My pick for this month is the bright Gold Mound Duranta (Duranta Erecta 'Gold Mound') in the front yard.
To paraphrase, "It was a dark and shady spot". So this corner of the front yard needed colorful foliage to help brighten it up.
Just as important was the need to screen the lovely sights over by the neighbor's garage.
This Gold Mound Duranta with its bright lemon-lime foliage was just the plant for the job. Here they are freshly planted back in March 2012.
Gold Mound Duranta will mature at five feet, tall enough to help hide the neighbor's trash bins and utility meters on the side of the garage. It's already starting to make a difference, along with other plants starting to grow in the background.
Duranta is native to the Caribbean, including parts of Mexico, so it will die back if we have a cold winter. Once established it is fairly drought tolerant and when mature will produce pale lavender flowers similar to these on Duranta 'Sapphire Showers' in the back yard. (Flower for demonstration purposes only, not intended to slip flowers into a foliage post.)
These plants have a bright golden color in lower light.
The bright color picks up the yellow in the golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grunsonii) and Color Guard Yucca (Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard') in the sunnier part of the yard and repeats it in shadier area where yucca would not grow as well. (Opportunity to slip in another couple of foliage plants.)
I will add denser evergreen plants behind these and and extend shade loving plants in the corner under the existing plants next spring. Meanwhile I'll enjoy the bright color of the foliage.
Duranta is not considered deer resistant yet the deer do not bother it my yard and will even reach past it to get at other plants which are supposed to be deer resistant.
Gorgeous color to brighten up the shady spot near the house.
For more blogger posts on foliage, check out Digging. You'll find all the links in the comments section.