UNC-Charlotte Botanical Garden position open

With the retirement of Dr. Larry Mellichamp from the UNC-Charlotte Botanical Garden, UNC-C is looking to fill his position with two people.  The first position to be advertised is a Research Specialist, who will manage the greenhouse and gardens.  If you’re interested, the position is only open until the end of November.

Disporopsis pernyi – Evergreen Solomon’s Seal

Disporopsis pernyi Heronswood form

One of our favorite woodland garden plants is the evergreen solomon’s seal, Disporopsis pernyi.  Here’s a photo I just took to show how good it still looks after several nights around 20 degrees F.  It’s also about as tolerant of deep shade as any plant we grow.  We’ve had reports of it being winter hardy into cold zone 6/warm zone 5, although there it becomes deciduous.

Lycoris foliage

The key to determining which lycoris will grow well in your area is foliage emergence time.  Lycoris, as a group, are summer flowering bulbs, whose foliage emerges after flowering and grows during the winter season.  Lycoris can be divided into two groups...those whose foliage emerges in fall/early winter, and those whose foliage emerges in late winter. Above is a photo of the fall-emerging Lycoris radiata that I just took here at Plant Delights.  Lycoris with early emerging foliage has a tough time thriving where winter temperatures drop below 0 degrees F in winter. Each clone of a species or hybrid group does have varying cold tolerances.  Temperatures near 0F can severely burn the foliage, which keeps the plant from producing enough food to flower. Consistent years at or below 0 degrees F will eventually deplete the bulb of food, resulting in death.  Lycoris species like L. x squamigera, L. sprengeri, L. longituba, L. chinensis, and a few others have foliage that emerges in Read more [...]

Schefflera delavayi

Schefflera delavayi in flower5

The hardy Schefflera delavayi is looking great after two nights in the 20s this year…still in full flower.  We’ve got a great looking crop ready to ship!  These survived single digits last year with no problem and have been growing happily here since 2003.  We’d love to hear from folks who have tried them in colder climates.

Phlox ‘Barthirtythree’ aka Purple Eye Flame

One of the reason we are so passionate about plant trialing is that we can avoid offering plants like this phlox.  This is Purple Eye Flame phlox taken in our gardens this week, part of the Bar Series from the Netherlands.  While many of the phlox from this "disease resistant" series are excellent, others leave a bit to be desired when it comes to things like mildew resistance.  Often these plants perform well in the breeders' climate, but not so well in other parts of the world.  While it will never be possible to adequate trial all plants in each ecological region, more trials are always better than less. Read more [...]

Oxalis bowiei

Oxalis deppei5

One of our best fall flowering perennials each year is the amazing South Africa Oxalis bowiei.  Although it’s completely summer dormant, it more than makes up for lost time with its incredible flowering in the fall season and again in spring.  Here is it in one of our rock garden sections today…after our first light frost.

Lunch in the Garden

Here are a couple of images from this weekend in the garden.  The Carolina anoles are ravenous this time of year.  This one thought it was in heaven, perched atop an adult Hedera rhombea, which attracts more insects than virtually any plant we grow.  It was picking off ants as fast as it could digest them...look closely in its mouth (2nd image).  I wish we could encourage more people to garden for wildlife. Read more [...]

Aster ‘Fanny

Aster oblongifolius Fanny6

Another favorite late aster is Aster oblongifolius ‘Fanny‘…a selection of the North American native aromatic aster.  Here it is in peak bloom today here at Juniper Level Botanic Garden.  This particular specimen was planted 14 months ago as a 1 qt plant.  It is now 8′ wide…growing, of course in full sun and in well prepared soil.