Bugbane. A dusky, dark-leafed plant that appeared as a seedling in our shade garden a few years ago. We are windy here and which seed from which black-leafed, named form blew in from our sales tables, we cannot say. We let it be where it landed until it got too large and now it is divisions in pots. To 4' with late season wands of whitish fragrant flowers.
This is a fine selection quite comparable to "Back in Black" but a bit more compact in stature aspiring to attain 3' in height. This makes it much more workable for the front of the bed or as a container element. Dark stems holding dark blue-purple flowers in late summer. Mulch if very cold but has been fine here in the Puget Sound area.
This was selected at Bressingham Gardens by the legendary Alan Bloom and is derivative from the garden-proven Headsbourne hybrids that are noted for hardiness and excellent flowers. This pick of the litter has 2-1/2' stems with baseball-sized flower-heads of a good dark blue. This will be good down to zone 7 with a nice deep mulch.
One of the top hybrids bred by Steve Hickman of Hoyland's and is well-regarded among those in the know for its large powder-blue flowers on 30" stems. We have just a few of these and owe thanks to plantsman Jim Fox's courier efforts from the UK and for sharing with us.
A pretty spiff hybrid from the Los Angeles County Arboretum. This hardy Lily of the Nile has deep and dark violet flowers which are held on stems up to 3' and are quite the show. Had a girlfriend years ago who was deep and dark and would frequently put on quite a show but that grew tiresome. This plant is different and you won't weary of it or require therapy.
A cracking bicolored Lily of the Nile out of a breeding program in South Africa where this one seedling out of hundreds exhibited excellent white flowers with a blue base. These are held in 6"-8" umbels on stems to nearly 4' tall! Maybe the best thing is that is deciduous and hardy going to zone 7b with a good mulch.
Attractive cousin to blueberries growing in the trees of Thailands northern mountains. Sometimes seen offered as a hybrid clone 'Red Elf', this is typical hosseana which is a small evergreen shrub with dark red flowers that can take light frost. The fruit is edible and would be nice sprinkled on Thai Beef Salad, Phla Nuea.
One of the hardiest of the Aloes, this will withstand short drops into the upper teens but will appreciate shelter against a sunny wall under an eave where it will produce orange flowers for months on end. Well worth trying for some succulent exotica or just fine in a container where it can be brought inside for the winter. Has done well in outside with careful siting in mild PNW gardens.
Quite the stunner and a selection we don't think is available here in the US as this is one we have brought back from the United Kingdom although it doesn't seem too united at the moment. Very clean white margins to the green leaves which clad the 2' stems with very pleasing burnt orange flowers. Not aggressive and good tolerance to cold. Just a few.
Goat's Beard. A selection by German nurseryman Ernst Pagels who introduced several excellent Aruncus cultivars. This is a fine compact plant just 18"-24" tall with white flowers springing forth from brownish buds. The finely cut mound of green foliage is a textural dream. Think German engineering and how those standards get applied to plants. It;s pretty good.
A very dwarf and often hard to find Astilbe that couples congested dark green foliage which is reddish bronze when in new growth with stout little spires of pink flowers. Don't be mislead by its small stature into thinking this is some ephemeral dainty - it is tough and durable.
Masterwort. Long-blooming compact variety with lots of long-lasting pincushion white flowers tinged variously in light pink. The pink is most pronounced of the reverse of the bracts surrounding the button of "true" flowers which gives this a teasing bicolor look. Astrantias give back way more than you put into them which works out really well.
An impressive cane-type Begonia hybrid with luscious foliage. The big "angel wing" leaves are a rich carmine underneath and with some sun, the upper surface of the leaves start to smolder a bit with muted bronze-purple tones. Hefty heads of small pink flowers just keep coming for a long display. This can get to 5' or so and easy to cut back a bit to overwinter inside.
A hybrid Bergenia from the breeding work of Rosemarie Eskuche in Germany. 'David' has smallish leaves which stand quite upright taking on good color in the winter. Being smaller and upright lends itself to containers or the rock garden. Intense pink flowers on stems to 16" in spring are impossible to ignore unless of course you decorate with plastic flamingos.
This choice terrestrial orchid is a hybrid between Calanthe discolor and the rare C. izu-insularis resulting from breeding work in Japan. The flowers are nicely displayed above the pleated leaves with muted maroon sepals and petals which contrasts beautifully with the light pink labellum that is edged in white. Divisions from our plants - not laboratory imports. Just a very few normally available only onsite.
