Archive for the Shade Shrubs Category

Woody Plants for Shade Part 7

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, Fall Color, native plants, Shade Shrubs, shade vines, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Camellia x 'Spring's Promise'Spring-blooming camellia ‘Spring’s Promise’ is available in the current offer but was profiled in a previous woody plant post so I am not describing it here.  However, it is a favorite of mine, and I wanted to include a photo.  For a full write up of this plant,  go to Woody Plants for Shade Part 1.

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My nursery, Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, specializes in perennials for shade with an emphasis on hellebores, unusual bulbs especially snowdrops, hostas particularly miniature hostas, native plants, and ferns.  However, a satisfying shade garden does not consist of just perennials but includes trees, shrubs, and vines.  I provide a quality source for these plants by doing a special offer three times a year. 

I have just sent my first 2013 list to my customers.  To view the catalogue, click here.   However, I thought my blog readers who are not customers might be interested in learning about the woody plants that I would recommend they add to their shade gardens.  And doing an article allows me to add more information and explain why I chose the plants I included so customers might be interested also.

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Camellia japonica 'Korean Fire'Spring-blooming camellia ‘Korean Fire’ has the most beautiful leaves of any camellia.

The offer focuses on winter- and early spring-blooming plants, evergreens and winter interest, native plants, and fragrance.  Included are four camellias, six other shrubs, and one vine.  Six of the plants I have chosen are evergreen, and seven bloom off season, in fall or late winter/early spring.   This reflects  my desire to see gardeners expand their gardens’ season beyond spring and summer to become a year round paradise for them to enjoy.  With that introduction, here are the plants I am highlighting:

Camellia japonica 'Korean Fire'‘Korean Fire’


I included four hardy camellias for their spectacular early (or late) season flowers and elegant evergreen leaves. These camellias, along with many other cultivars, have been selected to be fully cold hardy in the mid-Atlantic U.S, zones 6B and 7A.  Nevertheless all camellias benefit from being sited to shelter them from winter wind, which comes from the northwest.  They also maintain their lustrous dark green leaves in better shape if they are sheltered from winter sun.

‘Korean Fire’ is a Camellia japonica cultivar hardy in our area because it was selected from the most northern range of the species.  It has very showy bright red single flowers in April and May and glossy dark evergreen leaves.  It grows to 10′ tall and 6′ wide in part to full shade.  It was introduced by Barry Yinger of Asiatica Nursery from plants collected in Korea in 1984 and has received the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Award for outstanding plants for our area.

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Camellia x 'April Rose'‘April Rose’ spring-blooming camellia

Camellia x ‘April Rose’ is a spring-blooming hardy camellia with gorgeous plump buds opening to formal double rose-pink flowers in April and May.  It has large glossy dark evergreen leaves.  It is 5’ tall and 4′ wide, growing in part to full shade.  It is part of the April series of exceptionally cold hardy camellias developed by Dr. Clifford Parks of North Carolina.

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Camellia x 'Winter's Star'Fall-blooming camellia ‘Winter’s Star’

‘Winter’s Star’ is a fall-blooming, cold hardy camellia with single pink flowers in October and November and glossy evergreen leaves.  It is a vigorous plant with an upright habit, reaching 6′ tall and 5′ wide at maturity and sporting lustrous dark evergreen leaves in part to full shade.  It was selected for cold hardiness by Dr. William Ackerman at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC.

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Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Sasaba'‘Sasaba’ holly osmanthus (also known as holly tree olive), O. heterophyllus, blooms in the fall and is beautifully fragrant.

Fall-blooming holly osmanthus‘Sasaba’  is the fifth evergreen in the offer, and I would grow it just for its dramatic, deeply incised dark evergreen leaves.  Its delicious fragrance perfumes my whole hillside in November when it blooms: if you are visiting you can see it on the back hill.  Its prickly foliage repels deer.  It grows 6’ tall and 4’ wide in full sun to full shade.

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Japanese mahonia, Mahonia japonica, is the sixth evergreen in the offer.  It was previously profiled here, but I am including it again because I think it is the most fragrant and best all round mahonia species.

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There are four deciduous shrubs in the offer:

Chaenomeles speciosa 'Texas Scarlet'‘Texas Scarlet’ flowering quince, Chaenomeles x superba, is another repeat.  This compact selection gives you the wonderful early flowers of quince without the lethal thorns and out-of-control growth habit of normal quinces.  For a complete profile, click here.

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Fothergilla MOBOTThe lovely fragrant flowers of fothergilla.

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Fothergilla gardeniiThis is a photo of my unselected fothergilla so I can only imagine what ‘Red Licorice’ must look like in the fall.

