Today is the Twelfth day of Christmas, the eve of the Epiphany and the last verse of my rendition of the Twelve Days of a Green Christmas! Take a deep breath before you sing all 12 verses!
…on the twelfth day of Christmas my green friend gave to me…twelve native shrubs, eleven solar shades, ten wax wraps, nine tubes of caulk, eight cotton socks, seven false roselle, six craft beers, five mutual shares, four smart bulbs, three bags of taters, two quarts of milk and a potted cypress tree!
As I mentioned on the First Day of a Green Christmas the two recent hurricanes that passed through my area downed many trees. In addition to wiping out trees the heavy saltwater intrusion killed many shrubs and smaller plants so my landscaping has been sparse as of late. Not only are the twelve shrubs native they are also salt-tolerant…what a smart Green Friend!
Three of the shrubs are Simpson’s Stoppers a member of the eucalyptus family. They are best as specimen shrubs that I will plant to soften the corners of my house. Hardy from zones 8B-11 they will be happy in my 9A/B zone. With bright green leaves, reddish, flaking bark and small white, fragrant, feathery flowers in the spring/early summer these plants should be a beautiful addition to my landscape! Spider lilies, coontie palms and muhly grass are great companion plants for creating a larger garden area.
Over the past several years I have become a big fan of ornamental grasses so when I saw five Muhly Grass plants I was ecstatic. These grasses are a beautiful addition to any landscape and their amazing pinkish-purplish flowers swaying in the breeze is a stunning sight in the fall and winter! They like dry sandy soil which is abundant in my yard and full sun. Hardy in zones 5-11 they require little care and look best when planted 2-3 feet apart. Other plants that work well with Muhly grass are high or low bush blueberries, dahoon holly and St. John’s-wort.
The four remaining plants are seagrapes which are another favorite of mine. They grow well as a low hedge or specimen shrub. I will be planting these as a privacy hedge. Seagrape leaves are large, leathery and roundish. In central and southern Florida they produce grapes which are edible and make a great jam. Hardy in zones 9-11 they will tolerate poor soil conditions and salt air. They are pretty drought tolerant but will grow rapidly if watered.
Adding these twelve native shrubs my Green Friend gifted me will certainly improve the curb appeal of my house and give me some added privacy! It’s a gorgeous day today so I’ll plan on heading out to get as many of these shrubs placed in the right place and in the ground as I can before day’s end.
If you are reading this last paragraph of my Twelve Days of a Green Christmas, thank you for hanging in there and making it through all twelve days! As I mentioned on the Eve of the Twelve Days of a Green Christmas the Twelfth Day aka Twelfth Night, January 5th, ushers in the Epiphany, Three Kings Day or Little Christmas as it may be called depending on which culture with which you are celebrating. No matter which culture you celebrate feasts will abound!
I hope you have learned a couple new facts that you may not have known. Every year I learn an incredible amount during my research of each day’s gifts which helps me do things in ways that help the planet more. I hope you will join me throughout the year with my “green” tips and next Christmas for the beginning of the next rendition of the Twelve Days of a Green Christmas!