Chelsea Gardens

Chelsea is always a sell out, so get your tickets early.   Interesting 3D garden Meatball Garden hmmm   A new use for driftwood Dyslexis hopscotch paving patterns Larger than life cattails Run for the metal roses No one's going to steel this bull Plants that never die Modernist garden A new take on stained glass Crevice fountains Not sure how they did this, but it's pretty amazing.   About face... If it looks like a nymph and moves like a nymph.... Read more [...]

Pearls of Wisdom

Just back from speaking at the wonderful Davidson County Garden Symposium, held in the NC metropolis of Welcome.  It's always an honor to share the stage with on of my idols, the 78 year young topiary artist, Pearl Fryar. In addition to being an incredible topiary artist, Pearl is truly one of the great inspirational thinkers and doers of our generation. If you've never visited Pearl's amazing topiary garden in South Carolina, I hope you can do so while he's still able to greet and chat with visitors. Pearl tells me that recently he hosted a 40 person delegation from China, setting up tents in his garden as they studied his unique style.  If you can't make the trip to Bishopville, SC, you can contribute to the preservation of the garden, and perhaps still catch the inspirational movie, A Man Named Pearl. Pearl and his bride of 51 years, Metra drove up to Welcome in their new smart car...a perfect choice for this young at heart couple.   Read more [...]

Magnolia lovers headed to Raleigh…join us!

  Here's a photo we took in the gardens last year of a new Mangolia insignis hybrid from SC plantsman Kevin Paris, who will be one of many world renown speakers at the upcoming meeting of the International Magnolia Society meeting to be held here in Raleigh, March 23-25. We look forward the amazing lineup of speakers and tours, including here at PDN/JLBG.  This is an intense group of plant nerds from around the world, most of whom are passionate about much more than magnolias.  Below is a note from President Gary Knox about the upcoming registration deadline, and how to sign up.  We hope to see you there. The Feb 9th deadline for registration for the Annual meeting is rapidly approaching.  This is your final reminder to register for the Annual Meeting of Magnolia Society International planned for March 23-25 in North Carolina (please click HERE for details and HERE to link to online registration). Join us in Raleigh during the midst of Spring where you Read more [...]

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.