Planting Information for:
Romeo & Juliet
ANGELICA – Angelica archangelica; ROOT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
A 4 – 6’ tall biennial herb for Zones 4 – 8. Seed directly in fall or late spring. Thrives in cool climates in moist soils, rich in humus. Best in sunny or partly sunny places. Big, umbrella-like clusters of tiny white or yellow flowers. Eurasian.
BITTER-SWEETING (Apple) – Malus domestica
A variety of sweet edible fruit of the long-lived tree that grows worldwide. The tree reaches 6 to 15 ft., depending on the cultivar, in loamy well-drained rich neutral soil, full sun, on a north or northeast-facing slope. Zones 3 – 8; hardier species do best in northern zones; long-season types in Zones 5 – 8. Apple trees must cross-pollinate to develop fruit. During the flowering season pollinators, most often honey-bees, are used. Apple trees may have been the earliest tree that humans cultivated.
DATES (Date palms) – Phoenix dactylifera
The date palm is a flowering evergreen tree cultivated for its sweet fruit. It thrives in hot, dry climates, Zones 9 – 10; will grow in Zone 8 but will not produce fruit.
Trees reach up to 120’ high, can live for 100 years, and are tolerant of drought except during flowering & fruiting season. Their wide surface root system requires a very large planting area in sand, loam or even clay soil, but is not particular about pH levels.
HAZEL-NUT – Corylus americana FILBERT
Zones 4 – 9, native to eastern and central United States; multi-stemmed shrubs to 10’ tall or more, with a crown to 12’ across; plant in spring or fall in full to part sun in moist, well-drained soil; fruits (hazel nuts) ripen in late summer and attract seed-eating birds.
MANDRAKE – Mandragora officinarum
Zones 6 – 8; poisonous perennial in potato family; heavy, branched root to 2’ long, reputedly “screams” being dug. Best in light woodland shade in well-drained soil; stratify seed for several weeks prior to spring planting.
MEDLAR – Mespilus germanica
The Medlar (somewhat like large brown furry rosehips), fruits on 15 – 20’ large shrubs or small trees (Zones 5 – 9); provide full sun in fertile, well-drained soil. Plant young grafted plants in late fall or early spring. Plants take 2 – 3 years before producing fruit but will crop for 50 years or more. This fruit is very rare in the U.S. but is making a comeback, esp. in the U.K. Unique flavor, almost like apple butter.
A nut is a woody or hard-shelled, dry fruit that encloses a single edible kernel or seed produced by many trees and shrubs. Trees that produce nuts include almonds, walnuts, chestnuts, etc.
PEAR (Warden) – Pyrus spp.
Zones 4 – 8 in cool, damp climates with cold winters. Pear trees require cross pollination; similar species should be planted together, about 20’ apart. They require full sun all day, in fertile well-drained soil, acidic to neutral, and good air circulation.
Trees can take 3 – 10 years to begin prolific fruit production.
PEPPER – Piper nigrum
A flowering vine cultivated for its fruit, the peppercorn, which is dried for spice or seasoning, and some traditional medicines. Native to South India & other tropical regions, it is not tolerant of cold or dry conditions, and should be kept well-watered if grown outdoors in Zones 10 – 11. The fresh, mature fruit is dark red & contains a single seed. Pepper plants prefer partly shaded well-drained variable soil in temperatures between 75 and 85°F. Seeds should be soaked overnight before planting. The plant will not fruit for 2 – 3 years.
The vine, which can be purchased from growers, does very well indoors on an indirectly lit windowsill in an area that is humid and moist—and will flower & fruit year-round with moderate regular watering & light fertilization.
PINKS (Gillyvors/Gillyflowers/CARNATION) – Dianthus, Dianthus caryophyllus
Annual. Plants need full sun, but protection from direct heat, in Zones 3 – 4 to 8 – 9, depending on the variety. Soil should be rich & loamy, prepared a few weeks before planting, well drained & never over-watered.
Small plant usually reaching 18 – 24” high, bearing countless varieties of flowers, single or multi-petaled, in shades of reds, pink, yellow, white, and striped/striated.
PLANTAIN – Plantago major. White Man’s Footprint
Widespread in Eurasia, perennial plantains have naturalized in N. America. Zone 3 – 12. This noxious weed seeds widely, especially in lawns and is difficult to eliminate. Basal rosette of broad, 12” strongly-veined leaves deny light to neighboring plants. Minute flowers congregate atop erect 8 – 10”, leafless stems.
POMEGRANATE – Punica granatum
Zones 7 – 10. This spiny Mediterranean shrub, to 30’ tall. Plant in late fall or spring in full sun where soil drains well. After pollination orange-red female flowers very slowly develop leathery reddish-purple skinned fruits. Countless seeds, surrounded by juicy, succulent flesh, are enclosed.
QUINCE – Cydonia oblonga
Zones 5 – 8. Growing on deciduous trees 12 – 15’ tall, quince thrive in full sun or part shade in fertile, acid soil that drains well. Plant young trees in early spring or fall. Showy pale pink blossoms appear in late spring on new growth. Irregular, apple or pear-like fruits with yellowish skin develop through the summer, but mostly ripen in fall, but must be cooked as raw, the flesh is quite hard. When boiled for jams & jellies, fruit becomes a beautiful bright pink.
ROSE(ES) – Rosa species, hybrids & cultivars
Zones 3 – 8. A huge group of deciduous shrubs from 1’ miniatures to 7’ tall Damasks, of varying hardiness, roses mostly require full sun with midday shade from intense heat. Plant in spring in well-drained, rich acid soil. Known for their prickly stems (Thorns) and faint to intensely fragrant blooms.
ROSEMARY – Salvia rosmarinus (previously Rosmarinus officinalis)
A woody perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves & white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. It is a culinary condiment, an ingredient in perfumes, and has some healthy benefits. Requires full sun in sharply drained, slightly alkaline loamy soil in a location that shelters it from harsh winter winds in Zones 8 and higher. Even in a protected location the plant may not survive a severe winter, especially if in soggy soil.
RUSH – Juncus, common rushes/Luzula, woodrushes
Flowering, mostly perennial, plants with cylindrical stalks or hollow, fragrant stem-like leaves. Depending on the species, they range from six inches to four feet high in temperate Zones 3 – 8. Tolerant of a wide range of moisture such as the edges of ponds and bogs, but can handle variable conditions. They prefer shade and infertile soils.
Ancient civilizations used some Juncus species as remedies and for nutrition from sprouts, shoots, and seeds.
SYCAMORE – Platanus occidentalis/LONDON PLANE – Platanus × acerifolia
A deciduous tree growing 20–30 m (66–98 ft.) tall, with a trunk up to 3 m (10 ft.) or more in circumference. Accepts full sun to partial shade in Zones 4 – 9 in variable soil of almost any type; some drought tolerance.
*often planted in cities bc great carbon eater (sequestration)
More information can be found here.
WILLOW – Salix spp. Common name(s): Weeping Willow, Babylon Weeping Willow*
(OSIER) – Salix viminalis, a species of willow.
Very large decorative fast-growing tree found throughout Zones 2 – 9a in consistently moist soil, often near ponds, lakes & stream banks, in conditions that include mountaintops & salty areas. They grow 45 – 70 ft. high with equal spread, so best planted about 50 ft. apart.
*Willows in Shakespeare’s day were not weeping; see Botanical Shakespeare book.
WORMWOOD – Artemisia absinthium
Ornamental plant in Zones 4 – 8.
Native to temperate regions of Eurasia & Northern Africa & widely naturalized in Canada and the northern U.S. Grows to 3 – 4 ft. on uncultivated arid ground, on rocky slopes & at the edge of footpaths & fields with full sun in fertile, mid-weight soil rich in nitrogen.
YEW – Taxus baccata
The European yew or common yew need well-drained soil (no bogs or riversides), but will tolerate any soil that isn’t wet most of the year. They’re quite fond of heavy clay. Yew grow fairly fast when young, reaching about 10’ or more per year in full sun, Zones 4 – 7. They can handle full shade, but with less vigor. They require sparse watering with the exception of a prolonged drought & just before the ground freezes in late fall or early winter.
Yew is known as the Tree of Life, since they can live for a thousand years or more. But also the Tree of Death, as every part is toxic except the red flesh of the berries that encase the poisonous seeds.