Thursday, April 9, 2009

Confessions of a Plant Geek

I have something to come clean about. I am a Plant Geek. I am also somewhat absent-minded, some might call forgetful. But I also LOVE this time of year at our nurseries, as new, cool plants come in that I seem to have forgotten about since I ordered them sometime last year.

After spending this week ogling at new things, I wanted to share a few here. Most of these plants we didnt buy very many of, so if you see something that's interesting, hurry in.

Any Dogwood fans out there? Sure Kousa dogwood isn't anything new or rare, but we got a few Empress of China Dogwood trees in that I'm really excited about. This new to the trade variety is a subspecies of Kousa dogwood that is evergreen! These photos don't do the plant justice, as the foliage is absolutely beautiful, and covered with creamy white flowers, it's going to be an amazing specimen in the landscape.

Another little something I came across last summer is a new form of Contorted Filbert (Harry Lauder's Walking Stick, Corylus, etc) called Red Majestic. This form has (you guessed it) brilliant red new growth! While the color is going to fade during the heat of the summer, some of the red will remain all year long. While it keeps the same weeping/contorted appearance of the common variety, this variety will actually give a reason to look at this plant when it has leaves on it. As you can see in the picture, the catkins (male flowers) are also a reddish color, unlike the brownish-yellow of the common variety. I know I'm going to have to make room for one of these in my garden.
I could go on and on, but don't want to spoil ALL of the fun. Coming to the nurseries is kinda like a plant adventure. Or expedition. Here's a partial list of some other things that have arrived in small numbers: 'Amazing Grace' Katsura Tree, 'Venus' Dogwood (GIANT flowers), 'Spring Delight' Japanese Maple, 'Purple Ghost' Japanese Maple, 'Autumn Cascade' Black Gum (yummm), Vivax Bamboo (Chinese Timber Bamboo-this is a COOL plant, but only tread here if you've got tons of room, or a great containment system, it's gonna get BIG), great quantities of Black Mondo Grass (great little ground cover for the semi-shade garden).
I'll post again when we get interesting, rare, or just plain weird stuff in.

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