Click through pictures of Paul James' not-so-normal garden favorites.
- More from Gardening by the Yard
Filed under: Succulents, Plants, Foliage Plants, Garden Zones, Garden Zone 8, Garden Zone 9
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Acanthus, also known as bear's breeches, features two-foot-long architectural leaves with tiny spines and a three-foot flower spike. Hardy to USDA Zone 8, it will overwinter in Zone 7 if mulched heavily; or you can grow it in a pot. Prefers shade.
Alpinia, a variety of ginger popular in tropical landscapes south of and including USDA Zone 9, performs well in pots anywhere. This plant's variegated leaves add a touch of brightness to shady areas of the garden, where it thrives.
'Twisty Baby', a variety of black locust, is hardy in USDA Zones 4 through 9. Unlike other species of black locust, 'Twisty Baby' is unbothered by leaf miners and borers. It tops out at only 15 feet (as opposed to 75 like many other black locusts), making it a great choice for small landscapes or containers.