A very hardy Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit Ceanothus. If you are going to name something the Glory of Versailles then it had better be good! A deciduous shrub to 6' or 7' high or more and 5' or so wide with soft powder blue panicles of scented flowers mid summer into fall. C. americanus and the Mexican C. coeruleus are it's parents.
An old French hybrid, this is far less twitchy than some others in the genus and of a size far more suited to the home garden. Sizable semi-deciduous ovate leaves are held on burgundy stems which terminate in fluffy plumes of pink flowers. The flowers peak in early summer but continue to appear until early fall. Tolerates more water than most Ceanothus and is hardier.
An older cultivar introduced in 1948 by Walter Clarke of Clarke Nurseries in San Jose who was blazing new trails in breeding Chaenomeles by crossing C. cathayensis and the hybrid x superba.with the resulting crosses called x californica and then he just had to name one 'California'. This has showy pink and rose-pink flowers.
Fantastic hybrid garden mum with small green leaves backed in silver and the whole plant forming a very dense mound just 16" tall and 2' across. Foliage alone is worth growing this plant but when it covers itself in fall with small white flowers with a prominent yellow central button, you can pat yourself on the back for a choice well made.
One of two similar but subtly different chance seedlings in our garden thanks to the tireless hybridization efforts of our various bee species. Apparently they visited the nursery and purloined pollen from 'Dixter Pink' or 'Cottage Apricot' and placed it on our Chrysanthemum yezoense - awesome! Why didn't we think of that? Softly pale pink flowers with petals flat to slightly reflexed.
One of two bee-inspired hybrid seedlings next to our Chrysanthemum yezoense which is in a line-of-sight flight path to flowering plants of Chrysanthemum 'Cottage Apricot' and 'Dixter Pink' in the nursery. Evaluations of the two very similar hybrids by visitors were evenly split as to which was best so we've named them both to preserve harmony.
Very nice 2014 introduction from Holland of this hybrid in the Diversifolia Group. A small grower getting just 5 to 6 feet tall but with a serious flower display fro June to September. This is part of the trend towards breeding plants for small gardens and for containers. This will float your boat on the motion of your garden's ocean. Prune to 6" in Feb-Mar.
A very manageable yet floriferous Clematis with 3" blue-violet flowers set off by a tuffet of white whiskery stamens. This hybrid is in the diversifolia group and gets just 5'-6' tall appreciating a little help from its friends like nearby shrubs or small trellises. Young plants.
Heaps of praise have been bestowed upon this small hybrid and rightly so. Blue-lavender 3" starry flowers are produced over a long period of time from mid summer into September often. This is a scrambler not a twiner and will wend through shrubs to great effect orencouraged on a small trellis.
What is it about these small flowered Clems that tug at our hearts so? Violet urns with recurved tips of very thick substance are like a rich necklace of amethyst laid upon the leaves and you are whisked to a lavish lobby dressed to the nines with champagne flute in hand and the orchestra is faintly tuning. Lovely thing to dress a large shrub.
A hybrid of Clematis marata and C. marmoria from Graham Hutchins of the famed County Park Nursery in New Zealand. This fairly tender little evergreen creeper has early spring female flowers of greenish-white which are strongly scented of citrus. Perfect little container plant to overwinter in the cool greenhouse or outside in mild areas.
These are seed-grown from our plant of 'Hakure' which is often seen as 'Hakuree'. The parent plant was bred and selected by Hiroshi Hayakama in Japan in the early 90's who chose this for its floriferous display of white flowers just touched with fleeting lavender and sporting twisted tepals. Our seed-grown progeny will vary from deep purple to white but all will be good. 18"-30" tall.
A very pleasing Dutch hybrid with the elegant Clematis texensis contributing excellent genetics. A small rambling vine to 5'-6' with loads soft shell pink trumpet shaped flowers looking like small tulips strewn on the foliage. Ideal scrambling into shrubs, these are young plants ready to settle in.
between the Mexican evergreen C. pringlei and the east coast C. alnifolia. The result is great evergreen foliage becoming semi-evergreen in colder parts with copious candles of palest pink fragrant flowers in the latter half of summer. This was shared with us by Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens in Texas which was ravaged by hurricane Harvey.
One of the very good blue flowered hybrids combining the best traits of Corydalis flexuosa with those of C. elata. We were in China in 2006 and saw both species in a single day in the Wolong Panda area and these hybrids hold a special appeal to us. In the Poppy family, this requires light to bright shade and moist soil where it will make a nice patch. Z5-8.
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