Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spring at the Nursery, Part 3

OK, now that "spring" is over, i.e. 80-hour work-weeks, blogging can return to a more regular schedule. While relatively crazy, I always appreciate the lessons learned from the industry's peak-season, and especially the new-plant experiences.

Case in point, is the re-discovery for me personally, of the genus Geum, one that had faded to near obscurity in recent years. New (and improved) introductions however, have turned the tide. Particularly impressive is the sterile selection called Totally Tangerine ('Tim's Tangerine'), pictured below, with very pleasant, re-blooming light orange flowers.
Another one I like is a Piet Oudolf selection called 'Flames of Passion' with slightly nodding flowers (on dark stems) of a very pleasant red-pink colour.
Here's a few other "miscellaneous" shots from the nursery this spring.

Centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Mist':
A new plant we are trying, Dianthus 'Fusion' from Walters Gardens' (Michigan) Kevin Hurd, with very nice bi-colour flowers:
Here's a close-up of the new Geranium 'Sandrine', the new and improved version from France, of the older and somewhat un-vigorous 'Ann Folkard'. The flowers are nearly twice the size.
This is an unidentified (I hate that), single white Peony:
I've long been a fan of the New Zealand 'New Millennium' series of Delphinium, but the 'Guardian' series is also superb:
Finally, a few shots from my "private stock", i.e. various new plants that we are trying this spring, including some plants from this spring that I simply must have. ;)
Heucherella 'Sweet Tea' has been amazing:
While slower, Heucherella 'Golden Zebra' has also been impressive:

Here's to dirt under your nails.

Mark, the coolplantsguy

Monday, May 10, 2010

Joy in the Garden

Great joy can be had when one grows a plant well in their own garden. This is especially the case when the plant is relatively rare on the street. The "oohs" and "aahs" of visiting friends and family can certainly be most gratifying, if not also feed our horticultural egos. ;)

Such is the case with two Arisaema (Jack-in-the-Pulpit) in my front garden. The first is A. kishidai 'Jack Frost', a very cool variegated form (of a Japanese species) I grew from Shady Oaks Nursery several years ago. The flowers are an interesting creamy-white with brown streaks.
As a definite and very significant bonus, each leaf has a beautiful silver stripe down the middle. I have found it relatively easy to grow.
Second, is A. sikokianum, another Japanese species, which is a special plant for me, as it was a gift from a good gardening friend. It has the completely inappropriate common name of Gaudy Jack, apparently in reference to the bright white spadix which sits inside and in contrast with the black-striped, green spathe. It has also been easy to grow.

These are both of course, relatives of our native Jack-in-the-Pulpit, A. triphyllum, easily seen during the spring in wooded areas of Southern Ontario. It is also rather variable, and I hoping to grow a selection with particularly dark-coloured flowers and foliage called 'Black Jack'.

Here's to dirt under your nails.

Mark, the coolplantsguy