Q: I need something to plant in a space that’s quite long; part is shady and some is in full sun. I’d love the plant to have year round interest and maybe attract wildlife. What do you think about Oregon grape holly?
A: Grape holly, Mahonia aquifolium, is evergreen, has nice yellow flowers in February and bears lots of blue berries that birds adore. Perfect, right? But I have heard too many people complain about mahonia (both this one and Mahonia bealei) because bird-deposited seeds sprout everywhere. It can be a pest in the landscape. Investigate blueberries or ‘Emerald Green’ arborvitae (or a mixture thereof) instead. I have a big collection of downloadable plant lists at http://www.walterreeves.com/landscaping/uga-downloadable-plant-list-publications/.