PDN Congratulations to Dr. Richard Olsen

A special Plant Delights congratulations to former PDN’er and NCSU graduate, Dr. Richard Olsen, who was just appointed the new Director of your U.S. National Arboretum in Washington DC. Since finishing his PhD at NCSU in 2006, Richard has worked as a tree breeder with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Richard is an amazing plantsman, and we look forward to him putting his stamp on  USNA, following in the footsteps of a distinguished line of past directors.  Congratulations!

Epimedium greenhouse

Epimedium greenhouseSometimes when walking through our production greenhouses, it’s hard to contain our excitement about all the cool plants.  For those unable to visit, here’s a shot from our epimedium greenhouses today…so many great new selections for the woodland garden!

 

Cypripedium ‘Hank Small’ ladyslipper orchid

Cypripedium Hank Small4I remember when I discovered we could actually grow ladyslipper orchids in the garden, despite so many stories of them being impossible to cultivate.  The reality is that one ladyslipper, Cypripedium acaule is tough to move.  Otherwise, they’re easy.  I just took this photo of our clump of Cypripedium ‘Hank Small’…32 flowers this year!  I hope you will give these a try in your light shade garden.  A slightly moist soil is best, although this one is grown much too dry under a giant pine tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painted ferns for the garden

Here are a couple of fern images from the garden yesterday.  First is our giant painted fern, Athyrium 'Godzilla', which can reach 6' wide x 3' tall.  To avoid chlorophyll shed in the garden, it's best planted a far distance from Hosta 'Mothra' or Hosta 'Rhodan'. Here is the lovely Athyrium nipponicum 'Burgandy Lace'..hard to beat this color in the spring garden.   Read more [...]

Iris cristata in flower

The dwarf native woodland iris, Iris cristata are in flower here today.  Iris 'Montrose White' was introduced by Montrose Gardens in NC.  Iris cristata is native in shade, but flowers much better when given a couple of hours of sun. Iris cristata 'Powder Blue Giant' is incredibly floriferous in the garden today.  These spring flowering groundcovers are just delightful.   Read more [...]

Epimediums on Parade in the Garden

What an incredible week for epimediums here at Juniper Level.  The first photo is our introduction, Epimedium 'Songbirds'...an insanely heavily flowered yellow selection. Epimedium wushanense 'Starlite' is our selection of the amazing Chinese species, which boasts large terminal inflorescences on a plant that approaches 2' tall.     Epimedium zhushanense is another incredible Chinese species with large bicolor, spider-like flowers.  We think these are truly stunning in the woodland garden. Read more [...]

Paeonia japonica – a peony for shade

Paeonia japonica two flowersThe Japanese woodland peony, Paeonia japonica just opened yesterday in the garden!  Unlike most other peonies, this one requires light shade, so plant it with hostas and ferns.  Our supply of these is always limited, so if you like it, don’t delay in getting one for your garden.