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Native ‘Red Licorice’ fothergilla has honey-scented, white bottlebrush flowers in April and May.  It is a new fothergilla cultivar selected for its spectacular cherry red fall color.  It grows to 6’ tall and 5’ wide in full sun to full shade.  It is wet site tolerant,  deer resistant, and attracts butterflies.  It is native to the southeastern US.

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Kerria japonica Golden Guinea_DK‘Golden Guinea’ Japanese kerria, Kerria japonica, produces copious amounts of large, bright gold flowers.

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Kerria japonica Golden Guinea2 apr_LS (1)A close up of ‘Golden Guinea’

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‘Golden Guinea’ Japanese kerria is covered with 2 ½” yellow flowers  in April and May and then reblooms sporadically.  It has delicate, bright green pointed leaves, and its graceful stems are a vibrant green providing great winter interest.  It grows to 5’ tall and 4’ wide in part sun to almost full shade (full sun bleaches the flowers).  Kerria grows in average garden soils, is tough and adaptable, and resists deer.

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Rhododendron arborescens 1-15-13_LS (1)The lovely buds of native sweet azalea, Rhododendron arborescens.

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Rhododendron arborescens 4-27-12_LS (2)The fragrant flowers of sweet azalea.

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Native sweet azalea’s very attractive buds, which are on the plant right now, produce light pink to white very fragrant flowers with showy red stamens from May to June.  Its lustrous green leaves turn a stunning orange to red in fall.  It can grow to 10’ tall and 7’ wide in full sun to almost full shade but is usually smaller.  Sweet azalea is wet site tolerant and is one of Pennsylvania’s hardiest native deciduous azaleas.  It was first described by John Bartram in 1814.

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Gelsemium sempervirens 'Margarita'Carolina jessamine ‘Margarita’, Gelsemium sempervirens, is a vine that I have offered before but its many fragrant, bright yellow flowers, semi-evergreen leaves, and the fact that it is native to the southeastern US make it a very desirable plant.  For a complete profile, click herePhoto courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder.

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I grow most of these plants in my gardens so I know you can’t go wrong by adding them to yours!  If you are a customer, see Nursery Happenings below for details on how to order these wonderful shade plants by noon on March 30.  If not, now you have some plants to ask for at your local independent nursery.

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US, zone 6b.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings:  The nursery is open and fully stocked.  If you can’t come to an event, just email to schedule an appointment to shop.  If you wish to order shrubs, everything you need to know is in the catalogue, which can be accessed here.   The deadline for shrub orders is noon on March 30.  Our Native Wildflower Weekend takes place on Friday, April 5, from 10 am to 4 pm, and Saturday, April 6, from 10 am to 2 pm.  If you are a customer, expect an email shortly with all the details.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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New York Times Photos

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, Fall, Fall Color, Shade Shrubs, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , on January 29, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Camellia x 'Autumn Spirit'‘Autumn Spirit’ (fall blooming), the lead photo in the NYT article.

Readers will soon tire of me featuring myself in my posts, especially since the recent snowdrop post did just that.  However, I am bursting with excitement and will explode if I can’t do it one more time.  I was recently hired by the New York Times as a free lance photographer to provide the photos for a camellia article interviewing camellia expert Charles Cresson.  The print article “Camellias Ready for a Cold Snap” appeared on January 17, 2013.  One photo is on the cover of the Home section with the full article on page D4.  If you read the small print you will see my name.  You can find the on line version here.  Be sure and click through the slide show.

Camellia "Wax Lips"Unnamed Korean Camellia japonica seedling (spring blooming)

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Camellia japonica 'Berenice Boddy' Cresson Garden‘Berenice Boddy’ (spring blooming)

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While letting you know about the New York Times article, I thought this post would be a good place to list helpful articles on cold hardy camellias for easy reference.  I did this in the snowdrop post, and it has already proved invaluable to me.  I have interspersed the article names and links with some of my favorite camellia photos to keep the attention of those of you who don’t want to read up on camellias.  I am also going to list the camellias covered in each article in case a reader is interested in a particular cultivar.

Camellia 'April Tryst'‘April Tryst’ (spring blooming)

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Camellia x (Ackerman seedling)Unnamed Ackerman Seedling (fall blooming)

December 8, 2010

“Fall-blooming Camellias Part 1”

Camellia oleifera, Elaine Lee, Winter’s Darling

click here to read

Camellia x 'Moon Festival'‘Moon Festival’ (fall blooming), not hardy in zone 6.

