Thursday, July 16, 2009

Picks from the pros

Mt. Vernon Laurel

Imagine a laurel hedge magically reduced to a ground cover. Yes, those 30-foot monsters with large shiny evergreen leaves! At 12 inches high and well-behaved!

I saw this most interesting plant at a garden on the June ANLD Behind the Scenes Tour, and it also captured the attention of many other people on the tour. The garden's designer, Carol Lindsay, tells me Mt. Vernon laurel (prunus laurocerasus 'Mt. Vernon') is just as tough as regular English laurel, but grows into a low, dense mound of about one foot high and two to three feet wide over five years. One interesting thing about this plant is that the leaves are almost as large and just as glossy as their giant cousins.

Grow Mt. Vernon laurel in sun or shade, but give it good drainage and a little shade in the hottest areas. It thrives with little to regular water. Laurels are occasionally bothered by scale insects, but mostly this plant has very few problems, and is hardy in Zones 6-9. You can find it at Portland Nursery, or just ask for it at your favorite plant place and they should be able to get some in for you. Carol warns me that this plant "looks like a total dork in a pot" but shines in the landscape. Good combinations include tall grasses and heathers.

1 comment:

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