Coum to Papa

One of many real joys in the winter garden are the hardy cyclamen. We can count on the wonderful Cyclamen coum to be in peak flower for our annual winter Open Nursery and Garden Days, starting in late February.  Here is a clump of Cyclamen coum ‘Maurice Dryden’ in flower currently, growing underneath a large evergreen holly. 

Cardamine crazy

Look what’s in full flower now in the winter garden!.  This dazzling spring ephemeral, Cardamine quinquefolia, is just off the charts amazing for the light shade woodland garden. It has formed a stunning 3′ wide patch in four years in our Zone 7b garden. Hardiness is Zone 6a-8b. 

Winter gardens at JLBG

In case you missed visiting us at our Winter Open Nursery and Garden, our spring event is coming soon…the first two weekends in May.  Here are a few images of the garden in winter that you missed by not visiting!

   

New discovery – treasure or trash?

We field quite a few calls each year from folks who think they've just found the next million dollar plant and want to know how to monetize their discovery. Sadly, it's not as easy as it sounds. Take our latest discovery above...a nearly albino form of the hardy orchid, Bletilla striata that popped up here in our propagation department. Despite it looking amazing, does it really have value? Since it is a near albino, growth will be very slow due to a lack of chlorophyll, so that rules it out immediately for quantity production. Will the next division also be equally as variegated or will it go back to green?  The answer is...we don't know. The question then becomes how many people would purchase it, knowing it's going to be difficult to grow and it may never multiply or could revert to green? In cases like this, a venue like EBay could be the best opportunity to match it with someone willing to take a chance. Each plant is different...so what do you think we should Read more [...]

Raining in Winter Open Nursery & Garden

Day 2 of our Winter Open Nursery & Garden Days... Rain or Shine! Our expert  staff are in the gardens and sales area to answer all your gardening questions. Be sure to join us today at 10am for our free Gardening Unplugged Garden Chat series where our Grounds and Research supervisor, Jeremy Schmidt, will be discussing Berm Gardening, and at 2pm Amanda Wilkins, JLBG Garden Curator, explores what's in a plant name and fascinating botanical trivia. In keeping with the damp, cool, New England-like weather....Cousins Maine Lobster food truck will be here today from 11am-2pm.      Read more [...]

Skirt-lifting time in the woods

While we'll always grow the woodland asarum (wild gingers) for their foliage, we are equally as entranced by their flowers which occur from fall thru spring...based on the species. The only months we haven't recorded asarum flowers in the garden are June-September.  One of our first time offerings this year is a selection we made of the Japanese Asarum kurosawae that we named Asarum 'Saddleback'. (Zone 7a-8b, at least)In late winter, we remove the old foliage in the center of the clump so that we can enjoy the flowers as you can see below.  Most of our asarums start as single divisions, and after 3-4 years, we divide them for the first time, resulting in 5-10 plants.  A second division 3-4 years later yields another 5-10 plants each, for a total of 25-100 plants. A third division is required 3-4 years later to finally have enough to offer. So, from start to commercialization is usually 9-12 years of production time. Tony demonstrates how to divide asarum Read more [...]

Flaccid hemiboea

Back in 2013, we introduced what we thought would be a great seller for folks with a shade garden…another fall-flowering hardy gesneriad, Hemiboea flaccida. Sales were a resounding thud! So, we’re curious why, when it attracts the attention of seemingly every garden visitor during the fall season. The foliage feels like crush velvet, it’s easy to grow, and flowers in the fall, when little else is blooming in the woodland garden.  We’re befuddled. 

Fatsia world

We have long been enamored with all plants in the aralia family, in particular those which are winter hardy in our climate. We're trying to collect as many forms of Fatsia japonica as possible, and here are a few from the garden this fall. None of these are available yet, but propagation will be starting soon. Fatsia japonica 'Moseri' - this clone is very popular in Europe, but is rarely seen in  US gardens. Reportedly, it's much more winter hardy than the typical seed-grown material that is produced in Florida. Our plant sailed through last years' bitter winter. This is a fascinating, still un-named clone from the US National Arboretum, where it has endured winter temperatures well below zero. In addition to its winter hardiness, we love the ruffled foliage. Now, we just need a good name. This is a form shared by plantsman Dan Hinkley, when we visited him a few years ago. The thick glossy leaves are very different from anything we've seen. Fatsia polycarpa Read more [...]

Falling for selaginella

We have long loved the amazing selaginellas, but in the fall and winter, the evergreen native Selaginella apoda looks absolutely fabulous. Here it is in the garden, 1st image is in November, 2nd image February, carpeting the ground with a touch-worthy texture.  It's only been known since 1753...surely you've managed to grow one by now!   If you're looking for something taller, the Chinese Selaginella braunii also looks great in the fall and tops out around 1' tall. A few years ago, we were browsing in one of the box stores, and spotted this variegated Selaginella braunii, which came home with us. So far, we haven't been able to get the variegation to be stable enough to offer.  Read more [...]