Saturday, October 3, 2009

More Garden Trails

I had the distinct pleasure of visiting one of the crown jewels of the North American nursery business - Plant Delights. In addition to the obscene number and variety of plants for sale, they have display gardens where you can see how the plants will perform. In Canada there are very few specialty nurseries, and certainly none of those I've visited have come close to what I saw on display there. It is absolutely worth it to rob a bank, boost a big truck and have wonderful day of shopping.

Just to give you an idea - I adore Epimedium. I have 5 or so different varieties. This is their Epimedium hoop house.

Here they are growing plant tags:

My first Muhly grass in the flesh in one of the many demonstration gardens.

More of these mind bending Zone combining combinations that you can do in Raleigh.

I wanted to take some of these Agave home as pets:

Agave 'Kissho Kan'

Agave parryi var. huachucensis 'JC Raulston'

Specialty Agave bovicornuta

A small section of the retail benches:

Part of the fun of this nursery is reading about the plant you might like to buy:

I think he's right, they did need a higher number.

Here's something I'd never seen before:

The description sounds so cool. However, it's hardy in the Mexican mountains - a Zone 7B. I don't even think my living room is 7B.

This big long row is just Salvia....beautiful, gorgeous, too-hot-for-here-Salvia. (and my husband Kevin in the purple)
After looking at all the marvelous temptations (looking for me - purchasing for many) we headed off to the Raleigh Farmers Market. And, for those who still had money in their wallet, there were many smaller growers with all kinds of interesting oddities on offer.

Great to see such a vibrant market & to see so many farmers growing unusual fruit and vegetable varieties. I had a delicious Black Arkansas apple, small with dark red skin and a sweet crisp flavour. I only wish I'd had more time to sample even more of what the market had to offer.


Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Oh, so many plants to lust after. I wish it was easier to import some of these plants, I saw many that I would love to have.

Barbarapc said...

I know what you mean Deborah - it just opens up so many possibilities. I had Salvia envy - so many, so beautiful and I imagine, so dead after one summer in my garden. sigh.

Northern Shade said...

What a fun nursery to visit. Like you, I would enjoy comparing that many Epimedium in person. Did you make lists of the ones you'd like to eventually purchase/trade/acquire? Seeing them in 3D is so much better than comparing marketing pictures.

sweet bay said...

PD is a great nursery isn't it? I really like Niche Gardens in Chapel Hill too, and the 2 nurseries complement each other. Tony Avent has brought a lot of wonderful plants from the Southwest, and I always drool over the Crinum Lilies.

Teza said...

I have always enjoyed Avent's sense of humour - the cover of his catalogues are a howl! The Epimedium house.... it looks like they were all planted.... are these new and exciting species that are going to be introduced in the near future?!? I wonder if he is working with Darryl Probst - the true king of Epimedium? Must have been hard not to want to bring something back? Could you have gotten a phytosanitary license for the trip? Salvia envy.... yeah me too! LOL!

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Barbara~~ Plant Delights, a very apropos name it sounds like. Love the photos. A little pricey though aren't they?

Love your humor: doubtful your living room is a Zone 7b. It sounds like a heated greenhouse is in order. Think of the possibilities. Definitely time to rob that bank.

Barbarapc said...

N.S. & Teza It was great to see them growing and yes, did take a couple of photos of those I'm going to hunt for. Teza has his finger on the pulse of the Epimedium nation - when I looked back to check on the two I'd photographed - the first with skinny little leaves held like bird beaks was Epimedium fargesii Probst cc001671; the second was E. lishihchenii 'Golden Earings' - it had good veining. They did have a phytosanitary person on hand (mainly for those flying into California). For those driving you really could have loaded up - I brought back 15 freebee sample plants from the trade show in hand luggage which I'd never done before - so decided to call it quits and just pretend Plant Delights was like a nice museum where you look and don't touch, and certainly don't bring any of it home....
S.B. I heard folks on the bus discuss Niche Gardens as well - in fact after the conference they were going to drive there and fill up any available space in their car with more plant material. The photo I took when I got to Sweet Bay was of a Crinum - simply gorgeous, and completely undoable here.
Grace - I look it as sort of a birthday place to shop - somewhere special - certainly no big-box prices. If I'd bought any plants, I would have had to sleep with them, and even I'd have to draw the line at that over the winter.

easygardener said...

Too tempting. I read the plant labels - I know said plant is not really suitable but I still buy in hope all will be well. I never learn!
I can see why you were taken with the Agaves - beautiful colours.

danger garden said...

Agave make wonderful pets! Careful they do bite...but they are oh so cute!

Barbarapc said...

E.G. I say, if you don't try, you'll never know for sure. I've had success with T&M stuff that was supposedly good in zone 8 only and it survives. I don't think in terms of not learning, but always being hopeful.
Danger Garden - what a great moniker. Glad to see that your pugster is wearing goggles!

Gail said...

Maybe it's a good thing I decided not to go! There seem to be too many tempting plants! I order from Niche and PDN frequently. Btw, I love the evergreen epimediums. gail