Thursday, July 6, 2017

Botanic Garden Trips - April-May 2017

Being able to go to various botanic gardens during spring has been a somewhat surreal experience for me. For the last 20 years I've worked between 60 and 120 hours every week during late April to early June. Spring hasn't exactly been about having fun for my adult life. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE what I do and it is often fun; but retail horticulture is a lot of work and very stressful.

Even though I've had time to do a lot of fun things this year, I've had limited amounts of time to write blog posts (for reference, I started this one 2 weeks ago). I'm bundling my botanic garden visits for spring into one massive post here. Sorry/not sorry for the amount of pictures; I'm keeping them at medium size since there are so many. I'll probably do the same thing for my June trips, though I took fewer pictures at those gardens! I've decided not to include certain pictures here, such as Primula and Baptisia pictures, as they're covered in their own posts.

My first trip this year was in late April when I gave my yearly talk about new varieties at Boerner Botanical Gardens. Despite Wisconsin being relatively cold this spring, there was plenty to see in the gardens. 
Bidens Campfire Fireburst
New Hypoestes from Proven Winners
 There were several Lavenders still remaining from the trials, these were the two with the best habit and they obviously have overwintered for a few years.
Lavandula 'Jean Davis'

Lavandula 'Mitcham Gray'
 Several pasque flowers were in bloom, I always love these guys.
Pulsatilla vulgaris

Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Papageno'

Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Perlen Glocke'

Epimedum maybe rubrum?

variegated Mertensia virginica

Mertensia virginica

Mertensia virginica with Fritillaria imperialis

Paeonia obovata
 There was a really nice Manchurian maple and I have major lust for it but won't be able to grow it here in z4.
Acer mandshuricum

Chaenomoles hybrid
 Early Magnolias were magnificent in peak bloom.
Magnolia 'Anne'

Magnolia 'Anne'

Magnolia 'Butterflies'

Magnolia 'Centennial Blush'

Magnolia 'Merill'

Magnolia 'Michiko Renge'

Magnolia 'Michiko Renge'

Magnolia 'Roseanne', bad picture of a GREAT plant!

Magnolia 'Savage Splendor'

Magnolia 'Savage Splendor'
My second trip of the year was with my regular horticultural partner in crime, Jess Cloninger, and her co-hort Ben Habanek for the Wisconsin Woody Plant Society trip to Klehm's Songsparrow Farm and Rotary Botanic Garden. I managed to only spend $100 at Klehm's; quite the feat made possible by not having anywhere to put plants!
Finally picked up Epimedium 'Spine Tingler'!

Cornus controversa 'Janine' one of my Klehm purchases

Having some time to kill between shopping and the tour of Rotary, we took the opportunity to head to Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford, IL. As expected for a Japanese garden, this garden doesn't have the diversity of taxa that you would see at a typical botanic garden. It is one of the most stunningly designed spaces I've been to though. Less is definitely more in this case. Maybe my only complaint is that there was A LOT of spring flower color and plenty of plants that would offer stunning fall color, but little evidence of any plants offering summer color. 

Acer griseum
Acer griseum
 Japanese maples were a huge part of the gardens and there were several stunning specimens.
Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'

Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'

Acer japonicum 'Green Cascade'

Acer palmatum

Acer palmatum 'Mikawa Yatsubasa'

Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost'

Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost'

Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost'
 Azaleas and Rhododendrons were another massive part of the spring display.

Enkianthus campanulatus

Enkianthus campanulatus
As were several flowering dogwoods.

Fothergilla gardenii

Pinus sylvestris has great bark

Tree peony

Tree peony

Tsuga canadensis 'Sargentii'

We then headed to our guided tour of Rotary, it's always cool to hang out with Mark Dwyer when he has time for us and it was different and fun to get a whirlwind tour of the gardens with a group. I ALWAYS find something I hadn't seen before, and I've been there several times. After the tour WWPS had it's meeting and plant exchange, I picked up a few new things there too. 

