Magazine article Sunset

Classic Plant

Magazine article Sunset

Classic Plant

Article excerpt

- ACACIA. The wind- and salt-tolerant golden mimosa (A. baileyana) that graces the French Riviera is a typical Mediterranean shade tree. Its airy canopy buffers intense light but doesn't block it out-ust what the region's sun-loving plants like. Eucalyptus works in a similar way.

* ACANTHUS. The oak leaf-like foliage of A. mollis, which was once used as a model for the leaves that decorate the capitals of Corinthian columns, adds sculptural interest to modern landscapes. A. mollis grows in zones 4-24. Artichokes, cardoon, and Melianthus major provide similarly bold foliage in graygreen shades.

AGAVE AMERICANA. Century plant grows in zones 10 and 12-24. In colder areas, plant yucca instead: Y filamentosa and Y baccata grow in all zones.

BOUGAINVILLEA AND PASSION VINE. These superbly showy climbers can be grown in the ground in frost-free areas; some kinds of passion vine (Passiflora) are hardy enough to take mild freezes of short duration. In colder climates, grow them in containers and move plants to sheltered areas during winter, or use hardier climbers like roses.

ITALIAN CYPRESS. Tall, narrow columns of Cupressus sempervirens 'Fastigiata' counterbalance the strong horizontal lines in Italian landscaping, and they provide shelter from the mistral and sirocco, seasonal winds that plague the region. …

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