Need a shave?

In 2011, we introduced Asarum pulchellum ‘The Fuzz’, which is probably the best evergreen ground cover wild ginger we grow.  Sadly, only a few people purchased it.  Is is the excess facial hair that turns folks off?  We’ve love to offer this again, but only if enough folks will purchase it. Below is a photo of it in the garden this week. Hardiness is Zone 7b-9b, at least. We’d be curious to hear from folks who have tried it in a colder zone. 

Find the Silver Lining

Here’s a new image of our 2017 introduction, Asarum ichangense ‘Silver Lining‘ in the garden this week. Our 17 year old patch is nearing 3’ wide…pretty special in the woodland garden. Hardiness is Zone 5b-8a, at least.

Hardy Orchid time – Calanthe

The first of the hardy orchids to flower for us are the Asian calanthes.  These easy-to-grow woodland orchids are simply wonderful…here is Calanthe discolor in our garden this week. Some of our oldest clumps are now several feet across. Hardiness in Zone 6b-9b.

Leaf me alone…after the flowers fade

Long after the flowers of the fall flowering Cyclamen hederifolium fade, the foliage remains amazing all through the winter and into early spring before going dormant. Cyclamen 'Silverado' is one of many seed strains that are high on our favorites list for winter interest in the shade garden. In the midst of the leaves, you'll notice the curly bronze tendrils. After flowering, the developing seed pods are protected by the floral stem, which curls tightly like a spring, where it remains until the seed are ripe, at which point it unfurls like a baseball pitcher from a wind-up, and propels the seed out into the world. We raise our cyclamen here from seed...a two year process.  Hardiness is Zone 4a-8b. Read more [...]

Turn the ground blue

One of our favorite spring-flowering groundcovers is the amazing Laurentia fluvitalis…aka Blue Star Creeper. Here it is in our spring garden providing a lovely color contrast to the surrounding gold foliage plants. Evergreen in warm winter climates, it goes deciduous when winter temps drop below 15F, but bounces right back when spring arrives. Hardiness is Zone 5a-10b. 

Curling with Rohdea ‘Shishi’

Although it might not compete with the riveting, edge-of-your-seat excitement of Olympic curling, we personally find Rohdea ‘Shishi‘ far more interesting. Here’s a photo of our garden patch looking great this week, even after a rough winter. This fascinating woodland specimen is winter hardy in Zones 6a-10b.

Cabbage Patch Kids

Most gardeners think vegetables when crucifers (brocolli, kale, cabbage, etc.) come to mind, while lawn afficinados, think weedy bittercress, and lab researchers think arabadopsis (the horticultural guinea pig). It's hard to imagine, but these are all members of the giant crucifer family, Brassicaceae.  The family also includes many ornamental garden plants, of which we are particularly enamoured with our native cardamines. Before the DNA crowd got hold of these, there were actually two distinct genera, which we still acknowledge, cardamine and dentaria (toothworts). All are spring woodland ephemerals, meaning they flower in winter, and are dormant by May. We've made a number of special selections from travels in the Eastern half of the country, some of which we've introduced, and several still in trials. Below are a few that we think are exceptional including some of our garden seedlings.   Cardamine bulbosa 'Show Showers' is the most amazing selection of our native Read more [...]