Introverted anemone

We love fall anemones, but don't allow them in our garden. Well, we did once upon a time, and after 20 years of trying to exterminate it, we're almost ready to negotiate the rental of a small nuclear device to handle what we've been unable to accomplish with traditional garden weaponry In the garden, fall anemones are like extroverts on a sugar IV drip...they run around and socialize with everyone nearby, never seeming to slow down. Consequently, it always fascinated us that most nurseries and catalogs fail to mention that these will run rampant through your garden.  Every time we see a new anemone enter the market, we inquire if it runs, and as you can imagine, we've been given incorrect information quite often as we discovered after our on-site trials. We had almost given up our quest for a well-behaved fall anemone, when up popped the "Swan Series". In our trials, these gems absolutely refused to run, while still putting on an amazing show. The most popular of the "Swans" Read more [...]

New Bluegrass…that’s a new Blue Ornamental Grass

We're always on the search for new ornamental grasses, and especially those with good blue foliage, since many of the more cold loving grasses aren't exactly thrilled with our summers. Well, back in 2003, we were botanizing in Liberty County, Florida...just west of Tallahassee, when we ran across this grass growing in a sandy roadside ditch. Despite fantastic performance in our trials, it took us 15 years to finally get around to dividing it for propagation, and christening it Andropogon glaucopsis 'Liberty Blue'. This little-known species ranges in the wild from North Carolina to East Texas.  For us, the foliage of Andropogon 'Liberty Blue' reaches 18" tall x 30" wide, while the late summer flower stalks reach 42". We've rated it as hardy to Zone 7b, because we're not aware of anyone whose tried it in colder zone yet, but we hope you'll give it a try.  Read more [...]

Food and Gardens

For our open nursery and garden days, we've lined up several of our favorite food trucks, so we don't have folks falling out in the garden from hunger pains. Being an ice cream junkie, I think the all natural local ice cream from Fresh is probably the best I've had anywhere in the world. We hope you'll come see the gardens/nursery and support these great local vendors.  WINTER 2018 OPEN HOUSE FOOD TRUCK SCHEDULE DAY DATE HOURS FOOD TRUCK HOURS ICE CREAM/SHAVE ICE FRI 23-Feb 11AM-SLOW ROUTE BISTRO 11AM-SLOW   SAT 24-Feb 11AM-SLOW FUZZY'S - Empanadas 12PM-SLOW FRESH – Ice Cream SUN 25-Feb   NA 1PM-SLOW   FRI 2-Mar 11AM-SLOW CHIRBA CHIRBA – Asian Dumplings 11AM-SLOW   SAT 3-Mar 11AM-SLOW RARE EARTH FARMS - LOCAL 11AM-SLOW   SUN 4-Mar   NA 1PM-SLOW FRESH – Ice Cream   Read more [...]

Hellebores abound at our Winter Open Gardens and Nursery Days

As we approach our first open garden and nursery day of the 2018, we wanted to share some Helleborus x hybridus photos we took in the garden this week...even though you'll see them when you visit.  These are all our own seedlings raised here. In addition to all the named varieties we offer, we'll have a selection of our own seedlings for sale during our open days, and if any remain, they'll be added on-line.  We hope to see you this weekend and next.  Read more [...]

Do you have rocks in your head…or your garden?

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.  Read more [...]

Pearls of Wisdom

Just back from speaking at the wonderful Davidson County Garden Symposium, held in the NC metropolis of Welcome.  It's always an honor to share the stage with on of my idols, the 78 year young topiary artist, Pearl Fryar. In addition to being an incredible topiary artist, Pearl is truly one of the great inspirational thinkers and doers of our generation. If you've never visited Pearl's amazing topiary garden in South Carolina, I hope you can do so while he's still able to greet and chat with visitors. Pearl tells me that recently he hosted a 40 person delegation from China, setting up tents in his garden as they studied his unique style.  If you can't make the trip to Bishopville, SC, you can contribute to the preservation of the garden, and perhaps still catch the inspirational movie, A Man Named Pearl. Pearl and his bride of 51 years, Metra drove up to Welcome in their new smart car...a perfect choice for this young at heart couple.   Read more [...]

Magnolia lovers headed to Raleigh…join us!

  Here's a photo we took in the gardens last year of a new Mangolia insignis hybrid from SC plantsman Kevin Paris, who will be one of many world renown speakers at the upcoming meeting of the International Magnolia Society meeting to be held here in Raleigh, March 23-25. We look forward the amazing lineup of speakers and tours, including here at PDN/JLBG.  This is an intense group of plant nerds from around the world, most of whom are passionate about much more than magnolias.  Below is a note from President Gary Knox about the upcoming registration deadline, and how to sign up.  We hope to see you there. The Feb 9th deadline for registration for the Annual meeting is rapidly approaching.  This is your final reminder to register for the Annual Meeting of Magnolia Society International planned for March 23-25 in North Carolina (please click HERE for details and HERE to link to online registration). Join us in Raleigh during the midst of Spring where you Read more [...]

The Horticulturist behind Amazon’s Garden Workspace

We couldn't be happier for Raleigh native, and former Plant Delights staffer, Ron Gagliardo, who manages the new Amazon HQ Rainforest. We've known Ron since he was a young teen, tissue-culturing carnivorous plants in his parents home near the State Fairgrounds.  It's so great to see him getting so much recognition in his role as Amazon's "green" celebrity.  Congratulations Ron!  Below are a couple of articles about his amazing work.     Read more [...]

Ballard’s Christmas Roses

The late Helen Ballard of England was one of the early pioneers in developing what we know today as hybrid hellebores. It was only fitting, when one of the breakthrough crosses, a hybrid between the Balkan native Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger, and  the Majorca endemic, Helleborus lividus, that was formerly known as Helleborus x nigerliv, was renamed Helleborus x ballardiae. The offspring from this cross combine the lovely veined foliage from Helleborus lividus with the outfacing flowers of Helleborus niger.  Once the cross was first made, plant breeders around the world have worked to develop new and improved varieties of Helleborus x ballardiae.  Unfortunately for plant breeders, Helleborus x ballardiae is sterile, so you won't find the hybrids typically producing seedlings. This means that each named variety is a division from an original selection, propagated by cloning (division or tissue culture). We planted the first one in our garden in 1996, and in the 22 Read more [...]

Disporum flavens – coming up soon

It won't belong before spring woodlanders begin to pop, and one of the first out of the ground for us is the amazing Disporum flavens.  This Asian Solomon's Seal emerges already, with yellow, skyward-facing bells.  As the stalk expands upward, the flower orientation changes from upright to horizontal, before becoming pendant.  By mid-April for us, the slowly expanding clump reaches 30" in height, with each stalk laden with clusters of bright yellow bells.  Even after the flowers drop, the plant remains intact and attractive all summer. Disporum flavens is a plant we can seem to keep from photographing every spring, and certainly one we wouldn't garden without. Sadly, it's rarely offered commercially because it just doesn't offset fast enough for most nurseries to find it financially viable. Finally, as fall approaches, the leaves change to a parchment yellow, with each stem terminating with a cluster of small blue fruit. Disporum flavens is quite easy to Read more [...]