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.
A no-fuss restrained yet refined evergreen Cardamine which is nearly faultless. We haven't found a fault yet but most overachievers are hiding something deep under that charm and industry. Rest assured, this will never go postal in your garden. Dark green dense leaves set off flowers of of purest white in early summer.
Fun newish selection of the recently moved to Bistort from Persicaria with softly golden foliage which is a great backdrop for the 24"-36" flower stems bearing spikes of flowers the same color as Dorothy's ruby slippers. Easy, hardy, bright shade and gangbusters in rich moist soil.
This is a surprisingly hardy terrestrial Orchid that is quite easy to grow given a couple of rules. Loose crumbly organic/gritty well-drained soil and fairly dry in the winter. We've friends who grow these easily in Port Ludlow unprotected in rotting logs, stumps and deep moss on rocks.
We got this from Maggie at Western Hills some years ago as an Alstroemeria x Bomarea hybrid called 'Fred Meyer'. Thanks to Martin Grantham at UC Davis, we finally have the correct name. This is a rare and surprisingly hardy species from Brazil which does great outside for us. Pink corolla tube with green petals and yellow throat. Not aggressive.
One of our favorite Roscoeas (we admittedly love the one we are with at the moment when it comes to these) which distinguishes itself by a haughty erectness (only achieved a great cost at expensive finishing schools) in apparent conflict with the "Do Me Now!" exotic yellow flowers.
Rare and elusive denizen of the New Jersey Pine Barrens which when in flower, always strikes me as looking more extra-terrestrial than a product of our own earthly evolution. Bizarre pink cones studded with blue anthers are just a giggle. Rich moist soil in some shade.
Beautiful clumping species that may well be the queen of the genus. Or are we granting royalty because it is new on the scene? Maybe, but it is awfully good. This makes a stout small clump of evergreen fern-like leaves from which emerge in spring the peculiarly Coptis greenish-yellow flowers. From China.
Fantastic little gem from the high mountains of Taiwan collected by our friend Philip MacDougall. Our mama plant is several years old and is a compact dome just 9" high and maybe 12" across. Early summer has this adorned in small dense heads of dark pink flowers edged in pale pink to white.
One of the larger flowered varieties of Wood Anemone, this has excellent white flowers which are more than enough to stand alone or perfect in a supporting understory role to larger shrubs and perennials.
Neat species from China and into the Himalayas of Northern India, this has some stout stems that can reach 4' on old large bulbs with many leaflets arrayed like the spokes of an umbrella with long filamentous drip tips at the ends of the leaflets. Large greenish to purple or white striped flowers.
A distinct smaller form with wider leaves from our collection on the summit of Jinfoshan where it was growing deep moss on top of hard limestone flanged outcrops in a miniature stone forest. We thought this might be a new subspecies but DNA says R. carnea. The scented pink and white flowers are much more visible in this form.
Distinctive Chinese species with this variety being especially so with its narrow evergreen leaves well-measeled in creamy yellow spots. Clustered small red-purple flowers give way to large red fruit in fall which is just another bit of ornament for this tough plant which can tolerant dark shade and neglect.
A hardy Ginger relative from our seed collection near eastern Bhutan. This is a rare offering of this collection. Narrow petals of white and peach are floral whimsy and always amuse us. Unscented flowers which compensate by having the showiest seed display in the genus. Mulch in winter.
A purported G. papilio hybrid, our mama plant when in bloom with its 5 foot stems of red-mauve flowers sporting dark eye patches, frequently caused plant geeks to start speaking in tongues and offer creative enticements in exchange for a wee bit. We have had to say "No." until now.
A collection of this prized Asian culinary species from the Korean island of Jejudo which used to be Cheju or Cheju-do. This is a true Ginger but in the case, it is the deep yellow flower buds that are eaten which open to lilac-pink flowers held at ground level. The corn-like leaves get about 3' tall and this is hardy to zone 6 and even zone 5.
