Growing Pitcher Plants in Containers

In early summer of 2016, after my first couple of months working at Plant Delights Nursery, I bought my first pitcher plant, Sarracenia 'Hurricane Creek White'. After reading the article Introduction to Sarracenia - The Carnivorous Pitcher Plant on PDN's website, I followed the simple instructions on growing pitcher plants in containers. I selected a decorative frost proof container that was equivalent to, or maybe a little larger than a 3gal container. I used sphagnum peat moss, as recommended, for the potting mix. The sphagnum peat moss is very dry and almost powdery when it comes out of the bag. Put the peat moss in a bucket and add water. Mix well, and allow the peat to soak up the water until it is no longer powdery and is more a spongy consistency. Now you are ready to plant. I started off with one of our 3.5" pitcher plants, which had one to two growing points and four to six pitchers, much like the plant pictured here. Fill your decorative container Read more [...]

More highlights from Denver

Kelly Grummons is a long-time cactiphyle and cactus breeder.  Kelly was a part of Timberline Gardens in Denver until it closed recently to make way for development.  For now, he's running his mail order cactus nursery from his home.  Many of the cool opuntias in our garden came from Kelly.  Kelly's home garden More cool plants I don't normally look at turf in a plantsman's garden, but I was struck by his beautiful lawn....and without irrigation.  Several decades ago, this bermudagrass hybrid, Cynodon dactylon x Cynodon transvaalensis was discovered in a Denver garden, brought into the US over fifty years ago, by a worker stationed in Africa.  Recently introduced as DogTuff grass, it thrives, once established, without irrigation in the high mountain deserts of Denver.  Additionally, the spread rate is dramatically less than the more invasive bermudagrass of which most gardeners hate.  The hybrid is sterile, so must be planted Read more [...]

On the road, again

Just back from the Perennial Plant Association Symposium, held this year in Denver. The annual meeting, designed for garden professionals, includes plenty of tours and talks.  The meeting attracts garden designers, garden workers, garden writers & speakers, nursery growers, retailers, and perennial plant lovers from around the world. It's a great chance to meet and chat with just about anyone you've ever heard, who works with perennials.  (Front, right with the backpack is Joseph Tychonievich, who wrote the new book, Rock Gardening; Reimagining a Classic Style.  Did I mention that next years' PPA will be in Raleigh/Durham, NC from July 30-August 3.  I'm sure you don't want to miss such an amazing opportunity!  The amazing Denver Botanic Garden was our dinner site, what an amazing place to stroll and learn. Denver Botanic Garden is one of the premier gardens in the US, combining incredible design with an incomparable collection of rare and little-known Read more [...]

Container Gardening – Thrillers, Spillers, and Fillers!

Container gardening is continuing to grow in popularity as more people move into urban areas, where there are space limitations, and fewer people owning their own home. There is also the factor of time limitations with people's busy lives. Container gardening allows you to incorporate the pleasure and beauty of growing plants into your daily life. Containers are great on patios, balconies, window boxes, and rooftops, and the combinations are endless, fitting into any environment, and allowing for expression of your personal taste and style. When planning your container, you want to keep in mind how the container is going to look throughout the season. You should take lighting into consideration and pair plants with similar light requirements, as well as similar water requirements. As far as aesthetics, you should consider color combinations and how they fit your personal taste and the surrounding design, whether using a coordinated color palette, or contrasting Read more [...]

Fall is a Great Time for Planting!!

Fall is a great time for gardening.  With cooler weather there is less transpiration and water stress on the plants. Also, even though the top of the plant may be dormant, the roots are still growing.  This gives the plants a chance to establish a good foundation over the winter and a head-start going into spring. Speaking of a good foundation, a healthy garden starts with good soil preparation. Soil care is essential in avoiding plant stress and subsequent pest problems. Join us next Saturday, November 12 from 10-noon for an interactive lecture that will cover nutrient balance, soil test reports, how to incorporate organics, taking care of microbes, and an array of misconceptions regarding planting techniques. If you have soil test reports, be sure to bring them with you. Another perk to attending next weeks soil class, is afterwards you can shop our sales houses, taking advantage of our Fall Overstock 20% off sale and go home with lots of unique plants. Here is just Read more [...]

