It’s been quite a good spring so far at Plant Delights…better if we could quit having late spring frosts. We covered plants in the garden for the nights of April 4 and 5 when temperatures were predicted to drop into the mid-20s, but we stayed just above freezing for the night. We are hopeful that this is the last frost until fall.
So far, shipping has gone very smoothly and we finally have a good handle on our computer program, which drove us completely nuts last year. We’ve got some very big shipping weeks between now and open house on April 30-May 2 and May 7-9, so many of you will have plants on the way shortly. We’ve been adding more plants to the website and expect even more to be added in early April. As I mentioned earlier, the new website feature allows you to print out these addition lists for study away from your computer. These additions are often plants that are available only in small quantities, so don’t delay if any of these excites you.
Adrienne and her garden staff are quickly getting the garden ready for open house with mulching and other spring spruce-up chores. The new waterfall from Mt. Michelle is complete except for some final touches and will be unveiled at the spring open house. We’ll also welcome the waterfall artists Roger Halligan and Jan Chenoweth of Two Oaks Studio on Saturday, May 1, from 9-1.
Spring travel has been filled with new plant discoveries. A week long botanical expedition in March covered the area between western Louisiana and East Texas. Not only did we find large populations of all five trillium species (T. pusillum var. texanum, T. gracile, T. ludovicianum, T. recurvatum, and T. viridescens) in the area, but we found some amazing narcissus. Narcissus from old homesites have naturalized throughout this region and are now hybridizing along the roadsides. Each stop yields an amazing array of new selections. We kept our eyes open for space shuttle debris, but couldn’t tell the difference between that and old Chevy parts. I’ve said it before, but Texas is one of my favorite areas for botanizing.
March took me back to Tampa, Florida for the Greenfest Celebration to raise money for H.B. Plant Park. It also provided time to again visit plant breeder Roy Works and his amazing collection of plants. Roy not only breeds rainlilies, and crinums, but coleus and cycads. Cycads! Think of what it takes to hybridize a cycad…a truly amazing experience.
March also sent me to South Carolina, where I stopped in to Nurseries Caroliniana for the first time in several years. Plantsman Ted Stephens has both a retail and wholesale nursery in North Augusta. Ted’s nursery is filled with rare horticultural treasures, many from his regular visits to Japan. As always, it’s easy to come back with more plants than you have room to plant.
The Great Plants, Great Plantspeople Symposium, celebrating Horticulture Magazine’s 100th anniversary is coming up at Plant Delights on June 4 and 5. -tony