|From In the Garden|
|From In the Garden|
These shrubs are evergreen and provide year round interest in a shaded area. Mahonias are also extensively used in commercial landscaping. Our very own Army hospital here on Fort Campbell has quite a lovely stand of them that are about six feet tall (leatherleaf mahonias can grow to 12 feet tall-slowly so far as I can tell from my garden experience) and bloom wonderfully each year. These mahonias are pruned and are growing in an inhospitable location next to a concrete retaining wall. I admire them each time I visit the hospital and am happy to finally have a few of my own establishing in my garden here. I also recently noticed a newly planted stand of blooming mahonias outside of Town Center near Gate 5 on Fort Campbell. I surmise the Fort Campbell landscape contractors love this shrub. And no wonder because the welcomed blooms are quite a sight this time of year!
Leatherleaf mahonias are not native to the United States (they come from China) but they have naturalized in Zones 6-10 pretty well. You will find them growing all throughout the wooded areas of Tennessee thanks to wild animals enjoying the grape like seeds that make a wonderful food source for many. There are some in the horticultural field who do not like the self sowing ability of the mahonia, but I am not one of them. If a plant can feed the wildlife, look good, be maintenance free and not smother other plants and wreak havoc on the ecosystem then it is a good plant in my book. I like the mahonia.
This shrub is a narrow grower and quite prickly just like a holly so plant it in an out of the way area where it can grow in a natural manner. The area mahonias prefer to grow in is a shaded, organically rich soil that is well drained but moist, though they are adaptable to dry inhospitable areas. I am thrilled to have anything blooming this month and I can tell you the bloom on this mahonia has been around for more than two weeks and should last another two weeks. It is a good plant to have blooming in January....
in the garden....
What's your Plant of the Month for January?