Category Archives: Bushes

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.

Nanking Cherry

We got this Nanking Cherry as a bare root plant in 2015

We got this Nanking Cherry as a bare root plant. Planted May 2015.

Back in February 2015 we ordered five bare root Nanking Cherry plants (Prunus tomentosa) from the Timp-Nebo/Alpine Tree sale. We received them in mid April. We planted them right away in 1 gallon pots and they leafed out pretty good. We got around to planting them in the ground at the end of May. We’ll add some chicken wire around the tomato cages to keep the rabbits and deer away while the plants get a start.

They are said to grow 6′-10′ tall and up to a 15′ spread. We didn’t leave enough room for that kind of growth, but we’ll deal with when and if they grow. They should grow 1′-2′ per year.

  • Adapts well to cold winters, hot summers and drought.
  • Blooms in early spring, with pink buds opening up into fragrant pale pink or white flowers.
  • The cherries are tart and tangy scarlet-colored and can be eaten fresh or used in pies, jams and jellies.
  • Two or more shrubs should be planted within 100′ of each other to ensure cross-pollination. It isn’t self-fertile.
  • Can be planted 4–5′ apart to form a hedge.
  • Adapts to a variety of soil conditions and pH levels. It prefers well-drained soil but will tolerate drought and can grow in semi-arid conditions.

I’m anxious to see what kind of cherries we get off these $3 plants.

Orange Rocket Barberry

Orange Rocket Barberry - Spring 2015

Orange Rocket Barberry – Spring 2015

The Orange Rocket Barberry starts out coral-orange/red in the Spring, green in the summer and ruby red in the Fall. They grow up to 4-1/2′ tall and 1-1/2′ wide.

  • Height: 4-1/2′
  • Width: 1-1/2′
  • Full Sun/Partial Sun


  • Pros: Deer Resistant.
  • Makes a good hedge


  • Thorns – sharp thorns.
  • Lots of color in the Spring and Fall.

Orange Rocket and Lime Glow Barberries

Lime Glow Barberry

Lime Glo Barberry, Spring 2015

Lime Glo Barberry, Spring 2015

Lime Glow Barberry can grow up to 5′ tall and 4′ wide. It is a slow grower and will need regular watering when it is hot. It should turn a brilliant red in the Fall, I can’t wait to see it and get some pictures on here.

  • Height: 5′
  • Width: 4′
  • Full Sun


  • Deer Resistant
  • Leaves can handle the sun, some light green/yellow barberries do not


  • Thorns (this can be a plus if you want to deter people from an area)
  • Slow growing
Orange Rocket and Lime Glow Barberries

Orange Rocket and Lime Glow Barberries

Russian Sage

Russian sage thrives in the heat, tolerates poor soil and is resistant to deer and pests. It looks good with succulents and ornamental grasses. When we were planting I stepped on one of the 3″ plants we bought and broke it down to a 1/2″ stem with a single leaf. It didn’t bother it one bit. By the end of the summer that plant was full-size like the rest. It grows great int the rocky, alkaline soil in Eagle Mountain. Sounds good right?

Here is why I’ll never plant it again. It spreads. It sends roots out 20-30′ to pop up a new plant and it just won’t die. It is nearly impossible to remove from a yard. You’ve been warned.


Russian sage with purpler flowers. Also in the photo, Artimis Powis Castle, and an ornamental grass.

  • Height: 3-4′
  • Width: 3-4′
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Flowers: Summer
  • Low water requirements

Dwarf Blue Leaf Arctic Willow

The Arctic Willow grew well in Eagle Mountain. You can prune and shape them to keep the size down, but it will make you work for it for a few years.DETA-428

Don’t let the dwarf name fool you. I’ve listed the sizes here according to what we saw in our yard. They are always advertised in the 3-5′ range, but it isn’t uncommon for them to be much larger.

  • Sun: Full to partial
  • Height 5-6′
  • Width 5-8′
  • No flowers


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

Rose Glow Barberry


Rose Glow Japanese Barberry can grow up to 5′ tall and 4′ wide, but it is a slow grower. It will need water weekly or more often in the heat.

  • Height: 5′
  • Width: 4′
  • Full Sun


  • Pros: Deer Resistant.
  • In a mild winter they will keep many of the leaves and berries so you can have some winter color.


  • Thorns – sharp thorns.

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.