Thursday, October 2, 2008

Echinacea Green Jewel

Another new Echinacea. Ever since the breeding boom in Echinacea we have seen new colors each year. Green Jewel has truly lime green flowers on a nicely compact habit. I was able to see this variety in breeders fields in Holland. A very impressive sight. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Colocasia Diamond Head

This is another variety from the 'Royal Hawaiian' series of Colocasia. Diamond Head has huge leaves that grow to 18" x 24" long. It is striking combination with the Cordyline Torbay Dazzler planted behind it.
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Cordyline Torbay Dazzler

At my nursery we have a nice planting in front of the office. Here you can see Cordyline Torbay Dazzler. The plant just gets better and better. We have also started working with a line of Colocasias called the 'Royal Hawaiian' series. The variety you see here is called Blue Hawaii , one of my favorites. At maturity Blue Hawaii will get leaves that are 18" x 24" long.
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Friday, July 18, 2008

Smith River July 4th

I recently made a trip up to the Smith River in Del Norte County. We stumbled upon a serpentine botanical area that had many unique and relatively rare plants. We saw the Bolander's lily and small flowering variety with peach red blooms. We also saw the carnivorous cobra lily growing in serpentine seeps. And finally the native western azalea was in full bloom around every corner. It is nice to see these botanical treasures that most gardeners covet and wish they could grow in their own gardens.
Rhodadandron occidentale
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Darlingtonia californica
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Lilium bolanderi
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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hardy Orchids

My first passion when I started getting into plants and growing was Orchids. One might call this an obsession. I quickly amassed a nice collection of tropical oddities and attempted to grow them under a HID light in our living room. My interest in orchids quickly moved to some of the rarest and hardest types to grow, hardy orchids. or as most are known; terrestrial orchids. Terrestrial orchids inhabit many of the temperate areas of the world including the US. I soon learned that many species grew in our state here in CA. Below are two natives that are a must for any native garden and anyone interested in terrestrial orchids. Epipactis gigantea is native to CA and inhabits the side of stream beds typically growing in very sandy soil in full sun. 'Serpentine Night' is a cultivar selected by Roger Raiche, it has dark purple foliage. Both varieties are easy to grow in the perennial garden. They actually do very well in pots. They will continue to grow and send shoots out the drain holes. Epipactis like a well drained mix that does not dry out completely.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Weigela 'Cappuccino' (Verweig2)

Weigela 'Cappuccino' is another variety from the breeder of 'Minor Black'. It is a novelty variety with chartreuse new growth that turns bronze yellow in summer. 'Cappuccino' has pink flowers that make for a interesting combination with its foliage color.
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Weigela 'My Monet' (Verweig) PP# 16824

'My Monet' is from the same breeder as 'Minor Black' it is notable for its variegated foliage of cream, green and pink. The variegation with it's pink flowers makes for a striking combination. 'My Monet' should be available from nurseries that sell the Proven Winners 'Color Choice' line of shrubs.
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Weigela 'Minor Black' (Verweig3)

Weigelas are deciduous group of flowering shrubs that bloom in early spring. They are notable for their masses of flowers that are generally white to deep pink. New dark foliage and variegated forms continue to hit the market. Minor Black is a very compact dark leaved selection that blooms in early April and continues to flower into summer.

'Minor Black',

'Midnight Wine',

'French Lace',


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Agave Kara's Stripes

This is a new Agave attenuata selection from Gary Gragg of Golden Gate Palms and Exotics
The fist plant was discovered as a sport at his home garden in 1994.
I received my first plants as part of the patent trialing process. Tissue culture plants are now making their way into nurseries and soon into gardens. A few nurseries are already carrying plants, but supply is still limited. Check out the full story of Kara's Stripes on Gary's website.
Other nurseries offering Kara's Stripes are:
San Marcos Growers

Plant Delights Nursery

Saturday, March 15, 2008

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Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem'
This is a great new cultivar from the traditional Sorbaria or 'False Spirea'.
Sorbaria sorbifolia is native to Asia and is Hardy to Zone 2. 'Sem' is a dwarf selection
with deep pink and gold new growth. Sorbaria 'Sem' is deciduous and grows to about 3' x 3'
'Sem' also gets white spirea like flowers in summer. This plant looks great in containers and planted in mass.
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Variegated Yuccas

I blogged about variegated Agaves in a previous post. I would like to follow up with a range of variegated Yuccas I have collected. Theses plants are very durable and have striking coloring. In the winter 'Bright Star' will even show hints of pink in the leaves. All of these varieties are available now in nurseries. 'Bright Star' is the newest one to come to market, it was selected in England at Walberton's Nursery. If you are in CA, San Marcos growers is offering 'Bright Star'. -RH
Yucca 'Bright Star' (walbristar)
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Yucca recurvifolia 'Margaritaville' - From Hines Hort
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Yucca recurviflora 'Banana Split' - From Monrovia
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A two year old plant of 'Ivory Prince' the buds just keep coming.
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Helleborus 'Ivory Prince' has been available for a few years now. Foliage has a nice silver cast to it.
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This is H. niger 'Jacob'. The niger type Helleborus are the first to flower in December and January. Jacob opens up pure white then fades to deep pink.
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Helleborus 'Pink Marble' this is a selection from Helleborus lividis.
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'Honey Hill Joy' another Terra Nova introduction. photo taken 2-18-2008
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Helleborus 'Hot Flash' a new one from the folks at Terra Nova.
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Hellebous - Great plants for Winter interest

Helleborus is one of those great old fashion perennials that have been in gardens for years. Every Winter gardeners experience the impressive display Helleborus put on. There are many forms of Hellebore, most gardeners are familiar with the colored hybrid selections mainly from H. orientalis parentage. For growers these types typically take 1-2 years to flower from seed. There is another group of Helleborus that are mainly grown from tissue culture, that take one year to flower and have impressive flower counts but are generally limited to white, cream and light pink flower colors. I have been doing a trial of about 20 tissue culture selections at the nursery, and they are all starting to pop as I write this. Helleborus niger types are the first to bloom, this is the classic 'Christmas Rose' starting in Decemeber and peaking in January. The other forms, nigercors, and ericsmithii types usually start in Febuary and Bloom through March. Check nurseries now for flowering plants.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cordyline 'Renegade'

Here is another new Cordyline. 'Renegade' is a clumping form with very wide black glossy leaves.
'Renegade' also gets very fragrant flowers in Spring and Summer. This variety, with its great black foliage will make a dramatic statement in containers with gold leaved plants like Heuchera.
Look for it in 2009. -Hardy Zone 8

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Plant Hunting in England

The great part of being involved in New Plants for a commercial business is that you get to travel to great places to find new products. This is my 3rd trip to England, and my 2nd for plant hunting specifically. England is the Horticulture Mecca, great little nurseries cover the country, all with new varieties tucked in the back greenhouse. Sports, seedlings, active breeding programs are what we encounter on our trips. My last trip in November took me about 600 round trip miles from London to Wales, and a short plane trip to Cornwall. Cornwall was great, it has a mild climate similar to the Central Coast of California were I live and work. With this climate growers and gardeners have embraced Mediterranean plants as the foundation for their gardens. Cordyline australis can be found in almost every yard, and has received the common name of 'Torbay Palm', named after the town of Torbay in county Devon. Here are some highlight pictures from the trip.