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Archive for the ‘Nurseries’ Category

The past two days have been on and off thunderstorms bringing much needed rain that washed everything clean and perked up the gardens. I walked around the yard just now and here is what is looking good……

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Some of my propagation trays that currently have many Primula, Arisaema, Arum, and other assorted goodies.

 

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I just discovered this mystery Arum/Arisaema. I didn’t plant it here and I as yet don’t have any idea what it is. If anyone knows please let me know in the comments. It’s really nice but it’s growing up through a small Hosta and I’ll need to move it at some point.

 

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Not the clearest photo but I do love this Acanthus mollis. It came with me when I moved to Vermont from Massachusetts and it never fails to make me smile when it blooms. The leaves are also wonderful!

 

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Another friend that moved here with me seven years ago. Magnolia macrophylla is a beauty! I bought this from Ellen Hornig when her nursery Seneca Hill Perennials was still open. It’s now about 8 or 9 feet tall. It has never bloomed but with leaves as large as these I don’t mind. (too much) It’s plants on the stream edge so it never goes dry and seems very happy, only dying back slightly in winter, which may be why it doesn’t bloom. But I have seen a lovely mature speimen at the gardens of Cady’s Falls Nursery about an hour and a half north of here!

 

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I love my Sempervivum and so wish I had more sunny garden space to add lots more of them.

 

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A Papaver somniferum that has self-seeded into this garden. I think I will now always have them since I don’t always cut the seed heads off in time. And why would I? When I can have lovely flowers like this every year for no effort on my part what-so-ever!!

 

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Aralia ‘Sun King’ is a beautiful spot of sunshine in a shady garden. If it got just a bit more sun it would be 10 times brighter, but it’s a beauty just as it is.

 

 

 

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In the seed pots I am so happy to see how well these Podophyllum hexandrum are doing! I collected the seed for these from my plant and now I’ll have a few more to spread around.

 

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My Epiphyllum of unknown parentage is in bloom and it’s gorgeous!! I got a cutting of it a couple of years ago from a neighbor here and it has done so well even in my fairly shady house and garden.

 

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More seedling trays with loads of Primula of different species. I think these are from seed I collected at Kris Fenderson’s gardens in New Hampshire last year and they are P. bulleesiana in apricot, pink and yellow. Next year they should bloom and hopefully I’ll have lots of plants to share.

 

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One of my annual planters on the the deck with a little owl I bought last spring in Georgia while visiting my daughter.

 

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A favorite plant!! Dienanthe caerulea…Also purchased at Cady’s Falls. it’s a Hydrangea relative and is so hardy and beautiful!! I need to figure the best way to propagate it.

 

 

 

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Another houseplant. Anthurium crystalinum. It has huge leaves with a crystal dusted appearance. I first saw it at the NYBG years ago and ordered them in to sell when I worked at Ward’s Nursery in Gt. Barrington, MA. It’s an easy plant to grow but it does need a high humidity to its best, so I mist it a lot during the winter.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd for a parting shot…the rainbow after yesterdays thunder storm. There was a huge crack of thunder and it started to hail all while the sun was still shining! Next came this rainbow over the lake! I love it here!

 

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I was having a sort of blue day earlier when my camera battery died and I couldn’t find the charger or my other camera…..I think Steve has borrowed it. Very frustrating. So I walked around the gardens anyway looking at what was in bloom, and don’t you know it was mainly blue flowers! My garden & I were in sync. Although there weren’t many of them they were so very welcome indeed!

This fantastic plant is lighting up the front border!

This fantastic plant is lighting up the front border!

Gentiana x macaulayi ‘Kingfisher’ purchased a few years ago at Cady’s Falls Nursery in Morrisville, VT. There are more flowers on than ever and it has been in bloom for a few weeks already. This extended fall has been so great! Cady’s Falls is the nursery that all of us at Rocky Dale Gardens look forward to visiting every year. They grow most their plants on site from seed, cuttings, grafting, etc. And the selection can’t be beat!

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Primula ‘Belarina Cobalt’ has sent up a surprise…and it is most welcome indeed! I am hoping it will be full of buds in the spring so I can dig it up for the spring primrose show at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens! I sent for this last spring from Sequim Rare Plants in Sequim, WA. I also ordered a few Primula auricula from them and they sent the biggest most beautiful plants. I highly recommend them.

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Here we have another Gentian in the very small rock garden on the west side of the cabin. It bloomed in July and was the most glorious ever. I have moved this plant around so many times trying to find just the right spot for it and now I think I have. It has got a long tongue-twisting name…Gentiana septemfida var. lagodechiana…try saying that three time fast!IMG_3073

And lastly here is my lovely Aconitum x cammarum ‘Bicolor’. This photo doesn’t do it justice. It was huge and full of flowers while draping itself over an Azalea along the stream garden. this one also has never had so many flowers. I think the spring & early summer rains were so beneficial to the gardens along with the cooler temps all summer.

