Sunday, May 3, 2009

Surprising santolina

We’ve had several of these gray santolinas in the front yard for two years and really like them for their silvery color, nice roundish shape, and drought tolerance.

On our France vacation last summer, we saw these same santolinas in a huge public garden, but they had some cute little yellow button-type flowers on them. I assumed those Parisian yellow buttons were a result of the more temperate weather and a bit more rain.

the santolina in Paris' Bois de Boulogne

But look! Ours are now covered with yellow buttons! I’ve planted five other gray santolinas in the past year, but they’re still button-free, so I guess they’re just one of those plants that doesn't bloom for a couple of years.

close-up of santolina blooms

santolina and rosemary by the sidewalk

Surrounded by verbena is one of the seven newer santolinas that hasn't yet bloomed but still provides a nice color contrast.


Lancashire rose said...

Your Santolina is very nice. I have not had much success with mine. This year I cut them right back and they are doing a little better. Just too dry I guess.

TexasDeb said...

I planted several in the front hoping they'd spread nicely and provide good xeric contrast in some front beds. They didn't die but they didn't really GROW much either. I am hoping they'll take off some this second year. I am also hoping for more rain. Hope I'm not just hoping.... : )

Your yard is looking so lovely. Between that and the finished up house repairs and painting you must spend hours standing out at the curb admiring the results!

Annie in Austin said...

I've been growing santolinas off and on for years, Iris, and am not sure what triggers the bloom. My experience has been that most stems that make flowers get large, woody and stalky with the inner leaves becoming creepy from not enough air & light. I don't know if cutting off the flowers early enough would help the plant keep its rounded shape. In the past I've just replaced Santolina once it fulfills its biological destiny.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose