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Tree: Nyssa Sylvatic Wildfire, or black gum. Not a tree that drops gumballs, blackgum grows 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide, tolerates most soils and likes sun/shade conditions; pests rarely bother it. It grows slower than maples but faster than oaks. An improved variety of blackgum, Wildfire features a symmetrical branching habit with new growth that's a burgundy tint changing to bronze and maturing to a medium green. Fall color is scarlet red. Requires little pruning and is a long-lived tree.
Shrub: Aronia Brilliantissima, or red chokeberry. An American native, chokeberry is a wildlife favorite but is not used enough in landscapes. It grows six- to eight-feet tall and four- to five-feet wide and produces white flower clusters in late spring, followed by large bright red berries maturing in the fall. Although technically edible, they are astringent and cause a choking reaction when eaten, thus the name. Birds, however, consume them just fine. Chokeberry also has tremendous red fall color, rivaling burning bush, which is more commonly used. Brilliantissima is more compact than other chokeberries or burning Bush, making it easier to locate in the landscape. Chokeberry prefers sun to part shade and tolerates clay soils.
Shrub: Sunshine Ligustrum. Bold, evergreen, neon-yellow foliage develops on a compact four- to six-foot plant; needs full sun or its leaves grow green color. So far no flowers reported, so no seedlings popping up in undesirable places. This plant really looks like your forsythia is still in bloom, he says.
Perennial: Farfugium (aka Ligularia) Tussilaginea Aurea Maculata - Leopard Plant. Recently re-classified as Farfugium, leopard plant is an outstanding perennial that requires shade, but thrives in moist soils enduring drought, according to Hull who has grown it in his garden for 35 years. It is an evergreen, glossy, octagonal-shape, broad-leaved perennial that blooms October. The dark green leaves are dotted with random yellow spots - like a leopard. In October, it produces tall bloom spikes with abundant yellow daisy like flowers covering it. The foliage stands about 18 inches tall while the leaves are about 12 inches wide.
Shrub: Callicarpa, or purple American beautyberry. Thomas Jefferson grew it at Monticello, where it still performs today. Beautyberry has a cascading habit that produces lavender-pink flowers during summer, followed by tight clusters of bright purple berries. The berries persist into winter after the foliage has dropped, allowing the color to stand out and entice birds to eat them. Berries can be cut for arrangements and also dried. The American version grows larger, reaching about six-feet tall and wide; Early Amethyst grows about five-feet tall and wide; Issai reaches about four-feet tall and wide. Foliage tends to be yellow in the fall.
Peninsula Hardwood Mulch on Lakeside Drive in lower York County has initiated a wholesale pricing structure on its plant material, which includes trees, shrubs and perennials, according to nursery manager Allan Hull.
For instance, $11.95 gets you a Helleri or Compacta holly and $10.95 a Blue Rug juniper, compared to the former $19.95-$21.95 prices. Newer types of three-gallon shrubs will run $16.95-$18.95; some three-gallon prices on shrubs will be $10.95-$14.95. The unusual Wildfire blackgum that was priced $149.50 is now $94.95; new Sunshine ligustrum now $18.95 instead of $28.95.
"Both contractors and retail customers will benefit from our new pricing structure, thanks to new competitive plant sources," says Hull.
Plant availability will be published on the nursery's website at vamulch.com or you can call the store at 898-3302 and ask to be added to the email list of plants. The nursery is open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday- Friday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday.
Plants Hull recommends include:
New plant sources join traditional garden centers for fall season
By Kathy Van Mullekom with the Daily Press
IT'S FALL PLANTING SEASON
Peninsula Hardwood Mulch, Inc.