Join the flocks and bedazzled.

Here are a couple of favorites from our trials that will be included in our new catalog to be launched January 1. These are the Bedazzled series of Phlox, created by plantsman Hans Hansen, using our native Phlox bifida. Last year, these started flowering for us in late January and continued into April. In the ground, our clumps are only 4″ tall and 2′ wide. These are much more dense that typical Phlox bifida, and much more compact than Phlox subulata. Even before flowering, the evergreen foliage is pristine all winter. The first is ‘Bedazzled Lavender’ and the second is ‘Bedazzled Pink’. 

Cast Iron Tough

Now that winter is giving us a sneak preview of what's in store for the next few months,  the evergreen plants in the garden are really starting to shine without all those pesky deciduous perennials. Aspidistra, or cast iron plants, are one of our favorites, and they really look so good in the garden now. Many folks in more northern climates are relegated to container culture, but for those of us in Zone 7b and south, they are amazing perennials.  Aspidistra ebianensis 'Flowing Fountains' should be in all shade gardens where the climate allows. He's our nine year old clump this month, now 2' tall x 6' wide. Aspidistra retusa 'Nanjing Green' is a smaller clump with a different form. And here is a photo of Aspidistra elatior 'Asahi' from the garden last week.  We've also grown quite a few aspidistra from seed to see what kind of new forms might arise. Below are some photos of some of our 2 year old offspring. Like hostas, variegation in aspidistra arises from Read more [...]

Hit gold with Solomon’s Seal

Several of the Solomon’s Seals age gracefully, but we’re usually too busy writing catalog copy to get photos. This year, we happened to catch Polygonatum infundiflorum ‘Lemon Seoul’ all lit up in its fall fines. 

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.

Growing Pitcher Plants in Containers

In early summer of 2016, after my first couple of months working at Plant Delights Nursery, I bought my first pitcher plant, Sarracenia 'Hurricane Creek White'. After reading the article Introduction to Sarracenia - The Carnivorous Pitcher Plant on PDN's website, I followed the simple instructions on growing pitcher plants in containers. I selected a decorative frost proof container that was equivalent to, or maybe a little larger than a 3gal container. I used sphagnum peat moss, as recommended, for the potting mix. The sphagnum peat moss is very dry and almost powdery when it comes out of the bag. Put the peat moss in a bucket and add water. Mix well, and allow the peat to soak up the water until it is no longer powdery and is more a spongy consistency. Now you are ready to plant. I started off with one of our 3.5" pitcher plants, which had one to two growing points and four to six pitchers, much like the plant pictured here. Fill your decorative container Read more [...]

Agave Mountain Man – the big moment

We posted this a few weeks ago as our Agave 'Mountain Man' (A. gentryi x montana) prepared to open. We'll, the big moment is here...below are a few shot from today. The seed were wild-collected in Mexico in the late 1990s by our friends at Yucca Do, and our seedling was planted in May 2000, so it took 17 years to flower.  Fingers crossed for good seed set, and fortunately we have many more agaves in flower (and a tall ladder) to help the process.  Read more [...]

Reproduction in the Garden today

From the flora side of the garden, the lovely sacred lily, Rohdea japonica is flowering today.  Our bet is that many folks have never slowed down long enough to actually see a rohdea flower, but if you look close, you’ll see the pollen is ready for hybridizing.

Representing the garden fauna, we are loaded to gills will Kildeer this year.  One nest of five has already hatched and squawking incessantly, but two more mothers including this one have a secure space in our parking lot.  Of course, our fox family has also been keeping a close eye out for the blessed event.

 

A View from the top – Agave flowering soon

Look what showed up in the garden.  Our specimen of Agave ‘Mountain Man’…a hybrid of Agave montana and Agave gentryi decidied to flower for our spring open nursery and garden.  This unusual hybrid starts its flower spike in the fall, which stops for the coldest part of winter, then starts growing again in spring.  The spike showed no damage despite a winter low of 13 degrees F.  Be sure to check this out when you visit…located just behind the welcome tent. 

Competition Gardening – Let the Judging Begin!

Everyone appreciates the beauty of nature, and as gardener's we are especially proud and excited as the gems in our garden begin to display their glory and grandeur. During the first weekend of our Spring Open Nursery and Garden Days, April 28-30, Plant Delights Nursery is excited to host "Rainbows in the Garden", an accredited iris show, presented by the Eastern NC Chapter of The American Iris Society. This accredited show is being held and judged under the rules and regulations of The American Iris Society. The show is free to the public and entry submissions are open to all. Entries must be a named variety of tall, intermediate or dwarf bearded iris, Siberian, Louisiana, or other beardless iris. All rules and regulations can be found here Entries will be received from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 28, 2017 at Plant Delights Nursery, 9241 Sauls Rd., Raleigh, NC 27603. Judging begins at 10:30 a.m. and the show opens to the public at noon. The exhibit will remain Read more [...]

Baptisias: Great American Natives!

Baptisias, commonly known as false indigo, are North American native members of the pea family and quite drought tolerant once established. They provide amazing architectural form in a sunny garden or perennial border, and are deer-resistant and a butterfly magnet (See the top 25 flowers that attract butterflies here.). Not only do baptisia come in blue, which many people are familiar with in the most common species, B. australis, but they are also available in a wide array of colors such as white, yellow, purple, and pink, and new breeding efforts are producing bicolor flowers such as those of Lunar Eclipse. Baptisias have long been one of our favorite groups of sun perennials here at PDN. Through our trials of new varieties introduced  to the market, as well as our own breeding program, we continue to select for improved structure and habit as well as flower color. In 2017, we have introduced 2 new varieties in our Tower Series, Yellow Towers and Ivory Towers. These Read more [...]