Sunday, September 29, 2013

IPPS Western Region Conference


If you are going to be at the IPPS Western Region Annual conference this week in Portland then you will find a few of our plants to bid on in the Silent Auction!

Three Maples


Also from Far Reaches Farm, 3 different Maples collected from Damingshan in Guangxi, just north of the Vietnam Border. Depending on their hardiness these may be short lived additions to the Plantmad collection but worth a try!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two New Clethras!


While perusing the Fall list from Far Reaches Farm a couple of weeks ago (always a fun activity) I noticed 2 Clethra that they had collected in North Vietnam & Guizhou China in 2012. I'm particularly fond of the foliage on the Vietnamese plant (foreground), now time to trial it in the garden.

Four new plants for the Plantmad garden!


We stopped by Xera Plants retail location in Portland today & picked up a few new cool & interesting plants for the garden. I'm sure we will end up making a few cuttings of them too!

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Fastigiata', Laurus nobilis 'Crispa', a male form of Salix magnifica & finally a new Eucryphia x nymansensis 'Nymansay' to replace the one in our garden that's been among the "Undead" since the last big freeze we had about 4 years ago! They have a great selection of plants over there: 



Monday, September 23, 2013

Not another bloody variegated plant ;^)


Like all good plants people we are always on the lookout for an odd looking seedling or something that's different from the rest. You know the kind of stuff that mother nature would quickly dispose of if it wasn't for people like us :^)..

Grading through our crop of 2013 Emothrium coccineum seedlings last week Chiyoko found this one! Now set aside with all the other miss fits, runts & mutants for further evaluation! But I'm not waiting for a variegated Embothrium, It's a weeping one that I'm waiting for ;^).. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sometime you buy a plant just for it's story!

Parrotia subaequalis

The Chinese Ironwood, Parrotia subaequalis is the latest addition to the Plantmad collection of "nondescript" Hamamelidaceae. Sometimes though (at least for me) the story behind a plant or its botanic curiosity is enough of a reason to include it in the garden!  

The plant was first discovered collected in North Eastern China in 1935 & given the name Hamamelis subaequalis but then lost & forgotten! It was not collected or studied in the wild again until 1988. In 1992 the rediscovered plants flowered and it was obvious that they were not Hamamelis, they were given the new genus name of Shaniodendron but further DNA testing followed & in 1998 it was decided that the plant was actually a sister species of the Persian Ironwood, Parrotia persica & so it was renamed Parrotia subaequalis a second species growing some 3500 miles away from it's only other relative!

For more information on this plant check out this Arnold Arboretum article.

Summer turns to Autumn....


I hate to see Summer go but it is nice to the see garden Cyclamen return!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Fickle Franklinia!


I believe that in the South Franklinia is a Summer flowering tree but here in the North West it takes until mid September for the first flowers to open & so you often have flowers & fall colors at the same time. It's a somewhat difficult plant to establish in the NW garden. The first 2 I planted died within a year but this 3rd one seems to be happy & finally growing!

The plant was discovered by John Bartram and his son William in 1765 growing on 2 to 3 acres along the banks of the Altamaha River. It was never found anywhere else in the wild except along the banks of the Altamaha and it was never seen in the wild again after 1803! Meaning all the plants in cultivation today come from just a few plants grown from seed collected by the Bartrams on a return trip in 1773.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A new Oregon Champion!

Earlier this year a new State Champion Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) was found hear Cannon Beach Oregon. Last week Chiyoko & I went to the coast to check this tree out. It's quite close the road & only a short bushwhack in the thick undergrowth is required to find it.

The stats are: Circumference 640" | Height 152' | Crown 70'

Giving it 810 points on the Oregon Champion Tree Registry (more than any other tree on the list)!



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A walk around Windcliff,

Last week I had the opportunity to walk around Dan Hinkley's Windcliff Garden with Dan & Martin Nicholson from the Hoyt Arboretum. It's always a rare treat to see so many plants grown from seed that was wild collected from so many places around the world growing in one garden. Here are just 4 of the many plants that caught my attention on this last trip!

Litsea populifolia
Lauraceae

Exbucklandia tonkinensis
Hamamelidaceae

Sinopanax formosanus
Hamamelidaceae

Schefflera fangii
Araliaceae



Friday, September 6, 2013

One Chance!

I was very kindly given a scion of a variegated Daphniphyllum macropodum yesterday. Notoriously difficult to propagate & I only have one plant that I could use as a rootstock so we are hoping for a 100% success rate :^)..