Sanguinaria canadensis – pink-flowered bloodroot

  T We just snapped this photo of a blush pink-flowered bloodroot seedling in our trial beds, that originated from a pink-tinged plant we found in the mountains of Virginia many years ago.  The new leaf, flower bud, and outer … Continue reading

A Pitcher of Flowers

Here is a small sampling of the amazing array of flowers that are in the garden currently (late April/early May) on our pitcher plants. The genus Sarracenia is native to North America and hails from Canada south to Florida, where … Continue reading

Flowers at Flower Hill

We’re just back from a quick outing to the Flower Hill Nature Preserve in Johnston County, NC…just a few miles from JLBG. This unique coastal plain site contains remnants of species more common in the NC mountains, nearly 5 hours … Continue reading

A Forest of Pink

Magnolia ‘Forest’s Pink’ put on a splendid show this year in early to mid-March. Sold as a cultivar of the Chinese Magnolia denudata, some magnolia experts insist that it’s actually a hybrid, due to the intensity of the pink color … Continue reading

Coneflower Rainbow

We value the purple coneflower as a great summer-flowering perennial in the native plant garden as well as the mixed perennial border. Coneflowers attract both butterflies and hummingbirds. Purple coneflower species are easy to grow, heat- and drought-tolerant native perennials. Two things … Continue reading

Flowering Pitchers

Although most folks grow our native pitcher plants for the foliage (pitchers), we think the flowers are pretty darn incredible.  Here are a couple of the earliest flowers species from the garden yesterday.  Sarracenia flava putting on an incredible show. … Continue reading

Cardinal Flowers – An Easy to Grow Native

Lobelia cardinalis is native to 41 out of the 50 states in North America. The cardinal flower is tolerant of many different soils from moist bogs to average garden soils, and is perfect for use in rain gardens. Cardinal flowers … Continue reading

Four favorites flowering today in the garden

  Epimedium ‘Pink Champagne’ is dazzling today in the garden, both for the great foliage and floral show.   Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’…WOW.  Variegated foliage and very cool flowers.  The key to growing this well is good drainage and … Continue reading

Open Nursery and Garden Hellebores in flower

            If you weren’t able to make it to our Winter Open Gardens and Nursery, here are some hellebore photos we took this morning.  The first is the amazing Helleborus ‘Anna’s Red’.  We’ll be adding … Continue reading

Helleborus x ballardiae ‘HGC Pink Frost’

I wanted to show a current photo of our clump of Helleborus ‘HGC Pink Frost‘ in the garden, since it’s one of the very few hellebores whose color intensifies as the flowers age.  A couple of hours of sun will … Continue reading

New Pink Bloodroot – teaser only

Part of the fun of gardening is growing plants from seed in hopes of finding something new. In the 1990s we found a couple bloodroots, (Sanguinaria canadensis) in the Virginia mountains that had pink buds that opened white…pure white is … Continue reading

Cyclamen coum in flower

II I I wanted to share this photo I just shot of Cyclamen coum in the garden today.  It’s been flowering for nearly a month and during that time endured snow, ice, and single digit temperatures.  That’s one tough plant!  Flower … Continue reading

Calopogon tuberosus (Grass Pink Orchid)

Looking very good at Plant Delights Nursery is our crop of the North American native orchid, Calopogon tuberosus.  We have found these to grow wonderfully in straight peat moss, if it’s kept moist. We are very excited to be able … Continue reading

Physostegia ‘Pink Manners’

Here’s our clump of Pink Manners obedient plant in the garden today.  Physostegia ‘Pink Manners’ is a Darrell Probst introduction, and one of only two tightly clumping obedient plants on the market.  Physostegia grows equally well in boggy soils or … Continue reading

Helleborus ‘Penny’s Pink’

I just snapped this photo of Helleborus ‘Penny’s Pink’ showing its incredible foliage in the garden…who needs flowers when the leaves look this good.  By the way, it’s also completely sterile.  Check out our incredible selection of lenten roses!