A collection by Tony Avent from South Korea as Polygonatum odoratum but it has been found to be a different species and one seldom seen in gardens. Familiar arching stems to 3' with narrow white bells tipped in green hanging underneath. These flowers are scented with lemon and is most noticeable as you stroll the garden with your morning coffee. Zone 4 to zone 8b.
False Solomon Seal. This Chinese species is one of our favorites in the shade garden and we delight in its ribbed leaves with elegantly understated small violet daubing at the base of each leaflet followed by the precise detail in the small greenish flowers. In the late summer into fall, it has strut-your-stuff full heads of bright orange fruit.
This is indeed the king. One of our most coveted plants, this is an especially fine form from our friend Philip MacDougall. This beauty can reach 12' tall with subtle hooks on the leaf tips to help it hang onto neighboring plants. The best thing is the ORANGE flowers in abundance in the leaf axils. Swoon City.
Dwarf Scandanavian selection of Chives which is way more ornamental than usefully edible. Lots of pinkish lavender flowers on a very compact plant. Quite useful in the rock garden or detailed planting site such as edge of a stepping stone or against a rock.
From Wendy Perry of Bosvigo Plants in S. England comes this unfortunately scarce and choice Campanula. Gently and very controllably spreading to make an impressive clump with spires of pure white flowers. Pairs impeccably with Hosta 'Patriot'.
Robin White's hybrid which was a gift to us from John Massey at Ashwood Nursery and typical of anything from Robin, this is freaking awesome. Stout of stem, bold of leaf and arresting of flower, all is colored a rich purple in June and July later mellowing somewhat but still freaking awesome. Unavailable in the US. Except here.
Our own hybrid introduction which we have trialed for 10 years before releasing a few. A very long bloom period from mid summer into fall. Narrow foliage supports 3'+ stems of rich burnt orange with the individual flowers glistening as if lacquered. Attribution to everyone's favorite 1978 Captain Beefheart album Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller).
Staggeringly impressive recent introduction of this Solomon Seal species from - wait for it - Vietnam. This is similar to our favorite Polygonatum huanum (formerly as kingianum) but is just more of everything that is good. Large red flowers snug the whorled leaves on stems which this year in the garden reached 15' tall and which remain green for us until temps drop below 20F.
Excellent member of the Crassulaceae which means it is a succulent basically but one that eschews the arid sunny spot in favor of lusher environs like our shade garden with dairy manure mulch. Makes a thick clump of fleshy green leaves with taller stems of pendulous strings of beads yellow flowers. Very easy to please and a show stealer in bloom.
An Epimedium species of great merit and the Spiny Leaf Form from Darrell Probst puts this into the first rank of the evergreen species. Gorgeous big leaves richly bronze and captivating when young. This doesn't need to bloom to make us happy but the soft yellow flowers are welcome.
Rock Fleabane. A mighty mite in the Asteraceae family, this rock crevice dweller was not discovered until 1978 in the Chiricahua Mts in Arizona and later was found 200 miles east in the Black Range of New Mexico. It has been very easy and rock hardy for us and although drought tolerant, adapts to frequent irrigation. Small white flowers.
Rare plant found only in limited areas in central Honshu, Japan where it likes the forest fringes in the subalpine areas and is known as hiiragi-sou or holly tree-leafed weed. Hiiragi-sou sounds better than the translation. This selection has dark blue flowers and is a deciduous clumper to 16" tall - very nice!
So notoriously promiscuous as to make a rabbit blush, these evergreen bulbous Iris family members are all about the summer of love. Embracing any bee that taps on its window bringing pollen from any nearby floozy flower, this exhibits a Bacchanalian moral turpitude that is either damned or extolled. These are young seed-grown plants from one of our darkest Dierama so at worst, this will still be pretty good.
This plant smells so good in flower that it should be illegal or barring that, taxable. This could help with budget shortfalls because it is frankly addictive. One sniff and the response is "Ooh! Do you have this for sale?" Southwest native remarkable hardy with grape koolaid fragrant white flowers in masses.
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