Pin It to Win It

by Andrew Keys on January 8, 2013

StripThis long, pinnable strip of pictures is either a sign of the apocalypse, or that my publisher, Timber Press, is doing a contest on Pinterest this week wherein you’ll have yet another chance to win my book. Yes, that’s right–I’m starting to think we should just call it Why Buy This When You Can Win That?

But wait! There’s more! The winner of this contest ALSO wins a $50 gift certificate to a local nursery of your choice.

Timber asked me to make a Pinterest board with photos of some of my favorite “extraordinary alternatives to everyday problem plants” from the book to get you started, and you can find that board here on Pinterest, as well as in the slightly skewed gallery below. (Click photos to enlarge.)

Why not plant native red maple (Acer rubrum) instead of invasive Norway maple?

Try 'Silver Umbrellas' Japanese aralia (Aralia elata) where palms aren't hardy.

'Karl Foerster' feather reed grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora) is even better than miscanthus.

Like baby's breath, but find it weedy? Try calamint (Calamintha nepeta), a fragrant alternative.

Catalpa 'Aurea' is a colorful, hardy alternative to banana.

'Marie Bleu' ceanothus beats the pants off everyday spirea.

Tired of weedy forget-me-not? Try multiseason star plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides).

Weeping willow can be messy. Weeping katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum 'Pendula') is prim and proper.

Agave can't hack the outdoors in cold, wet zones, but I love sea kale (Crambe maritima).

Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica) makes a great alternative to blue spruce for dry places.

Always wanted a bamboo grove but don't have the real estate? Plant one in miniature with Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra).

Invincibelle Spirit smooth hydrangea is bubble-gum pink and tougher than its French cousins.

English holly can be weedy and unhardy. Longstalk holly (Ilex pedunculosa) makes a great alternative.

Japanese honeysuckle is horribly invasive, but 'Kintzley's Ghost' honeysuckle is a stunning cultivar of a U.S. native.

Oyama magnolia (Magnolia sieboldii) has amazing flowers, and unlike big southern magnolia, it's hardy and fits well into gardens of all sizes.

Tired of pachysandra? Try creeping mahonia (Mahonia repens), even in super-dry climates.

Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) is a North American native that makes me wonder why anyone would plant callery pear.

Tired of digging up those cannas where they're not hardy? Try 'Red Dragon' fleece flower (Persicaria microcephala).

If you've always wanted a climbing ivy but you're afraid to suffer the consequences, 'Moonlight' climbing hydrangea (Schizophragma hydrangeoides) is the alternative for you.

Creeping sedums like 'Angelina' make great alternatives to moss where it's hot, dry and sunny.

Foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia) in bloom makes a great alternative to primrose for dry shade, and it's a great groundcover too.

Blueberry is a native plant, makes edible berries, and has all the color of burning bush without the weediness.

Previous post:

Next post: