Let’s Get Fat this Winter

Let’s get Fatsia japonica¸ that is! While fall brings us colorful leaves and delicious apples, most of us know what else it brings Portland – lots of rain and grey skies for months. I’m able to tolerate this dreariness because I know all of this rain is the key to the lush vegetation that surrounds us in the Willamette Valley.  (Well, being an avid snow skier helps me get through the wet season here too.) This winter I’m going to liven up my home’s entry containers with a hint of the tropics by adding Fatsia japonica a.k.a. Japanese Aralia.

I’ve typically seen Japanese Aralia as a large shrub or small tree – you might already be familiar with its 12-inch wide, lobed, glossy leaves. This tropical-looking plant also looks great in containers. Garden designer Kate Bryant created this lovely planting for one of her clients in the Pearl District, and it has inspired me to spice up my containers with a more exotic look. If I can’t make it to Hawaii this winter, at least I can give us a hint of the tropics with lively plantings! Maybe I’ll pair the Fatsia with some grasses, pansies and mums. It will be fun to see what’s available at the nursery.

Container gardening Fatsia japonica Japanese Aralia branch out landscape design

Container gardening with Fatsia japonica (Japanese Aralia).