Ornamental Manzanita

Manzanita is truly ubiquitous around here. The hardy bush thrives in solid clay, hard rock, and parched earth. I’ve sometimes heard harsh language used to describe this tenacious plant, for all sorts of reasons. But then I’ve seen the leaves sparkle in morning frost and dew. And I’ve admired the sculptural reddish wood as it gnarls and flows into resilient branches. Both loved and hated, Manzanita is just a fact of life around here. But this ornamental use of it is unique.
Located on Highway 299W, you’ll see these fanciful beauties on your right, just before Swasey Drive as you head toward Whiskeytown. I’ve admired these for a long time.
I just think these specimens are fabulous. Disciplined trimming reveals their inner beauty. Given this plants hardiness and ability to adapt under Redding’s often extreme climate, it’s odd that we don’t see this use more often. True Xeriscaping. I’ve seen folks go to bizarre lengths to keep a lawn green around here, as though Redding was somehow the British Isles. Really, they could just visit https://www.lawncare.net/ if they want to make sure their lawn looks its best. Meanwhile, you could plant these ornamentals in your yard and likely never water them. Just fertilize occasionally with chunks of cement and broken glass, and watch ’em grow. It’s Really Redding.


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