Helleborus x ballardiae ‘HGC Pink Frost’

Several weeks ago, I posted a photo of Helleborus ‘Pink Frost’, but the real beauty of this sterile selection is that the flowers become a darker pink as they age…a color that hold for months.  Here is how it looks … Continue reading

Spring fireworks

Magnolia officinalis var. biloba ‘Fireworks’ is stunning in the garden, from its dark purple buds to the vivid pink flowers. Typical Magnolia officinalis var. biloba has white flowers, so this amazing plant is most unusual.

Worth the Wait

One of my OCD exercises is keeping a list of desiderata plants for the garden, which I’ve either seen or heard about, and want to try. At this point, the list is closing in on a ridiculous 3,000 items. Some … Continue reading

Ballard’s Christmas Roses

The late Helen Ballard of England was one of the early pioneers in developing what we know today as hybrid hellebores. It was only fitting, when one of the breakthrough crosses, a hybrid between the Balkan native Christmas Rose, Helleborus … Continue reading

More cool baptisias

If you’ve followed us for a while, you know our passion for the North American native baptisia. Our breeding program is over two decades old now, and we are thrilled to introduce our latest selections. Baptisia ‘Blue Candleabra’ is a … Continue reading

New Redbuds

I had the wonderful opportunity recently to spend the day with NC State plant breeder, Dr. Dennis Werner in his extensive redbud breeding plots. So far, four redbuds have been named and released, including Cercis ‘Ruby Falls’ (weeping purple leaf), … Continue reading

Do you have a Heart Throb in your Garden?

Hurricane Hermine brought some much needed rain over the weekend. Not only were there some happy gardeners, but the rain lilies are loving it too. Here is a picture of Zephyranthes ‘Heart Throb’ in the garden with its bright 2″ reddish-pink … Continue reading

Favorites from this week in garden.

    There’s so much going on in the garden now, it’s hard to know where to start.  The ferns are looking fabulous, and one of our favorites is the native Dryopteris x australis.  Yes, “australis” means from the south. … Continue reading

Hardy Cactus in bloom at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

  For those who didn’t get to our Open Nursery and Garden last week, here are some of the hardy cactus you missed in the new Souto Garden section.  We’re passionate about hardy cactus, and have been so since we … Continue reading

South African Geophyte Day – Oxalis and Eucomis

Several of the South African geophytes (plants with swollen underground storage organs) are looking great today in the gardens here at Juniper Level.  The top photo is the amazing Oxalis bowiei, which just emerged from summer dormancy.  This 10″ gem … Continue reading

2010 Plant Delights Nursery November Newsletter

Dear PDN’ers: Here at PDN, the year is winding down as shipping ceases at the end of November…except for horticultural emergencies. We’ve spent the last month selecting plants for the new catalog, writing catalog descriptions, and choosing the catalog images. … Continue reading

2010 Plant Delights Nursery June Newsletter

Dear PDN’ers: Who turned on the heat? While we’ve had really good rains in June, they have been accompanied by abnormally high temperatures which arrived much too early in the season. Because of the hot weather, we have put all … Continue reading

2009 Plant Delights Nursery October Newsletter

September was a busy month at Plant Delights, not only with our Fall Open House, but also with a visit from 655 of America’s top garden writers as the group descended upon the Raleigh-Durham area for their annual convention. It … Continue reading

2007 Plant Delights Nursery September Newsletter

It’s been quite a month since we last talked. August at the Raleigh-Durham airport was the hottest month here since records have been kept… some 60+ years. As part of our 3-week heat binge, our 105 degree F temperature also … Continue reading

2006 Plant Delights Nursery October Newsletter

It’s starting out to be a great fall at PDN. It’s actually hard to believe that it’s already fall…especially since we still haven’t seen those major hurricanes that we’ve been promised! Not only has the weather been superb, but fall … Continue reading

