We're members of many plant groups, and each are quite wonderful. One of the groups of which we've been member the longest is the North American Rock Garden Society. We're blessed not only with a great national organization, but also with a superb local chapter.
We were thrilled to host the groups' National Meeting last year in Raleigh. One of the incredible bonuses of membership is access to their incredible seed exchange, where one can get lost in a list of over 3000 rock garden plant seed, donated by members from around the world. These are not plants that are usually found anywhere else, and certainly not in typical seed catalogs. Round two of the 2018 seed exchange will start in a few weeks, so if growing unusual rock garden plants from seed appeals to you, check out the seed exchange and consider becoming a member.
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New Year greetings from the staff at Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Garden. We thank you all from the top of our hearts for another amazing year. As we turn the page on the calendar, 2018 begins our 30th anniversary year…and they said it wouldn’t last. At this time of reflection, we wanted to share on of our favorite verses from poet, William Wordsworth, which can help us all cope better in a world of seeming craziness.
On of the exciting new plants in the 2018 catalog is the first commercial variegated hardy perennial hibiscus. Hibiscus ‘Summer Carnival’ was developed by our friend Hans Hansen. I can still recall the moment I first laid eyes on this beauty…truly love at first sight. The variegation runs up the stem, into the leaves, and even into the flower buds. We hope you enjoy this as much as we do. Mature size is 42″ tall x 5′ wide, and hardiness ranges from Zone 4a-9b.
I’m just back from speaking to the Western NC Master Gardener Symposium…always a great time chatting with MG groups. While in Asheville, I dropped by to finally visit our friends Matt and Tim Nichols…the owners of Mr. Maple mail order nursery in East Flat Rock, NC. It just happened that the PBS show, Growing a Greener World was filming there at the time, which afforded a chance to connect with host Joe Lamp’l, and producer Erica Glasener…a great day!
While Lycoris x squamigera is one of the first surprise lily to flower each summer, Lycoris x caldwellii (Lycoris chinensis x longituba) is one of the last, usually in early to mid September in NC. With the popularity of Lycoris x squamigera in gardens through the upper midwest, it is quite shocking not to find the equally winter hardy Lycoris x caldwellii...especially since it offsets quite fast for a surprise lily. We guess some of the lack of other hardy clones in gardens is that most people purchased mislabeled plants and think they are actually growing Amaryllis belladonna. Unless you garden from Zone 8 south, you are not growing Amaryllis belladonna outdoors. We're doing our best to get these great lycoris spread far and wide. Read more [...]
Foxtrot – “a dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements” – Wikipedia. Pennisetum ‘Foxtrot’ – I’ve long loved this splendid fountain grass, but somehow never managed to remember to stop and take a good photo…until now. We like it so much, we planted a big mass around our new home. These were planted as 1 quart pots in January…yes, we shop here also.
I will admit I originally purchased this from We-Du Nursery co-founder, Dick Weaver for the name, after he shared the story of tromping through the woods near his home in Polly Spout, NC, and spotted what appeared to be a green cow pie. It turned out to be an exceptional form of the native woodland groundcover, Erigeron pulchellus. Figuring a plant named 'Cow Pie' wouldn't sell well to city folks, Dick opted for the name Erigeron 'Meadow Muffin'. We've grown this for nearly 30 years, and as a shade groundcover, it's hard to beat. The semi-evergreen (temperature dependent) rosettes knit closely together, forming a dense mat. In mid-spring, the clump are topped with an incredible show of light pink daisies. We hope you love this as much as we did, and help us keep the story alive. In case you know Dick during his NC nursery days (after retiring as the taxonomist at the Arnold Arboretum) he recently moved from his retirement home in Florida to Pennsylvannia Read more [...]
We were marveling this week at the incredible number of pollinator insects feeding on Sedum 'Dynomite' in the garden. Visitors included honeybees, native bumblebees, dirt daubers, and assorted other wasps...all feasting away as if the buffet was closing.
Gardens can be environmentally healthy and attractive. Fom a different angle, the same plant of Sedum 'Dynomite', combined with Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'. Part of the fun of the garden is creating fun color, texture, and form combinations. Read more [...]
This spring, we introduced a new seed strain of century plant, named Agave 'Durango Fandango'. These arose from a cross made by one of our volunteer agave curators, Mike Papay. Agave flexispina pollen was applied to a hardy selection of Agave schidigera. As with all agave crosses, it takes a while to full evaluate the offspring, but we wanted to share photos of our plants that went into the ground in March 2017 from 1 quart pots. Since both parents mature around 2-3' in width, we expect the same from the offspring, but one of the nice surprises is the stunning red border that becomes more prevalent as it grows. Since both parents are winter hardy in Zone 7b, we expect the same for Agave 'Durango Fandango'. If you want to try this or any of our agave hybrids, remember that the amount of plants available is limited by the seed set from the cross, and there will be no more once those are gone...until one of the offspring flowers, which could take many years. Read more [...]
A laugh a day keeps the doctor away…from our collection of garden/nature cartoons.