Plant Delights Nursery November 2014 Newsletter

Happy Thanks-Gardening PDNers!

As we approach the holidays we are so thankful to share our plant passion with each of you. Thank you for ordering from PDN, reading our blog, and sharing our passion on social media. We are so blessed on many levels.

New Catalog Update

As you probably know, October and November are both catalog writing months at Plant Delights. This year, it’s been great to take advantage of our improved wireless access at Juniper Level Botanic Garden to write from a golf cart as we traverse the garden with tape measures and cameras in hand.

We’re still amazed how often our measurements and observations in the garden are at such odds with information published by plant marketers on-line. So much of the discrepancy is because most plant breeders and plant marketers only trial plants for container production. You’d be shocked how many new plants are sold to an unsuspecting public that have never been trialed in a garden.

We are in the process of assembling our 2015 spring catalog for you and it will contain over 100 new perennials including quite a few of our own introductions of asarum, arisaema, baptisia, epimedium, and more. We’re continuing to tweak the format of our print catalog layout to include larger plant images…we hope you enjoy the changes. Let us know what you’d like to see in the catalogs going forward, as well as your comments on format.

Cypripediums and Rohdea japonica

Cypripedium at JLBG
Cypripedium at JLBG

Speaking of plants, the fall harvest of cypripedium ladyslipper orchids is complete and everything is now potted, so if you’d prefer to get your cypripediums in the ground now while they’re dormant, the new crop is on-line.

We also have a one-time offer this fall. Our seed crops of Rohdea japonica have been quite prolific the last few years, so we have more than we currently need. While our surplus lasts, they are available in quantities of 100 or more for $4 each, what a bargain! Email us at if you’re interested.

Shipping Season Ends

We’re wrapping up our 2014 plant shipping season in the first week of December, so this is your last chance to get your fall order shipped before our shipping season resumes in mid-February, weather permitting. That being said, we are always willing to work with you should a horticultural emergency arise between now and then, weather permitting.

JLBG – Autumn Nudity

The fall gardening season is fully upon us now that we’ve had our first hard freeze. Thank goodness, we haven’t had weather like Denver, where it dropped to -14F on November 13…yikes! There are plenty of things in the fall garden we could do without…hibernating perennials and leaf raking come to mind. While the process of leaf raking is tedious, we sure love the resulting compost, so let ‘em fall.

As horticultural voyeurs, we also enjoy watching the garden embrace its fall nudity. Just like disrobing for a shower, the clothes, jewelry, and makeup comes off the garden in fall. Instead of seeing the flashy garden bling of spring and summer, the fall season puts an emphasis on structure and good bones.

Hydrangea and Fall Color at JLBG
Hydrangea and Fall Color at JLBG

JLBG – Evergreens

Evergreens, which mostly fade into the background during spring and summer, suddenly become more visible. Sans foliar clothes, butchered trees and shrubs scream to the world…look at me…I’ve been abused. Late fall is always a great time to take stock of your landscape. How does it look after all the leaves have fallen? The proverbial fall horticultural mirror will indeed show all the garden faults that could stand to be corrected. Would additional evergreen shrubs or perennials help the garden look better through the winter months? We happen to be quite enamored with evergreen plants and have created a website category to make it easier to find these plants: Evergreen Perennials.

JLBG – Compost

Surely, by now, everyone has a compost pile. If you’re short of space, it’s easy enough to rake fallen leaves into a path or lawn, mow them with a mulching mower, and then sprinkle them back into the beds, where they will feed the microbes and, eventually, the plant roots below. Remember the microbes in the soil are responsible for feeding your plants as well as fighting off diseases. These microbes must feed on carbon, which comes from organic compost, so if you compost properly, you should never need to buy salt-based chemical fertilizers.

JLBG – Soil Moisture and Temperature

Also, be sure to also keep a check on garden soil moisture. High fall winds in some parts of the country tend to dry out both foliage and soils at a time when many gardeners don’t think about soil moisture due to the cooler temperatures. Most plants really need good soil moisture going into the fall. Be sure to keep a check to make sure your soil and plants don’t become too dry.

If you grow tender perennials and are in a region where they need to come indoors, hopefully you’ve already taken care of those chores. If not, you can read our article about overwintering tropicals for some helpful information. If your ground doesn’t freeze early, this is still a great time to plant perennials. We haven’t slowed down getting new plants in the ground, and in a typical winter, we only have a few weeks when we can’t plant.

JLBG – New Garden Beds, Displays, and Designs

We’ve updated many of our perennial beds and have created several beautiful new display areas throughout the garden showcasing our unique and rare perennials. Right now we’re in the midst of a major new planting renovation around our sales greenhouses that we can’t wait for you to see in spring. We’ve removed over 30 18-foot-wide Nellie Stevens hollies to make room for some of Jeremy’s rockwork and a host of cool new plants. Plan to come see us at the 2015 Winter Open Nursery and Garden Days in late February and early March to see Jeremy’s gorgeous rockery designs.

2015 Open Nursery and Garden Dates
Winter 2015
February 27 – March 1
March 6 – 8

Spring 2015
May 1 – 3
May 8 – 10

Summer 2015
July 10 – 12
July 17 – 19

Fall 2015
September 11 – 13
September 18 – 20

Fridays/Saturdays 8a-5p and Sundays 1-5p
Rain or Shine!     Free Parking
Click for more info


Purchase PDN Gift Certificates for the Holidays

We’d like to make your holiday shopping experience easier this year by suggesting you visit our website to purchase our Plant Delights Nursery Gift Certificates for all the gardeners and plant lovers on your shopping list.

