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.
Long my favorite Bergenia with large upright broad paddles of leaves which turn the best maroon in the winter of any in the genus. Oh sure, the dark pink flowers are good in spring but this plant is one of the few reasons I look forward to winter. Galanthus for contrast - oh my.
Much sought-after jewel of the rock garden is this slow dwarf Willow. This was found as a natural hybrid on the moors in Scotland and is prized by rock gardeners for its slow 2"-3" of growth per year with nice rounded foliage and stoutly twiggy habit. Always spendy, always worth it.
Lily of the Valley. A good selection of this stalwart species with a yellow margin to the leaves and said leaves are larger than average as well. Typical scented white flowers. There are numerous spellings of the cultivar name but since this is an American introduction, we can only assume this is correct. Sad.
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.
Sweet little groundcover whose double white flowers resemble fluffy bits of white popcorn strewn on the leaves. Perfect underplanting for other shade plants to pop up through and great between stepping stones. Gently spreading and not hard to keep in bounds. Darnn near perfect.
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.
Saxifraga cochlearis is native to the southeastern Alps and this form 'Major' is speculated to be a hybrid with S. callosa which would account for its extra vigor. Not a bad thing at all! This makes clustered rosettes of foliage encrusted in silvery deposits and has white flowers in spring. Good in a trough or rock garden.
Fabulous Award of Garden Merit shrub that has lovely pinnate Pea-like foliage and scads of luscious pink Pea flowers for several weeks from early to mid-summer. Quite pest free and wanting only good sun and drainage. A little light pruning for shape once a year and you are set to enjoy.
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.
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.
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.
Mountain dweller in the Cascades BC to CA, popping over to Colorado and up into the northern arctic regions. Good rock garden plant down here where the livin' is easy. Succulent blue-green leaves clad the many stems while the terminal clustered red flowers glitter like a garnet hatpin.
This a bigger version of the little B. penna-marina ssp. alpina commonly found in nurseries. We never see this offered which is just a shame since it is a great fern. Well, not such a shame since a little exclusivity never hurts. This makes a dense groundcover of evergreen foliage.
A rare Myrtle fromTierra del Fuego which is quite hardy here and just the sweetest thing with evergreen aromatic leaves and small white flowers in summer which are followed by pink/white pearly edible berries. A perfect little plant. Good moist soil in some shade.
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'.
A choice Primula from the Italian Alps that is seldom offered for sale. I know we hate to part with any. These make bold clumps of distinctive foliage with short-stemmed clusters of dark lavender flowers. This likes a moisture retentive well drained soil.
A hybrid seedling selection between Eucryphia glutinosa and E. cordifolia that showed up at Mount Usher Gardens in Ireland thanks to some discerning work done by the local pollinators. The deciduous E. glutinosa brings good hardiness and the E. cordifolia adds excellent flower and evergreen foliage. Uncommon in the trade. Tall narrow habit.
This is a gleaming bit of sunshine carried into your shadowed shade garden and released. The cupped leaves to just 5" high bring more light to their bit of turf than their size would suggest. The small light lilac flowers are nice but incidental because with this Hosta it is all about the glow.
Rare and choice goody that Jim Fox brought to us from England. Surprisingly hardy with screaming hot bright fuchsia pink daisies in summer. Don't plant it with Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' like we did - a memorable combo for its garish bad taste. Winter dormant.
A choice little woodland groundcover from our collection in a high elevation coniferous forest in Yunnan where it grew not far from Primula sonchifola and Megacodon stylophorus. Slow carpeter with white flowers and small pale orange fruit nestled in the nicely textured leaves.. Choice and not invasive by a long shot.
This was one of those "Holy shit - lookit that fern!" moments when we first spotted this species growing at the base of soaring pinnacles of vertical peaks in Guizhou, China where it was not intimidated in the least and perfectly in scale. Massive 4'-6' wide fronds 6'-8' tall in the wild and clumping. Likely smaller in cultivation but still BIG! Zone 7b-9.
This charmer with white unarmed Thistle-like flowers may well be ssp. insularis but there is a dearth of both information as well as time to review that information. Maybe this winter when the plants are dormant. Under a foot high with nice showy white flowers in mid to late summer.
Choice little bulb for the rock garden, this increases quickly to make a dense grassy tuffet of leaves with lots of pink flowers in summer. Likes moisture when it is growing and good drainage in the winter when it is dormant. You would make some points with it by mulching if quite cold.
A very good and stable selection from Japan of this little woodland creeper. Dark green leaves are well-marked with feathered yellow tips and in spring this has pendant white starry flowers. This will increase to create a definite bit of visual velcro in the garden because as your eye roams the plants, it will stop abruptly on this one.
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.
Evergreen alpine Aussie growing in the same habitat as Snow Gums. This has billowy gray-green foliage and 1" white flowers borne on last year's wood. With age the bark exfoliates and reveals a very shiny trunk which adds to the allure. Sun, good drainage, dryish and phooey to the deer.
Got lots of sun and sandy or well-drained soil with average to low fertility in a dryish garden beset by rabbits and deer but still want lots of flowers for the bees and other pollinators? Look no further as this will nicely fill the bill. Mature plant has hundreds of pink papery bracted flowers in midsummer on drooping stems. Best displayed in a raised bed.
A Dan Hinkley collection from Japan of this fine mid to late summer blooming Allium species. Good richly colored purple flowers are freely produced on this densely clumping little dude. Good in containers and great in the rock garden or special little niche. This was originally misidentified as Allium thunbergii.
Our selection from the California Redwoods of a large-leafed and vigorous clone of Wild Ginger. This sports large glossy green leaves which mask the sizable brown starfish flowers hidden underneath. We always like surprises. A dense big groundcover in shaded rich moist soil.
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