December 20, 2008

Evergreen Gold in the Garden

Evergreens come in many colors. Gold foliage brightens up the winter landscape when Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mops' (Japanese Falsecypress) is paired with carex oshimeensis 'Evergold' (Sedge).

A grouping of three of the shrubs and three sedges beside the stream in the waterfall garden provide a nice display that is visible through the windows in our garden room.

This place in the stream is the favorite drinking and bathing spot for birds. This is a southeastern location in our garden, receiving morning sun year-round.

Even in the cold of winter, the birds will wade onto the stones in the shallow stream and take an enthusiastic bath. Since the waterfall pump runs all the time, the water never freezes.

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Golden Mops' (Japanese Falsecypress) grows in full or part sun with a height of about 6 feet and width of 5 feet. It is hardy in zones 4-8 and is evergreen (gold foliage). The golden stringy branchlets droop to form a compact pyramidal mound.

Carex oshimeensis 'Evergold' (Sedge) is for sun or part sun, growing about 1x1 feet. It is hardy in zones 7-9 and prefers well-drained soils. This is an evergreen sedge with green and cream variegation along the center of the leaf blades.

In the spring, Spanish bluebells bloom among the sedge and shrubs and then disappear after blooming. The foliage of the 'Golden Mops' and the sedge is brighter in summer through fall and turns to a burnished gold in the winter until spring.

Not shown in the photos are the evergreen companions of cotoneaster to the left that hangs over the edges of the waterfall rocks, cryptomeria japonica above the waterfall, and a burgundy loropetalum to the right behind the third 'Golden Mops' shrub. Other plants in this garden include osmanthus fragrans, Lady Banksia rose, as well as calla lily, creeping jenny and acorus that are growing in the stream.

The waterfall garden is based on more foliage than blooms since it is also viewed from inside the house. All of these plants combine colors and textures for year-round interest. Container plantings are used on the patio to provide blooms as well as more foliage plants.

Photos and story by Freda Cameron; First photo taken in December 2008; 2nd photo taken April 2008;
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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