Our gift certificates are a great way to give or send expressions of your love and good wishes without going through the hassle of driving, parking, and dealing with the holiday crowds! Gift certificates are available from $40.00, and we will gladly mail one directly to the recipient with a nice personal note and our latest plant catalog.

Our gift certificates may be used any time (they do not expire) and will take the guesswork out of gift-giving for that hard-to-buy-for gardener in your life. And we’ll even cover the cost of postage to mail your gift certificate and catalog to each recipient this year!

So cozy up to your tablet or laptop and let us assist you with sending plant and gardening cheer to all your gardening and plant-loving family and friends!

Plant Delights Gift Certificates, a great way to say "I love you!"
Plant Delights Gift Certificates, a great way to say “I love you!”

Congratulations JCRA, Duke Gardens, and UNCC Gardens!

In case you missed it, an academic website called just published a new list of the Best University Associated Arboretums and Botanic Gardens in the world. Congratulations to the three NC university gardens that made the list…well deserved!

  • UNC-Charlotte #26
  • JC Raulston Arboretum #8
  • Duke Gardens #4

Garden Industry News

In other news, we recently received a note from Jacque Wrinkle, widow of the late plantsman Guy Wrinkle, that she has put their dream home and one acre garden in Vista, California, up for sale. The property also includes a 3,000 square foot greenhouse and a wide array of cool plants. So, if you’re in that area, or want to move to this horticulturally rich area…especially if you’re a plant collector, here are a couple of links where you can find out more:

On a sad note this month, longtime friend Joe Gray passed away on October 16 of pancreatic cancer at the far too young age of 58. Many of you in the horticulture industry knew Joe from trade shows, but many more were affected by Joe’s work without knowing it.

Joe spent nearly 30 years working for Hines Nurseries, starting as a salesman and quickly rising to COO. Joe was one of the leaders of Hines Nurseries when they were the largest nursery in the US. As an avid plantsman, Joe’s passion for plants was reflected in many of the plants Hines made available, mostly through independent garden centers around the country.

Joe was one of the truly top notch people in our industry and he’ll be sorely missed. Joe is survived by his wife Carol and three sons, Nicholas, Miles, and Christopher. In lieu of flowers, the Gray family requests donations to American Pancreatic Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave #200, Manhattan Beach, Ca 90266.

Until next month, we’ll see you here on the Plant Delights blog where you may sign up and follow our regular posts from the nursery and the botanic garden.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-tony and anita

Garden Color for Fall and Winter

Rohdea japonica
Rohdea japonica

Rohdea japonica is a highly-prized, tropical-looking, oriental native that mimics the appearance of an evergreen hosta. The 1′ long x 2″ wide, thick, dark green leaves form an upright vase-shaped clump to 2′ wide in 10 years. Late in the season, the insignificant flowers produce attractive short stalks of red berries that persist through the winter at the base of the plant. When used en masse, rohdeas are a dynamite evergreen winter interest addition to the deep shade garden. We have masses of Rohdea japonica growing at the base of giant black walnut trees…can you say tough?

Illicium parviflorum 'Florida Sunshine'
Illicium parviflorum ‘Florida Sunshine’

We brought three golden seedlings of the rare Florida endemic Illicium parviflorum back from a 2000 visit to Florida plantsman Charles Webb. After several years of evaluation, we selected one plant for introduction as Illicium ‘Florida Sunshine’. Our 7-year-old specimen has become a small shrub to 5′ tall x 3′ wide of anise-fragranced, chartreuse gold foliage during the spring and summer. As the weather cools in fall, the leaf color brightens to screaming yellow, then becomes a near parchment color by midwinter. During the same time, the upper stems take on a brilliant red cast, contrasting vividly with the leaves. In sun, the winter foliage will scorch, so we recommend this be grown in light shade…a stunning beacon in the winter garden.

Iris unguicularis 'Dazzling Eyes'
Iris unguicularis ‘Dazzling Eyes’

Iris ‘Dazzling Eyes’ is a 2004 Rick Tasco hybrid that has shown incredible vigor in our trials. Iris ‘Dazzling Eyes’ has a nice white and purple striped eyezone inside the blue-lavender petals. As with all Iris unguicularis cultivars, Iris ‘Dazzling Eyes’ likes a bright sunny location and good drainage…best beside a large rock. For us, flowering usually begins in November and continues through March, pausing only for extremely cold weather.

Featured Plants

Euphorbia x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow' PP 21,401
Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’ PP 21,401
Helleborus niger 'HGC Josef Lemper' PP 15,615
Helleborus niger ‘HGC Josef Lemper’ PP 15,615
Heucherella 'Solar Eclipse' PP 23,647
Heucherella ‘Solar Eclipse’ PP 23,647








Oxalis fabaefolia
Oxalis fabaefolia
Verbena canadensis 'Snowflurry'
Verbena canadensis ‘Snowflurry’
Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'
Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’

1 thought on “Plant Delights Nursery November 2014 Newsletter”

  1. I have 2 clumps of Rhodea japonica that have been in the ground for about 7 years and have never cut it back. The leaves are looking quite tattered. Should I be cutting it back and if so, how often and what time of year?

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