David Parks, proprietor of Camellia Forest Nursery, chooses these plants as his non-camellia favorites:
*Celtis sinensis ‘Green Cascade’
Commonly called weeping Chinese hackberry, this ornamental tree naturally stays close to ground level. However it can be anchored to a structure, up and over which it will ramble. It has glossy green leaves, sinewy limbs and abundant small berries. Zone 6.
Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’
Golden Mexican orange is a five-foot evergreen shrub with yellow or yellow-green leaves. It has fragrant white flowers in spring and late summer. Zone 7.
This semi-evergreen dogwood grows 15 to 20 feet tall with thick bright green leaves. The leaves turn purplish in winter. It blooms in early summer, which is later than most dogwoods, and does not have disease problems. Zone 7.
This is a rounded shrub or small tree, reaching 10 to 30 feet tall, with foliage similar to a rhododendron’s. It has a consistent, neat growth habit, making it a good choice for formal gardens confined spaces. Its flowers are inconspicuous but its forma nd leaves make it worthwhile. Zone 7.
*Primula vulgaris: heat-tolerant hybrids
David Parks’s father, Dr. Clifford Parks, developed heat-tolerant primroses in a range of flower colors. They prefer moist shade and can take heat. Zone 6.
*Prunus mume ‘Bridal Veil’
This weeping cherry has very pale pink blooms on gently down-arching branches. Among all the cultivars available, this is a great choice because of its fragrant flowers. David says, “Without staking, my plant has mounded up to 10 feet tall and 20 feet across in 10 years.” Zone 6.
Prunus mume ‘Hokkai-bungo’
David notes that this is the first weeping cherry that blooms in his garden every year. Its flowers are as close to red as you can get among the P. mume culitvars. Zone 6.
Also known as the Chinese Douglas fir, this evergreen tree has gray or dark gray bark, though its branches are yellowish when new. Its cones begin pale purple and age to purplish brown.
The Chinese nutmeg yew tolerates heat and shade. Its needles are less prickly than those of other yews. It has an upright form, growing to 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Zone 7.
* Camellia Forest Introduction