Nerd Night in Raleigh

I had a blast last week speaking on horticultural diversity at Raleigh’s Nerd Night…held at the Big Boss Brewery. I’ll admit to being skeptical when committing to speak in an un-air conditioned beer warehouse in late June…an obviously non-horticultural venue. The group of about 125 people…mostly Gen X – millenials was incredibly entheusiatic with great questions that continued well into the night. I hope you’ll check out the Nerd Night events, now held in over 100 cities. Special thanks to NCSU hort grad Alice Hinman of Raleighs’ bee enhancement program, Apiopolis, for the inviation to speak, Eric Self, the Nerd Night organizer, and my college classmate and fellow boomer, Debbie Hamrick for the photos.

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 [...]

UK Travels

Just back from a speaking gig in the UK and wanted to share some images from the trip. While there, we were able to visit the Chelsea Garden Show for the first time, and here are some of the amazing displays of horticultural perfection. Alliums Chrysanthemums Fuchsias Lupines Rebutias Sarracenias Lillies Gladiolus Narcissus   Agapanthus Hellebores - all forced from Ashwood Nurseries And looks who's manning the Ashwood booth...Pine Knot's Dick Tyler! Read more [...]

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. 

See you in Richmond

I’m heading up to Richmond Virginia in a couple of weeks for a Wednesday March 28 presentation on Shade Gardening for the Garden Club of Virginia’s Daffodil Day.  The entire event will take place at the Garden of Virginia’s Kent-Valentine House on East Franklin Street. There are a few available spaces remaining, so please share this with your friends in the area and join us as we talk plants.  To get more details and to register, click here

Food and Gardens

For our open nursery and garden days, we've lined up several of our favorite food trucks, so we don't have folks falling out in the garden from hunger pains. Being an ice cream junkie, I think the all natural local ice cream from Fresh is probably the best I've had anywhere in the world. We hope you'll come see the gardens/nursery and support these great local vendors.  WINTER 2018 OPEN HOUSE FOOD TRUCK SCHEDULE DAY DATE HOURS FOOD TRUCK HOURS ICE CREAM/SHAVE ICE FRI 23-Feb 11AM-SLOW ROUTE BISTRO 11AM-SLOW   SAT 24-Feb 11AM-SLOW FUZZY'S - Empanadas 12PM-SLOW FRESH – Ice Cream SUN 25-Feb   NA 1PM-SLOW   FRI 2-Mar 11AM-SLOW CHIRBA CHIRBA – Asian Dumplings 11AM-SLOW   SAT 3-Mar 11AM-SLOW RARE EARTH FARMS - LOCAL 11AM-SLOW   SUN 4-Mar   NA 1PM-SLOW FRESH – Ice Cream   Read more [...]

The Horticulturist behind Amazon’s Garden Workspace

We couldn't be happier for Raleigh native, and former Plant Delights staffer, Ron Gagliardo, who manages the new Amazon HQ Rainforest. We've known Ron since he was a young teen, tissue-culturing carnivorous plants in his parents home near the State Fairgrounds.  It's so great to see him getting so much recognition in his role as Amazon's "green" celebrity.  Congratulations Ron!  Below are a couple of articles about his amazing work. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/happy-plants-in-the-spotlight-as-luminaries-open-amazons-spheres/ https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amazons-spheres-seattle-office-space/     Read more [...]

Baby it’s cold outside

During our recent cold snap, I haven't been able to get the Rod Stewart/Dolly Parton rendition of "Baby it's Cold Oustide" out of my head.  At least Elwood had the good sense to find the warmest spot in the house...in the dryer on top of a load of warm clothes, while others of us had to venture outside to take care of things in the nursery and garden. So, how cold was it?  Here's what happened to Mystic Falls, when the temperatures don't rise above freezing for 200 straight hours (8+ days).  Raleigh shattered the old record of 157 hours (1982) in a row without topping the freezing mark. We also caught the beginning of the recent bomb cyclone, although we only managed .5" of snow at the nursery and gardens. Our thoughts go out to those further north, who suffered much worse in the storm...including some that had....yes, two feet of snow. It's been an eventful 8 days with a steady diet of greenhouse alarms going on in the middle of the night than we can count. Read more [...]

New for 2018

Where has the year gone? We don't know about you, but our last three months has been spent writing and assembling the 2018 Plant Delights Nursery catalog. After weeks of proofing, it's finally been printed and will go in the mail first of the year. The on-line version should go live this weekend.  As always, there are so many cool new plants that we hope will excite you. The print catalog contains about 535 plants, and another 570 are only listed on-line, so we'll begin the year with just over 1100 plants, with more to follow in the next few months.  We've included a couple of our favorite non-opuntia cactus this year, which we grew from seed. Notocactus apricus has been absolutely splendid for us in the garden for almost two decades and has never shown any damage, despite winter lows in the single digits F. Our offerings are 2 year old seed raised plants from our garden clump. Trichocereus 'Iridescent Watermelon' is only four years old in the garden, but it's a 4 Read more [...]

JC Raulston Arboretum – New Gardens Manager

Congratulations to NC plantsman and friend Doug Ruhren, who was just named the new Gardens Manager for the JC Raulston Arboretum.  Doug has volunteered in the perennial border at the arboretum for nearly 30 years, among full-time stints at Chatwood Camellia Gardens, Montrose, Daniel Stowe Botanic Garden, and the American Camellia Society headquarters.  As an independent garden designer, Doug’s work is only display at other gardens and nurseries around the country.  We look forward to seeing Doug’s transformative gardening/design skills throughout the arboretum’s amazing collections.