Halimium Heaven: Plant Fix

Halimium in its second year

In the fall of 2008, my new “dry garden” was ready to plant.  The area, which had formerly been covered with sad, shallowly rooted turf, had been tilled, amended and bisected by a new, curvy flagstone path.  I had amassed quite the pile of plants from specialty nurseries in anticipation of autumn planting.  Many of the choice botanical beauties I was hording were surely to love our summer’s lack of precipitation if only they survived our wet winters. 

Of the riskier plants that still live on, Halimium lasianthum ssp. formosum ‘Sandling’ tops the list.  The winter of 2008 was a whacker here in the Pacific Northwest, and what limped through was mercifully culled last winter (Hebe, Phormium, adios).  The tag adorning my Halimium quoted hardiness to zone 8, though the American Horticultural Society’s A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants is more conservative with z9-10.  I estimate my dry garden to be a sheltered 7 to 8.  Halimium is a smashing subshrub from Portugal and Spain; covered in yellow rockrose type flowers with ruddy red splotches at the base of the petals.  It loves full sun (we use the term loosely here in Western Washington) and sharp drainage.  While mine has yet to reach this size, I’m expecting it to become 18”tall x 5’across.   Paired with Ceratostigma (plumbago), whose sky blue blooms kick up when the last of sweet rockroses fade, I’m hoping my evergreen Halimium isn’t too short-lived and try to keep it that way by withholding summer water.

© Colleen Miko, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Colleen Miko with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


About Colleen Miko

Colleen Miko is a certified professional horticulturist with 20 years experience in landscape design who has designed award winning gardens for the NW Flower & Garden Show as well as HGTV’s “Landscaper’s Challenge”. Colleen is freelance garden writer and speaker.
This entry was posted in Plant Fix and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Halimium Heaven: Plant Fix

  1. That’s so cool! We have a lot of the related Cistus species used in big landscaping projects down around here. Although they often have the neat central spotting in the flowers they’re typically in the white/pink/rose palette. This one’s really perky by contrast. I’ll keep my fingers crossed it survives for you up there in the tundra.

    • Colleen Miko says:

      The Cistus are very user friendly and I use them in designs quite a bit because of it. This Halimium promises to be more diminutive–workable in small gardens; and yes! I prefer yellow flowers, especially in combination with blue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s