Mexican combo

Just caught this image of two North American (Northern Mexico) natives snuggled up closely together in the garden. At top is one of the spider lilies, Hymenocallis acutifolia, and wrapped around its ankles is Tradescantia pallida. We truly love Tradescantia pallida as a great combination-enhancing perennial that’s completely winter hardy here in Zone 7b.

A Tasty Treat

Looking and tasting great in the garden now is Origanum ‘Drops of Jupiter’. This amazing creation combines the taste of culinary oregano with oreganos which are grown solely for flowers…the ultimate edimental and a superb plant for pollinators to indulge.

A little purple meatball

We trial several hundred newly developed plants each year, and most never grace the pages of a PDN catalog, either because of performance or a lack of uniqueness. One that has fascinated us is Dahlia ‘Grandalia Burgundy Improved’. With a height and spread of 20″, you’d swear that this dahlia had either been regularly clipped or sprayed with growth regulators, neither of which are the case. The gem has been looking quite incredible in the garden, as it moves into its third year of trial. Obviously, it’s a perennial here in Zone 7b, but would be tender farther north. We’d love to hear your thoughts..

Titilating Bletilla

Our oldest clumps of the hardy orchid, Bletilla striata are just amazing…once we learned that these aren’t shade plants. These are under a tall pine and get 1-2 hours of sun.

Sarastro rings a bell

We’ve grown lots of campanulas (bell flower) through the years….109 of them, to be precise. Some are good garden plants, many die, and some even try to take over the garden. After 35 years of trials, the star of the genus is still Campanula ‘Sarastro’. Discovered, named, and introduced by Christian Kress of Austria’s Sarastro Nursery, this superb selection never fails to impress. Here’s our photo this week of it in the sunny gardens here at JLBG, where it reaches 2′ in height and 3′ in width.

Where corydalis fear to tread

We live in a climate of heat and humidity where most of the really cool perennial corydalis fear to tread. One outstanding selection that has thrived here for the last quarter century is a discovery from our friend, Dan Hinkley, that he named and introduced as Corydalis leucanthema ‘Silver Spectre’.

Part of the secret to its survival is that it has the good sense to sleep through the summer months, emerging in late fall and grow through the winter months. Here’s a photo in the garden this week in full flower. We’ve found it very adaptable and easy to grow, although rich, slight moist compost is ideal. We haven’t offered this in a while, but if you think we should put it back in production, that wouldn’t take much arm-twisting.

Corydalis leucanthema ‘Silver Spectre’

Another cool corydalis that we love is one that came to us as a hitchhiker (we think), but one that we gladly adopted is Corydalis speciosa. Thanks to corydalis guru Magnus LIden for the identification. The winter foliage emerges heavily ruffled and then flattens, with flowering starting in late winter. I think this may make it’s way into propagation.

Corydalis speciosa foliage
Corydalis speciosa currently in flower

Epimediums on Parade in the Garden

Epimedium Songbirds3

What an incredible week for epimediums here at Juniper Level.  The first photo is our introduction, Epimedium ‘Songbirds‘…an insanely heavily flowered yellow selection.Epimedium wushanense Starlite flower closeup

Epimedium wushanense ‘Starlite‘ is our selection of the amazing Chinese species, which boasts large terminal inflorescences on a plant that approaches 2’ tall.Epimedium zhushanense3

 

 

Epimedium zhushanense is another incredible Chinese species with large bicolor, spider-like flowers.  We think these are truly stunning in the woodland garden.