Swept Away

Sweeping sedge is in full flower in the garden today. The North American native (Canada south to Florida and west to Texas) Carex bromoides swept us off our feet! This delightful small evergreen sedge forms a 6″ tall x 30″ wide, delicate-textured patch of green hair-like foliage. Although it prefers moist to mucky wet soil, ours has fared beautifully in well ammended compost. Carex bromoides is a favorite meal food for a number of butterfly and skipper caterpillars, wood ducks, grouse, and several songbirds, which in turn eliminates any need for fertilizers. We think you’ll really love Carex bromoides, either as a solitary specimen or in mass.

Harper’s Trout Lily

Looking great in the garden today is our collection of the native spring ephemeral trout lily, Erythronium harperi. This native to a small region on the Tennessee/Alabama border is currently considered a subspecies of E. americanum, but will most likely be elevated to species status before long. Unlike many running species, this remains a tight clumper with a superb show of large yellow outfacing flowers.

Erythronium harperi

Does this witch hazel ring a bell?

Completely unlike its namesake, this dwarf beauty is a sight to behold. Flowering in the garden now, Hamamelis vernalis ‘Quasimodo’ is a miniature selection of the Midwest US native witch hazel. Our six-year-old specimen is a whopping 4′ tall, so this gem can be tucked into much smaller sites that full-size selections.

Hamamelis vernalis ‘Quasimodo’

Got the blues? If not, we can help.

Amsonia (aka: bluestar) are one of the best temperate genera (18 species) of blue-flowered perennials for the spring garden. We’ve offered quite a few different species and selections through the years, rotating them in and out as propagation successes allow and as sales dictate. All but two of the species, (Amsonia orientalis from Europe and Amsonia elliptica from Asia) are North American natives. Most are extremely drought tolerant, while others like Amsonia rigida and Amsonia tabernaemontana can tolerate very wet soils.

Amsonia montana is a commonly grown plant of mystery, having just appeared in horticulture, but never been documented from a wild population. A few of the amsonia species have flowers so pale blue that they appear white in the garden with only a hint of blue on the flower corolla. Amsonia are quite promiscuous in the garden, so if you grow more than one species nearby, you will have hybrids from seed. We hope you’ll explore this amazing genus of perennials.

Cold Hardy Palms of the Carolinas

Did you know that North Carolina has twice as many native palms as California?

Join garden volunteer, Mike Papay, on a virtual tour of Juniper Level Botanic Garden as he discusses native and cold hardy palms of the Carolinas as part of our Gardening Unplugged garden chat series, held each day of our Open Nursery & Garden Days.

Windmill Palm – Trachycarpus

Friday Morning Podcast

Here are some seed and seedpods from the gardens and the greenhouses today.

Coneflower Rainbow

We value the purple coneflower as a great summer-flowering perennial in the native plant garden as well as the mixed perennial border. Coneflowers attract both butterflies and hummingbirds. Purple coneflower species are easy to grow, heat- and drought-tolerant native perennials. Two things that echinacea plants do not like are heavy clay soils and poor winter drainage.


We hope you are as excited as we are about the new coneflower plants that greatly extend the range of colors and forms. Purple coneflowers are no long just purple; they are also pink, red, yellow, peach, copper, orange and there are single or double-flowered hybrids too. We continue to trial the spectrum of new echinacea selections, offering only the best echinacea plants for sale after verifying their garden performance.

Spring Open Nursery & Garden is Just Around the Corner

It’s hard to believe that spring open nursery and garden days is almost here. Spring is always a busy time of year and our nursery and garden staff have been working tirelessly making sure the gardens are in prime condition and our sales houses are brimming with beautiful plants.

Take advantage of shopping our sales houses for many unique and rare perennials, many exclusively available at Plant Delights Nursery. We are offering nearly 20 varieties of Baptisia this year, more than you will find at most garden centers. Many are from our own breeding program at Juniper Level Botanic Garden and include two 2019 introductions you will find no where else.

Join Tony, Friday, May 3 at 10am for a stroll through the gardens as he discusses baptisias, part of our Gardening Unplugged garden chat series.

Baptisia
Bletilla – Hardy Orchids

The hardy orchids also look amazing this year, with seven different bletilla and over 30 varieties of ladyslippers and calanthe available, you are sure to find one for that special spot in your garden.

As part of our Gardening Unplugged chat series, our nursery manager, Meghan Fidler, will be discussing hardy orchids in the garden and how you can be successful growing them in your garden.

Cypripedium – Ladyslipper Orchids
Sarracenia – Pitcher Plants

The pitcher plants are blooming and our hosta house is bursting with color that will brighten any shady nook. Be sure to mark your calendars and join Tony Saturday, May 4 as he explores the fascinating world of our native pitcher plants, and come back the following weekend as Tony showcases hostas in the garden and our hosta breeding program at JLBG.

Hostas

Delicate trillium

In flower now at Juniper Level Botanic Garden (JLBG) is the newest published species of toadshade, Trillium delicatum, which became official last week!  Trillium delicatum, which from a distance could be confused with Trillium decumbens hails from central Georgia, where it’s found growing in floodplains. DNA studies found that it is more closely related to the Alabama-centered Trillium stamineum. 

This leaves only fifteen more potentially new species in the Southeast US that are currently being studied for future naming…pretty exciting times. 

As an ex-situ conservation garden and since we do not endorse sales from plants collected in the wild, our JLBG propagation team are working to make this available from seed, so keep your eyes peeled.