During our recent cold snap, I haven't been able to get the Rod Stewart/Dolly Parton rendition of "Baby it's Cold Oustide" out of my head. At least Elwood had the good sense to find the warmest spot in the house...in the dryer on top of a load of warm clothes, while others of us had to venture outside to take care of things in the nursery and garden.
So, how cold was it? Here's what happened to Mystic Falls, when the temperatures don't rise above freezing for 200 straight hours (8+ days). Raleigh shattered the old record of 157 hours (1982) in a row without topping the freezing mark. We also caught the beginning of the recent bomb cyclone, although we only managed .5" of snow at the nursery and gardens. Our thoughts go out to those further north, who suffered much worse in the storm...including some that had....yes, two feet of snow.
It's been an eventful 8 days with a steady diet of greenhouse alarms going on in the middle of the night than we can count. Read more [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
One of our long time concerns is the accuracy of plant tags...especially now that 60% of the plants purchased in the country are now sold through the box stores. While we're thrilled that more plants are available to the masses, most tags are produced from a single national vendor, and the information may not be correct for your climate. Sizes, in particular vary widely. What may make a 1' tall x 2' wide shrub in one climate may reach 6' tall x 9' wide in another...yes, we have real life examples. The dirty little secret is that most plant measurements are taken from sheared plants growing in nursery containers, and not mature landscape specimens.
Often information on the web is also quite inaccurate since most sites simply copy from another site and never take time to actually observe the plants in person. We always recommend when possible to shop with vendors who actually grow the plants themselves...in the ground. If that's not possible, visit local botanic gardens and observe Read more [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
For our agave collectors, here’s a new drool-worthy introduction…a variegated edge sport of Agave geminiflora, called ‘Leaping Lizards’. This is an amazing opportunity to obtain a truly rare specimen…as long as they last. While Agave geminiflora isn’t terribly winter hardy, these do make amazing container specimens. Agave ‘Leaping Lizards’ is a solitary specimen (no offsets), unless you behead the original specimen for the sake of propagation, as was done here.
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.
A couple of years ago, we introduced this amazing acanthus with red rhubarb-like stems under the name Acanthus ‘Wofford Rhubarb’. Here is our garden clump this week, looking better each year…truly stunning.
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.