B.C. garden designer Rob Bond admits that gardening is his life. “I breathe gardening,” he says. Rob, who is a passionate plant collector, is partial to bold architectural specimens with year-round presence. Here are a few of his favourites.
Ethiopian black banana (Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurellii’), treat as annual. In winter, cut off foliage, leaving the stalk; store in garage.
Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens), Zone 5. Glaucous foliage that arches downward to form a neat, tufted clump.
Hinoki falsecypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa), Zone 6. Flat planes of dark evergreen foliage; slow growing, so works well in a container.
Artichoke agave (Agave parryi var. huachucensis), treat as annual. All agaves are drought tolerant—a good attribute for container plants.
Silver spear (Astelia chathamica), treat as annual (Rob leaves his out all year, however, given his climate). Silvery green, bold, architectural foliage; also drought tolerant.