Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Not your common old Horse Chestnut!

Our favorite Spring time Aesculus, this plant has lovely Shrimp Pink new foliage! It's quite slow growing & doesn't like the hot afternoon Sun but it puts on a stunning Spring time show!

A Silky Wisteria!

It's Wisteria flowering time here at Plantmad! I think this is currently my favorite white flowering cultivars, a cultivar of the Silky Wisteria, Wisteria brachybotrys 'Shiro Kapitan'(syn. Wisteria venusta). The flower racemes are not as long as other Wisteria floribunda cultivars but individual flowers are larger & pure white.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The very big & the very small!

First the very small, Gunnera monoica is native to New Zealand. It doesn't like our dry summer garden very much but it has made the corner of one of our greenhouses it's home & seems quite happy there.

Now the very big! The seed for this Gunnera tinctoria was wild collected in Chile in 2004.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Davidia involucrata 'Kylee's Columnar'

This is another one of Crispin Silva's Davidia involucrata introductions. It's a good columnar form that also begins flowering at a young age. We hope to have enough liners of this plant available by 2014 for sales.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gunnera Seedlings

Chiyoko had a busy day today transplanting all our seedlings of Gunnera tinctoria.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Three-Leaf Akebia.

This lovely form of Akebia trifoliata subsp. australis was collected by Daniel Hinkley in NE Sichuan in 2004. It seems to be a particularly nice form of the plant. Not only for the lovely flowers but also the deep color of the new foliage. We are looking forward to being able to make some of these plants available this year.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The "Big" Sassafras

New foliage on our Sassafras tzumu

The Asian Sassafras tzumu is like the American Sassafras albidum but on steroids!  The plants have a strong central leaded & normally grow straight up like a telegraph pole! We had wanted one for the garden for some time & finally found last fall. It will be a while before we have any liners for sale though :^)...

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Hardy Plant Society Plant Sale Day!

Last Sunday was the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon's Spring Plant sale! Here is the box of a few new treasures that we came away with!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

One of Père Jean Marie Delavay's Finest.

A friend once told me that if a plant was named after the great French explorer & missionary, Father Jean Marie Delavay then it was going to be worth a place in the garden! This has proved to be true time & time again! 

He left for China in 1867 & remained there until almost continually until his death in 1895. During that time he sent over 200,000 herbarium specimens back to France resulting in the discovery of over 1500 new species. Many wonderful garden plants carry his name today including this Osmanthus.

(1834 - 1895)

Two Variegated Wonders...

We still have availability of two great variegated plants that are often harder to find!

 This Climbing Hydrangea has new foliage that is frosted white, as the leaves age they normally green up. Definitive a plant for shade or partial shade, a great choice to light up a north facing wall.

This is one of my favorite variegated plants, the variegation is very stable & even holds up without burning in full sun though the plant does grow better with some protection from afternoon Sun, also a great choice for a shade or woodland garden.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Asian Podophyllums at Plantmad

We have several Asian Podophylluums growing in the Plantmad Garden, these strange looking herbaceous relatives of Berberis often look more like something out of an episode of  Dr. Who than they do a real plant!
Here are a few photos of what they look like this week in the garden.

Podophyllum pleianthum

Podophyllum pleianthum native to central & Southern China is probably the toughest of them all, at least in our garden, bright green foliage that holds up well all summer & tolerates the dry hot Summers better than some of the others. Growing next to it is one we got from the old Heronswood Nursey, P. pleianthum x versipelle, sometimes I think I can tell the two apart & other times I can't!

P. pleianthum x versipelle

Growing in a dark corner of one of the greenhouses is P. difforme. Also native to Central & Southern China the plant seems to be a particular favorite of slugs & an unprotected plant has little chance of surviving their voracious appetites!

P. difforme

The P. difforme most commonly available in the trade is the cultivar form 'Kaleidoscope' which has more mottling & color on the leaves.

P. difforme 'Kaleidoscope' 

One of the more vigorous plants we have is a hybrid from Northwest Garden Nursery of  P. delavayi and P. pleianthum. The plant getting it's deep colored foliage from P. delavayi & it's vigor from P. pleianthum. This cross was later given the cultivar name 'Red Panda' but we purchased ours before the Red Panda selection when they were selling seedlings of the cross.

P. delavayi x P. pleianthum

I've saved my favorite for last, P. delavayi, the first time I saw one of these I didn't even think it was a real plant! Luckily it wasn't for sale at any price which was a good thing as I would have paid any price for it. Luckily a few years later I was able to buy a young seedling from Ernie & Marietta O'Byrne at Northwest Garden Nursery.

P. delavayi

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Syneilesis palmata is a great plant in it's own right but the Japanese cultivar 'Kikko' (Tortoise shell) is a real show stopper in the Spring. Last year we had one very small plant with one leaf, that turned into 2 good sized plants this year!

and on to the next thing.....

After a Marathon weekend we finally wrapped up Wisteria grafting for the year today! As we grafted the last ones the first ones we did 5 weekends ago are already potted up & leafing out.