come.

This 'river' is 7' deep, varies between 5'-10' wide and was almost 140' long.

This ‘river’ is 7′ deep, varies between 5′-10′ wide and was almost 140′ long.

We were pretty happy with our 10 years of landscaping. January of 2009, Mother Nature called for a do over in the form of a flood and landslide coming off the mountain across the street.  Many areas of our landscape are still suffering.   In one section that we haven’t rehabbed yet, the weeds, mostly alder trees are taller than I am.  That’s pretty overwhelming.   Every once in a while I venture into that area to rescue some botanical treasure that has been buried by the weeds.  I don’t know if we will get to that area, this year or next.

landslide compilation1sm

A few front yard photos.

All these rocks…. where do you even start?

We’ve all heard it… when mother nature gives you lemons, make lemonade.  Well, we have been, but it’s a lot of hard work.

We started by trying to rescue the lawn.

Re-landscaping…   As difficult as all the rebuilding has been, it is better than it was before.   OMG -We used to buy landscape rock, but Mother Nature delivered all sort of wonderful rocks.  Sizes varied from small boulders to sand.   We were able to fill the huge whole in the driveway without bringing in rock.  We ‘shop’ around the property for rocks to define pathways.  So many plants washed away or died over the next year from the trauma, since we weren’t able to un-earth every plant right away.  The flooding also had some interesting side effects.  We keep finding special plants in places that we didn’t put them.  Flood waters distributed things in interesting places.  There is also a new distribution of weeds.  We never had stinging nettles on our property before, but they are here now.  I want to learn to cook with them, but they scare me.  I still remember exactly how much the stinging hurt from my childhood misadventures running into stinging nettles in the woods.

landslide compilation2sm

entry area garden, after the flood and now

Since so much soil washed away, while we had the track hoe here, we had him dig a large hole that will become a pond.  We used the soil to build new gardens and hopefully will build the pond in the next few years.   It will be our biggest most challenging landscape project.

My takeaway from all this has been…

  • be grateful for what you have, things can always be worse.
  • enjoy the planning and process, not just the end result.
  • work together
  • keep shopping for plants 😉  there is always room for another
  • a glass of Bailey’s Irish Cream and a long soak in a Jacuzzi tub is a great way to recover from a hard days work in the garden. ( My husband would prefer a cold beer.)

It’s going to be hot today, so I’m going to go out and work in the garden before  the sun comes over the mountain.  I’m planning to work hard and I’m already looking forward to the Bailey’s and a bath.

Have a great day, appreciate what you have!

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Rhododendron ‘ruby parasol’

It’s funny how many times you can walk past something then one day you actually SEE it.  That’s what happened when I walked through the garden today.   Rhododendron ‘ruby parasol’ is an attractive little background shrub in our garden.  We’ve had it for several years, but admittedly, I have never really paid attention to it, it was just there.  This year it has distinguished itself and made me notice why we selected it and the very reason it was named ‘ruby parasol’.

Rhododendron 'ruby parasol'

Rhododendron ‘ruby parasol’

This is a very young plant, as rhodies go.  It has put on a lot of new growth this year and that is what makes it so interesting.  The new growth emerges with  a thick coating of gray velvety hairs and a blush of ruby color,  before it fades to

a typical rhododendron leaf, later in the season.  It’s a subtle evergreen beauty.  I think the flowers are a medium pink, but I honestly don’t remember for sure.  While writing this post, I searched it online and couldn’t find this particular variety.  I don’t remember where we bought it.  It’s been about 3 years ago and I can’t always remember what I had for breakfast.  😉

It’s one of the ‘bones’ of the garden, quietly giving structure, shape and character to the garden all year.  Today, it’s my favorite.

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tiny leaf mazus ‘radicans’

Mazus ‘radicans’ is a really cool, low-growing perennial in the lopseed family, Phrymaceae.  This plant is generally found in damp habitats in lowland or mountain regions of China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  (The previous info courtesy of Wikipedia)  I don’t really know much about this plant except how it has preformed in my garden.  I have never heard a nickname for it.  In my garden it is in a pot that sits in the ground because it is so small, I was afraid it would get lost.

mazus 'radicans' in bloom

mazus ‘radicans’ in bloom

I first bought this in a 3″ pot, two years ago.  It has the cutest little fuzzy stems and bronze spotted leaves.  This is the first year that it has bloomed.  The flowers are purple and white and more than double the size of the leaves.

I keep a cage over it because the bunnies find it very attractive.

In my garden it gets some sun mid to late in the day.  It gets watered when it rains (in the pacific northwest it rains a lot).   It’s not unusual to get down to 8 degrees  f. around here in the winter, and it seems to come though that just fine.

It is considered to be a ‘steppable’, but it will not be used that way in our garden.  It has the teeny tiniest leaf perennial in our garden.  It would be a great, though slow growing perennial ground cover.

I love having it in my garden.  Today… it’s my favorite.  😉

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Beautiful Late Spring Primrose – Primula bulleyana

Primula bulleyana

Primula bulleyana

Primula bulleyana is a species of flowering plant in the family Primulaceae, native to hillsides in China.

