Second round of snow

Sno Kiddin'...We average just over 5" of snow each winter, and after yesterday, we're hoping to turn off the snow faucet for the year. Predictions for our region were dramatically underestimated, and while we only received 5" of snow at the nursery, nearby  locations registered 12"+ accumulations. Here are a few images from the gardens. Nothing quite like being snowed in...my favorite time to browse on-line mail order catalogs.  At least, in a couple of days, we should be back in the 60s, so no more 200 straight hours below freezing..   Read more [...]

A new variegated daylily, Hemerocallis ‘Striped Fantastic’

Although we love daylilies, we don't offer a large list, opting only for very special selections that should be better known.  Such is the case with Hemerocallis 'Striped Fantastic', one of only three stable variegated daylilies, and the first tetraploid. Due to its slow rate of increase, it's taken 11 year for this worldwide release to happen. Hemerocallis 'Striped Fantastic' was named by retired daylily breeder, Steve Brigham of the former Cordon Blue Daylilies. We'd grow this even if it never flowered.  The lovely flowers are a true bonus, passing by far the other two variegated daylilies on the market. These images are from our garden here at Juniper Level last summer.  Read more [...]

Two great native Eryngiums…unknown, but not for long

Since we have a passion for native plants, we constantly seek out both new species and new selections that simply aren't widely known.  Eryngium aquaticum var. ravenelii is one of those plants that leave us asking why it isn't grown more.  Unlike most of the perennial native eryngiums that have green flowers, this one has bluish flowers that rival the European species. This well-behaved Southeast US native species has thrived in our garden. Another eryngium that's near and dear to our hearts is our 2006 introduction, Eryngium yuccifolium 'Kershaw Blue'.  Most Eryngium yuccifolium forms we've grown have narrow green leaves, and while nice, they can't compare with the ornamental value of this wide leaf, silver blue selection.  Read more [...]

Psoralea…not a skin disease

Be honest now…how many of you have grown psoralea in your garden?  Psoralea is an odd little baptisia cousin that’s ignored by all the gardening books, as well as most recommended native plant lists. Here is our clump of Psoralea psoralioides in the garden this past June…pretty amazing for a perennial native from Illinois south to the Gulf Coast. We hope you’ll give this waif a home in your garden. 

New dianthus…take a sniff

We love dianthus (hardy carnations), both for their evergreen foliage, drought tolerance, and deliciously fragrant flowers. Getting dianthus to flower is easy, it just that soon after flowering, most succumb to our hot, humid summers. Consequently, we celebrate when a new dianthus not only survives, but thrives. The latest trial subjects to sail through our weather extremes test are two new Walters Gardens introductions.  Here is Dianthus 'Marashino' growing in our rock garden surrounded by agaves and cactus. For us, flowering starts around mid-April Not far away, here is Dianthus 'Sweetie Pie' with so many flowers that they almost obscure the silver grey foliage. We hope you like these as much as we do. Read more [...]

Epimedium ‘Peachie’…a real peach

We are thrilled to finally introduce our latest fairy wing from our breeding work here at PDN/JLBG.  Epimedium ‘Peachie‘ is a 2010 Plant Delights seedling that has been absolutely stellar in our trials, both for the unique peach flower color and for the sheer density of flowers. We hope you will enjoy this in your garden as much as we do. 

Mad about Mangave Redux

Plantsman Hans Hansen spends much of his time on a ladder, since that's required when you breed plants with ridiculously tall flower spikes like Agaves and Manfredas. We continue to be amazed at the dazzling array of bi-generic Mangaves that he and his staff have created. You can follow Hans' mangave work on the "Mad about Mangave" facebook page. In the meantime, here are a few new mangaves we've introduced for 2018. Mangave 'Crazy Cowlick'...a hybrid with the cow tongue century plant, Agave borvicornuta Mangave 'Dreadlocks' - really love this one for the crazy wavy leaves. Mangave 'Electric Cheetah'...looks like something out of Star Wars film. Mangave 'Iron Man' has blood from the high elevation Agave montana, so there's a possibility it could be winter hardy for us here in Zone 7b. We've actually offered Mangave 'Kaleidoscope' before, but it sold out almost immediately...glad to finally have another crop ready.   Mangave 'Navajo Princess' Read more [...]

Killer Whale Century Plant

We received our first plant of the solitary-growing Agave ovatifolia 'Killer', after it was first created by our friend Hans Hansen in 2009. As you can imagine, propagating a non-offsetting century plant like the whale tongue agave isn't an easy task. By sacrificing the beauty of the original plant and drilling out the central core, we forced it to offset, by destroying the plants' auxin transmission system. If we make the cut exactly right and don't kill the original, 1 plant becomes 3-5 plants. After those plants grow large enough, we repeat the process as we've done for the last 8 years in order to finally bring this to market.  Agave 'Killer' has a unique flecked central green pattern surrounded by a chartreuse golden border...unlike any other agave that we've seen. We hope collectors enjoy the fruits of our years of agave torture.  Read more [...]

More cool baptisias

If you've followed us for a while, you know our passion for the North American native baptisia. Our breeding program is over two decades old now, and we are thrilled to introduce our latest selections. Baptisia 'Blue Candleabra' is a 2008 seedling that produces an insane number of spikes with a great flower density. Baptisia 'Cinnamon Candles' is a 2007 seedling, that we love for the bicolor flowers and incredible vigor. Baptisia 'First Blush' closeup Baptisia 'First Blush' is a 2004 seedling that emerges with lovely charcoal stems and produces a large number of spike of soft pink flowers. Baptisias thrive in both desert conditions and grown as a marginal aquatic...that's amazing adaptibility! Read more [...]

Cast iron and stunning

We never seem to have enough of our most popular variegated cast iron plants, so we've held back stock to try and rebuild our numbers.  We are finally able to again list three customer favorites...all in the same year. The foliage color on each is the most brilliant when the new leaves emerge in summer, and the color holds beautiful through the winter. All of these images were taken in the gardens here at Juniper Level. Aspidistra elatior 'Sekko Kan' (above) Aspidistra elatior 'Snow Cap' (above) Aspidistra elatior 'Ashai' (above) Read more [...]