September 4, 2011

Rays of Sun, Leaves of Yellow

Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'
If there was ever a perennial that mimics a sunburst, it has to be yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard' when backlight by the rays of the morning sun. Planted at the top of my south-facing garden, the yucca glows when the sun rises and shines through. The wispy hairs add to the unusual beauty of a plant whose sharp points must be carefully handled with gloves.

I fell in love with this yucca when I was looking for a companion for coreopsis 'Redshift'. The yellow in the yucca blades echo the coreopsis blooms. Other companions include the yellow and green variegated osmanthus 'Goshiki', lantana 'Athens Rose' and three agastache 'Salmon & Pink'.

Just before a rain, and when temperatures are between 70-90° is my favorite time to plant during the summer. I've had no problems planting or transplanting xeric or drought resistant plants in August through September as long as they are rated for at least one zone colder (to establish over the winter) and two zones hotter (to survive the shock of planting).

This yucca is suitable for zones 4-10 in full sun, is rabbit and drought resistant. Is it deer resistant? We shall see how it does in February. I have a common yucca that is nibbled by the deer in winter, but comes back without any indication of damage by the time it blooms. The rest of the year, the deer leave the yucca alone, so go ahead and plant one!

The color is too good to pass up and the structure of 'Color Guard' adds so much to a full sun garden that is packed with so many plants with small, wispy leaves or blooms. I can think of a few more places where I'd like to plant this yucca. The yellow and green would look great with blue or purple blooming plants!

Yucca 'Color Guard' (middle)
'Redshift' (left/front)
Osmanthus 'Goshiki' (left)
Lantana 'Athens Rose' (right/back)
Purple fountain grass (right)

Coreopsis 'Redshift'

Osmanthus 'Goshiki'
Lantana 'Athens Rose'

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
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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