A treasure for the rock garden or trough, this little jewel is native to Europe growing in crevices on rock cliffs. It likes good drainage but not too dry so add some fine gravel or sand to your planting mix. We've found it to be quite easy growing it in full sun and it often reblooms later in the year.
Nepal Lily. One of our favorite Lilies and one we saw in Arunachal Pradesh near Bhutan growing in low scrub on a sunny hillside. This is a particularly good form with very large pendant yellow-green flowers with a chocolate maroon throat. Really pretty amazing. Creeps about underground.
Mioga Ginger. A treasured food crop in Japan where the new shoots are prized as a vegetable and the flower buds are considered a delicacy. This clumps up quickly in rich moist soil in shade and produces exotic Iris-like creamy white flowers at ground level in late summer and fall.
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.
A fun Primrose that when settled in and enjoying a rich crumbly soil can really make a nice patch. This spreads by underground rhizomes and is a good colonizer. Some plants when you say colonizer it rightly sounds an alarm much like a submarine klaxon on an emergency dive. Not so this. Rich tomato pink flowers above season interest-extending felty foliage.
One of the sweetest little groundcovers we have grown. Aside from the small terminal clusters of deep blue flowers in late spring and early summer, we are taken by its good evergreen foliage and year-round tidy appearance. It is in one of our troughs and spills over the lip perfectly. Good for the rock garden.
Lilium rosthornii is an uncommonly interesting lily from China.Three foot stems carry large, vivid orange flowers whose narrow petals are recurved into an impossible backbend. The exposed faces of the petals fairly bristle with polyp-like papillose projections while the revealed open throat displays a small dark green star.
As perennials go, this Mexican Pea Tribe member is staggeringly impressive. From a woody base, there appears in spring stout stems reaching 8 feet.. On a mature plant, these stems are numerous and it becomes a dominant seasonal shrub. Pinnate leaves with 4 leaflets, large discoidal purple- veined stipules and big yellow flowers in fall.
A superb compact and very floriferous plant we got from the sadly late Michael Wickenden at Cally Gardens in Scotland. This is just about the perfect little container plant with low, dense tuffets of deep green narrow blades of leaves and a profusion of small white flowers on short stems which retain interest long after flowering with their seed heads.
Very thrilled to be finally able to offer this Veratrum which was formerly in the genus Melanthium.. Native from the Midwest to East Coast, this thrives in marshy, boggy settings or damp woods. Perfect in rich moisture retentive soil in the garden. White plumes of flowers to 5'+ in June and July. Deer proof - thank goodness for toxic alkaloids!.
Lovely, lovely species with classic Turk's cap shaped flowers of gentle pink with a lavender nuance further enhanced by a sprinkle of darker beauty spots on the downturned face which exhales a light fragrance that takes but the slightest stirring of the air to swirl about in fleeting notes taking this to yet a higher plane of pleasure. Seed grown
One of the classic alpines for rock gardens and one that should be on the "Easy Alpines for Beginners" list if it isn't already. Low tight mats of small evergreen leaves topped by fuzzy spherical violet-blue flowers in early summer, this looks good all the time. This particular one is from a Hinkley collection in Turkey.
Yellow Himalayan Honeysuckle. A species from NE India and northern Myanmar originally introduced by Frank Kingdon-Ward just over 100 years ago, this is from a more recent US National Arboretum collection. Yellow flowers over bronzed foliage distinguishes this from the more familiar Leycesteria formosa.
Pretty cool and needless to say, rare rhizomatous evergreen perennial taxonomically wandering among genera from Tupistra to Campylandra to currently Rohdea which we have written in pencil. This has proven nicely hardy here in the PNW making a statement with elegant narrow green leaves with a muted amber central stripe. Flowers curiously interesting.