In our garden this grows in a place with no direct sunlight, but bright shade most of the day.  The ground stays pretty moist most of the time.  We haven’t ever fertilized this bed.  Weeds are such a problem here that we put bark down.  Slugs don’t seem to like bark so we have not had to bait at all.  Rabbits, deer, elk, squirrels, and chipmunks all seem to leave them alone.   This is really a stunning primula!

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rheum tanguticum5wm

rheum tanguticum, with bloom spike over 6 feet tall


sunrise coming over the mountain

back yard9

back yard south west side garden that borders the woods

back yard1

back yard north west side garden that borders the woods

front gardens2

front gardens, closest to the house

back - epimediums, hydrangeas

small bed bordering the woods, featuring epimediums, hydrangeas, hellebores and an un-named rhododendron that we brought from our last house

back yard10

back border garden that peeks into a small garden room behind a fallen log, that features a large birdbath and 3 vertical growing yews

front yard garden wm

part of the front entry area garden

back yard2

back, south west woodland border garden, featuring blue hostas, all gold Japanese forest grass, brunnera ‘jack frost’, unknown pulmonaria, primula, dogwood, Japanese maples, dove tree, toad lily and more

back yard3

back yard south west woodland border garden features brunnera – ‘hadspen cream, dawson’s white, macrophylla, climbing hydrangea, astillbes, fernleaf buckthorn, Japanese maple.

monarda ‘raspberry wine’, black lace elderberry, white phlox


mountain view from the back yard

autumn north side

north garden in the autumn

back yard6

back garden perennial path

autumn front

front garden around that old growth spruce, in the autumn

back yard8

back garden, ferns, hydrangeas, astilbe, hostas, pulmonaria

autumn back

back garden red leaf maple in autumn

north side1

north side shade garden, hostas and ferns

back yard4

back bed shade garden, primulas, hostas, hydrangeas

back yard5

shade path, ligularias, ferns podophyllums

back yard7

black lace elderberry, hosta ‘sum & substance’

north side

north side shade garden

back yard

back yard, red maple, hosta ‘strip tease’

autumn, stewartia monodelpha

autumn, stewartia monadelpha

garden tour

autumn in the front yard

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concrete stepping stones with leaf impressions that match the perennials along the shade garden path

concrete stepping stones with leaf impressions that match the perennials along the shade garden path

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centurea 'black sprite'

centurea ‘black sprite’

‘BLACK SPRITE’ has an intriguing spidery black bloom on a familiar old-fashioned easy to grow perennial.

Centaurea montana ‘Black Sprite’

This is a new patented variety that was discovered from an anomaly of the Centaurea montana ‘Black Widow’ which is not patented. There are a couple of other new varieties in the group also, they are ‘Amethyst Dream’ – which has large, royal purple flowers and ‘Amethyst in Snow’ – which has pure white blooms with a deep royal purple center. I have all three new varieties in our garden as well as the old familiar blue one. I find the ‘black sprite’ to be the most interesting.

Many gardeners are familiar with the old blue Bachelor’s Button.
This cultivar looks the same until it blooms with it’s very unique flower.

Hardy to zone 3 (-40* f) – zone 9


Foliage: Gray green leaves with tiny, silvery hairs.

Flowers: medium-sized, silky black, spidery blooms in May & June
Height: about 18”
Width: about 24” (I find that these gain some height then slumps, it looks a little lazy, and could take up more space than this.
Light: These are in full sun – partial sun in my garden. The full sun plants are better bloomers.
Water: They can go pretty dry between waterings.
Soil: normal, sandy or clay
Critters: These are deer and rabbit resistant. In really wet weather, slugs find them mildly interesting.
Special care notes: I should (but have forgotten to) prune them lightly before the blooms appear to keep them from the slumping.
How to use in the garden: Beds, borders, as an accent, containers, cut flowers
Imagine how great they would look massed!

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Be smart – STAY IN THE ZONE – the USDA plant hardiness zone!

$  Be Smart – STAY IN THE ZONE – the USDA zone!  $

the plant zonesmall

A cautionary tale… I’m a plant collector.  There…  I said it.    My criteria is simple… if I don’t already have it, I probably want it, if I do already have it, I may need another for another place.  We collectors all seem to find things that we ‘need’ in our gardens, even if they push the limits of our ‘zone’.

Last summer we bought several expensive zone 7 perennials.  We live in zone 6.  Unfortunately,  no amount of wishing, hoping, dreaming, or even mulching can coax that zone 7  plant through the sustained 8 degrees f during a winter cold snap.

It  just makes good sense to buy what will thrive in your area.   Save yourself the worry and aggravation as well as the cash.  Learn from our mistakes.  Be realistic when selecting treasures for your botanical collection.

Buy what will grow and thrive where you live.

In the mean time, we will continue looking  for any signs of life, a little sprout, just a small crack in the earth, anything to give us hope of returning zone 7 botanical treasures.  So far there has just been the disappointment of the empty spaces where we might as well have just planted cash,  since it doesnt grow either.

course,   If they don’t come back, I guess we will just have to go shopping for more plants to fill those spaces.  This time I’ll take my own advise and stay within my ‘zonal limits’.

Wonder what your ‘safety’ USDA zone is?

here’s a link to the site:

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