Ice n’ Roses Dilemma

Below are more of the Ice n’ Roses snow roses flowering now in the gardens at JLBG. These amazing sterile hybrids were created in Germany by the Heuger plant breeding company. They have proven fabulous in our trials, but are … Continue reading

Blue Ribbon Winner

One of many exciting new introductions for 2022 is Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Ribbons’ PPAF. This variegated version of our wonderful native woodland phlox was discovered here as a single sport in our garden by our plant taxonomist, Zac Hill. Instead … Continue reading

Late Summer Rains

We are fascinated with the wonderful genus zephyranthes (rain lilies). Zephyranthes are unobtrusive, summer-flowering bulbs that can fit in any garden, with a flower color ranging from yellow to white to pink. The great thing about zephyranthes is the lack … Continue reading

Surprise…the lycoris have begun

Lycoris (surprise or hurricane lillies) season has begun in earnest. We’ve already had 97 diffrerent clones to flower and the season is young. In a typical year, we usually flower between 300 and 400 different selected clones. Here are a … Continue reading

Hidden no longer

Late June is when the amazing hidden cone gingers (curcuma) begin to explode here at JLBG. Here is our clump of Curcuma ‘Pink Wonder’ this week emerging from what looked like a bare patch of ground in the woodland garden. … Continue reading

Keeping up the Spirit

In 2009, we first planted the Tom Ranney (NC State) introduction of Hydrangea ‘Spirit’..his creation of a pink-flowered selection of the usually white-flowered NC native Hydrangea arborescens. Here it is today, twelve years later and still looking superb in the … Continue reading

New Notocactus

Several of our volunteers have dabbled with cactus breeding, so here is one of the hybrids we’re currently enjoying at JLBG, thanks to the creative efforts of Mike Papay. The top image is the female parent, Notocactus ottonis (yellow). The … Continue reading

Living Mulch

We’re always looking for more “green mulch” plants, which cover the ground, reducing weed pressure, while not choking out desirable plants. One such plant we feel should be more widely grown is Erigeron pulchellus. This amazing perennial is native to … Continue reading

Icebergs are breaking off, but Iburgs are breaking bad

Another recent dramatic improvement in hybrid lenten roses started at the small mom/pop nursery in England, RD plants. Here, Rodney David and Lynda Windsor created the first known hybrids of Hellleborus x ballardiae (niger x lividus) and Helleborus x hybridus. … Continue reading

A Fairy Wing and a Prayer

Epimediums have long been a staple of the woodland perennial garden, but it wasn’t until plantsmen like Darrell Probst (US) and Mikinori Ogisu (Japan) began discovering and sharing the amazing wealth of unknown Chinese fairy wing species that their popularity … Continue reading

Brexit Redux – Part I

With the ink barely dry on the Brexit signing in early February, and well before Coronavirus panic hit, it was time for a return trip to the UK for another round of plant collecting. Accompanying me is Walters Gardens plant … Continue reading

Tubing! Hummers! Summer!

The genus Sinningia is a South American gesneriad (African violet and gloxinia relative). Hummingbirds and butterflies just love the tubular flowers of Sinningia, and several species including Sinningia tubiflora, are quite fragrant. Sinningia flowers come in a wide array of … Continue reading

A new redbud to cultivation

Since redbuds were a favorite plant of the late J.C. Raulston, and a feature of the garden that bears his name, I assumed that I had seen or grown all of the known species. Boy was I wrong, as I … Continue reading

Do You Know Your Neighbors

There are many great garden-worthy native plants that are under utilized, not readily available, or not even on the radar of many gardeners. If you aren’t familiar with, or haven’t grown these native beauties, you should get acquainted! Erigeron is … Continue reading

Join the flocks and bedazzled.

