Beacons in the Landscape

It seems to me that yellow colored plants are starting to quietly scream for attention, and deservedly so. The color yellow is one of the easiest for humans to see and it most often connotes optimism and happiness. Yellow plants capture the eye to draw you into the garden or brighten a shady spot. I noticed dozens of plants in the past few weeks that would have a welcome home in my garden if space allowed. Yellow foliage most often caught my eye, but yellow flowers and bark shouldn’t be overlooked.

First and foremost is Golden Oriental Spruce (Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’; photo at left). Oh how I’d love to have that front and center in my landscape!

I think I must have Edgeworthia papyrifera in my garden because it is not wildly fragrant and the buds are smaller than the ones I often see at the garden shows. While the early spring blooming yellow flowers are lovely, for many months I also enjoy the silver balls-of-potential that hang from the branch tips before it blooms. From my living room window–and without my glasses–it looks like bits of bursting popcorn! Click here for excellent information about Edgeworthia from Portland Nursery.

Edgeworthia papyrifera. Photo: Portland Nursery

Hellebores (Helleborus) may be about as perfect a plant as one could hope for. They bloom early and long, they are virtually evergreen and clean-up is a breeze. Thankfully, the yellows are becoming stronger with new breeding. Every year, I seem to grab a new Hellebore variety and yellow varieties are the first ones I reach for.

Helleborus ‘Golden Lotus’. Photo: Terra Nova Nurseries Inc.

If I had to choose one–and only one–favorite grass or perennial, it would be Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonochloa) and ‘All Gold’ performs beautifully. Talk about a carefree plant that plays well with others. This is it! In my opinion, every garden should have (many) more than just one.

Hakaonochloa ‘All Gold’. Photo: Terra Nova Nurseries Inc.

I’m not a fan of yucca (it has to do with an experience in my youth), but Yucca flaccida ‘Golden Sword’ (which may be listed as Y. filamentosa ‘Golden Sword’) deserves the raves it gets. Architectural and evergreen with a bold yellow stripe, it is hardy in a much of the U.S. (USDA zones 5-10). It is a Great Plant Pick plant for the maritime Northwest.

Yucca flaccida ‘Golden Sword’. Photo: Great Plant Picks

What are some of your favorite yellow plants?