Firewise: Be Prepared

City of Ashland, Oregon Firewise class. It’s free.  1450312522228_PastedImage
Monday, February 12th
at the Ashland Hills Hotel.


Winterberry Holly

Plant Name: Ilex verticillatawinterberry_Ilex verticillata
Common Name: Winterberry Holly
Plant type: Deciduous shrub
Height: 3-12 ft – depending on varieties  
Spread:  Same information as height
Bloom Time:  Early  summer
Flower Color:  White, or cream  – small
Exposure:  Full sun to partial shade
Soil Requirements: Rich organic acidic soil, but grows in average garden soil.
Water Needs:  Moist boggy areas
Native to: Eastern North America
USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Attributes: Vibrant Red Winter Berries, Important food source for American Robins, Winter Interest.

Uses:  Wetland habitats, Native gardens, Bird habitat, Rain garden, Firewise garden, Wildlife gardens, Cutting garden, Containers dwarf varieties, Floral arrangements.

Note:  Plants are dioecious meaning male or female.  A male plant is needed for female plants to produce berries.  Plant a male shrub within 50 feet of female plants. One male plant can pollinate 6-10  female plants, but note blooming time must match when female’s bloom.  Slow growers.  Shrubs can sucker out into a dense thicket when planted in wet boggy areas.

A few varieties are listed below:

            Berry Heavy:  6-8 ft  (female)
            Berry Nice:   6-8 ft     (female)
            Sparkleberry:  5-8 ft  (female)
            Southern Gentleman: 12 ft  (male)
            Apollo: 6-10 ft (male)
            Raritan Chief:  7 ft T X 12 ft W (male)
            Jim Dandy:  6-10 ft  (male)

Dwarf varieties:

            Afterglow:  3-6 ft  (female)
            Little Goblin: 3-5 ft (female)
            Little Goblin Guy: 3-5 ft (male)
            Red Sprite:  3-5 ft  (female)
            Berry Poppins:  3-4 ft (female)
Mr. Poppins: 3-4 ft  (male)

by: Carlotta Lucas

Horticulture Report: Firepower Nandina

Plant Name: Nandina domesticanadina-firepower
Common Name:  Dwarf Heavenly bamboo
Cultivar: Firepower
Plant type: Evergreen Shrub
Height:   24 inches
Spread:  24  inches
Bloom Time: NonePrized for lime green leaves &  brilliant red fall color.
Exposure:  Full sun
Soil Requirements: rich, humus, well drained, acid soil.
Water Needs: 1st growing season water weekly until established, more in extreme heat.  Once established water deeply, but less frequent.
Attributes: Vibrant Fall Color,  Firewise Plant, Waterwise Plant, disease resistant,  hardy.
Uses: Urban Garden, Woodland Garden, Asian/Zen Garden, Borders, Containers, Mass plantings, Groundcover.
Note:  Firepower Nandina does not produce berries.
USDA Zone: 6-11

Water-Wise Gardening

Russian sageThe City of Ashland has created an informational  website to help reduce water usage in yards & gardens.

Click here to visit the site:
Water Wise Landscaping in Ashland

Once you’re at the website click the tabs located at the top of the page to view the following features.

Start with Garden Resources which is the gateway to the site. There you will find the table of contents: Getting Started, Irrigation, Design and Maintenance.

Garden Tours & Garden Gallery showcase local properties and supplies the viewer with visual examples of water-wise plantings.  Within each photo there is a white box; click the box to obtain detailed information regarding the plant.

The Plants is organized by Firewise,  Lawn Alternatives, Drought Tolerant Plants, Ornamental Grass, Deer Resistant Plants, Screens & Hedges. Each category presentsa list of plant suggestions. You can also search for plants based on: plant type, size, color, sun requirements, soil type and blooming season.

The Watering Guide provides watering guidelines, watering tips and common irrigation challenges.

This well designed site contains vast amounts of plant information, check it out and be inspired!

by:Carlotta Lucas

2012 November Horticultural Report: Firewise Plants

The Ashland Fire Dept is asking residents to seriously consider planting fire resistant plants around their house and property to reduce fire hazards. They are advising homeowners to remove all plants they consider fire hazards and in their place plant firewise plants.

For more information, and to schedule a free wildfire safety home assessment call: Ali True, Ashland Firewise Community Coordinator at 541-552-2231.

Junipers are especially combustible!  This drought tolerant ground cover is planted around so many homes in our area the City is requesting they be cleared back 50 feet away from a any structure

Also, the Oregon State University Extension Service has a list of recommended fire-resistant plants which you can obtain from Valley View Nursery, or you can download it here:

The following is a short list of recommended firewise plants:

Ground Covers:
Kinnikinnick and Creeping Oregon Grape both look good year round and prefer sun or part sun. For shady areas, plant Japanese Pachysandra.

Firewise perennials plants:  Yarrow (note: can spread), Cone flower, Iris, Oriental poppy , Russian sage, Lamb’s ear, and Cranesbill.

Burning bush, Rockrose, Ferns, Witch Hazel, Heavenly Bamboo, False Holly, Pieris, Potentilla Fruticosa,  Rosa Rugosa, Lilac, Viburnums, Sweetspire and Cotoneaster.

Regina, at Ray’s Nursery, highly recommends the following plants because they are not only fire-resistant, they are very attractive, easy to grow and deer resistant.

Cotoneaster Dammericotoneaster_dammeri_var_radicans
Plant Type: Evergreen, groundcover, shrub
Size: 2ft tall 6ft wide
Bloom Time: Late Spring
Flowers: White
Exposure: Full sun
Attributes: Fall color & red berries, Deer resistant, Attracts Birds, drought tolerant once established.  Grows fast.
USDA Zone: 5-8

Itea Virginica  (Little Henry Sweetspire)ilex Little Henry
Plant Type: Deciduous Shrub
Size: 2 ft High 3ft Wide
Bloom Time: June – July
Flowers: Fragrant white sprays
Exposure: Part to full sun
Attributes:  Attracts butterflies, Bright red fall foliage, Deer resistant, North America Native. Needs moist soil.
USDA Zone: 5-9

Horticultural Report by: Mary Anne Wallace
Article written by: Carlotta Lucas