A Steve Hootman collection of this surprisingly hardy species which has cranked along happily outside here in the PNW since the late 90's and a fine 18' specimen can be seen growing happily at the Rhododendron Species Botanic Garden in their woodland. A rare species that is not widely offered, this is certainly good to the low teens.
Collected by the Wynn-Jones of Crug Farm from, as they describe it, " the moist well-drained forests on the steep sides of the Aso Crater on Kyushu, Japan" We have not yet flowered this but it will be good, we assure you and should be distinct from the most of the population there. Their description suggests the tip of the flowering stem or scape is dark purple which then holds lavender-pink flowers with dark ovaries. For moist soil in light shade to part shade.
A Wynn-Jones collection from the Aso area of Honshu in Japan where there is a range of color variation in the species. We are wild about this genus and it combines beauty, rarity and growability in its appeal. Evergreen rosettes of flattened broadly lance-shaped leaves with spring whitish flowers accented by purple stamens. Zone 6.
A fine evergreen small tree in the Mallow family from the South Island and southern North Island in New Zealand. 'Borde Hill' is an especially floriferous selection from the famed Sussex garden of the same name. This is going to be best in a mild garden here such as urban Seattle or near the salt water and would do well against a south wall - in any of these sites it will be awesome.. Lots of half inch white flowers in summer.
Staggeringly good foliage Begonia collected by Ozzie Johnson at Bai Dat Sun in northern Vietnam and originally had the name "aff. edulis" appended to it for the species. . Large tan-green leaves with a later than 5 o'clock shadow of red hairs. Pink flowers play peekaboo in the foliage. A species not fully trialed for hardiness but we are speculating zone 8b or less with judicious applications of mulch for winter freezing. One of the rhizomatous types.
A very robust selection in one of our favorite genera, this is one we brought in from Japan some while back and at last have some to offer. Wider and longer leaves than most of our other forms we grow, this by necessity makes larger evergreen rosettes. In early spring the central floral resting bud starts to awaken and March sees the elongation of the flowering stem to 10" and the appearance of a full head of creamy flowers aging to a clear white. This Snow White truly would make an insecure and wicked queen jealous!
Wandering Fuchsia. This South American species defies conventional Fuchsia Form by being nearly vine-like in its inclinations. Silver-green leaves with red petioles clad the stems which wend, lean and insinuate themselves up and through shrubs or fences which in frost-free areas can be a pretty exciting 15'-20'. Us ordinary folk who garden with the vagaries of Northwest winters can usually content ourselves with it regrowing from the base each year and getting 6'-9' which is still more fun than you should have with a Fuchsia. Small and narrow flowers with red sepals and a light purple corolla. Thanks to Jeanette Kunnen for sharing this from her Seattle area collector's garden where this calls a short section of ornamental fencing home.
Our collection from Guizhou where we found this extremely glossy leaf Rose growing near the upper limits of cultivation on our trek to the top of the mountain. The leaves were made even more shiny by the pouring rain but it was the very hairy, indeed bristly hips which drew Sue's attention as she has a self-professed penchant for such. The mystery of her attraction to me solved in the far reaches. Two forms this species occur with single white flowers in forma laevigata and double to semi-double in forma semiplena.
We received this from the old Heronswood as the rare species B. wrightii which hails from high altitude cliffs in central Mexico with red stems bearing greenish to pale yellow tubular flowers. While there are similarities, this is more correctly placed as Beschorneria rigida with its tubular red flowers and light yellow interior. On this clone which seems different than the one generally seen, the yellow does not extend out to the petal tips so the flowers are red in appearance. Tidy narrow leaves an inch wide by a couple feet long make a low relaxed yucca-like lump from which the red midsummer flower spikes rocket upwards 3'-5'. A good clumper which will have multiple bloom stems as it matures. Evergreen and good for sun to part sun and prefers to not be as dry as yucca but prefers moderately moist soil although tolerant of periods of dry.
A bizarre antler-like sport of the common Yew found oddly enough on the grounds of the Insane Asylum in Holland for which it is named. This is one crazy plant. (sorry) Open strikingly architectural growth habit with such strict attention to lines and form as to be compulsive. (sorry again)
Amazing Chilean Lobelia that is perfectly hardy, especially if you mulch it during nasty cold snaps. This gets multiple stalks to 7' high with spires of tubular red flowers for weeks which beckon Hummingbirds from afar. Highly dramatic and surprisingly easy. Good rich soil.
Stellar performer with big flowers of pinkish salmon flowers which are mellow enough to blend well in the border yet rich enough to stand alone as a focal point of color. You need to like this color as it is no flash in the pan with an established clump blooming from early summer well into fall.
