Winter Color Combo

Here’s a fun new winter color combo we tried in the garden that looks great now…Nothoscordum sellowianum (the insanely fragrant yellow winter-flowering bulb as a highlight for the purple-foliaged Yucca aloifolia ‘Magenta Magic’…pretty pleased with how this turned out.

It’s pretty seedy around here

In addition to spring, one of the things we look forward to most each year is the members only seed exchange list from the North American Rock Garden Society. This amazing list of plants, shared by members from around the world, is truly the place to find seed of rare, hard-to-find plants for rock gardens and pretty much any kind of garden. The seed list typically offers 3000-4000 different plants annually...probably the best in the world. The first round of distribution in January of each year is limited to 25 different seed types (35 if you donate seed), and the second round, which just went live, allows members to select another 100 varieties. We just got out order submitted, and now anxiously await their arrival.  We think the seed exchange alone is worth far more than the annual dues, but there's so much more from tours, to meetings, to networking, and a great journal. So, if you want to become a seedaholic, here's your path to addiction! Read more [...]

Delicate trillium

In flower now at Juniper Level Botanic Garden (JLBG) is the newest published species of toadshade, Trillium delicatum, which became official last week!  Trillium delicatum, which from a distance could be confused with Trillium decumbens hails from central Georgia, where it's found growing in floodplains. DNA studies found that it is more closely related to the Alabama-centered Trillium stamineum.  This leaves only fifteen more potentially new species in the Southeast US that are currently being studied for future naming...pretty exciting times.  As an ex-situ conservation garden and since we do not endorse sales from plants collected in the wild, our JLBG propagation team are working to make this available from seed, so keep your eyes peeled.  Read more [...]

Coum to Papa

One of many real joys in the winter garden are the hardy cyclamen. We can count on the wonderful Cyclamen coum to be in peak flower for our annual winter Open Nursery and Garden Days, starting in late February.  Here is a clump of Cyclamen coum ‘Maurice Dryden’ in flower currently, growing underneath a large evergreen holly. 

Cardamine crazy

Look what’s in full flower now in the winter garden!.  This dazzling spring ephemeral, Cardamine quinquefolia, is just off the charts amazing for the light shade woodland garden. It has formed a stunning 3′ wide patch in four years in our Zone 7b garden. Hardiness is Zone 6a-8b. 

Winter gardens at JLBG

In case you missed visiting us at our Winter Open Nursery and Garden, our spring event is coming soon…the first two weekends in May.  Here are a few images of the garden in winter that you missed by not visiting!

   

New discovery – treasure or trash?

We field quite a few calls each year from folks who think they've just found the next million dollar plant and want to know how to monetize their discovery. Sadly, it's not as easy as it sounds. Take our latest discovery above...a nearly albino form of the hardy orchid, Bletilla striata that popped up here in our propagation department. Despite it looking amazing, does it really have value? Since it is a near albino, growth will be very slow due to a lack of chlorophyll, so that rules it out immediately for quantity production. Will the next division also be equally as variegated or will it go back to green?  The answer is...we don't know. The question then becomes how many people would purchase it, knowing it's going to be difficult to grow and it may never multiply or could revert to green? In cases like this, a venue like EBay could be the best opportunity to match it with someone willing to take a chance. Each plant is different...so what do you think we should Read more [...]

Skirt-lifting time in the woods

While we'll always grow the woodland asarum (wild gingers) for their foliage, we are equally as entranced by their flowers which occur from fall thru spring...based on the species. The only months we haven't recorded asarum flowers in the garden are June-September.  One of our first time offerings this year is a selection we made of the Japanese Asarum kurosawae that we named Asarum 'Saddleback'. (Zone 7a-8b, at least)In late winter, we remove the old foliage in the center of the clump so that we can enjoy the flowers as you can see below.  Most of our asarums start as single divisions, and after 3-4 years, we divide them for the first time, resulting in 5-10 plants.  A second division 3-4 years later yields another 5-10 plants each, for a total of 25-100 plants. A third division is required 3-4 years later to finally have enough to offer. So, from start to commercialization is usually 9-12 years of production time. Tony demonstrates how to divide asarum Read more [...]

Flaccid hemiboea

Back in 2013, we introduced what we thought would be a great seller for folks with a shade garden…another fall-flowering hardy gesneriad, Hemiboea flaccida. Sales were a resounding thud! So, we’re curious why, when it attracts the attention of seemingly every garden visitor during the fall season. The foliage feels like crush velvet, it’s easy to grow, and flowers in the fall, when little else is blooming in the woodland garden.  We’re befuddled.