So after the garden stroll and a new knitting project getting cast on I’m feeling much less blue and quite a bit more jazzed about how well the gardens did this year. Time to start planning where to add a few more blue beauties.

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It’s fall, and that means many Cyclamen start blooming or sending up their beautifully patterned leaves! I have become somewhat obsessed with growing Cyclamen either from seed or purchasing them from a few good growers. In the past few weeks they are all showing some sort of new leafy growth or popping up their delicate looking flowers. I have read many times that most ‘hardy’ Cyclamen won’t grow here, but I can tell you they grow just fine here in zone 4-5 Vermont!

The following have all been grown outside in my gardens for at least one year. Some are from seed I obtained through the seed-ex of the North American Rock Garden Society, the American Primrose Society or from John Lonsdale and Plant Delights Nursery.

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Give them a well drained soil with a little bit of sun and they are happy! Plant the corms about 1″ deep and cover with a gritty soil mix so the corm stays dry over winter. They are glorious almost all year sending up fabulous new leaves late summer & fall. C. hederifolium bloom now, while the C. coum blooms in early spring. The all silvered leaf plant above is C. purpurescens which blooms in mid-summer.

Most will self sow when happy and you can see in the second to last photo that C. coum is very happy! I have seedlings coming up all over that bed!

There are also a few non-hardy types for the sunny windowsill. While the common C. persicum can be found almost everywhere now you should give a few of the rarer ones a try. Most need to be started from seed which can be found on many of the specialist plant society seed exchanges or purchased from a few specialty growers such as Arrowhead Alpines you can see they even use a cyclamen leaf in the title of the nursery!

Here are a few of the plants I have started from seed or bought in already potted. The first is C. graecum a lovely thing I got from John Lonsdale with fantastic leaves. The second is the same but one I grew from seed. The third is C. rohfsianum that I picked up at a chapter meeting of NARGS a couple of years ago grown by a friend who says his has over 75 flowers on it this year! Mine hasn’t flowered for the past two years!! Don’t know what I’m doing wrong here but the leaves are lovely to look at anyway. The last is a C. pseudibericum also from John. It has the one flower on it this year and will be sending up beautifully marked leaves very soon. I have them all in a sunny east facing window. During the summer they are pretty much in a dormant state outside with no watering except what nature gives them. I repot them every 2 years or so and topdress them with a pretty gravel mix.

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Please gives these beauties a try. They are so rewarding!

Thanks for stopping by…..please leave me a comment and let me know about your adventures with the fabulous Cyclamen!

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Entrance to the garden

Follow along as I meander through fellow Primula-nut Arlene’s large and well established garden on a hilltop in Vermont.

Friend Mary & I got together last weekend to tour the garden and take in a couple of nurseries along the way as long as the weather held up. Which lately wasn’t happening all that much. We’ve had the rainiest April & May on record so as you can imagine the lawns & gardens are soaking wet!

Using our faithful Tomtom GPS to get us there we arrived just after lunchtime pulling up to Arlene’s house with a gorgeous view of the mountain valley. Her house is at the end of a dirt road with no near neighbors so it was very quiet and still. Arlene was there in her garden to greet us and guide us through the wandering stone pathways, indicating which year a certain plant was grown and set out or where another plant was purchased and who the lovely apricot double primrose was named for.

Double Apricot Primrose 'Agnes'

Following the Paths Through the Garden

Woodland Wonders

After an intial walk-through I slowly made my way through again taking close-ups of the flowers that caught my attention…and there were so many! There are large patches of Trillium, Cypripedium, Solomon’s Seal, Double Bloodroot, Anemone nemerosa, and so many other treasures!

Trillium grandiflorum, Large White Trillium

The yellow Trillium luteum with Cypripedium parviflorum. (I think)

And of course there were Primulas galore!!

Primula sieboldii

Primula polyanthus deep maroon

Arlene’s primroses have been crossing and self-sowing here for many years that everywhere you look there are multitudes of variation. Every shade of the rainbow..almost, and every form of petal. The plants are grown in rich garden loam, amended with compost and all under the shade of very old apple trees. Arlene adds new beds each year as she grows so many from seed from the APS seed exchange. In fact she is always the first to send her seed in to the exchange and the first to order! It’s fun to see what she has grown from all the donations from around the world.

A lovely Primula elatior of a bright red color.

A glowing pink polyanthus, a chance seedling popping up.