Here are a couple of favorites from our trials that will be included in our new catalog to be launched January 1. These are the Bedazzled series of Phlox, created by plantsman Hans Hansen, using our native Phlox bifida. Last … Continue reading

Double Your Pleasure

Flowering in the woodland garden this week is the diminutive Anemonella ‘Schoaf’s Double’…so very cute. Hardiness is Zone 4a-8b.  We’re also working with a new double form that our research horticulturist, Jeremy Schmidt found on a botanizing trip in Tennessee. … Continue reading

Hellebores abound at our Winter Open Gardens and Nursery Days

As we approach our first open garden and nursery day of the 2018, we wanted to share some Helleborus x hybridus photos we took in the garden this week…even though you’ll see them when you visit.  These are all our … Continue reading

Fluorescent bee balm

We’ve been thrilled at the entire group of new non-running, mildew-resistant bee balms from the Walters Gardens breeding program.  Now fluorescent flowers have been added by including previously unused, little-known orange-flowered genetics. It’s hard to capture the degree of fluorescence … Continue reading

New dianthus…take a sniff

We love dianthus (hardy carnations), both for their evergreen foliage, drought tolerance, and deliciously fragrant flowers. Getting dianthus to flower is easy, it just that soon after flowering, most succumb to our hot, humid summers. Consequently, we celebrate when a … Continue reading

New sterile hybrid hellebores for fall – sneak peek

 We are very excited to add four brand new Helleborus niger hybrids (bred with Helleborus x hybridus) to our fall on-line catalog.  These are sisters to the wildly popular Helleborus ‘Anna’s Red’ and ‘Penny’s Pink’, all with outfacing flowers, incredible … Continue reading

Rhodophiala bifida ‘White Surprise’…and more

We’ll never get tired of growing plants from seed and the anticipation of seeing what unique traits might arise.  This week, we were thrilled to “discover” our first white oxblood lily, Rhodophiala bifida in our research trials.  We deflowered it … Continue reading

Surprise….it’s surprise lily time!

Many gardeners don’t look forward to summer, but we’ve found a cure…plant lycoris! Known as surprise lilies and hurricane lilies, the lycoris bloom season starts in mid-July and continues into mid-September with a procession of different varieties.  Winter hardiness of … Continue reading

Baptisias: Great American Natives!

Baptisias, commonly known as false indigo, are North American native members of the pea family and quite drought tolerant once established. They provide amazing architectural form in a sunny garden or perennial border, and are deer-resistant and a butterfly magnet … Continue reading

Plant Delights June 2016 Newsletter

Greetings from Plant Delights and Juniper Level Botanic Garden. Botanical Interest So far, it’s been a great spring at PDN and JLBG. Rains have been pretty regular so far…thanks to two early-season tropical storms. No sign of an imminent summer … Continue reading

Crinum ‘Improved Peachblow’

Early June is an amazing time for crinum lilies in the gardens here at Juniper Level and here’s one of our favorites, photographed yesterday.  Crinum ‘Improved Peachblow‘ is simply amazing…great flower form, sturdy stems, pink buds that open white, and … Continue reading

New Plants for sale added to the website

            We’ve recently added over 60 new plants for sale to the website.  These represent plants that we simply can’t produce in large enough numbers for the print catalog including quite a few rarieties. These … Continue reading

Crinum lilies in the garden

  This has been an amazing summer for crinum lilies at Juniper Level.  These mostly African species and their hybrids are wonderfully fragrant, hard-to-kill bulbs for the sunny garden.  Above is Crinum x baconii ‘Maureen Spinks’…one of the showiest summer-flowering … Continue reading

Amorphophallus kiusianus foliage and fruit

  One of our favorite summer garden plants are the amorphophallus (love lilies), and in particular, Amorphophallus kiusianus.  The foliage, which doesn’t emerge before mid-June, resembles a miniature palm tree.  This species is very rot resistant, compared to some of … Continue reading

Crinum lily season

This is such an incredible time of year for crinum lily flowering…Here is Crinum ‘Rose Parade‘ looking fine this week, despite the hot temperatures. Crinum x baconii ‘Maureen Spinks’…one of our personal favorites; one of the many milk and wine crinum … Continue reading

Plant Delights April 2015 Newsletter

Greetings PDNers! Nursery Update—Made it through Winter It’s been quite a late winter at Juniper Level/Plant Delights, with the latest-occurring single digit temperature we’ve seen since our records began in the 1970s. Plants like hellebores in bloom when the cold … Continue reading

Lonely heloniopsis

One of the first plants to flower in the moist woodland are the lovely heloniopsis.  Here’s Heloniopsis orientalis ‘Purple Sprite’ in flower today.  Heloniopsis was a former member of the giant Lily family, until the great taxonomic breakup moved it … Continue reading

What’s a heloniopsis?

