Flowering Pitchers

Although most folks grow our native pitcher plants for the foliage (pitchers), we think the flowers are pretty darn incredible.  Here are a couple of the earliest flowers species from the garden yesterday. 

Sarracenia flava putting on an incredible show.

The lovely pink-flowered Sarracenia rosea stays close to the ground, but what a color.

Amsonia ‘Storm Cloud’ before and after

Last year, we introduced Amsonia ‘Storm Cloud‘ in conjunction with our friend Hans Hansen of Walters Gardens. Above is the same plant when we discovered by a stream, growing in deep shade in Central Alabama. What a star it has become, evidenced by the photo below.

Amsonia ‘Storm Cloud’ @ Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Plant Geek Visitors

Another great weekend in the garden, highlighted by a visit from several of our extended plant family…Carl Schoenfeld and Wade Roitsch of the former Yucca Do, Hans Hansen of Walters Gardens (back), and yours truly on the right. It’s been about seven years since we were able able to get together.  Carl is raising cattle (and plants) at his ranch in Argentina, and Wade is doing the same in Texas. Thanks to John Walters for snapping the photo. 

Double Your Pleasure

Flowering in the woodland garden this week is the diminutive Anemonella ‘Schoaf’s Double’…so very cute. Hardiness is Zone 4a-8b. 

We’re also working with a new double form that our research horticulturist, Jeremy Schmidt found on a botanizing trip in Tennessee. Here it is this week in the garden. 

Sweet as a Candy Striper

Epimedium ‘Candy Striper’ is our 2011 introduction, but it took us this long to take a decent photo. Epimediums are particularly challenging to photograph since they don’t hold all their flowers in a single plane. So, would anyone buy it based on this image?  If so, we’d love to offer it again.  Hardiness Zone 5a-8b.

Here’s a new image of Epimedium ‘Domino’ from the garden this week…isn’t that amazing! You can’t go wrong with this gem.

Need a shave?

In 2011, we introduced Asarum pulchellum ‘The Fuzz’, which is probably the best evergreen ground cover wild ginger we grow.  Sadly, only a few people purchased it.  Is is the excess facial hair that turns folks off?  We’ve love to offer this again, but only if enough folks will purchase it. Below is a photo of it in the garden this week. Hardiness is Zone 7b-9b, at least. We’d be curious to hear from folks who have tried it in a colder zone. 

Find the Silver Lining

Here’s a new image of our 2017 introduction, Asarum ichangense ‘Silver Lining‘ in the garden this week. Our 17 year old patch is nearing 3’ wide…pretty special in the woodland garden. Hardiness is Zone 5b-8a, at least.

Hardy Orchid time – Calanthe

The first of the hardy orchids to flower for us are the Asian calanthes.  These easy-to-grow woodland orchids are simply wonderful…here is Calanthe discolor in our garden this week. Some of our oldest clumps are now several feet across. Hardiness in Zone 6b-9b.

Leaf me alone…after the flowers fade

Long after the flowers of the fall flowering Cyclamen hederifolium fade, the foliage remains amazing all through the winter and into early spring before going dormant. Cyclamen 'Silverado' is one of many seed strains that are high on our favorites list for winter interest in the shade garden. In the midst of the leaves, you'll notice the curly bronze tendrils. After flowering, the developing seed pods are protected by the floral stem, which curls tightly like a spring, where it remains until the seed are ripe, at which point it unfurls like a baseball pitcher from a wind-up, and propels the seed out into the world. We raise our cyclamen here from seed...a two year process.  Hardiness is Zone 4a-8b. Read more [...]