Tough plant from Russia and Romania with blue two-lipped flowers from June into September. This will get 2' to 3' tall and likes good drainage in sandy, gravelly situations where it can get occasional water although it is pretty drought tolerant. Being a Salvia, the Port Townsend gardening soul-crushing deer won't eat it.........yet. Once our Uptown PT herd exceeds 100, all bets are off. Thanks to Panayoti Kelaidis for sharing seed.
Our collection of this Chinese mayapple from Yunnan China. Pink flowers in spring followed by large red roma tomato fruit in Fall. Rich moist soil. Great foliage.
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.
When this blooms we sound like that shampoo commercial 'Yes! Yes! Oh Yes!" Perfect quarter-sized mega-double white flowers like a steroidal double Anemonella, this has attained Enlightenment in the realm of Buttercups. Non-running tidy clumper & a sterile non-seeder. Easy.
A choice Snowdrop with very large single flowers and one of the earliest to bloom. This was found in the garden of John Gray in England and is a hard one to come by. Increases moderately well and seems to be a survivor with a good constitution as it is going strong here while more effete selections have dwindled.
This unique holly, sometimes called the SIlver Hedgehog holly, is a "Great Plant Pick". It features a beautiful creamy band around the each leaf. New shoots are an attractive purple, contrasting the older foliage. It's a full size holly, but can be kept smaller with pruning. Easy to grow. A male, so it won't spread into the wild.
We acquired this incredibly tough, tuberous, summer dormant Geranium in the 80's from East Lambrook in southern England which was home to Margery Fish and the original English Cottage Garden. Provenance alone is merit enough but good lavender blue flowers and drought tolerance carries the day.
Named by plant guru John Flintoff who found this as an interesting seedling growing in plantswoman Loie Benedict's garden. Light green leaves with a spreading habit and flowers of a soft muted lavender which happily goes with most everything. As long as the soil is reasonably moist, this will be good in sun to light shade and is resistant to deer and rabbits.
Think of this as a woodland Salvia which blooms in the Fall. This Japanese jewel brings an unexpected and welcome shot of color to the shade garden in Fall with airy panicles to 3 or 4 feet holding zillions of small tubular purple-blue flowers. Something nice to look if you are overloaded on the reds-oranges-yellows classic colors.
Here is a shot of color for your garden with this yellow-foliaged Mock Orange. Bright yellow new leaves which turn chartreuse-green as they mature makes this shrub impossible to ignore. Scented white flowers in late spring and early summer on this regrettably difficult to find plant. Our thanks to the design duo of Withey-Price for sharing this with us.
A Tony Avent collection from Korea's Jeju (Cheju) island of this Solomon Seal species. Large green-tipped white bells walk down the aisle underneath the 2' arching stems. Polygonatums are an integral part of the mix in the shade garden and are a great genus to collect as there are lots of species with new ones still being discovered in the wild.
A necessary part of the woodland garden are the small European Anemones and this is one of the good ones. Fine foliage and nice white flowers in spring on a slowly spreading rhizomatous little bulbous plant. As you may have surmised, this is at home in the Apennines in Italy and into Croatia.
Chameleon Vine. Crazy evergreen vine from the temperate forests of Chile and Argentina which only very recently was found to mimic the plants upon which it grows. The leaves increase or decrease in size, get darker or lighter, broader or narrower depending on its host or nearby plant. Flowers are insignificant on this science project.
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.
Native to the Caucasus and northern Iran where hardline clerics have been known to set aside fiery rhetoric while getting dirty bedding out plants of Eryngium caucasicum at their villas in the Elburz Mts. The Eryngium flowers are a natural cleric mellowing agent making them feel like the Ayatollah of Sea Hollyola. Small blueish flowers in quantity.
A Far Reaches Botanical Conservancy Offering. One of the tall verticillate species in China, this was growing among the branches of a striking shrubby Symplocos just below the mountain summit. The leaves on this species are arranged in whorls like the spokes of a tire. At the leaf base are clustered white and green flowers which turn into red fruit. We like it.
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