I just snapped this photo of the fascinating Heloniopsis orientalis ‘Flash Dance’ yesterday. The amazing and unusual winter flowers are just perfect atop the variegated foliage.  Heloniopsis grows well with pitcher plants, needing somewhat moist (not wet) soils.  The mature … Continue reading

Open Nursery and Garden – Helleborepalooza

Only four days remain before the start of our 2015 Winter Open Nursery and Garden.  The greenhouses are brimming with flowering hellebores….2000 in full flower, by our count this morning. This is a great chance to visit and hand-pick your … Continue reading

Plant Delights Nursery February 2015 Newsletter

Greetings PDNers! Buy Valentine’s Day Gift Certificates Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and it’s time to forget those cut flowers that only last a few days and give the gift of long-living perennials which will remind your love of your … Continue reading

New plants for 2015 – Salvias

Two new salvias that stood out in side by side trials with industry standards are these new 2015 introductions.  The first is Salvia x sylvestris ‘Violet Riot’. This full sun salvia has an incredible number of flowers and a longer … Continue reading

Peony obovata in seed

The Chinese Paeonia obovata is one of the few peony species that’s grown as much for its seed as for its flowers…the seed last much longer.  Here’s a photo I just snapped in the garden of its amazing seed pods.  … Continue reading

Plant Delights Nursery September 2014 Newsletter

Greetings PDN’ers! PDN Fall Nursery News We hope you’ve received your copy of the Fall 2014 Plant Delights Nursery catalog. Kudos to our graphic designer Shari Sasser at Sasser Studios for the catalog redesign and new look. Among other things, the fall … Continue reading

Sabatia kennedyana

Looking quite lovely in the garden now is our native Sabatia kennedyana.  This easy-to-grow perennial needs slightly moist soil and several hours of sun daily.  Sabatia is a rather small plant, with all the flowering stems emerging from a rather … Continue reading

Dianthus ‘Feurehexe’ (Firewitch)

Here’s a shot of our patch of Dianthus ‘Feurehexe‘ in the garden…such an amazing display of insanely fragrant flowers…smells like spicy chocolate to me.  Good drainage and bright sun are the key to success, so their perfect for a rock … Continue reading

Dianthus ‘Sangria Splash’

A plant with the opposite fragrance of the sauromatum is flowering in one of our rock gardens…Dianthus ‘Sangria Splash’.  We trial lots of dianthus (hardy carnation), and most are bred to be potted plants and don’t survive our brutal summers.  … Continue reading

Lychnis ‘Rolly’s Favorite’

In flower now at JLBG is the amazing Lychnis ‘Rolly’s Favorite’.  We’ve grown this in the garden for years and it’s proven very easy and reliable in both sun and part shade, brightening up the garden every year in late … Continue reading

Tibouchina urvilleana ‘Variegata’ – winter foliage color

We keep our potted tibouchina plants in the cold frames over winter, where the leaves take on this incredible pink coloration when exposed to cooler temperatures.  Where tibouchina isn’t winter hardy outdoors, it makes an incredible house plant for a … Continue reading

2013 Plant Delights Nursery November Newsletter

Dear PDNers, Greetings from Juniper Level Botanic Gardens, where a low temperature of 26 degrees has left the garden feeling and smelling like fall. I was just noticing the strong smell of chrysanthemum foliage yesterday, whose oils were released after … Continue reading

