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Western Sword Fern

The Western Sword Fern is a lush spreading perennial that adds a hint of tropical, woodlands or rustic beauty to any landscape or patio area. The glossy, leather-like fronds unfurl from fiddle shaped sprouts and can reach up 3-4 ft. in length. They perform beautifully in full to part shade, but can tolerate some light sun in Zones 5-9. This fern is one of the few that will thrive in the shade of taller trees so works well as an understory plant for bare areas. The Western Sword Fern is considered mildly drought tolerant once established, is very deer resistant and can provide color when other plants have faded or gone dormant. Cut back old, faded fronds when new growth begins in spring because dead fronds will not shrivel or fall off on their own.

Mary Nell Holly

A superb evergreen with deep green and very shiny foliage. The lustrous leaves with serrated edges maintain their color year-round. This holly has a natural pyramidal form making it handsome enough to be a specimen tree. The Mary Nell Holly is also a great plant to use for privacy or as a wind barrier, since this evergreen grows wide as well as tall. Mature size can reach to 10-12’ tall by 4-6’ wide. Once established this tree is amazingly drought resistant. Can handle full sun to part shade and performs best in Zones 6-9. Numerous bright red berries form in late summer and persist through winter which are attractive to birds and wildlife.

Clerodendron Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart is a spreading vine-like plant with evergreen foliage. It can climb on a support, spill freely from a hanging basket or be left to trail along on its own. It can also be pruned up to display as a thick shrub. The highlight of the plant is its showy bicolored white and red flower. The white part of the flowers can last for months, but the bright red “blood drop” fades quicker. Needs bright sun for the most vibrant blooms, but performs best with protection from intensely hot afternoon sun. This plant blooms on new growth, so it is best to cut the plant back after current blooms have faded. Although it is root hardy to Zone 9, it really is a tropical plant and does need protection from freezing temperatures.

Coleus

Several varieties of Coleus have been added to our current Availability and they are stunning! They love the heat, but will grow as annuals in just about any garden. They are only hardy outside in Zone 11, but can be grown as houseplants year-round with appropriate lighting. The Kong line is good in shade and part-sun. The Burgundy Sun Coleus is aptly named because its darker foliage performs better with sun and produces its most vivid color in bright sunlight. Coleus does bloom, but the small flowers are fairly insignificant in comparison to the beautiful foliage. Most gardeners simply pinch off the bloom stalks to encourage more vigor to the colored leaves.