red flowers

Let’s Twist Again, Like we did Last Summer

Our title is obviously borrowed from the 1961 Chubby Checker song, which few people reading this, probably remember. Abutilon ‘Twister’ is looking absolutely elegant now in the fall garden. This amazing flowering maple hybrid from the folks at California’s Monterrey Bay Nursery, has thrived here since 2005, enduring several single digit F. winters. For us,

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Hankerin’ for Hakkinen’s Banana

Here’s a new banana to add to the list of hardy species, Musa haekkinenii. This very new, compact-growing, species was first published in 2013, and named after Finnish Musa expert, Markku Häkkinen. Genetically, it’s a relative of Musa coccinea & Musa exotica, that hails from Phú Thọ Province of Northern Vietnam, where it was discovered

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Does your Rangoon Creep?

Looking lovely at JLBG now is the purportedly tropical vine, Combretum indicum. Native from a wide range of Southeast Asia, Rangoon creeper is a woody vine that’s shockingly winter hardy, as our plants sailed through last years 11 degrees F–despite it usually being listed as a Zone 10/11 plant. The flowers usually open white, age

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Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

It’s that time of year, when the surprise lilies, Lycoris, that we have scattered throughout the garden begin to pop. Actually, due to our early summer rains, they began popping in early July this year, 2-3 weeks ahead of normal. Surprise lilies are divided into two groups, based on when their leaves emerge….fall (October) or

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Loropetalum, Loves and Lies

We’ve been fascinated with the woody plant genus Loropetalum since the late J.C. Raulston first distributed the pink-flowered forms, which had just come into to cultivation in the US, back in 1989. Since those original plants were propagated and sold, many nurseries have tried to one up each other with a barrage of new introductions.

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