Author Archives: Leah

Hardy Chicago Fig

Our Hardy Chicago Fig survived an unprotected winter in Utah! Everything died back, but here it is alive and well in July.

Our Hardy Chicago Fig survived an unprotected winter in Utah! Everything died back, but here it is alive and well in July 2015.

This has been so fun to see. It really starts late in the spring and needs a lot of heat to get growing.  Once it started it gained quite a bit of growth. We will need to protect it from the winter this fall to try to keep some of this growth for the following spring. Hopefully we can get some fruit this year, but I am not counting on it.

They say it can get 8-10 feet tall and wide but I don’t know if it will grow that large and if it does, it will be with a bit of work.  It needs full sun and a lot of heat. A southern exposure by your house might be your best bet.


Hardy Chicago Fig in Utah - 1 year after planting

Hardy Chicago Fig in Utah – September 2015, 1 year after planting a 4-5″ plant.

1 year after planting a 4-5" plant, we have one fig!

1 year after planting a 4-5″ plant, we have one fig!

This is all new growth in 2015. In the Spring there wasn’t anything above the ground. By July it was close to 12″ tall. In September it is 2′ tall, sprouting new shoots out of the ground and has one fig! Not too bad for a 4-5″ plant and no protection from the winter.


Fig-2016-06June 2016 – 2 year old plant in the Spring. After another winter without any special care, new leaves are out in June. There are buds all over the bare branches and we are hopeful that they will pop soon. I think it is ahead of where it was this time last year.

Crimson Pointe Plum

These trees were planted late in the summer of 2014. They are looking good so far in the Spring of 2015. We haven’t planted the Crimson Pointe variety before, but we’ve had other flowering plum tress that grew well in Eagle Mountain.

Crimson Pointe Plum - Spring blossoms.

Crimson Point Plum – Spring blossoms, 2015.

Crimson Pointe Plum - Spring blossoms closeup.

Crimson Point Plum – Spring blossoms.

Some of those blossoms turn into fruit. We weren’t sure what to expect, but all three of these trees gave us a bit to eat about July 1st, 2015.

Small plums from the Crimson Pointe Plum tree. They are just over 1". The flesh is sweet, but the skins are very tart, but we still eat them.

Small plums from the Crimson Pointe Plum tree. They are just over 1″. The flesh is sweet, but the skins are very tart, but we still eat them.

  • 20′-25′ tall
  • 5′-6′ wide
  • Full Sun
  • Beautiful spring blossoms
  • Small fruit, but edible

Ornamental Grasses

So far any ornamental grass we have put in has thrived with little to no maintenance at all, with one exception – Compact Pampas Grass. In the fall or early spring you will need to cut most of the grasses down to the ground. Our large ones we wrapped with twine before cutting to make clean up easier.

Feather Reed Grass ‘Karl Foerster’

  • 5 Ft Tall
  • 2-3 Ft Spread
  • Full Sun
  • Zones 5-9

Compact Pampas Grass ‘Pumila’

This was a gorgeous grass but it was not a perennial here in Eagle Mountain. It didn’t last the first winter.

  • 4-5 Ft Tall
  • 2-4 Ft Spread
  • Full Sun
  • Zones 6-10

Miscanthus ‘Little Dwarf’

  • 3-4 Ft Tall
  • 2-3ft Spread
  • Full Sun
  • Zones 5-9

Blue Fescue “Elijah Blue’

  • 8-10 inches tall and wide
  • Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Zones 4-8


I love this plant. It suffered in a highly windy area, all the flowers were gone with one gusty day. We moved it to a more protected area and it grew much better. The smell of this plant is so good! It does not require much care other than the wind protection. We didn’t have any disease issues in 4 years.

