Aruncus ‘Misty Lace’ and Clematis recta ‘Lime Close’

  If you're looking to add a touch of white to your late spring/early summer garden, here are a couple of photos I took on my recent trip to Walters Gardens in Michigan.  The first is one of my favorites, the airy, Aruncus 'Misty Lace'.  Moist, rich soil give the best results.  Winter hardy to Zone 4a.Clematis recta 'Lime Close' is another super plant...a shrubby-form clematis, with dark purple foliage in spring, and covered in a cloud of tiny white flowers...what a stunning show!  Hardy to Zone 4a.   Read more [...]

A few favorite hostas – new photos

I've got hostas on the brain today, since in a few hours, we'll soon be hosting 420 hosta friends for an intimate dinner, as part of the 2015 American Hosta Society National Convention.   I'm also just back from a road trip to Walters Gardens in Michigan to visit one of the top perennial plant breeders in the world, our friend Hans Hansen.  While there, I snapped quite a few hosta photos, and here are some of my personal favorites. Hosta 'Happy Dayz' is a sport of the difficult to grow Hosta 'Orange Marmalade'...a plant that grows fine in a pot, but sulks int he ground.  This mutation has dramatically more vigor and makes a superb garden specimen.   Hosta 'Key West' is an enormous gold-leaf hosta with great vigor from our friend, Indiana hosta breeder, Olga Petryszyn. Hosta 'Bridal Falls' is a stunning, ruffled leaf introduction from Holland's Jan van den Top that I just adore. Here's one more or Olga's best hosta creations, Hosta 'Brother Read more [...]

Garden design changes

Many of the changes you'll see when you visit the garden next time are driven by Anita's suggestions to open up many of the overgrown garden spaces around the sales area. This new section is where 150' of Nellie Stevens hollies were removed last fall/winter. Despite only being in a short while, the plants are beginning to settle in.  The wonderful rock work, was done by our Research and Grounds horticulturist, Jeremy Schmidt. Here's a fun seep area in the same space that Jeremy dreamed up.  We hope you'll check out these and more new additions when you visit during our upcoming July open nursery and garden.     Read more [...]

A quick trip to Washington DC

I'm just back from a quick trip to Washington DC with my stepdaughter Katie.  We first stopped at the US National Arboretum to spend some time with the new director Richard Olsen, who shared his excitement about many of the exciting plans and projects underway at the people's arboretum including the renovation of the Chinese bonsai pavilion. Virtually all of the projects and expansions are privately funded. While it was exciting to hear that the future looks bright, it was equally shocking to see the horrific state of maintenance and weeding due to continuing Congressional budget cuts to the arboretum's funding.  The Federal government seems to have no understanding of funding for maintenance.  It's a sad reflection on our country for visitors from around the world to see our country's National Arboretum like this. I hope you'll join me in calling your representatives and voice your concern! One of the really interesting finds in the garden was a spontaneous jack in the Read more [...]

Hostas looking good in the garden

Here are some new hosta images from the garden, starting with the miniature Hosta 'Church Mouse'...very cool ruffled edges. Here is Hosta 'Rainbow's End'...a stunning favorite that just glows. Another superb small hosta, Hosta 'Virginia Reel'. Love this plant Here's a fascinating hosta image just captured by staff member Jim Burgan, who noticed the light coming through the fern onto the hosta leaf...pretty cool. Read more [...]

Agave ‘Grey Gator’ flower spike peaking @ JLBG

Here's a current photo of our spiking Agave 'Grey Gator'.  The spike began four weeks ago today, and was measured yesterday at 22' in height.  The bracts that surround the flower spikes are just beginning to unfurl, so we're probably a couple of weeks from seeing flowers open. This is the largest of the winter hardy agaves we've grown, and we still have some of our crop of seed grown plants from its sister seedling that flowered a couple of years ago...sold as Agave salmiana var. ferox x Agave asperrima. Each seedling will be slightly different in mature size...some a bit smaller and some even larger.  Don't miss your opportunity to try these for yourself.  Hardiness Zone 7b-9b. Read more [...]

Magnolia lotungensis flowering at JLBG

Parakmeria lotungensis flower

Here are photos of our lovely specimen of Magnolia (Parakmeria) lotungensis that flowered extremely well this year.  This evergreen magnoiia is one of our favorites and has never shown a sign of winter damage here.  Fingers crossed for good seed set.