Oh Cezanne, Don’t You Cry For Me

Ok, the spelling of “Susanna” is slightly different, but don’t let that deter you from growing one of the greatest groundcover clematis that we’ve ever grown. Yes, that’s right…no mailbox post or staking required. We’ve been growing this amazing, compact clematis as a groundcover for years and it is truly superb. Here it is in the garden this spring, but it will also continue to flower into summer. What’s not to love about Cezanne!

Thursday Morning Podcast

Nature provides beauty and interest in the garden year round. Not just from it’s floral displays, but often the seed pods are as interesting. Here are some seed pods from the garden this week.

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 Society.  Matthew is a phenomenal plantsman, whose horticultural favorites includes conifers, hardy exotics and variegation.

*Claudia West is the Ecological Sales Manager and Design Consultant for North Creek Nurseries, PA, as well as co-author of the hot new book, Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes.  Claudia will make you look at landscape design in a whole new light…did I mention she’s one of the best speakers I’ve heard in the last decade.

*Dr. Jared Barnes is an inspirational horticulture professor at Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas.  Jared is also an NCSU grad, a world traveler, and all around passionate plant nerd.

*Aaron Floden currently works at the University of Tennessee herbarium as a botanist, plant explorer, and virtual walking plant encyclopedia on anything botanical. Aaron is currently finishing his PhD thesis on the taxonomy of the genus, polygonatum.  Aaron has also discovered and published new species of Clematis, monarda, trillium, and polygonatum. When I’m stumped about a plant, Aaron is usually my first call.

*Hans Hansen is a mad plantsman, worldly plant explorer, tissue culture pioneer, amazing gardener, and currently Director of Plant Development at Walters Gardens in Michigan. Hans is unquestionably the top perennial plant breeder in the world today.  His portfolio include 2 hosta of the year winners and much more including some revolutionary bigeneric hybrids.

*Rebecca McMackin is the Horticulture Director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, as well as an ecological garden designer, instructor at the Brooklyn Botanic and New York Botanic Garden, and obsessed horticulturist. Who needs sleep?

*Tim and Matt Nichols – What’s the chance of having two equally obsessed woody plantsmen from the same family?  Together, the Nichols brothers operate their mail order nurseries, Mr. Maple.com and Mr.Ginkgo.com  Did I mention that they grow over 1000 different maples?  Who knew you could get this crazed growing maples?

 

 
 
 
Register now, spaces are limited for this insider’s glimpse into the newest advances in plant selection and designing for pollinators, wildlife, and sustainability, putting you on the cutting edge in gardening.
Early Bird Registration until September 4, 2016,
Get a Chance to Win a Mr. Maple Japanese Maple.
Cost: $130 for members, $180 for nonmembers
Includes 2 days of speakers, breakfast and lunch each day.
Questions? Contact Chris Glenn at chris_glenn@ncsu.edu or (919) 513-7005

}

Favorites from this week in garden.

 

 

Dryopteris x australis3There’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

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.

 

Eucomis Sparkling Burgundy combo with Verbena Lavender Frappe

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.  Baptisia Pink Truffles3

 

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 foliageClematis recta ‘Lime Close’ has been amazing this spring.  For years, I was under the mistaken impression that this wouldn’t grow in our heat…I was very wrong.  The non-vining Clematis ‘Lime Close’ is often sold under the marketing name Serious Black.  I love this plant!

 

Four favorites flowering today in the garden

Epimedium Pink Champagne clump in flower

 

Epimedium ‘Pink Champagne’ is dazzling today in the garden, both for the great foliage and floral show.

Euphorbia x martinii Ascot Rainbow in full flower

 

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 Penny's Bend in flower

 

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.

Paeonia ostii clump in garden in flower

 

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.

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 Indigo9Clematis ‘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.

DCF 1.0

DCF 1.0

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.

Clematis ochroleuca Penny's Bend in seedHere’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.

Clematis recta Lime Close in flower at Walters6Here’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.

 

 

 

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

Aruncus Misty Lace at Walters2

 

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 in flower at Walters6Clematis 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.