Agave Mountain Man – the big moment

We posted this a few weeks ago as our Agave 'Mountain Man' (A. gentryi x montana) prepared to open. We'll, the big moment is here...below are a few shot from today. The seed were wild-collected in Mexico in the late 1990s by our friends at Yucca Do, and our seedling was planted in May 2000, so it took 17 years to flower.  Fingers crossed for good seed set, and fortunately we have many more agaves in flower (and a tall ladder) to help the process.  Read more [...]

Reproduction in the Garden today

From the flora side of the garden, the lovely sacred lily, Rohdea japonica is flowering today.  Our bet is that many folks have never slowed down long enough to actually see a rohdea flower, but if you look close, you’ll see the pollen is ready for hybridizing.

Representing the garden fauna, we are loaded to gills will Kildeer this year.  One nest of five has already hatched and squawking incessantly, but two more mothers including this one have a secure space in our parking lot.  Of course, our fox family has also been keeping a close eye out for the blessed event.

 

Ark, Ark…is that rain we hear?

In a matter of two days, most of our region went from abnormally dry to saturated, when an unusual weather system tracked across our area.  Not to worry...we've loaded two each of every plant on the green arc for safe keeping. We tallied 5.5" of rain at the nursery, while areas a few miles away registered almost 9 inches.  As you've no doubt seen on the news, areas in and around creeks and rivers are underwater.  Fortunately, we're fine as all our time spent on water management preparation paid dividends.   The gardens looks absolutely fabulous, so we hope to see you at our 2017 Spring Open Nursery and Garden which starts today (Friday).  We've prepared a special display of the new xMangaves (agave x manfreda hybrids) on the deck area, so we hope you'll stop by and check out this amazing new category of drought-tolerant succulents for both containers and the garden.  See you soon! Read more [...]

A View from the top – Agave flowering soon

Look what showed up in the garden.  Our specimen of Agave ‘Mountain Man’…a hybrid of Agave montana and Agave gentryi decidied to flower for our spring open nursery and garden.  This unusual hybrid starts its flower spike in the fall, which stops for the coldest part of winter, then starts growing again in spring.  The spike showed no damage despite a winter low of 13 degrees F.  Be sure to check this out when you visit…located just behind the welcome tent. 

New, Hard-to-Find Sacred Lilies (rohdea) available

We began growing sacred lilies back in the 1970s, when few people in the US, outside of a handful of fanatic collectors were growing them. The only large scale grower of the green species, Rohdea japonica, was our friends, the late Sam and Carleen Jones of Georgia's Piccadilly Farms.  Despite being very easy to grow, Rohdeas will never be found at most nurseries or garden centers, due to the long production time from both seed and divisions.   Rohdea japonica 'Go Dai Takane' We worked for years (pre-Internet and email) to establish contacts in Japan who were willing to sell and ship rohdeas to the US. In Japan, variegated cultivars of rohdeas are highly prized for what most folks think are subtle differences. Most Japanese gardeners grow rohdeas in special decorative ceramic pots as house or patio plants.  For many of the nice, variegated rohdea varieties, costs in Japan range from $50 to several hundred dollars, and several thousand dollars each for the special, slow-growing Read more [...]

You’re Invited to our Fall Open Nursery and Garden at PDN/JLBG

This weekend and next is time for our final open nursery and garden for 2016, so we hope you'll join us for a celebration of the amazing plants that make fall in the garden such a wonderful time. The dates are Sept 9-11 and Sept 16-18.  We're open 8-5 on Friday and Saturday,  and 1-5pm on Sunday. Fall is also a great time to pick up some new perennials for the wonderful fall planting season.  We're still shipping, but there's nothing quite like picking up your plants in person. The greenhouses are stocked and we've got an incredible array of specimens for you to choose from, and gardening experts to help you make the correct choices. By choosing some of the rarer perennials we have to offer, you are also helping to preserve those species in the face of climate change...a great service! Pick out your favorite spot in the garden and duplicate it at your home. Last chance to enjoy the amazing containerized agave show before they move inside for Read more [...]

Another great muhly grass, Muhlenbergia rigens…a neglected cousin

Deer Grass for sale buy Muhlenbergia rigens

So many gardeners are now growing the wildly popular Muhlenbergia capillaris, they’ve forgot to checkout some of its great relatives.  Here’s one of my favorites, the truly elegant Muhlenbergia rigens (deer muhly) putting on a heckuva show here at JLBG now.  Native from Texas to California, deer muhly tolerates drought well, but not sloppy wet soils.  Winter hardiness should be Zones 6-9.  I hope you like this as much as I do.

Horticultural Bright Lights Symposium

We hope you're making plans to attend the upcoming Horticultural Bright Lights Symposium in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, NC.  The dates are Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24, 2016...830am - 330pm each day You can register here, but don't wait, since we expect a sell out! We've already registered, so we'll hope to see you there!  Did I mention the rare plant auction?  We're also opening the nursery and gardens at Plant Delights/Juniper Level Botanic Garden on Thursday September 22, 8-5, for symposium attendees. This very special symposium features 8 of the top young stars of the horticultural world, all of which will boggle your mind with their knowledge and passion for gardening The incredible speaker lineup includes: *Matthew Pottage is the Curator of the RHS Wisley Gardens, UK.  It says something to be named the youngest curator ever appointed by the Royal Horticultural Read more [...]

Surprise Lily and Butterfly Season

There are few times of year more exciting for us than lycoris (surprise lily) season, and we are right in the midst of that now.  We're also enjoying peak butterfly season at the same time, which is really great since butterflies love to drink surprise lily nectar.  It's hard to put the camera down with so many great photo opportunities, so we thought we'd share one of our favorites from this week...an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Lycoris x rosea. (See more flowers that attract butterflies). See the top 25 flowers that attract butterflies here. Read more [...]

Snackin’ in the garden

Mantis-cicadaIn the dim pre-dawn light, I was making my morning trek to retrieve the morning newspaper, when my attention was pulled to a pain-like screeching coming from the garden.  It wasn’t hard to follow the noise, which turned out to be a hungry praying mantis, squeezing the life from a still struggling cicada, who’d found itself in the wrong place at the wrong time.  There are so many wonderful opportunities in the garden to observe nature if we just slow down and be mindful of each moment.