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Camellia x 'Winter's Interlude'‘Winter’s Interlude’ (fall blooming)

December 17, 2010

“Fall-blooming Camellias Part 2”

Snow Flurry, Winter’s Dream, Autumn Spirit, Winter’s Snowman, Winter’s Charm, Scented Snow, Winter’s Beauty

click here to read

Camellia x 'April Rose'‘April Rose’ (spring blooming)

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Camellia x 'Winter's Snowman'‘Winter’s Snowman’ (fall blooming)

November 10, 2011

“Fall-blooming Camellias Part 3”

Snow Flurry, Winter’s Snowman, Winter’s Star, Winter’s Interlude, Moon Festival, Carolina Moonmist

click here to read

Camellia x 'Elaine Lee'‘Elaine Lee’ (fall blooming)

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Camellia x 'Pink Icicle'‘Pink Icicle’ (spring blooming)

December 2, 2012

“2012 Fall-blooming Camellias”

Winter’s Joy, Winter’s Snowman, Snow Flurry, Autumn Spirit, Survivor, Long Island Pink, Polar Ice, Ashton’s Ballet, Winter’s Rose, Winter’s Fire

click here to read

Camellia x 'April Blush'‘April Blush’ (spring blooming)

January 2006

“Camellias for Cold Climates” by William L. Ackerman

details Dr. Ackerman’s cold hardy camellia breeding at the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC, and describes each cultivar’s ornamental attributes and hardiness

click here to read

Camellia x 'Winter's Beauty'‘Winter’s Beauty’ (fall blooming)

January 17, 2013

The New York Times

‘Camellias Ready for a Cold Snap” by Anne Raver

excellent article profiling cold hardy camellias for the mid-Atlantic and discussing many additional cultivars not mentioned in my articles

click here to read

 

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I hope that this post will act as a central reference point where I can collect information on cold hardy camellias for the mid-Atlantic.  I intend to add titles and links as I discover more information about one of my favorite topics.  I can see already that I have neglected spring-blooming camellias in favor of the fall-blooming varieties.

Enjoy, Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US, zone 6b.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings:  The 2013 Snowdrop Catalogue is on the sidebar of the website and orders are being accepted.  To view the catalogue, click here.  There are a few spaces left in both sessions of Charles Cresson’s 2013 Winter Interest Plants Seminar.  To view the brochure and register, click here.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

December 2012 Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Posted in bulbs for shade, Camellias, hellebores, Shade Gardening, Shade Shrubs, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

DSCN8663The first of my hybrid hellebores is just about to bloom: Helleborus x ‘Snow White’ (aka ‘Snow Bunting’).

I am two days late for the official Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day.  On the fifteenth of each month garden bloggers from all over the world post photos of what’s blooming in their gardens, and their posts are collected by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  Nevertheless, I thought it would be fun to see which plants are pretty enough to get me outside in December on a somewhat warm but dreary, rainy day.  I also wanted to add a new twist by allowing myself only one pass through the garden for photos instead of the numerous trips required by a normal post.

Not surprisingly if you read my blog, Italian arum, hellebores, snowdrops, camellias, hardy cyclamen, and coral bells are hogging the show this time of year accompanied by a few others.  Let’s see what we have:

DSCN8642 Fall-blooming camellia ‘Winter’s Snowman’ has been blooming since October and still has buds waiting to open.

My late fall garden has been immensely improved by the addition of fall-blooming hardy camellias.  All five of mine are blooming now and have plenty of buds left.  For more information on fall-bloomimg camellias, click here.

DSCN8641‘Winter’s Joy’

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DSCN8650‘Lu Shan Snow’

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DSCN8656‘Winter’s Darling’

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DSCN8655‘Elaine Lee’

Italian arum is always a highlight this time of year after its fresh foliage emerges from dormancy in early fall:

DSCN8645‘Pictum’ Italian arum

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DSCN8659dwarf Italian arum ‘Tiny Tot’

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DSCN8654‘Gold Rush’ Italian arum, my favorite

Hellebores are just about to take over as the stars of the garden for the next few months.  For more information on hellebores, click here and follow the links at the end of the post.  If it wouldn’t violate my parameter for this post, I would run out and photograph bearsfoot hellebore and ‘Praecox’ Christmas rose, which are both almost open.  As it is, I have these two hellebores for you:

DSCN8662Another shot of the first flower on ‘Snow White’.

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DSCN8643After blooming in October, ‘Josef Lemper’ Christmas rose is at it again and will continue to bloom into spring.

