Winter Bloomers

Walking around the garden in mid-winter, we spotted a couple of nice woodies in full flower in addition to the winter blooming perennials. The first is one of many witch hazels we grow…in this case, Hamamelis ‘Orange Peel’.

Hamamelis ‘Orange Peel’

Growing nearby is Distylium buxifolium, also in full flower. D. buxifolium is a cousin to the better known D. myricoides. As best we can determine, it was not in cultivation in the US until a recent wild seed collection by Scott McMahan of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Our plant is 3 years old from seed and measures 3′ tall x 10′ wide.

Distylium buxifolium in flower

Distylium buxifolium flowers closeup

Cyclamen are like Snowflakes

Cyclamen hederifolium is a great addition to the winter garden. They begin flowering in late fall/early winter before the foliage. When foliage emerges it will remain during the winter. The foliage is quite dramatic with intricate patterning of silver and shades of green. Most hardy cyclamen are grown from seed, so like snowflakes, no two are alike.

Here are some of the cyclamen growing in our crevice garden. Notice the variation in variegation, leaf shape, and differences in flower color.

Cyclamen experiment

When we had our new home built, the design resulted in several potential planting areas under a wide overhang that never sees any moisture…unless something akin to a hurricane blows in. The idea was to keep water/irrigation and mulch away from the wood siding. Cyclamen seemed like a good choice for this difficult spot, so our friends Brent and Becky Heath shared some corms of a hardy form of the normally tender Cyclamen persicum. We laid the corms on top of the soil and covered them with 2″ of Permatill (expanded slate that resembles pea gravel), which was then covered by an ornamental layer of river rock. Here are the plants currently after just over 1 year in the ground. The cold last winter burned off all the foliage, but they have all returned. Techniques like this should also work with any of the hardy cyclamen. 

Winter Open Nursery & Garden Days!!

With temperatures in the upper 70’s it doesn’t feel much like winter here in Raleigh, NC, but nonetheless it is time for our Winter Open Nursery & Garden Days! Starting tomorrow February 24-26 and next weekend March 3-5, take advantage of the opportunity shop our sales houses as well as explore the gardens here at Juniper Level Botanic Garden. We will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 8am-5pm and Sundays from 1pm-5pm.  

Hellebores blooming in the sales house

Hellebores blooming in the sales house

New this year, we’re excited to announce our garden chat series “Gardening Unplugged” during each Open Nursery and Garden Days in 2017. These will be 15 minute presentations, many by Tony, himself, focused on seasonally prominent plants and garden design ideas. Meet at the Welcome Tent near the parking lot to join us!

Also, on both Saturdays, Feb. 25 and March 4, Zeke’s Meats food truck will be here from 11am-2pm, so you can refuel after a day of frenzied shopping!

Our sales houses are stocked – let the shopping begin.

Our sales houses are stocked – let the shopping begin.

During your visit, allow time to meander through the gardens to see what’s in bloom, get design ideas and add to your wish list. Our gardens contain many rare and valuable specimens so please stay on the pathways and leave pets at home. We look forward to seeing you here!

Hellebores are looking amazing in the garden.

Hellebores are looking amazing in the garden.

Winter Gems for the Garden!

Hellebores are the gems of the winter woodland garden. Hellebores, also known as lenten rose, come in a wide range colors and flower forms, they are deer resistant and drought tolerant once established.

picture of Helleborus Confetti Cake

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Confetti Cake’

This year we are pleased to offer many new hellebore hybrids from the breeding work of Hans Hansen at Walters Gardens.

picture of Helleborus Blushing Bridesmaid

Helleborus x hybridus ‘Blushing Bridesmaid’

We are continuing to add new hellebores to our website monthly, including selections from our own breeding. Be sure to visit during our annual Winter Open Nursery and Garden, Feb. 24-26 and March 3-5, to enjoy the many hellebores blooming in the gardens as well as selecting a few gems for your own.

picture of Helleborus Pippa's Purple

Helleborus ‘Pippa’s Purple’ in the sales house with close-up of flower.

pictures of Hellebores being released soon

Hellebores that will be released for sale shortly – Rose Quartz, Golden Lotus, and French Kiss

Epimedium greenhouse

Epimedium greenhouseSometimes when walking through our production greenhouses, it’s hard to contain our excitement about all the cool plants.  For those unable to visit, here’s a shot from our epimedium greenhouses today…so many great new selections for the woodland garden!