Fall is a great time for gardening. With cooler weather there is less transpiration and water stress on the plants. Also, even though the top of the plant may be dormant, the roots are still growing. This gives the plants a chance to establish a good foundation over the winter and a head-start going into spring.
Speaking of a good foundation, a healthy garden starts with good soil preparation. Soil care is essential in avoiding plant stress and subsequent pest problems. Join us next Saturday, November 12 from 10-noon for an interactive lecture that will cover nutrient balance, soil test reports, how to incorporate organics, taking care of microbes, and an array of misconceptions regarding planting techniques. If you have soil test reports, be sure to bring them with you.
Another perk to attending next weeks soil class, is afterwards you can shop our sales houses, taking advantage of our Fall Overstock 20% off sale and go home with lots of unique plants. Here is just Read more [...]
Combat those pesky backyard pests with your very own Bug Bat. These North American natives are at home in a moist bog areas and prey on ants, flies, wasps, beetles, slugs and snails.
Even if you don't have a bog or moist garden area, you can still enjoy growing pitcher plants on your deck, patio, or balcony...and they make a great conversation piece for friends and kids. Simply plant your pitcher plant in pure peat moss in your favorite patio container, set in a saucer to hold water and maintain even moisture. Find out more about the culture of pitcher plants and shop our other Sarracenia for sale. Read more [...]
Here are some recent images from the gardens here at Juniper Level of one of our favorite pitcher plants, Sarracenia leucophylla 'Tarnok'. This amazing double-flowered pitcher plant was discovered in Alabama by plantsman Coleman Tarnok in the early 1970s.
Here is the clump growing in the garden. Pitcher plants are quite easy to grow, provided the soil stays moist about 3-8" below the surface. They do not, however, like soil that remains waterlogged. In both the ground and in pots, we grow our pitcher plants in pure peat moss. Most pitcher plants are reliably winter hardy in Zone 5. We hope you'll give these a try in your garden.
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Here's an image we just took in the gardens of Sarracenia leucophylla 'Sumter'. In our opinion, it doesn't get much better than this. All hardy pitcher plants have these amazing other worldly flowers, and most are winter hardy in Zones 5 and 6. All our sarracenias are planted in straight peat moss, about 8" deep inside a pond liner that has holes cut along the edges so the water doesn't stay too high. No fertilizer ever and you certainly don't have to worry about insects.
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It's finally here...the time we share the gardens and open the nursery to the public. Starting tomorrow (Friday) morning, we welcome visitors to stroll the gardens and shop till you drop for cool perennials. Click here for times and directions. The gardens here and Juniper Level look absolutely fabulous. Below are a few images of what you'll see.
Plant combinations abound throughout the gardens giving you ideas for your garden spaces at home.
Here are a few of the gems you'll find scattered around the garden. Many of the cactus are flowering this week including Trichocereus 'Big Time'
Notocactus apricus is another favorite winter hardy cactus.
Trilliums are everywhere with over 1000+ selected clones as well as many of our seed-propagated selections for sale.
Pitcher plants are in full flower throughout the gardens and nursery...a sight not to be missed.
Of course, who can resist great hostas like Hosta 'Autumn Frost'
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So many folks have become locked in to chrysanthemums as the only way to have fall color in the perennial garden, but we’d like to suggest you try sarracenias. These North American natives are simply stunning this time of year. Taken this week, this photo is a pot of Sarracenia ‘Daina’s Delight’ that’s been growing, untouched, by our front walk for over a decade. It’s potted in pure peat moss, with no drainage holes in the bottom of the container, but a couple at soil level on the sides to prevent standing water. At least a few hours of full sun is necessary.
Fall is a great season for many of the pitcher plants, which produce beautiful new pitchers now. Here’s a photo from yesterday, showing the lovely Sarracenia ‘Bug Bat’. Pitcher plants are easy to grow in full sun, organic soil with low nutrient content, and in a garden site that stays moist, but not wet on top.
Many of the changes you'll see when you visit the garden next time are driven by Anita's suggestions to open up many of the overgrown garden spaces around the sales area. This new section is where 150' of Nellie Stevens hollies were removed last fall/winter. Despite only being in a short while, the plants are beginning to settle in. The wonderful rock work, was done by our Research and Grounds horticulturist, Jeremy Schmidt. Here's a fun seep area in the same space that Jeremy dreamed up. We hope you'll check out these and more new additions when you visit during our upcoming July open nursery and garden.
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Nursery Update—Made it through Winter
It's been quite a late winter at Juniper Level/Plant Delights, with the latest-occurring single digit temperature we've seen since our records began in the 1970s. Plants like hellebores in bloom when the cold snap hit have recovered, although flowers that were fully open or nearly so were slightly damaged. Hellebores are really tough and, after removing a few damaged flowers, they look great.
Plants and More Plants
Some of the very early trilliums, like the Florida forms of Trillium underwoodii, were also damaged. On a few of these, the entire stem collapsed back to the rhizome. When this happens, these trilliums will not return until next year. All of the other trillium species had the good sense to wait until later to emerge and are unscathed.
One of the benefits of cold winters is a good chilling period for most perennials. Like a bear needs to hibernate, the same is true for most perennials and the Read more [...]
Here are a few more photos from my recent coastal NC botanizing trip. This was the first time for my stepdaughter Katie to join me in the field, and here she is with her namesake, katydid, dining on the fall-flowering carphephorus.
Lots of cool woody plants including this amazing dwarf wax myrtle, Myrica cerifera...a perfect dwarf 30" tall x 30" wide...no pruning ever required.
I was truly shocked to find Cornus florida (dogwood) growing in the swamps and looking this great in the early fall. This clone with extra large leaves looked like something I'd expect in early spring...no signs of mildew or leaf spot, and obviously very tolerant of standing water.
This variegated Liquidambar (sweet gum) wasn't bad either...now, to get it grafted.
Much of the land in this area is a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) /wiregrass savannah..sandy soils with a very high water table and regular flooding.
If you look close among the "weeds" you'll find large patches Read more [...]