Horticultural Bright Lights Symposium

We hope you're making plans to attend the upcoming Horticultural Bright Lights Symposium in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, NC.  The dates are Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24, 2016...830am - 330pm each day You can register here, but don't wait, since we expect a sell out! We've already registered, so we'll hope to see you there!  Did I mention the rare plant auction?  We're also opening the nursery and gardens at Plant Delights/Juniper Level Botanic Garden on Thursday September 22, 8-5, for symposium attendees. This very special symposium features 8 of the top young stars of the horticultural world, all of which will boggle your mind with their knowledge and passion for gardening The incredible speaker lineup includes: *Matthew Pottage is the Curator of the RHS Wisley Gardens, UK.  It says something to be named the youngest curator ever appointed by the Royal Horticultural Read more [...]

Favorites from this week in garden.

    There's so much going on in the garden now, it's hard to know where to start.  The ferns are looking fabulous, and one of our favorites is the native Dryopteris x australis.  Yes, "australis" means from the south.  This 3-4' tall fern grows well in moist or fairly dry soils.  Here's the clump beside our shipping office.  Epimedium 'Splish Splash' is in its second flowering spurt of the spring.  This re-flowering Plant Delights introduction is really quite special, both in foliage and in flower.   Here's a fun color echo combination of Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy' and Verbena 'Lavender Frappe'.  The textural difference in the two plants makes this vignette visually appealing.     Here's our clump of Baptisia 'Pink Truffles' from the breeding work of our friend Hans Hansen at Walters Gardens.  This is the first named pink flowered baptisia....we are very pleased with its performance.Clematis recta 'Lime Close' has been amazing this Read more [...]

Four favorites flowering today in the garden

  Epimedium 'Pink Champagne' is dazzling today in the garden, both for the great foliage and floral show.   Euphorbia x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow'...WOW.  Variegated foliage and very cool flowers.  The key to growing this well is good drainage and immediately after flower, cut it back to near the ground.   Clematis ochroleuca is an amazing dwarf bush clematis native to North Carolina and Virginia, yet winter hardy in Minnesota.  This is one of our favorite late winter plants.   The first peony of the season is the Chinese tree peony, Paeonia ostii.  Untouched by late frosts, this gem is just wrapping up its floral show.  This is one peony that's as thrilled with summer heat and humidity as it is with polar vortexes.  Yes, we are currently sold out...sorry. Read more [...]

Beesia – have you met yet?

Beesia calthafolia emerging2

 

Do you know beesia?  Outside of the plant collector world, few people have heard of this obscure member of the Ranunculus family…first cousin to hellebores, thalictrum, and clematis.  There are only two species, both native to moist woodland soils at high elevations in the Himalayas.  Surprisingly, Beesia calthifolia thrives in our heat and humidity almost as well as it does in the cool Pacific Northwest.  The beautiful mature foliage resembles a cross of wild ginger and galax and is about the same stature.  If you have a woodland garden in Zone 6a-8b, we hope you’ll give this a try.

Fun with clematis

Dasylirion with clematis in seed

 

We love species clematis for their interesting seed heads…in addition to the flowers.  Here is one of our experiments using a dasylrion as the support structure for the clematis.  We just took this photo showing the interesting three dimensional effect it created.

Clematis – different twists on an old favorite

Clematis 'Sapphire Indigo' is such a great plant in the perennial garden.  This non-vining clematis makes a short clump that flowers for us from spring through summer. It weaves nicely into nearby neighbors making delightful combinations. Another of our favorites is the amazing Clematis 'Roguchi'.  The bell-shaped flowers come from clumping clematis species, but this one does make a short-growing vine to 6-8' tall.  Clematis 'Roguchi' also flowers heavily, virtually non-stop during the growing season.  I can't imagine a summer garden without this. Here's the seed show on the East Coast native bush clematis, Clematis ochroleuca.  The flowers are nice also, but the long-lasting show are these golden seed heads. Here's another amazing bush clematis, Clematis recta 'Lime Close'.  This unique clematis makes a 3' tall mound of foliage that emerges dark purple, and an incredible cloud-like show of white flowers...simply superb.       Read more [...]

Aruncus ‘Misty Lace’ and Clematis recta ‘Lime Close’

  If you're looking to add a touch of white to your late spring/early summer garden, here are a couple of photos I took on my recent trip to Walters Gardens in Michigan.  The first is one of my favorites, the airy, Aruncus 'Misty Lace'.  Moist, rich soil give the best results.  Winter hardy to Zone 4a.Clematis recta 'Lime Close' is another super plant...a shrubby-form clematis, with dark purple foliage in spring, and covered in a cloud of tiny white flowers...what a stunning show!  Hardy to Zone 4a.   Read more [...]

Winter-blooming clematis, Clematis cirrhosa

One of the real joys of the winter gardening season is the Mediterranean native Clematis cirrhosa.  Here is how it looks today, draped across the railing on our house deck.  Clematis cirrhosa blooms from now until early spring, so you will often find the flowers completely encased in snow or ice...pretty amazing!  Did you know that clematis and hellebores are first cousins?  They are both members of the Ranunculus (buttercup) family Can you see the resemblance in the flowers?  I can't imagine anyone in Zone 7 and south who doesn't grow this in their garden. Read more [...]

Clematis ‘Sapphire Indigo’

Clematis Sapphire Indigo5

Looking really good in the gardens now is Clematis ‘Sapphire Indigo’.  This unique hybrid between the vining mailbox clematis and the small-flowered bush clematis has been superb in our trials, flowering virtually non-stop all summer.  Instead of making a vine, Clematis ‘Sapphire Indigo’ sprawls to 2′ wide, creating incredible color combinations with neighboring perennials…a designers dream!