Sunday, January 1, 2012

Plants I Want 2012: Plant Delights Nursery

January can be a very exciting month as many well-known mail-order nurseries put out their new catalogs and entice plant geeks such as myself with their new introductions and plants I want to use in work projects and plants I'd like to add to my personal collection.

I'm anxious to start with one of the most popular mail order catalogs and that's of Plant Delight's Nursery in Raleigh, NC. I had the pleasure of meeting Tony Avent years ago as an undergrad when he was a auctioneer for a reception at the International Plant Propagator's Society conference. He was entertaining and hilarious, but he's also a remarkable plantsman and owns one of the most successful plant mail order operations out there. He's so well connected with other growers in that he has access to the best of the best and many of their offerings are simply to die for if you know your plants! He also has a great cartoonist friend who does their comic catalog covers:

So after they posted on their Facebook page that their 2012 Spring catalog was online, I jumped to my bookmark and had a peak at their selections. Here's what I'm lusting for and WHY.....

Arisaema consanguineum 'Wild Blue Yonder'. This is a selection of an Asian Jack-in-the-Pulpit with enormous foliage that is dramatically splashed in silver/blue. The texture it creates in the garden is exceptional. Plus, it's also an introduction by Ellen Hornig who used to run Seneca Hills Perennials, but is now closed. I had a chance to meet Ellen a few years back and she was a very sweet lady I hope to cross paths with again. $35.00 for a small tuber of this plant will be a tough one to swallow, however. It's kind of a plant I can probably survive without, for now. So on a scale of 1-5.....

1 (can probably live without)------- 5(already on my shopping cart.

 ** 2 **

Baptisia hybrids from Hans Hansen at Walter's Gardens. 

So, I met Hans two summers ago at the Perennial Plant Association conference and talk about a devoted plantsman. Now, I love Baptisia and recommend them highly because of their drought tolerance  and ease of care once they're established, but a lot of beginning gardeners sometimes get impatient with them. But now with these lovely new colors, I think I'll have an easier time convincing clients to try these out!

From left to right: 'Blue Sundae', 'Lemon Meringue', 'Dutch Chocolate'

**1** -will try to get locallly for clients

Epimedium sp. 'The Giant'. I'm certainly one of many Epimedium fanatics out there and this holy-grail of the horny goat weeds is an absolute must have because of its sheer size, rarity and exclusiveness, and its breeding potential to develop the most prolific flowering plants that will ever be developed! This was first offered through Darrell Probst from Garden Visions for like $500 or $300 dollars and now I can actually own one for $150. YIKES!!!  But can Riz live with or without it???


Musa xishuangbannaensis 'Mekong Giant'. I'm definitely a sucker for hardy tropicals even though they were considered a trend way back and now because they take so much water and fertilizer to look their grandest, I still have a soft spot for them because of their bold dramatic look in the landscape and in a way it sort of reminds me of my homeland. This new selection is suppose to have heavily speckled purple stems and huge foliage much larger and more dramatic than the standard hardy Musa basjoo. Xishuangbanna is a prefecture in Yunnan Province, China and boasts a remarkable amount of biodiversity. It is a tropical region that is home to some of the last of the Asian Elephants in the wild and many new species of plants and animals are being discovered and described all the time. This will certainly be for my collection and will definitely be a conversation piece if it does what Tony says it will do.


Delosperma 'Fire Spinner' looks to be an exquisite addition to the dry open garden rockery or green roof!! Look at that color! The hardy ice plant is one tough addition to the landscape just as long as it has exceptional drainage. I'm super excited about this new introduction as many colleagues are already drooling over the photos that have come out for press releases.

**4** --might look for it locally later this season.

You know, that's about it for the new introductions from Plant Delights. There are other plants I've lusted over that I might finally get from them to complete an order.



  1. Oh yeah...I was on their site within minutes of seeing their FB post! Love all those definitely need patience for them. I saw that Epimedium in the catalogue and honestly thought that the price was a typo! It does sound amazing...hope you post pics if you do get one :-) I was intrigued that they offer Monarda bradburiana, which I've never seen offered for sale before. Their catalog is such a joy to flip through...such scope for the imagination.

  2. I vote for the banana and delosperma!

  3. I wonder if I can consider that Epimedium as a business expense?????

  4. Riz:
    I was intriqued when I saw the title of your post so dropped in.... I have to say my vote for what is listed here would be for the Epimedium. I have five or six on my list for this year! A close second would be the Arisaema. I have A. consanguineum [species] and am amazed at how prolifically it spreads every year! This cultivar looks rather appealing! Hope you have a wonderful New Year

  5. I planted a couple 'Mekong Giants' in the garden this spring. They are via E-bay last fall. Found 'Fire Spinner' at the little nursery around the corner. 'The Giant' is being hand delivered this afternoon! I haven't seen any Baptisias better then what I already grow. Signed HCIKC (Happy Camper in Kansas City)