Agapanthus africanus A popular plant right now, maybe because it's in showy bloom in the Bay area. Agapanthus grows 3 to 4 feet tall and is topped by globe-shaped clusters of lavender or white blooms. For a dramatic effect, plant at least two or three together, Manny says. It requires at least four to five hours of sun each day and, once established, does well with slow-release fertilizer. At Manny's, prices range from $2.99 for a 1-gallon pot up to $49.99 for a 15-gallon. Gold Mound and loropetalum
Duranta erecta "Gold Mound" Gold mound, a Duranta hybrid, and burgundy loropetalum are one of Manny's favorite foliage pairings. Both can grow into fairly large shrubs - 6 feet or taller - to form a hedge, or be maintained at shorter heights. Both take full sun; gold mound should be covered at about 35 degrees, while loropetalum is a bit more cold-hardy. Loropetalum produces a hot pink flower that gives it the nickname Chinese fringe flower. Gold Mound, when first introduced a few years ago, wasn't popular, Manny says. People thought its yellow hue was akin to jaundice. Now it's prized for its bright highlights, which glow even more in the sun. The plants are $6.99 each for a 3-gallon pot. Popcorn cassia
Senna didymobotrya Movie lovers will want a few of these; their leaves radiate the aroma of a fresh-popped bowl of kernels. Grown as shrubs or small trees, they get about 6 feet tall and like the sun, which heats up their aroma. They produce stalks of bright yellow blooms whose aroma provides a second nickname, peanut butter cassia. A favorite of sulphur butterflies. NURSERY HUNT We're creating an on-line interactive guide to local nurseries for TBO.com, starting with Manny's. Submit information about your plant shop to [email protected] with Nurseries Map in the subject field. Include name, address, hours of operation and other pertinent information.