White-spotted leopard

Recently took this photo of the amazing white-spotted leopard plant, Farfugium ‘Kaimon Dake’…so glad to have this back in stock finally!

Now you can have your very own white-spotted leopard!

Stephanotis kissin’ cousin

Cynanchum ascyrifolium is first cousin to the popular wedding flower, stephanotis. Despite it’s ease of growth in the garden, and hardiness to Minnesota, it’s always been a poor seller. We wanted to share the photo of our 2′ tall x 3′ wide clump taken last week in the garden. We could be persuaded to propagate again…if enough of you show an interest.

Kale by the Sea

We’re now 2 years into our first successful attempt at growing the European Sea Kale, and have just finished our first flowering season. They key to success with Crambe maritima seems to be growing it hot and dry, since it resides in our gravel crevice garden. How cool is it to have a plants that is both ornamental and edible!

Arbor Day – Look to the Canopy

Happy Arbor Day! As we all move hurriedly through life, focusing on what is directly in front of us, take a moment and look to the canopy. Raise your gaze and be more aware of your total surroundings. Blooms overhead, the architecture and structure of nature...our place and purpose in this natural world. Aesculus 'Briottii' Pinus taeda 'Nana' Trachycarpus fortunei Taylor form Yucca treculeana var. canaliculata 'Sasquatch' Read more [...]

Do You Know Your Neighbors

There are many great garden-worthy native plants that are under utilized, not readily available, or not even on the radar of many gardeners. If you aren't familiar with, or haven't grown these native beauties, you should get acquainted! Erigeron is native to all states East of the Mississippi and forms flat evergreen rosettes that are slowly stoloniferous and form a tight mat. In spring, the rosettes are topped with 10" stalks of light pink daisies. Average-to-dry garden soils in light shade is perfect. Erigeron pulchellus 'Meadow Muffin' Carex radiata is found in eastern North America from Canada to Alabama. 'Halifax' is a fine-textured selection we encountered while hiking in Halifax Co., NC. The evergreen 8" x 8" mound is a stunning textural addition to the woodland garden and is a great contrast to bold textured woodland plants such as hostas and hellebores. Carex radiata 'Halifax' Engelmannia peristenia is a monotypic genus (only one species) that has proven ridiculously Read more [...]

Hardy Agave for Your Garden

There are many agave that are hardy in our Zone 7b garden that many people would not think would live here. The key to successfully growing agaves is proper siting, planting, and culture. These are pictures taken this week of agaves in the garden. Join us May 4, 2019 at 2:00pm for our Gardening Unplugged garden chat on Hardy Agave for the Garden, during our Spring Open Nursery & Garden Days. Agave ovatifolia 'Vanzie' Agave lophantha 'Splendida' Agave salmiana 'Green Goblet' Agave victoria-reginae Papay Giant form Agave x pseudoferox Read more [...]

Urbanite Crevice Garden

If you haven't been out lately, the last section of our crevice garden along the exit drive is nearly finished and being planted as we speak. Previous sections are starting to fill in nicely and really shining this spring. Be sure to visit during our upcoming 2019 Spring Open Nursery & Garden Days, May 3-5 & 10-12, and get inspiration for your own crevice or rock garden. Read more [...]

Seeds of Change

At Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Garden we grow a number of our plants from seed. While many plants will come pretty true to type from seed, there is always the element of genetics and genetic diversity, just as in humans. We are always on the look out for these genetic variations and the next great garden worth plant. Below is a planting of 3 Alyssum argenteum that were grown from seed received from Jelitto Perennial Seed. All planted at the same time and same conditions, side by side, you can see the plant to the far left is already in flower, the middle plant is just starting to bud, and the far right is denser and more compact in its growth habit. Alyssum argenteum - Jelitto form Below is another seed grown crop of Alyssum saxatile 'Sulphureum' and you can see the variation of flower color from a creamy, buttery yellow to a bright golden yellow. So we are always excited about growing crops from seed and discovering the variations nature has in store. Alyssum Read more [...]

But, they don’t grow here

We have long admired the Aril iris, a group of dry-land species, mostly from Middle Eastern countries, which are renown for their ability to die quickly in wet, humid-summer climates.  Well, armed with our new crevice garden, we decided it was time to try our hand at these once more, focusing on what is known as Arilbred iris...aril species that have been crossed with more typical bearded iris. In our case, we focused on the 50/50 hybrids, which the vendor assured us would not have any chance in our climate. 

Despite our wettest year on record, here we are, 20 months after planting without a single loss. Here are a couple of photos from last spring, as we await the 2019 show (two center photos) just a few weeks away.  The crevice garden should look amazing for our Spring Open Nursery and Garden days...we hope you'll come visit. The lesson...don't believe anything you're told unless you verify it yourself. 

If you're interested in learning more, visit our friends at Read more [...]

Lies, Damn Lies, and Plant Labels

We just snapped this photo of Lemon Thread Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Lemon Thread') in the gardens here at Juniper Level, and wanted to share since it illustrates our constant rants about trusting nurseries, plant tags, and websites to give accurate mature sizes. For a woody plant, our typical advice is to triple any size you are given. So, we wanted to see how that advice would work with the plant below.

Lemon Thread cypress was discovered in the mid 1980s as a sport at Oregon's Mitsch Nurseries, so it's a relative newcomer as plants go. Our 20 year old specimen is planted in compost-amended sandy loam without any chemical fertilizers ever. We should also add that we don't believe in shearing plants, which we find a waste of energy as well as a middle finger to natures's beauty. Our specimen now measures 25' tall x 15' wide.

We then searched the web for Lemon Thread Cypress and recorded the sizes from the top 30 sites that came up in Google...see notes below the photo.  Sizes Read more [...]