There is no ignoring this Primrose when it is in flower. Some Primula are wee subtle things with no greater effect than the sound of a distant flute teasing the edge of hearing. Primula florindae is a full triumphant symphony with you sitting in the orchestra pit. Big heads of many nodding yellow or orange shaded fragrant flowers.
Choice selection with loose sprays of fine ice blue flowers in spring. This is a good little spreader for shade to dappled shade in moist soil that drains. Plenty hardy for our area and makes a lovely understory for larger plants as this only gets a few inches high.
A very choice plant from the Applachian Mts and closely allied to Podophyllum as they are both herbaceous members of the Berberidaceae. Broad leaves to a foot or more across with small white flowers which are easy to miss but screaming blue berries holler "Look at me!". Shade.
A nearly tropical looking woody species from China which has just recently been given specific status instead of just being a variety or subspecies. (You should have been at the party, without getting into specifics) Easy to grow and quick to fill a space, the foliage carries the day and the small yellow flowers are whimsical.
It is with gleeful anticipation that we await each spring the emergence of this little gem from N Japan, China, Korea and the Kuriles. Not often offered, this melds classy floral and foliar nuances on a small scale. The white flowers are the perfect compliment to the folaige. Sue's favorite.
This is one of those gently spiny plants of which we are so enamored. Purple tinged green leaves are lovely in combination with the many small mauve-pink thistle-like flowers late in the season. Not weedy in the slightest. Decent soil that drains.
Divisions from a a batch of Asiatic Fall blooming hybrids that we selected out the best light bloom forms. These are real nice and I'm here to tell you that it pains us to sell them. Mat forming and deciduous and making lots of new crowns, this has grand 2"-3" sky blue trumpets. Rich, moist and acidic.
Can't get enough bold-leafed herbaceous perennials in the shade garden especially given our penchant for finer-leafed Solomon Seals and their kin. This choice Asian with its broad foliage and early summer cream flowers plays perfectly off the willowy textures around it while complementing like-minded Arisaemas.
Chilean Fire Tree. Our classic all-time Desert Island plant where if we were stranded and could only choose one plant etc. we would be sitting beneath an Embothrium munching a Tyler Street Pesto Savory Scone and drinking a Townsend Bay Pinot Gris. A 4 alarm inferno of flame red flowers.
One of the jewels in the crown of fall blooming Asiatic Gentians. This loves a rich acidic moist soil in plenty of sun. Dairy manure is right up there with ice cream on its list of favorite foods. Rich green needley leaves are the perfect foil for the tubby and puckered striped blue flutes of flowers.
A cold hardy Hebe and goodness knows we need those! Great low spreader smothered in puffy white flowers in May-June followed by interesting seed heads. Easy and very low maintenance and fairly drought tolerant once established. Just a super evergreen for great contrast.
Maidenhair Spleenwort. I love common names. I must dig out our 15th century Herbal and read up on how to properly decoct this sweet little fern for afflicting humors of the spleen. Or I can just grow it in a gritty well-drained shaded rock garden and enjoy its evergreen delicacy.
We've seen this wee gem in both Bhutan and Sichuan at high elevations @12000' where it mingles in alpine meadows. Open-faced lavender pink flowers at groundlevel followed closely by foliage just a few inches high. Easy in the garden. Who would suspect it's a Solomon's Seal?
Try to get past the uncanny steroidal resemblance to the cursed shotweed which infests every bit of cultivated soil in the temperate zones - same genus but much better manners! Double white flowers like tiny roses from soft pinkish buds. This sets no seed but roots at the leaf tips.
This has grown - quite literally - into one of our favorite plants. Much like an Eremurus or Foxtail Lily in effect as it gets long basal strappy leaves and a tall branched flower spike with lots of pale peach tinted white flowers. The foliage withers away in summer and we leave the dried seedheads standing tall.
Intriguing Asian deciduous daphne relative that makes a rounded 5' shrub. The true glory of this plant come to the fore in early spring as golfball sized clusters of small deep orange flowers appear at the ends of the naked branches. We're all for anything that blooms early!
Our collection from Guizhou in 2010 of this mouth-watering shade perennial. Branched stems to nearly 3' with large reddish-purple pendulous flowers followed by shiny black fruit. We like this one so much we went back to the same mountain in 2012 and collected more seed! Gonna rock the shade garden.
Great little Scroph (Scrophulariaceae) from the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa. This is rated to zone 6 and grows in rocky areas. A cushion-forming perennial with loads of beautifully detailed scented flowers which open at dusk or on cloudy days. Good drainage.