  • Botanical Name: Philadelphus x virginalis
  • Height: 6-7′
  • Spacing: 4-6′
  • Spread: 4-5′
  • Sun/Shade: Full sun to partial sun
  • Color: White blossoms
  • Foliage: Ovate 3 inch medium green leaves
  • Blooms: May – early June

Canadian Chokecherry


I loved this tree in the spring time. The smell and colors and big white lilac type flowers were awesome. Always the first plant to start to bud and bloom in the spring. The end of the spring though, the leaves start to turn from green to red. Which I love that it is not green all summer and adds another color to my other green plants, but the leaves look dried up and almost dead all summer and fall. It quickly becomes one of my least favorite plants and I get excited for the leaves to fall off. If it hadn’t been right in my walkway I might not have minded so much but everyone had to go past it to get to the front door.

  • 20-30 Ft Tall
  • 18-25 Ft Spread
  • Zones 2-7
  • Full Sun Partial Shade
  • Flowers in Spring

Artimis Powis Castle


When a master gardener recommended this plant to me I thought it was an ornamental grass, so when my husband showed up with this 2″ tall, silvery-green plant, I looked at him and asked what they were suppose to be. He told me what they were and we decided to plant them. These are a sage and you could smell them if you bumped into them. They were soft and added a nice minty color to the garden. They grew so fast and into a nice mound. Make sure to clean out under them each year or they will rot. They need to see sun at the roots. Don’t over prune these or you might kill them off. We would do some light pruning and if a whole branch didn’t come back we would cut it off. Be patient, these things will have a late start – sometimes waiting until early summer to put on new growth. The ones in the sun perked more than the ones in the shade.  They will stay long into the fall early winter season.

Bosnian Pine



The Bosnian Pine was completely carefree in our last yard and we have planted it again in the new yard. No complaints, super healthy, no pest problems. When we planted it we ran 3′ of perforated drain pipe around the root ball and watered it off the drip system. The pipe let the water get down to the roots instead of running down the hill on the surface. It tolerated the rocky, alkaline soil and put on new growth every year.

At 7-10′ wide, the Bosnian Pine is nice for smaller areas. It can reach up to 40′ tall.

Columnar Norway Maple

2" Caliper when planted

2″ Caliper when planted

5" caliper six-years later

5″ caliper six-years later

We planted three Columnar Norway Maples in our yard. They were about 2″ caliper, but the photos show they grew well in 6 years. I would not suggest planting grass right up to the trunk. Two were planted in grass and one was planted in flower beds. The tree that didn’t have to compete with the grass was much larger than the other two and looks healthier. These trees require very little attention otherwise and the leaves are beautiful. We did have some years with lots of bugs on them and ended up spraying them.

2015 update – Last year we planted a Columnar Norway Maple, 2″ caliper, in a very poor spot. We carved the hole in white/gray clay. It was so hard we could only carve away at it – a pick would only make a 1/2″ dent in it. Filling the hole with water to soften it up didn’t work, it was still full of water the next day. I really thought we might have to move that tree, but it is growing great! It has put on over 3′ of growth. It is on drip and gets regular water. Other than the really late hard frost that deformed some of the leaves, it looks very healthy.

Hibiscus Rose of Sharon

I planted 6 white Rose of Sharon, one of them turned out to be pink and had to be changed as the pink looked really funny in the landscape. They grew really well and healthy as long as we remember to give them iron. Otherwise the leaves yellowed and got blackened tips. I loved these bushes, great shape with minimal pruning of the branches for shape. Easily one of my favorite plants but does require a little more than no work to keep healthy. They don’t require a ton of water but do grow faster with more water.

  • Light: Part Sun, Sun
  • Height: 8 to 20 feet (I was told in UT not to expect more than 10 ft)
  • Width: To 6 feet wide
  • Zones: 5-9


  • Look great, beautiful flowers that bloom from summer to late into fall.
  • Great shape with minimum pruning.
  • Live in our alkaline soil
  • Produces a lot of flowers.
  • Can be trained into a small tree if desired.


  • Struggle a bit with color if not treated with iron.
  • Can survive on low water but are happier with a little more.
  • Have to deadhead a lot of flowers at the end of the season.