Growing from seed is one of my most favorite things to do, and the variation you get always surprises.

After a little plant swapping time where I came away with the apricot double, a bright maroon sieboldii and the deep red polyanthus Mary & I made our way over to Marshfield and the nursery of friend George Africa to say hi and see what he and Gail have been up to. Their nursery Vermont Flower Farm is on Rte. 2 overlooking old farm pastures which George is busy turning into display gardens and growing fields for their Daylilies. The selection of Hosta was amazing as were the Epimedium which Mary loved and picked one to bring home.

The weather held up as we wended our way back to Hubbardton over the Appalachian Gap and down past Rocky Dale Gardens. Now I need to find a spot in my gardens for the newest treasures!

Every photo is clickable for enlarging and more description!

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I’m very late in posting an update on the show….after in my last post I promised to keep you updated on the show happenings! But I’m feeling it’s better late than never…so here goes.

The weekend was very busy as you can imagine, I stopped on the way down to Hillside Nursery in Shelburne Falls, Mass. A wholesale grower of unusual woodland plants, some native to the US and lots from Asia and Europe. I had placed an order with Peter Joppe, the owner, a few months back in anticipation of the Primrose Show and most of his plants sold the first day! The plants of his that didn’t all sell such as Anemonopsis macrophylla and Cornus canadensis I’ll have for sale at the NARGS annual meeting later this month (see my calender of Events page). I would love to post pictures here but I didn’t remember to take any of my tables of plants until later and then realised my camera batteries were shot! But here’s a link to his website.

Friday included the garden tours to 3 private gardens in Petersham, Mass. The first was to Peter George’s garden which included lovely rock gardens that were bursting with all manner of choice alpines, peonies, Primula, Iris, Epimedium and so many other treasures! I mistakenly deleted the photos I took here so you’ll just have to imagine it! Sorry!

The next garden was to Abby Rorers’ wonderful shade gardens and small greenhouse which was full of her collections of Gasteria, Haworthia and mini Aloes! I used to collect many of these succulents too, but now that I live on a shady & wooded piece of heaven I had to give those plants away. Abby’s gardens were so sweet and full of perfect examples of shade loving Primula polyanthus, Epimedium, Arisaema, Anemone nemerosa and many others. Sorry but no pictures for here either.

Our next garden visit was to Bruce Lockhart’s woodland garden and new, still under-construction gardens. Here were large old clumps of Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ with their large yellow bells, and a huge patch of Podophyllum peltatum, the native Mayapple. There were massive stands of Epimedium and Primula vulgaris. You will be happy to know I did get a few photos of Bruce’s gardens…whew!!

Mayapple

Pophyllum peltatum

After the garden tour it was hurry up to Tower Hill to set up my tables of plants for sale! And to get my pots of entries onto the show benches. It takes time to make each plant look its best, you’ve got to look very closely at each leaf, flower, bud and the pot itself for any blemishes. You must decide which side of the plant will face out towards the judges discerning eyes, so you’ve got to arrange the flower stems & leaves just so. Clean the pot of any soil bits and debris that might be clinging to it set it in a saucer and place it on the bench in the correct category. Even after days of nurturing each plant and lovingly placing it among all the other contenders you just never know what will catch the judges eye and deem your plant either a winner or ….I can’t really say ‘loser’ but one that isn’t up to standard.

Here’s a photo of my ‘Best in Section’ P. polyanthus Cowichan Garnet, grown from seed I got in the APS seed exchange last year.

Best in Division Cowichan Garnet

Friday night brings us to the anticipated dinner at Matt & Joe’s house, gardens & greenhouse! We all look forward to this event every year and it is always delicious! Matt is a fantastic cook so we always know we’ll be well fed. This year was especially fun as there was a ‘theme’! Silly British Hats in honor of the royal wedding! There was pub food on the menu and hats did appear!

Mary & me modeling our hats. (I'm on the left)

We had such a fun time and greeted many new attendees for this years show. The greenhouse was full as always with so many unusual bulbs, tropicals, Clivia, Orchids and other oddities. Matt Mattus has a wonderful blog I follow on all things horticultural….check it out here.

The rest of the weekend was full of activities such as an awards dinner, a lecture by renowned British plant explorer Chris Chadwell on seed collecting in the Himalayas, selling loads of my plants and just plain fun with friends who are also crazy about Primula!

I can’t recommend this group more! Our next meeting will be in CT at the famous gardens of fellow members Nick Nicou & Carol Hanby. Their Rhododendron collection is famous and the gardens are extensive and full of Primula! If you would like more information about the meeting plans or just want to chat about primroses leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you!

Don’t forget every photo is clickable for enlarging and added commentary.

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