Tag Archives: all season interest

Fargesia rufa ‘Green Panda’

Fargesia rufa 'Green Panda'Mention hardy Bamboo to people and you usually get one of 2 reactions: disbelief that Bamboo is not just a tropical plant or terror that it will spread and take over the universe. Yes, we can affirm there are invasive varieties, but that?s why we want you to know about the various Clumping Bamboo, such as Fargesia rufa ‘Green Panda’. ‘Green Panda’ does not set runners, but forms expanding clumps of culms ultimately reaching 6-8′ in height, and 8′ in width. It grows well in sun or shade and can be used as a focal point specimen or grouped en masse to form a screen or hedge.

Fargesia rufa ‘Green Panda’ is hardy to minus 15 degrees, and is evergreen in most winters, although in a particularly severe one it may brown out and may need to be cut to the ground in mid spring. By late spring, new shoots emerge attaining at least the height achieved the previous season. As the new leaves emerge on the old culms, the old foliage will brown and drop. ‘Green Panda’ continues to look fresh through the season, and is a handsome asset for the winter landscape.  Snow loads on Fargesia are not a problem. The flexible stalks may bow with the weight of snow, but bounce back nice and tall as the snow melts away. This is particularly useful information if you are looking for an evergreen that may be crushed by snow falling from roof eaves. After the snowy winter of 2010-11, we think many people will find this trait quite desirable.

Grow Fargesia rufa ‘Green Panda’ in an organic but well drained soil. It is quite tolerant of dry conditions once established. Panda may like to munch on its foliage in China, but deer in the USA do not. Since browsing deer is a problem in so many areas, it’s good to know that ‘Green Panda’ is a feast for human eyes and not for deer palates.

Rhododendron ‘New Century’

‘New Century’ is another tidy compact Rhododendron, with pale citron yellow blossoms. It has a very full foliage appearance due to the fact it holds its evergreen leaves for 3 years, rather than just 2 like most other rhodies. It grows to a well behaved 4′ x 4′ size and is quite hardy for a yellow form, (to minus 15F).

Grow this selection in a spot protected from drying winter winds. Morning suns and afternoon shade is ideal, but plants can take more sun if well irrigated during drier conditions. Like all Rhododendrons, ‘New Century’ appreciates a humus rich soil that remains moist but well drained. 

Rhododendron ‘Blue Baron’

Handsome violet blue blossoms in late April/early May distinguish this welcome addition to the mid spring garden. Introduced by Weston Nursery of Hopkinton MA, Rhododendron ‘Blue Baron’ falls into the lepidote group of Rhodies, which with a few exceptions, have smaller leaves, smaller more open trusses and prefer to grow in a more sunny spot. ‘Blue Baron’ has a compact habit,and is often listed as growing to 3-4′ in height and width, but at maturity can reach 6?. His fine textured elliptical foliage is glossy green in summer but takes on a bronzy cast in colder months.

Grow ‘Blue Baron’ in humus rich soil in full or part sun, and morning sun with some afternoon shade has proven ideal . He can tolerate a bit of wind, but we recommend using an anti-dessicant if winter winds are harsh. Like all Rhododendrons, ‘Blue Baron’ is shallow rooted, and will need irrigating during dry spells. Hardy to minus 10F.

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