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.
This lovely male Imperial Moth showed up on the window by our main nursery entrance this week and has stayed put for several days…we’re enjoying his splendor.
It's especially sad for us to announce the all too early passing of former PDN'er Hunter Stubbs, 47, who passed away this weekend from brain cancer. Hunter was a star student of the late Dr. JC Raulston, and an amazing worker for us, before he moved to Asheville, and became a household name in the landscape community. Hunter's first job there was as landscape manager for Richmond Hill Inn, and his incredible passion for plants led him to start a horticulture symposium there, for which he enticed Dan Hinkley and I to speak on the same program. Hunter went on to become part-owner of the BB Barnes Landscape Division. Like JC Raulston, Hunter almost seemed bigger than life...always smiling, and always positive. Even at the NC Nursery Show this January, you would have been hard pressed to know anything was wrong. Hunter is survived by his wife Carla, and two children, Hayden and Carson. Life well lived, my friend. Read more [...]
I had the wonderful opportunity recently to spend the day with NC State plant breeder, Dr. Dennis Werner in his extensive redbud breeding plots. So far, four redbuds have been named and released, including Cercis 'Ruby Falls' (weeping purple leaf), Cercis 'Whitewater' (weeping variegated leaf), and Cercis 'Merlot' (upright purple leaf with better color retention), and Cercis 'Pink Pom Poms' (double pink flowered upright). The new plants in the pipeline are almost unimaginable, from foliage colors to size, form, and even leaf shape. If you've never bred plants, it's hard to imagine the incredible amount of thought, work, and time it takes to create such an amazing array of plants. Even though Dr. Werner has now retired, he will be continuing his work as a JC Raulston Arboretum volunteer plant breeder...how cool! We're saving some room in our garden for more of these exciting introductions that will be coming soon. Read more [...]
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 [...]
Nursery Intern Plant Delights Nursery is seeking a driven and energetic student or recent graduate who is interested in working for a world-renowned mail order nursery in Raleigh, NC. Come learn with us as we rotate you through each of the nursery departments, and our through our stunning botanic garden. You will gain experience in plant identification, propagation, IPM, shipping, nursery maintenance, facilities upkeep, and face-to-face sales. Our goal and our passion is to be one of the most unique botanic gardens in the world. In our quest for new plants, we have taken over 80 botanical expeditions and sponsored many more, both domestic and global, since 1994. We also work closely with the top plant explorers and breeders around the world to grow and evaluate the best in new ornamental plants. Few, if any, plant nurseries or botanic gardens can match the diversity of our plant collections, which currently numbers over 22,000 taxa, of which many have original provenance Read more [...]
Cypripedium, Lady Slipper Orchids, is a genus of woodland garden plants that are among the most desired of all native hardy orchids for sale, despite their often finicky requirements. Plant Delights Nursery is excited about our bare root shipment of responsibly grown, flowering size, cypripedium orchids we received yesterday. These plants are nursery propagated and not collected from the wild. Fall is the best time for planting your hardy lady slipper orchid. Beds should be well-prepared and amended with compost unless you naturally have rich, organic soil. Dig a shallow but wide crater, spread the roots out flat (with eyes pointed upward), cover them with 1" of soil, and water in well. You should avoid planting your lady slipper orchid near aggressive groundcovers (such as ivy, vinca or Japanese pachysandra) or near the base of trees or large shrubs due to root competition. Check out this article on Cypripediums for more in depth information. Other Read more [...]
This is the last weekend of our 2016 Open Nursery and Garden! Come see our gardens and be inspired to add a bit more color and texture to your own gardens. Be sure to stop by Jim and Kathy Phillips Pottery and Stone Sculpture booths, debuting at Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Garden for the first time this weekend! Read more [...]