Acer negundo 'Kelly's Gold'

Acer negundo 'Kelly's Gold'
Boxelder gets a bad rap as a weed tree but there are several great varieties if you have the proper site for the species. It's has tremendous wildlife value as it attracts many insects which in turn attract many birds and mammals. I intend to have a place for at least one, probably 'Kelly's Gold'. 

Acer platanoides 'Princeton Gold'

A variegated Acer rubrum

Cercidiphyllum japonicum 'Claim Jumper' - on my lust list!

Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris 'Mirranda'

Kerria 'Golden Guinea'

Magnolia 'Miss Honeybee'

Magnolia sieboldii x tripetala

Viburnum lantana 'Variegatum' (or 'Wavecrest' if you prefer)

Viburnum plicatum Popcorn

The pond was high, these hostas are pretending to be marginal aquatics. 

Geum triflorum

Actaea pachypoda

Arisaema triphyllum

Carex appalachica

Dicentra spectablis 'Goldheart'

Dodecatheon meadia

Dodecatheon meadia

Some sort of fern, looks like a species of bracken

Iris cristata 'Edgar Anderson'

Podophyllum hexandrum from the plant exchange; I did not get this. :(

My last spring trip was with fellow plant and fish nut Kurt Zahringer. He was attending a convention in IL and we had time to get to Chicago Botanic Garden on May 26th. Needless to say, there was A LOT to see. I took a lot of pics of the Baptisia trial, and will talk about those in another post. 

Amsonia ciliata filifolia
This Amsonia ciliata filifolia was pictured in my post about our fall visit too, this time around it had a prop tag in it. Hopefully that means it's destined for the market. This thing is spectacular!
Amsonia 'Fontana'

Amsonia illustris

Amsonia illustris

Centaurea montana 'Amehtyst in Snow'

Clematis 'Mrs. Chamondelay'

Clematis 'Toki'

Dianthus Paint the Town

Euphorbia 'Excalibur'

Fallopia/Persicaria japonica
Every time somebody posts on Facebook about Fallopia/Persicaria japonica 'Variegata', they also say it's not invasive like the green form. These plants were in trial and I don't know how long they've been in place, but it's safe to say less than 5 years as that's how long the trials run. You can see it spreading out to the grass. I'll have another pic in a future post showing it being even more invasive in another garden. DO NOT PLANT THIS! It's ecologically invasive along the lines of purple loosestrife or phragmites, but even harder to eradicate. It's banned here in Wisconsin and several other states. 


Muscari 'Valerie Finnis'


Papaver nudicaule

Parthenocissus 'Fenway Park'

Rudbeckia maxima 'Golda Emannis'

Salvia 'Crystal Blue'

Salvia 'Eveline'

Salvia 'Eveline'

Salvia 'Pink Wesuve'

Salvia 'Sweet 16'
It was great to see the salvia trial in bloom. I hadn't seen Salvia 'Sweet 16' in bloom yet and it's definitely equal to the quality of S. 'Eveline'. 
Athyrium 'Burgundy Lace'

Athyrium 'Burgundy Lace'

Thalictrum 'Purpleicious'
Green Roof


Neat fern-imprinted slate. I want a few pieces like this.

green roof

green roof baptisia

green roof

Calycanthus 'Aphrodite'

Ginkgo 'Chi Chi' bonsai

Ginkgo 'Chi Chi'

Lonicera henryi

Viburnum plicatum
This was a good place for us to visit since Kurt is a succulent/cactus geek and I like pretty much everything. It's always fun spending time with someone who knows more about cacti then I do. 

Agave angustifolia 'Marginata'
Agave parasana 'Fireball'

Agave parasana 'Fireball'

Agave parryi truncata

Agave Sp. F0-76

Agave victoria-reginae 'Variegata'

Aloe 'Goliath'

Amorphophallus titanum

Amorphophallus titanum

Amorphophallus titanum

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark'

Ecbolium viride

Ecbolium viride



Euphorbia fruiticosa

Notocactus magnificus

Opuntia ficus indica Grey Form - I want one!

Ubelmannia pectinifera

xGastworthia Royal Highness

Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies'

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