Camellia japonica ‘Berenice Boddy’ in full bloom in February in the Cresson garden.
On Friday, February 24, and Monday, February 27, Charles Cresson presented the second annual Winter Interest Plant Seminars for my customers in his beautiful garden located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, US. I did a post on the seminars last year (to read it click here) and thought I had covered the topic. However, our very warm winter meant that many different plants were in bloom so I want to show you what we saw.
The weather was cold and rainy on Friday, but participants didn’t let it stop them from enjoying Charles’s presentation.
Monday was warm and sunny which allowed more time for dawdling in the garden. The snowdrops were a big hit.
The attention to detail in Charles’s garden is amazing. I thought I would show you some of the “hardscape” features, many of which Charles built himself:
The rock garden with hellebores, Algerian iris, and spring-blooming hardy cyclamen.
Garden shed with the original green roof.
Winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, photo by seminar participant Lucretia Robbins.
Charles has a spectacular collection of winter-blooming shrubs, many of which are fragrant. We were all surprised by which one was the most fragrant at that time of year:
Chinese holly, Ilex cornuta, retains its berries through the winter.
Sweetbox, Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna ‘Purple Stem’, adds the additional feature of ornamental stems to sweetbox’s many desirable attributes.
Bodnant viburnum, V. bodnantense ‘Dawn’, is very fragrant.
Flower of Bodnant viburnum
The adult form of English ivy, Hedera helix ‘Poetica Arborea’, produces beautiful berries but is also considered very invasive.
Camellia x ‘April Tryst’ is blooming early.
I like the male flowers of Japanese skimmia, S. japonica, as much as the berries on the female plants.
Winter daphne, D. odora, is one of my favorite shrubs because of its wonderful fragrance, excellent habit, evergreen leaves, and lovely flowers.
And the winner is…. Yes, Japanese mahonia, M. japonica, was the most fragrant plant in Charles’s garden even with all the excellent competition above.
Winter-blooming herbaceous perennials were also well represented:
The pink flowers and evergreen leaves of heath, Erica x darleyensis ‘Furzey’.
Evergreen heart leaf ginger, Asarum virginicum
Fragrant Algerian iris, I. unguicularis, was a big hit.
Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, photo Lucretia Robbins
A gorgeous anemone-flowered (ruffle around the center of the flower) hybrid hellebore—my favorite type of hellebore flower.
The most evergreen hellebore of them all, bearsfoot hellebore, H. foetidus.
Helleborus x ericsmithii ‘Winter’s Song’
Hybrid hellebore with the very robust and extremely fragrant snowdrop ‘Brenda Troyle’.
The tour included a wonderful selection of winter-blooming bulbs, including choice snowdrop cultivars. Here are just a few:
Seeing this large patch of the very fragrant snowdop ‘S. Arnott’ sent participants back to add it to their purchases for the day.
Spring-blooming hardy cyclamen, C. coum
The common snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis, multiplies quickly and looks great when massed.
Evergreen leaves of fall-blooming hardy cyclamen, C. hederifolium
A single bulb of a rare yellow-flowered cultivar of the species snowdrop, G. woronowii, just sold for $1,145 on UK eBay.
A silver-leafed form of spring-blooming hardy cyclamen.
The species snowdrop Galanthus plicatus has been in cultivation since the 16th century and comes from Russia and Turkey. It has beautiful leaves with a unique folded (explicative) pattern.
For all of you who couldn’t actually attend Charles’s seminars, I hope you have enjoyed your virtual tour.
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Nursery Happenings: The 2012 Hellebore Seminars are sold out. To view the 2012 Snowdrop Catalogue, click here. Snowdrops are still available for pick up at the nursery, but mail order is closed.
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