Not all flowers are like daisies with their blooms facing up to meet the sun. In face, some are more shy, with bowed heads studying their roots. Downward facing and lovely, these demure cultivars have earned a special place in our hearts.Read More
Life isn’t always about pastels and primary colors. They say the darker the berry the sweeter the juice, but does that hold true for the rest of the botanical world as well? Take a walk on the dark side and see how amazing these unique plants can truly be!Read More
Our eyes crave beauty the way our sweet tooth craves sugar. Satisfy that need for flora decadence by growing these 7 excellent varieties in your garden. No calorie counting required!Read More
Winter may be months away, but that won’t stop us from eagerly planning our cold season gardens. At the top of our wishlist this year is a fresh face on the botanical scene: Ice N’ Roses – the newest member of the Helleborus Gold Collection® that’s taking the nation by storm.Read More
For a different look, try Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Dream Catcher'. This Beauty Bush does well in filtered sun or part shade in zones 4-9 and is deer-resistant, so it's a great choice for many different gardens. It's rich coppery color seasons to bright yellow in Spring and Summer, and by fall it turns a rich golden-orange with interesting dark tips. It's amazing as a specimen, but even better in mass plantings for a really eye-drawing effect unlike any other.Read More
I was browsing through our catalog, as I sometimes do when I can't think of anything else to write about. I just find a pretty plant and then talk about how pretty it is. I know it's boring, and I apologize, but they really are very pretty.
This time was different. It wasn't the picture that caught my attention, but the description. Epimedium Osigui was "named for Mikinori Ogisu, the famed Japanese plant hunter…In the native it is found among limestone deposits near waterfalls." It was discovered in the mountains of Sichuan, China.
Plant Hunter! Browsing the InterWebs, I found Mr. Mikinori was connected with the discoveries of many popular plants. One blogger called him the "most important man in Epimediums." He has trekked though thick forest, up high mountains, and deep into dense river gorges to find some of the rarest and most exciting new plant varieties. One of the most interesting articles was from the Historic Roses Group written by another famed botanist and plant hunter, Martyn Rix. He described Mr. Mikinori's discoveries of exotic Chinese Roses. He spent ten years combing the Chinese wilderness, and has provided us with cultivated varieties of plants that, before him, very few people had even seen.
I guess it was naive of me, but I just had never thought of botanists as adventurers. I guess somebody had to go out and discover all of these things. As gardeners, we often fill our gardens with exotic plants from all over the world, provided either by our local nursery or ordered from a catalog like Wayside Gardens. Rarely, if ever, do we think about how that plant came to be cultivated. Who took the first sample of seeds or the first cutting. Some of the species that Mikinori Ogisu discovered only grow natively at very high altitudes or in deep gorges where there are no trails. The man is a modern pioneer, forging paths for knowledge and future discovery.Read More