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 forms. Rohdea 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 the winter. We 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 Society.  Matthew is a 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. 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.

 

Some sage advice…check out these great newly available salvias!

We've trialed many variegated forms of the lovely fall-flowering Salvia leucantha, and the only one we felt was good enough to share is Salvia leucantha 'Eder', which we're pleased to offer this summer/fall for the first time. Where it isn't winter hardy, it can easily be kept indoors in a cool room or porch. I first met the Balkan native, Salvia nutans on a visit to Germany a few years ago and was gobstruck.  How had I missed knowing and growing such amazing plant?  We were able to track down seed, and to our surprise, it thrived even through our hot humid summers. For us, Salvia nutans flowers for several months in spring, but will continue longer if the summers are cooler.  Did I mention how hard it is to photograph due to the abundance of feeding bumblebees? Salvia 'Newe Ya'ar' is an odd name for an odd plant.  This amazing sage was developed in Israel by breeders looking for the perfect culinary sage.  In developing this, they also created a great garden plant Read more [...]

Bird of Paradise Tree and Buffalo Gourd…two little known horticultural oddities

We hope you've received your new Fall 2016 catalog and are enjoying the plants we selected for inclusion. If not, they're all on-line. It's been years since we were able to offer one of our favorite garden plants, the Hardy Bird of Paradise Tree...Caesalpinia gilliesii.  After years of searching, we located a seed source and are thrilled to have it available once again.  We've had this survive 0 degrees F in the past, so it's certainly the hardiest member of an otherwise tropical genus. Another oddity that we're offering for the first time is the US native, Buffalo Gourd, Cucurbita foetidissima.  Who know there was a hardy perennial gourd, native from Wisconsin south Mexico, and west to California.  In addition to having beautiful glaucous blue, sandpapery foliage, the giant yellow flowers, followed by small green and white gourds are equally amazing.  Buffalo Gourd is a desert plant, so no extra irrigation is needed after establishment. As always, we hope you find Read more [...]

Hosta ‘Branching Out’ – a breeding breakthrough

One of the most rewarding parts of our work is being able to introduce a plant we've taken from idea (branched flower scapes) to reality. We are finally able to share our latest creation this week with the introduction of Hosta 'Branching Out'. The first cross in the long road from creation to market took place here in 1989.  A seedling was selected that was later crossed with another 1995 seedling, which was later crossed with a 1999 seedling, which in 2004 was crossed with the blue-leaved Hosta 'Pewterware', after we noticed that both hostas would occasionally produce a single-branched flower scape.  We evaluated the resulting 2004 seedlings for several years before paring down their numbers in the semi-final cut. We were looking for good branching, attractive flowers, and sturdy stems. Once the final selection was made, we watched it for four more years to make sure it consistently branched in the garden, during which time, we also sent it north to evaluate its performance in colder Read more [...]

Carex specialist Pat Fitzgerald visits PDN/JLBG

We were delighted this week to welcome Irish nurseryman/marketer Pat Fitzgerald.  This was the first time we'd met in person, although we've corresponded on-line for years. We had a wonderful time walking through the gardens and sharing our excitement about new plants on the horizon.  Pat is best known for his amazing line of carex that he's developed, with more in the pipeline.  Here are a few you'll see if you visit during our final two Summer Open Nursery and Garden days today (Saturday 8-5), and tomorrow (Sunday 1-5). Pat Fitzgerald           Carex 'Everest' Carex 'Everillo' Carex 'Everlime' Carex 'Eversheen'   Read more [...]