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Some Evergreen Shrubs

Mahonia repens (Creeping Mahonia) I can never over-emphasize the importance of evergreen shrubs in the garden. Otherwise, you have nothing to look at during the winter months. Here are a few of my favorites. Talk about a carefree plant! The PNW native  Mahonia repens (Creeping Mahonia or Creeping Oregon Grape) requires nothing special and will even tolerate drought after it is established. I tend to think of this plant more as a groundcover but after many years (six to be exact - it was planted in April of 2017) it is beginning to look more like a low-growing shrub. The height is less than 2 feet tall. Growth tends to be more horizontal and it has spread 3-4 feet. Not a fast grower. Sun or part-shade. The leaves are an attractive blue-green and they become tinged with red and purple when the weather is cooler.  Flowers have been sporadic but every year they increase. It usually blooms around April - The flowers are then followed (around July) by the berries or "grapes" - Os

First Freeze

Last night the temperature dipped down to 29. Frosty patches covered most of the garden this morning and there is ice in the bird baths. It was enough to wither the tender annuals (begonias, petunias, sweet potato vine). It has been very chilly this week with highs in the 40s but there is sun and little wind so working outside has been pleasurable. 

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. And here we complain when temperatures drop into the low 60s ;)

  2. Beautiful photo. Is this one of Michael's pieces?

  3. Beautiful photo... and yes, it was pretty cold. Managed to get the sanseverias inside, but I think I need to get the begonias etc. under cover this weekend. Almost completely spaced on the houseplants this year - LOL! (They never like being in our dark house much, so that's probably why I subconsciously left them outside. Checking on them today...)


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