Last Thursday I had the opportunity to visit Windcliff the garden of Daniel J. Hinkley & Robert Jones. Walking around the garden with Dan & looking at all his wild collected plants from around the world is a plant nuts dream!
The Eucryphia are in full flower this week, there are about 7 species of this small tree from Southern hemisphere most are from Australasia but a couple come from the Andes of Chile & Argentina. They are well suited to the mild zone 8 climate of the UK, Coastal BC & Washington state. Our Oregon garden is 100 miles away from the coast & though officially zone 8 only 1 species thrives here, Eucryphia glutinosa which is a reliable zone 7 plant.
Several other species grow in our garden including the English classic Eucryphia x nymansensis 'Nymansay' from Nyman's Garden Sussex. While it still flowers profusely it has a much harder time than the more robust E. glutinosa in our climate.
Looking great in the garden this week is Lobelia tupa, this Chilean native is know as Devils tobacco probably because of it's hallucinogenic properties. It's considered a sacred plant by the Mapuche Indians of Southern Chile. Our plants come from seed that was wild collected in Chile in 2005.
Platycarya strobilacea flowers a just a bit weird! These obscure members of the Walnut family are growing in an out of the way corner of the the Hoyt Arboretum. The central cone like catkin is the female part of the flower surrounded by the male pollen producers.
Had a chance to spend a few hours at the Hoyt Arboretum yesterday afternoon & a couple of Summer flowering Buckeyes really stood out! In the foreground is Aesculus californica & in the background Aesculus wilsonii from China. Though very similar the Aesculus wilsonii had the better shape & form.
One of our favorite June flowering plants is the Chinese Sweetshrub a close relative of the American Sweetshrubs Calycanthus floridus & Calycanthus occidentalis. The flowers look like they are almost artificial which would help explain another of it's Common names the Chinese Wax Shrub. Can be grown in full Sun or complete shade.
Few trees have been searched for with as much zeal & resource as the once elusive Dove Tree. First discovered in 1868 by French missionary and naturalist Père Armand David (He was also the first Westerner to describe the Giant Panda!). In 1899 Sir Harry Veitch of Vietch Nurseries England commissioned Plant Collector Ernest Wilson for three years. His Goal was to travel to China & search for interesting plant material in general but it was always understood that the main focus of the journey was to find & bring back Dove Tree Seed.
So in 1899 Wilson set off for remote Sichuan province with only a hand drown map to a single tree that had been seen 11 years before in 1888! This was no easy journey he survived an outbreak of Bubonic Plague in Hong Kong before even getting to China. Once there he escaped local bandits, and nearly drowned when his boat overturned. Finally in 1900 with the help of locals he arrived at the location marked on the map only to find that tree had been chopped down!!!
Undaunted he continued his search and was finally rewarded a month or so latter when he found several trees that were heavily flowering. In the Fall of that year a large quantity of seed was collected & sent back to England in 1901.
It's Dogwood Heaven in Western Oregon this week! With all those new fancy cultivars out there it's still hard to beat the old faithful Cornus florida 'Rubra' when it's in flower! This one grows in our garden & is about 50 years old.
One of our favorites in the garden is Darmera peltata, native to West side of Southern Oregon & Northern California is makes a great garden perennial. A slow but steady grower with stunning pink flower stems before the foliage emerges in the Spring.
The first Wisteria we grafted 6 weeks ago & potted 2 weeks ago are now showing signs of life! Next we have to go through them all & remove the flower buds so that they don't flower themselves to death before they have enough new roots.
Flowering in the garden this week: Ribes sanguineum 'Brocklebankii', native to the Pacific Northwest but this cultivar arose in the UK then traveled back to America! The pink flowers are set off by the yellow foliage. Brocklebankii is significantly slower growing that most green leafed cultivars of the species.
Osmanthus delavayi is often given short shrift in favor of some of the more exotic members of the Osmanthus family but it's hard to beat when in flower! But then so many of the plants discovered & collected by Jean Marie Delavay in the 1800's are still hard to beat even today!
So while I spent Saturday grafting Wisteria & listening to BBC Radio 4 podcasts Chiyoko began potting up the grafts that we put on the callus bed 3 weeks ago. Beginning with about 25 cultivars of Hamamelis!
Probaby the two most available species of hardy Cyclamen are C. hederifolium which flowers in the fall & C. coum which flowers in the Spring. However there are a great many more. One of our favorites isCyclamen trochopteranthum. Native to the to rocky areas of Southwest Turkey it's certainly tough! Our plant has lived happily in this pot for about 10 years or so. Every so often I remember to throw a bit of fertilizer on top and this last winter they froze solid in the pot during our coldest weather in 20 years!
Flowering in our garden this week is Cornus officinalis 'Kintoki', the Asian version of Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry). Cornus officinalis flowers are just a touch deeper yellow in color and the bark is more exfoliating. The cultivar Kintoki is a semi dwarf selection.
This Chinese cultivar of Wintersweet looks very similar to the cultivar 'Luteus' but for us it grows a little faster. Like 'Luteus' the flowers have a fantastic winter time scent. Began Flowering in our garden this year on January 15th.