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.

A new redbud to cultivation

Since redbuds were a favorite plant of the late J.C. Raulston, and a feature of the garden that bears his name, I assumed that I had seen or grown all of the known species. Boy was I wrong, as I learned from Scott McMahon, Manager of International Plant Explorations for the Atlanta Botanical Garden on a recent trip to Georgia. Cercis chuniana, which Scott brought in from China, is one of two species of redbuds with pendant racemes of flowers. The other is Cercis racemosa, which we've grown in our gardens since 1995. The foliage of C. chuniana is glaucous and quite unique, along with the flowers emerge white and age to pink. We look forward to this amazing new plant eventually becoming available to the public. Read more [...]

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 [...]

Spring Open Nursery & Garden is Just Around the Corner

It's hard to believe that spring open nursery and garden days is almost here. Spring is always a busy time of year and our nursery and garden staff have been working tirelessly making sure the gardens are in prime condition and our sales houses are brimming with beautiful plants. Take advantage of shopping our sales houses for many unique and rare perennials, many exclusively available at Plant Delights Nursery. We are offering nearly 20 varieties of Baptisia this year, more than you will find at most garden centers. Many are from our own breeding program at Juniper Level Botanic Garden and include two 2019 introductions you will find no where else. Join Tony, Friday, May 3 at 10am for a stroll through the gardens as he discusses baptisias, part of our Gardening Unplugged garden chat series. Baptisia Bletilla - Hardy Orchids The hardy orchids also look amazing this year, with seven different bletilla and over 30 varieties of ladyslippers and calanthe available, you are sure 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 [...]