2013 Plant Delights Nursery May Newsletter

Dear PDN’ers Thanks to everyone who took the time to visit during our recent Spring Open House.  In contrast to our Winter Open House, the weather was excellent and the threat of rain never materialized.  We were delighted to meet … Continue reading

2013 Plant Delights Nursery February Newsletter

February 2013 Dear PDN’ers, I don’t know about you, but I’ve about enjoyed this winter long enough…and winter megastorm Nemo missed us.  While we’ve only had a low temperature of 18 degrees F in Raleigh, very mild by our norms, … Continue reading

2011 Plant Delights Nursery March Newsletter

Howdy folks and welcome to spring! Alright, I know that’s rubbing it in to those of you in the northern climatic zones, but here at Juniper Level, spring is in full swing. Even for those of you still suffering through … Continue reading

2011 Plant Delights Nursery February Newsletter

Unlike many gardeners in the upper states of the country who are still having winter, we’ve turned the corner and have been enjoying several days of spring-like temperatures. Hopefully, we won’t have too many of these days until the danger … Continue reading

2010 Plant Delights Nursery July Newsletter

Dear PDN’ers: Greetings from PDN! Thanks to everyone who visited our Summer Open House, especially those from the distant locales of New York, Michigan, Florida, Brazil, and even Algeria. It was very cool to chat with one of our brave … Continue reading

2010 Plant Delights Nursery April Newsletter

Dear PDN’ers: Greetings from PDN, where we’re in the midst of a wonderful spring season. Although we had a short hot spell early in April, overall, it’s been a very nice spring for the plants. Because of our prolonged cold … Continue reading

2010 Plant Delights Nursery March Newsletter

Dear PDN’ers: So far, it’s been a great spring in Raleigh as we just missed a late spring frost when the temperature dropped to 33 degrees F on March 27, after 3+ weeks of above freezing temperatures. We’ve got a … Continue reading

2009 Plant Delights Nursery May Newsletter

Greetings from Juniper Level, NC where the weather has simply been wonderful for gardening this spring. Overall, most of the country has enjoyed a good gardening spring, except for the terrible drought still persisting in southeast Texas. Florida had been … Continue reading

2009 Plant Delights Nursery April Newsletter

Greetings from Juniper Level and we hope you’re having a great spring. Other than a couple of cold spells, we’ve had a near perfect spring with cool temperatures and timely rains. Only recently have we seen a few days in … Continue reading

2008 Plant Delights Nursery October Newsletter

Greetings from PDN and we hope all is well in your garden. It’s been a challenging time since we last wrote, from Hurricane Ike to the stock market dropping like a hot potato. Our thoughts go out to the people … Continue reading

2008 Plant Delights Nursery May Newsletter

Greetings from Plant Delights, we hope your spring has been as beautiful as ours…realizing, of course, that some of you in the colder climates are just starting the spring season. We have had wonderful rains and no temperatures in the … Continue reading

2007 Plant Delights Nursery November Newsletter

When we last talked, we were discussing drought, which is still an issue in many states, particularly in the southeast US. In our part of NC, we have been blessed with two major rains, a 3.5″ storm in mid-September and … Continue reading

2007 Plant Delights Nursery July Newsletter

Greetings from Plant Delights and we hope the summer find you all well. We recently finished our 2007 Summer Open House and would like to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to visit and take home … Continue reading

2006 Plant Delights Nursery December Newsletter

The 2007 Plant Delights Nursery catalog is in the mail! If you just can’t wait, the Plant Delights Nursery website has already been updated to the new catalog, so click away at www.plantdelights.com. With 160 new offerings as well as … Continue reading

2006 Plant Delights Nursery September Newsletter

Greetings from Plant Delights as we open for our FINAL open house weekend of the year. The first fall open weekend greeted us with near perfect weather… a welcome change from some years in the past. We’ve got the same … Continue reading

2006 Plant Delights Nursery August Newsletter

Greetings from Plant Delights. We hope all is well in your hometown. It’s that time of year and the fall catalog will be on the way on Friday, August 11. If you want to get a head start on your … Continue reading