Friday, June 21, 2013

Holy Hostas, Batman!

Last weekend was the American Hosta Society convention in Brookfield, WI.  We were there as vendors and had a really great time meeting lots of new people and many people I've known for a few years from forums and facebook.  Because we were busy vending, we didn't register for the full convention and weren't able to go on tour gardens etc.  But I snapped a bunch of pics of vending and a few of the leaf show with my Ipod to share with all of you.

First of course is our little corner of the vending space.  We had a great assortment of plants for people, and sold out of some of our coolest plants.  We had a pretty successful weekend, I think.

Right next to us were some wonderful older ladies manning a booth of hosta-themed clothing, Designs by Audi.  All hand made and unique.
 Our other neighbor was Jack Barta from Jack's Plants.  He was convention co-chair, so was only in his booth half the time.  Along with the ladies from Windswept Creations, we helped him out selling plants his plants.

 In The Country Gardens & Gifts was across from us and had a huge selection of plants and garden art.  I almost picked up a Salix boydii as a stock plant, but someone nabbed it before my mind was made up.  I will have to get this plant, it was adorable!
Salix boydii

Hostas from In the Country

Succulents from In the Country

Garden Art from In the Country

Asst perennials from In the Country
Also near us, across from Jack's booth was Windswept Creations by Sandie Markland.  She had some really great sea glass jewelry and pumice stone carvings.  The stone spirits are really cool on her facebok page and website, but they are AMAZING in person.  

Sea glass Jewelry

Stone Spirits

Stone Spirit

 Naylor Creek Nursery had a great assortment of hostas, and this is where I bought 9 of the 10 new plants I picked up.  Gary was a great guy to chat with and really helpful.  As a testament to plant quality and selection, he only took 5 trays of plants home!

Made in the Shade also had a nice selection of plants, 'Proud Sentry' is now on my list of plants to buy after seeing it in this booth.   I took this pic near the end of vending day 2, you can see his sales were fairly good.

 I THOUGHT I snapped a booth shot of Green Hill, but apparently I only got his 2 planter bowls.  Bob was selling some really cool newer hostas as well.  He also had a large selection of minis.

 We helped Silvers-Elbert unload their huge selection of hostas.  They had the most of anyone and all the plants looked great.

 Rich's Foxwillow Pines had a wonderful selection of conifers and maples.  It was hard to resist buying something!  Rich and Susan are always great people to talk with, it's been too long since I've been to the nursery, I'll have to visit this season.

Acer palmatum 'Ojishi'

 I did not catch her name or the name of her business, but there was a Native American woman selling jewelry made from ornamental corn.  This was really cool stuff and reasonably priced and she was super interesting to talk with as well.
Corn Earrings 

Some varieties of indian corn, Oaxacan Green in the center.

Native American crafts

More cool Native American jewelry
 I also snapped a few pics of the leaf show, including some planted containers.  These were all amazing!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dynamite Deutzias!

Deutzia gracilis 'Nikko Dawn'
I've never completely understood why Deutzia don't get more attention.  Homeowners sprucing up their yards and Avid gardeners alike seem to ignore them.  Some can get somewhat large (6-8' tall and wide) and they require some annual pruning maintenance post-flowering to look their best; but so does Physocarpus, and all varieties of that fly off the shelves. 

Deutzia generally have multiple seasons of interest.  They are heavy bloomers, usually in late spring here, with white to pink flowers that last for weeks.  Foliage is attractive, generally pest and disease free, and dear resistant.  Fall color is often quite good, turning shades of burgundy or plum.  Many varieties are hardy to at least zone 5, though some twig dieback can occur.  After flowering it's beneficial to remove old ugly stems to keep plants looking best.  Deutzia is tolerant of many soil types including clay soils, as long as soils aren't too wet. 

So what Deutzias do I like?  Most of them!  A couple of years ago I picked up D. gracilis 'Nikko Dawn' when Asiatica was shutting its doors.  This is a wonderful and beautiful variegated selection of 'Nikko'.  It will stay compact just like 'Nikko', in the 2' tall x 3' wide range and seems like a pretty good grower.  I just stuck a bunch of cuttings, hopefully a good percentage root and we can offer them for sale next season.  Rare Find offers this as 'Nikko Variegated'.  They also obtained it from Asiatica, not sure why the difference in name.  Spring Meadow nursery has introduced a very similar variety to the Proven Winners line called Crème Fraiche™, it should start showing up at garden centers next year.

Deutzia gracilis Chardonnay Pearls™

Speaking of Proven Winners, a number of years ago they introduced a beautiful golden form of D. gracilis called Chardonnay Pearls™.  Bright gold foliage, white flowers, compact 2-3' tall and wide habit all in a plant for partial shade sounds like it should be an easy sell.  Gardeners don't seem very excited about it though and it seems to sit on the retail bench.  Mine have performed beautifully and are currently ready to explode into bloom.  Fall color is a beautiful burgundy.  I need to trim a little twig dieback off every spring, but they fill in nicely.  I have four of them, that alone should give you an idea of how I feel about this variety. 

Deutzia setchuenensis var. corymbiflora

My most recent purchase in this wonderful genus is Deutzia setchuenensis var. corymbiflora.  Despite being known in horticulture since 1895, this is not well known in gardens.  I first encountered it last year when we got some in from Monrovia.  They were so heavy with blooms, you could barely see any foliage.  They arrived again this year and I picked one up immediately.  This one is a little bigger, reaching 4-6' tall and wide.  Most of what I read says summer flowering; Missouri Botanic Garden however has a flower chart showing it to be in bloom in May and June.  Time will tell what the average bloom season is for Wisconsin.  I will try to root cuttings of this one as well.

Deutzias need more love!  If you're out plant shopping and spot one of these beautiful plants, pick one up and squeeze it in somewhere.  Trust me, your landscape doesn't need another spirea!
Deutzia gracilis Chardonnay Pearls™