Ilex opaca gold leaf

Ilex opaca gold at stop 6 AR

We’re always keeping our eyes open for aberrant forms of native plants. and I nearly drove off the road when I spotted this gold leaf American holly, Ilex opaca.  Sorry for the fuzzy picture, but it rained on us every single day of the trip and taking good photos in the pouring rain is a worthwhile challenge.

Bird-foot violet, Viola pedata

Viola pedata running clone at stop 1 AR

One of the plants that loves degraded, rocky shale banks is the bird-foot violet, Viola pedata.  At this site, however, we found some Viola pedata plants that made 2′ wide spreading patches, which I’ve never heard of or seen before.  I’ve seen this species across the country and it always makes a small tight clump, so this is a huge variation from normal.

Botanizing in the Ozarks

Vista after stop 8 AR

Just back from a botanizing trip into the Ozark Mountains in Northwest Arkansas.  It’s a beautiful part of the county with rolling hills and low mountain plateaus. The Ozarks are the largest mountain range between the Rockies and the Appalachians and contain a number of  interesting plants.

Plant Delights Website Checkout Issues

We apologize for the checkout problems today on our website.  We fired our last e-commerce vendor in December because they couldn’t keep our e-commerce platform functional, and darn if we haven’t managed to find another vendor that’s equally adept at screwing up our e-commerce.  We’re told the checkout is finally fixed, but if you find any further problems, let us know immediately ([email protected]) and please accept our sincere apologies!  Thanks for your patience.

One last gasp of winter

Covering plants at PDN2014

Much to our surprise, winter decided to make one last surprise visit to Juniper Level, so our garden and research staff are scrambling to cover plants who thought it was safe to come out of the ground.  Current local forecasts are calling for 32F, so that means  hostas, calanthe and bletilla orchids, and podophyllums get covered.  If the predicted low drops further, arisaemas and epimediums get covered next. A good quality spundbound polyester cover can give up to 5 degrees of protection to the plants underneath.  Fingers crossed…except for one, which I feel like stretching out and upward, but that probably wouldn’t really help.

A swarm of activity at Plant Delights

Bee swarm1

It’s a regular swarm of activity in the gardens at Juniper Level Botanic Garden today on so many levels.  First, this gaggle of honeybees decided to vacate their dwelling is search of better digs.  Right now, they’re gathered on an alder, waiting on a community organizer to arrive and direct them further.