The best purple-leafed euphorbia

Most popular perennials in the market today are introduced and heavily promoted by marketing companies.  Every now and then, however, a superb perennial enters the marketplace without any fanfare or marketing, despite being superior and longer-lived than the patented, highly touted cultivars.  Such is the case with Euphorbia 'Cherokee'...a fabulous purple-foliaged selection we've grown since 1999.  Euphorbia x martinii 'Cherokee' may not look as great in a container, but it is absolutely incredible in the garden.  We hope you'll give it a try...if you like purple foliage.     Read more [...]

Baptisia in the garden

Here's Baptisia 'Cherries Jubilee' in the garden...a unique butterscotch and brown flower...a Hans Hansen hybrid. Here is another recent baptisia photo from the garden...Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue' looking mighty fine.  Baptisia thrive in either dry or wet soils as long as they have 6+ hours of sun. Read more [...]

Scenes from Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Here's today's view of our first alpine berm garden installed in 1997.  Even within a small space, you can have incredible plant diversity.  One of the many features you'll enjoy when you visit Juniper Level Botanic Garden during one of our open days.   Here's a vignette from our Southwestern garden, which gives the feel of a Southern California landscape.Here is one of our rain gardens that captures 5 acres of water runoff from both nursery irrigation as well as surface runoff.  This makes a perfect place to grow many of the water iris (Louisianas and blue flag) which are in flower now, soon to be followed by the Japanese iris.   Read more [...]

Arrangements to perfume the garden

Helicodiceros muscivorus arrangementI was recently looking for some flowers to put in a vase for our patio and got thinking…what would you use if your dinner guests were the type of people you wanted to eat and leave…quickly.  The answer was right before me…Pig Butt Arum, Helicodiceros muscivorus.  So, here’s my creation…also perfect if your child has a “favorite” teacher who they want to be sure remembers them over summer vacation.

 

 

Hardy Cactus in bloom at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

  For those who didn't get to our Open Nursery and Garden last week, here are some of the hardy cactus you missed in the new Souto Garden section.  We're passionate about hardy cactus, and have been so since we were hooked by a jumping cholla about 45 years ago.  I hope you enjoy the photos of this amazing group of plants. Echinocereus nivosus Echinocereus reichenbachii var. caespitosus Echinocereus triglochiditis v. mojavensis Gymnocalycium 'Bridal Showers' - a Mike Papay hybrid Gymnocalycium doppianum Gymnocalycium 'Panama Pink' - a Mike Papay hybrid Notocactus paucidentatus Notocactus submamulosus Opuntia basilaris v. aurea 'Golden Carpet' Opuntia 'Claude Arno' Opuntia polycantha 'Crystal Tide' Opuntia polycantha var. hystracina Opuntia 'Little Monk' Opuntia sp. nov. pink flowers Trichocereus 'Big Time' (a Mike Papay hybrid of T. bruchii) Trichocereus 'Irridescent Watermelon' - a Mike Papay hybridTrichocereus Read more [...]

Giant agave flowering spike starting

From high above our Southwest patio garden, you can get a good perspective of our latest agave to flower.  This cross of Agave salmiana and Agave asperrima (scabra) is our largest agave to ever flower (7' tall x 12' wide).  We're expecting the spike to reach at least 25' before it begins to open in late June or early July. Here is a ground level photo from 2 weeks ago, when the flower bud first emerged. Here, the flower spike is 10 days old and nearing 12' tall.  The flowering of large agaves evokes both excitement and sadness....excitement that it will flower and hopefully set seed, but sadness that the parent plant will die soon after flowering.  Although it would take 100 years to reach flowering size in the wild, our plant is only 16 years old, growing faster because of our higher rainfall.  While they last, we are pleased to offer seed-grown plants from its sister that flowered a couple of years earlier.     Read more [...]

Cycas leaves unfurling

There's something artistically fascinating about the new leaves of cycads as they unfurl.These cycads are planted right outside our door, so we get to enjoy the spring flush of new growth as it emerges. Even though we lose the old foliage below 12 degrees F, it's worth it all to watch these new fronds.   Read more [...]

Silene ‘Jackson Valentine’

Silene virginica Jackson Valentine6Silene ‘Jackson Valentine‘ is one of those plants you just can’t help but photograph.  In fact, I seem to wind up taking a new picture each day during its spring flowering season. Here it is in the garden yesterday in all it’s radiance.  This incredible native thrives in part sun with good drainage.  It just doesn’t get much better than this.