For those who think that “ornamental” and “native” are necessarily opposites, we present the lovely Bush Anemone. This member of the mock orange family is a guaranteed show-stopper in your garden when in bloom late spring through early summer, featuring large white flowers. The rest of the year, it is an evergreen, upright, informal hedge with dark glossy leaves. It can grow to be 3 to 10 feet tall, and is easily shaped with pruning.
Carpenteria is well adapted to common garden conditions, as it prefers light shade plus occasional deep watering during the summer. Initially we were told it was hard to grow, so we were slow to try it. So much for conventional wisdom! Now we have three around the garden varying half-sun to constant high shade, receiving water from twice a week (in well-drained soil in a planter we share with a neighbor) to only once every few weeks (in our native clay soil). Tidy it up in the late summer as it starts a new round of growth to make it look its best.