Hosta parentage

Thanks for the great feedback on the hosta image.  Since most folks don’t have experience in plant breeding, we thought it might be interesting to share the crosses and parents involved to get to this point.  Our Hosta is PDN#10-004 and is a cross of PDN07-0793  x ((PDN05-156 x PDN04-180) (kikutii x ‘Gemstone’ (venusta ‘Minima’ x ‘Dorset Blue’) (longipes ‘Tardiflora’ x sieboldiana) x (venusta ‘Minima’ x self)) x PDN07-0100 ((‘Faith’ (‘Evening Magic’ (montana gold x sieboldiana) x ‘Big Daddy’ (‘Fortunei Robusta’) x PDN04-182) (kikutii x ‘Gemstone’) venusta ‘Minima’ x ‘Dorset Blue’ (longipes ‘Tardiflora x sieboldiana) x ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ (Blue Cadet sport))  So, the species included in creating this are Hosta venusta, sieboldiana, kikutii, longipes, and montana.

Disjunct genera research

Although many folks only know us for our commercial division, Plant Delights Nursery, it is our research division, Juniper Level Botanic Garden that is the most important.  Our collections now top 22,000 taxa, making JLBG one of the most significant plant collections in the country.  We spent last Friday with Dr. Jenny Xiang of NC State University, her lab manager, and two graduate students taking samples of plants needed for her research into continentally disjunct plant genera.  In other words, what happened when the ancient continent of Pangaea split and some members of a genus (i.e. Asarum, Arisaema, Croomia) got caught on each side of the split. How did they evolve after being separated?  Plant samples were carefully taken for genetic testing in China, and immediately dipped into liquid Nitrogen for preservation.  We are thrilled that we had quite a number of relatively obscure plants that were important to the research.  Remember that 10% of all plant purchases at Plant Read more [...]

Garden Photography – Photo Capture and Processing Workshop

Anita and I are always looking for ways to improve our photography skills since capturing the essence of a garden in a photograph can be a challenge with all the variables that mix to create a satisfying image. Practice is one of the keys to improvement and so is learning techniques from garden photography professionals. We invite you to join us in October as we learn from one of our favorite professionals, Josh Taylor. Here’s a photography tip Josh sent us and we want to share: “The best time to photograph a garden is in the early morning or late afternoon and after a rain, in fog, or with snow. After a rainfall, garden foliage and flowers look fresh and vibrant and stonework glows. Avoid mid-day, when the sun is overhead. Overcast days work well too, but keep the bright, featureless sky out of the picture.”   If you’re looking to improve your skills in photography as we are, please join us Saturday, October 11, 2014, from 8am – 4pm, when Josh will be leading Read more [...]

PDN Garden Photography Workshop with Master Photographer Josh Taylor

May 3, 2014 from 8a–4p at Plant Delights Nursery and JLBG – Education Center 9241 Sauls Road, Raleigh, NC 27603 Registration is required. Click here to Register. Calling all photographers! No matter your level of skill and expertise, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn and improve your garden and landscaping photography skills at the feet of the master. Josh Taylor is coming to the Garden and Nursery to present this Workshop! Find out more about Josh’s very impressive credentials on his website. Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Garden are thrilled to host this Photography Workshop opportunity with someone of Josh’s caliber teaching us, using hands-on techniques and instruction, how to capture beautiful garden images. This is a small class to allow for individual attention so there are only 15 seats available. Don’t miss this opportunity! Josh has presented photography workshops at the Smithsonian National Orchid Show, U.S. National Arboretum, U.S. Read more [...]