Garden Photo of the Day

Late Winter Color

Colorful leaves and flowers in a Portland, Oregon garden

Arctostaphylos pajaroensis 'Paradise' (manzanita, Zone 8 -10)

Susan Langenes of Portland, Oregon shared these photos she took of her garden on February 14th. Though her mild climate means there are some flowers blooming now, she mostly relies on incredible foliage to make a colorful late-winter/early spring display.

Arctostaphylos pajaroensis ‘Paradise’ (manzanita, Zones 8 -10) with Red leaved heather (Calluna vulgaris ‘Robert Chapman’, Zones 4 – 6).

Red leaved heather (Calluna vulgaris ‘Robert Chapman’, Zones 4 – 6). The Calluna genus, or Scottish heathers, are useful as ground covers and their small flowers attract bees. To learn more about this genus, visit our plant guide on Calluna.

Hens and chicks (Sempervivum, Zones 3 – 10), are an old favorite that can be planted in containers, along foot paths, or in rock gardens. Susan uses them to great success on a rock wall here. Click here for a guide to planting succulents.

Euphorbia myrsinites (myrtle euphorbia Zones 5 – 9).

A gorgeous, water-soaked red leaved euphorbia (Euphorbia x martinii either ‘Rudolph’ or ‘Red Martin’, Zones 6 – 9).


For more information on creating a garden with year-round interest, check out these articles:

Designing with Dwarf Conifers

Unusual Bark Enlivens a Winter Scene

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View Comments


  1. flowerladydi 03/08/2018

    So great Susan! I just LOVE the arctostaphylos!! Not only the foliage and bloom, but the bark and truck! So cool!! Beautiful red leafed Euphorbia as well! Of course I love the hens'n chicks and and heather too! How great to have things blooming now,, you are fortunate to have such a great growing season there!

  2. Maggieat11 03/08/2018

    That is quite a display of Hen and Chicks! I have not seen the red-leaved Euphorbia before. Very "cool" looking plant! Thanks for sharing!

  3. user-7003263 03/08/2018

    Lovely combination of plants you have shared with us today. I was amazed that you zone 8 - 10 manzanita growing right beside a zone 4 - 6 heather; amazing range for two plants that seem to be perfectly happy bedmates.

  4. Vezpasia 03/08/2018

    Just beautiful, lovely combinations of foliage and so nice to have blooms already, still waiting for bulbs to flower up here on the shores of Georgian Bay in Canada!

  5. User avater
    PKKing 03/08/2018

    Thank you for introducing me to something completely new to me, Arctostaphylos pajaroensis! Given its zonal requirements, it's no wonder. But I love it! And, as Sonya said, it grows happily right next to something from a totally different zonal designation. You definitely live in a gardener's paradise! Thank you for sharing.

    1. susanlangenes 08/24/2018

      For the foliage garden in this region, Arctostaphylos and Calluna are both indispensable evergreens with ever-changing foliage colors. Despite the difference in cold-tolerance, they actually have pretty similar cultural requirements in terms of soil, water, and aspect, so they're an easy pairing :)

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/08/2018

    Goodness, Susan, your Arctostaphylos pajaroensis ‘Paradise’ certainly creates an impression of pure's like the flowers are a cloud of dainty pink helium balloons...there should be a fairy village living below it. Your "flock" of hens and chicks is adorable and fill their spot with delightful enthusiasm. Love the two euphorbias and, perhaps, by now, those end of stem bracts are showing their full chartruesy color.

  7. cheryl_c 03/08/2018

    Susan, I love your choice of unusual (to most of us) plants! I first saw an arctostaphylos at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center in Austin, Tx, and fell in love with its beautiful structure and bark. Yours has so much character, and the pink 'helium balloons' are like frosting on the cake! Your two euphorbias are also intriguing and new to me. What great combinations, would love to see more of your garden!

    1. susanlangenes 08/24/2018

      This Arctostaphylos blooms for an amazingly long time, too. I'm not sure if that's just this cultivar or if it's normal for the species (I have another but it's too young to bloom!)

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/08/2018

    Great colors and textures, Susan. I'm very jealous of your manzanitas. I can't grow them, although I tried a hardy, creeping variety once. It lasted a few years and gave up the ghost. I may need to try again.....

    1. susanlangenes 08/24/2018

      I'm guessing it's the cold-hardiness you're running up against (based on your screen name!). Arctostaphylos selections native to more northern AND higher elevations in the Cascades will be the most cold-tolerant - look for selections of A. columbiana, some of which can handle temps in the -5 to -10F range.

  9. sheila_schultz 03/08/2018

    The colorful foliage and textures in your garden are all quite excellent, especially the manzanita when based with the red leaved heather. There is quite a bit of plant lust happening as I scroll through your photos, Susan. Gorgeous!

  10. wildthyme 03/08/2018

    Like Tim Zone Denial I have tried manzanita here in Montana and they are holding on, but just barely, so kudos to you for keeping them looking so healthy. Though I have to admit my favorite is the red-leafed euphorbia - that's a stunner!

  11. btucker9675 03/08/2018

    Love that red leaved euphorbia!

  12. [email protected] 03/08/2018

    Searching for that amazing manzanita. Yours looks pretty mature. Do you have any idea how old it is? Is it readily available in Portland area, or is mail order the best source?
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. susanlangenes 08/24/2018

      Thank you ALL for your lovely comments! And thank you for your patience, especially PatinMapleValley! I believe that manzanita was planted in 2010 - they grow fast! I haven't seen 'Paradise' around lately, but you can easily find other A. pajaroensis cultivars which are quite similar at local nurseries around Portland.

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