Friday, September 25, 2015

Mahonia fortunei 'Dan Hinkley' is my favorite plant in the garden, this week

Dan Hinkley Chinese Mahonia is a Xera Plants introduction, from cuttings furnished to Xera Plants by the renown plantsman Dan Hinkley from his plant-hunting expeditions in China.

I have been enjoying this favorite plant for much of the month; it's been blooming for weeks in my garden.

I was thrilled to get my Mahonia fortunei 'Dan Hinkley' from Xera Plants at the 2012 Portland Yard, Garden & Patio Show.

This is the second year M. 'Dan Hinkley' has bloomed for me, and I love these late summer/early autumn flowers. So do the pollinators, and I don't even mind sharing them with the yellow-jackets (maybe the nectar will help keep them away from our last few outdoor dinners.)
The stats on Mahonia fortunei 'Dan Hinkley' from Plant Lust:

Form: Shrub
Zones: 7B-9b
Size: 4'h x 3'w (mine is approaching 4' high now, but is much slimmer)
Soil needs: Well-drained
Water needs: Regular water (I have not been regular but this shaded area stays somewhat moist)
Sun exposure: High overhead shade, to shade
Flowers: Bright yellow
Flowering time: Autumn (Plant Lust says spring, but that's a glitch)
Foliage: Evergreen, shiny / glossy

Like many Mahonias, the new growth is a lovely, bronzy-red color.

Our view of 'Dan' was further enhanced (maybe I should say exposed) by the recent removal of a mature Daphne odora 'Marginata' you can see to the left in the shot above. Although the Daphne enabled the Mahonia to get a good start by shading its roots, it had outgrown its space and had to go. I'll need to shade 'Dan' and his roots with something else this next summer.
I had a hard time getting the picture above; as you can see below there's a muddy channel where I usually walk.
And the mud is because our much-anticipated patio/path project started this past Monday, after a month of delays created by the summer heat: the concrete contractor couldn't pour in the over-90-degree temps, so he got backed up on all his prior projects. Rather than have our project stall halfway through, we asked our contractor to delay his start until the concrete guy was available to do his part.
Although there's been no work for the last two days, I'm encouraged by the project beginning. And if it gets too grimy and grim, I'll just spend some time researching other garden bloggers' favorite plants: My post is part of the end-of-the-month roundup of garden favorites hosted by Loree over at danger garden. Check out the rest!


  1. Hi Jane,

    I fixed the Plant Lust glitch. It won't be updated for a few days but it's corrected now. I can see why you love this plant. The foliage is really nice. And check out the patio reno! That pathway already looks great. I can't wait to see it all when it's done. Exciting times!

    1. Thanks for fixing the PL entry, Grace! It's a great plant for sure. Patio project - yes!!

  2. Can't wait to see the finished path - looks really good already. And that Mahonia....swoon!

    1. It's the patio that I'm really excited about, but it's all part of the big plan.

  3. What a great time for projects, to have it all ready for spring. And that's a lovely mahonia, but I can't get over having a daphne that "had outgrown its space and had to go." You certainly have different garden problems than I'm used to! I bet you opened that window for the scent when it was in bloom, right?

  4. I love this plant! Although to be honest I've lots track of which one of mine is 'Dan' and which is just Mahonia fortunei. If you have room for another I recommend from Cistus. I have that one too and it's leaves really are a little extra curly.

    So excited that your project is underway!

  5. Thanks for your intrepid trek through the mud to show us this outstanding Mahonia. The leaves are a wonderful shape, and with the bronzy blush...WOW!

  6. Great fave plant & I'm excited for you about the new walk/patio!


Thank you in advance for jumping through the annoying but necessary word verification hoop to leave your thoughts!