Cardamine crazy

Look what’s in full flower now in the winter garden!.  This dazzling spring ephemeral, Cardamine quinquefolia, is just off the charts amazing for the light shade woodland garden. It has formed a stunning 3′ wide patch in four years in our Zone 7b garden. Hardiness is Zone 6a-8b. 

Skirt-lifting time in the woods

While we'll always grow the woodland asarum (wild gingers) for their foliage, we are equally as entranced by their flowers which occur from fall thru spring...based on the species. The only months we haven't recorded asarum flowers in the garden are June-September.  One of our first time offerings this year is a selection we made of the Japanese Asarum kurosawae that we named Asarum 'Saddleback'. (Zone 7a-8b, at least)In late winter, we remove the old foliage in the center of the clump so that we can enjoy the flowers as you can see below.  Most of our asarums start as single divisions, and after 3-4 years, we divide them for the first time, resulting in 5-10 plants.  A second division 3-4 years later yields another 5-10 plants each, for a total of 25-100 plants. A third division is required 3-4 years later to finally have enough to offer. So, from start to commercialization is usually 9-12 years of production time. Tony demonstrates how to divide asarum Read more [...]

Adore us some acorus

I was just walking through our woodland garden and stopped to snap this photo of one of my favorite perennials, Acorus gramineus 'Minnimus Aureus'. No matter how many new plants hit the market, this will always be a favorite and a plant I wouldn't garden without. The evergreen chartreuse gold foliage remains bright all winter in the shade or part sun garden, so there's no need for a carpet of mulch. Each plant spreads slowly, eventually kniting together to form a solid weed-subduing mat. The fine texture of acorus is a beautiful contrast to bold-textured plants like the aucuba in the foreground. Did we mention that it's deer resistant? Acorus, zone 5a-9b, is moisture loving, but also pretty darn drought tolerant.   Acorus used to reside comfortably in the aroid family, with the likes of peace lilies and jack-in-the-pulpits, but now DNA researchers all reach different conclusions on where it belongs taxonomically and how it is related to the rest of the aroids. Check out Read more [...]

Hit gold with Solomon’s Seal

Several of the Solomon’s Seals age gracefully, but we’re usually too busy writing catalog copy to get photos. This year, we happened to catch Polygonatum infundiflorum ‘Lemon Seoul’ all lit up in its fall fines. 

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

Hardy Lady Slipper Orchids!!

Cypripedium, Lady Slipper Orchids, is a genus of woodland garden plants that are among the most desired of all native hardy orchids for sale, despite their often finicky requirements. Plant Delights Nursery is excited about our bare root shipment of responsibly grown, flowering size, cypripedium orchids we received yesterday.  These plants are nursery propagated and not collected from the wild. Fall is the best time for planting your hardy lady slipper orchid. Beds should be well-prepared and amended with compost unless you naturally have rich, organic soil. Dig a shallow but wide crater, spread the roots out flat (with eyes pointed upward), cover them with 1" of soil, and water in well. You should avoid planting your lady slipper orchid near aggressive groundcovers (such as ivy, vinca or Japanese pachysandra) or near the base of trees or large shrubs due to root competition. Check out this article on Cypripediums for more in depth information. Other Read more [...]

New, Hard-to-Find Sacred Lilies (rohdea) available

We began growing sacred lilies back in the 1970s, when few people in the US, outside of a handful of fanatic collectors were growing them. The only large scale grower of the green species, Rohdea japonica, was our friends, the late Sam and Carleen Jones of Georgia's Piccadilly Farms.  Despite being very easy to grow, Rohdeas will never be found at most nurseries or garden centers, due to the long production time from both seed and divisions.   Rohdea japonica 'Go Dai Takane' We worked for years (pre-Internet and email) to establish contacts in Japan who were willing to sell and ship rohdeas to the US. In Japan, variegated cultivars of rohdeas are highly prized for what most folks think are subtle differences. Most Japanese gardeners grow rohdeas in special decorative ceramic pots as house or patio plants.  For many of the nice, variegated rohdea varieties, costs in Japan range from $50 to several hundred dollars, and several thousand dollars each for the special, slow-growing Read more [...]

Boehmeria ‘Glow Light’

Boehmeria nipononivea Glow Light3

One of the most difficult parts of our job is to try and predict which plants will sell well.  We’d like to think that our favorites would also be your favorites, and in some cases that’s true.  In others, like Boehmeria ‘Glow Light’, it wasn’t true.  We just took this photo of one of our favorite woodland perennials that’s unrivaled for brightening a shade garden all summer long.  It’s easy to grow and hardy from zones 6a-9b.  So, help us out…why didn’t enough folks buy this amazing plant to keep it in production?

Woodland Garden plants looking great

  Spring is an amazing time in the woodland garden.  We begin the final two days of our spring open nursery and garden with a few photos of some of our seasonal favorites.  We hope you can join us this weekend to see these amazing plants in person, but if not, here are some recently taken images. The upside down fern, Arachnioides standishii is so texturally amazing, especially as it emerges in spring. I love the gold foliage of Astilbe chinensis 'Amber Moon'.  We can't grow many astilbes due to our summer heat, but as you can see, this one thrives. Here's photo showing the flower size of Asarum 'King Kong'...it's truly other-worldly...a wild ginger on steroids.Another of our favorite silver-foliage ferns, Athyrium 'Ocean's Fury'...what a star in the woodland garden.  We just love the color and texture.  If you can't visit us, we hope you'll  spend time in your own garden this weekend and embrace the joy that plants add to our lives.   Read more [...]

Carex ‘Silk Tassel’

Carex morrowii Silk Tassel emerging2We’ve been growing Carex ‘Silk Tassel’ for nearly three decades and it is one of our woodland ornamental grasses.  The very narrow variegated leaves are an absolutely delightful texture, although it’s hard to photograph well.  Here’s our latest attempt to capture it as the new growth emerges in the garden this week.