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My favorite coral bells or heucheras are the cultivars that give me 365 days of colorful foliage, some of which are pictured below.  If I could go back outside, I would add ‘Frosted Violet’ and ‘Bronze Wave’.  I would also include some photographs of pulmonarias, especially ‘Diana Clare’:

DSCN8646‘Caramel’ heuchera continues to change from one beautiful hue to the next through out the winter.

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DSCN8652Green Spice’ is new to my garden this year and looks like a winner.

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DSCN8653‘Citronelle’ is a customer favorite for brightening dark corners.

You know I couldn’t resist showing you a few snowdrops:

DSCN8640  ‘Potter’s Prelude’, a fall-bloomimg snowdrop cultivar, is getting to the end of its bloom period which began in mid-November.

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DSCN8658A clump of early blooming giant snowdrops, Galanthus elwesii, hides in the Japanese holly ferns and hellebores.

Except during the heart of the summer when they are dormant, hardy cyclamen are stars in my garden.  I find their highly variable leaf patterns endlessly fascinating.  For more information on hardy cyclamen, click here.

DSCN8660The last few blooms on fall-blooming hardy cyclamen, C. hederifolium, which began blooming at the end of August.

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DSCN8661Spring-blooming hardy cyclamen, C. coum, doesn’t need flowers to attract attention.

Here are some more late fall stars that might surprise you:

DSCN8639‘Brigadoon’ St. John’s wort always takes on this lovely peach color for the winter.

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DSCN8644This new mahonia called ‘Soft Caress’ was given to me by the breeders at the Southern Living Plant Collection to trial in my garden.  It is evergreen, blooms now, and is hardy to zone 7.  For more information, click here.  I have high hopes for it because I have since seen it in two other local gardens.

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DSCN8648This sedum always turns a lovely burgundy in the fall.  Unfortunately, I don’t know its exact name.

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DSCN8651Bigroot geranium, G. macrorrhizum, takes on red and pink tones for the winter.

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DSCN8649‘Black Scallop’ ajuga has quickly become one of my favorite groundcovers because its dark purple leaves remain shiny and beautiful through the winter.

You may be wondering why I would limit myself to one trip outside for photos for this post.  Every article that you read here takes me at least a full day to compose, including the photography, the research, the writing, and the editing.  I wanted to see if I could cut that back to a few hours and still produce a quality product, and I believe I have been largely successful.  It would only work for a post like this though where no significant supporting research was required. 

Enjoy, Carolyn

 

Nursery Happenings:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  The nursery is closed until spring 2013.  Thanks for a great year.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

 

A Shrub for All Seasons: Edgeworthia

Posted in Fall, Shade Shrubs, winter, winter interest with tags , , , on December 10, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Snow Cream' Cresson gardenI love edgeworthia in all its manifestations, but late winter when the buds start to swell has to be my favorite.

Edgeworthia chrysantha also known as paper bush is a collector’s plant.  That means it is rarely seen in public and private gardens and is hard to find at nurseries.  However, I have been able to offer it to my customers in fall 2011 and fall 2012 because my wholesale shrub supplier carries beautiful specimens of it.  I have grown it in my own garden for three years so I decided it was time for a full blown profile of what has become one of my favorite shrubs.

[Note:Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas.]

Edgeworthia chrysantha My photos of the whole plant do not do justice to how gorgeous it is, but as I reviewed the on-line literature, I realized that everyone has this problem.  This edgeworthia is pictured in mid-April on the terrace of the main house at Chanticleer gardens in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Edgeworthia is native to China and was named for Michael Edgeworth (1812 to 1881), a plant collector for the East India Company.  It arrived fairly recently in the US.  My 1990 edition of Michael Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants contains no mention of it, and it was not covered in my 1994 Longwood course, Deciduous Flowering Shrubs II.  Although articles state that its common name is paper bush, I have never heard anyone who actually grows it call it anything but edgeworthia.  In China, its bark is used to produce very high quality paper and for various medicinal purposes.  Here it is an unusual and elegant four season ornamental notable for its leaves, buds, flowers, and habit.

Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia’s leaves are large and tropical, and its bark is an unusual reddish-brown.  This photo was taken in September and the highly ornamental buds have formed but have not yet expanded.

Edgeworthia is in the same family as daphne and has even occasionally been called yellow daphne.  It is deciduous and  has large and distinctive leaves.  They are 5 to 6″ long and about 2″ wide, blue-green on the top and silvery green on the bottom.  Although they can turn yellow in fall, you wouldn’t grow edgeworthia for fall color.  The leaves cluster at the tips of the branches giving the shrub a decidedly lush and tropical appearance that really stands out in the garden.  When the leaves drop, they reveal the slender and pliable reddish-brown bark seen above.

Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia buds in November as they start to expand.

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Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Snow Cream' Cresson gardenEdgeworthia buds as they appear through the heart of the winter.

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Edgeworthis chrysanthaPlease use your imagination to envision how gorgeous this shrub must be covered with hundreds of the silky silver buds shown in the preceding photo.  This edgeworthia is pictured at the very end of January and is in the Isabelle Cosby Courtyard at the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania.

My favorite season for edgeworthia is winter when the leaves drop to reveal the buds which form in late summer or early fall depending on where you live.  Each 1″ plus bud resembles an intricately designed tassel on the corner of an elegant Victorian pillow.  The silky hairs glow in the light, and the plant looks like it is covered with hundreds of silver flowers–simply breathtaking.  The falling leaves also reveal edgeworthia’s striking architectural habit.  It is a multi-stemmed shrub that forms an almost perfectly rounded umbrella shape of cinnamon colored branches.

Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia’s buds start to open at the beginning of March in our area and as early as January in the south.

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Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia’s flowers starting to open.

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Edgeworthia chrysanthaFully open flowers in my garden in mid-March 2012.  I wish blog posts could include a fragrance button!

Blooming begins in our area in early March and can continue through April.  Each bud expands to reveal 25 to 35 tubular flowers with a silky silver exterior and a bright yellow interior.  That would be ornamental enough but the fragrance is amazing.  I can’t describe it—you will just have to find a specimen and experience it for your self.

Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia blooming at the Scott Arboretum (photo taken by Rhoda Maurer and used with the permission of the Scott Arboretum).

I am going to give cultural information for edgeworthia with the caveat that I don’t think the plant has been grown long enough for it to be definitive.  Most sources say that edgeworthia grows in light to partial shade and requires moist, fertile, well-drained organic soil with supplemental water in summer.  I grow mine in an east-facing location with very high shade, but edgeworthias at the Scott Arboretum and Chanticleer are in the sun while Charles Cresson has a relatively old plant in full shade.  My edgeworthias have organic soil but are in a dry location.  This causes the leaves to go limp when it’s hot but doesn’t seem to harm the plants, time will tell.

Zone information is also variable, and the only thing I can guarantee is that specimens have been growing successfully in the Delaware Valley area of Pennsylvania for some time.  If you garden north of here, I suggest you try the plant anyway because we really don’t know how much cold it can take.  Planting in a protected location is often recommended, and all the plants I have seen are in protected spots, but I don’t know if this is necessary.  Mine are more exposed than other local plants so we will see. 

Finally, height and width estimates range all over the place with a consensus probably being 6′ by 6′.  However, the Chanticleer specimen in the sun is much lower and tighter while Charles Cresson’s shady specimen is taller and looser.  One thing is clear though: you won’t regret adding edgeworthia to your garden.

If you are growing edgeworthia, please leave a comment describing your experience with it, especially if you are from an area north of the Delaware Valley.

Carolyn

If you would like more information on edgeworthias, please read my more recent post, Edgworthia Update, and the very helpful reader comments, by clicking here.

 

Nursery Happenings:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

 

2012 Fall-blooming Camellias

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, Fall, Fall Color, Shade Shrubs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Camellia x 'Winter's Joy'The fall-blooming camellias are flowering in my garden, pictured above is ‘Winter’s Joy’.  I planted this camellia last fall, and it bloomed all through our mild winter.  This year it is once again loaded with buds and began blooming in October.

For the past two falls, I have written posts on fall-blooming camellias, shrubs that have quickly become favorites in my garden.  Who can resist their tough nature, glossy, evergreen leaves, tidy habit, and, best of all, large, elegant flowers from September through December?  To read my posts, click Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

'Winter's Snowman'‘Winter’s Snowman’ was planted in spring 2011 in dense shade and bloomed sparsely last fall.  This year it is well established and has been covered with flowers since October.

I only have four fall-blooming camellias in my garden: the two pictured above plus ‘Elaine Lee’ and ‘Winter’s Darling’.  My desire to showcase some new varieties on my blog gave me a great excuse to venture forth and visit the camellia collections of two great gardeners, both located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.  I spent two glorious afternoons obsessing on camellias with Charles Cresson, whose garden you have visited many times on my blog, and with Keith Robertshaw, a diehard camellia collector and one of my nursery customers.

Camellia x 'Snow Flurry'‘Snow Flurry’, which I have shown you before in the Cresson garden, is having a banner year this year.

The weird weather patterns we have been experiencing have had one good result, camellias are blooming early this year with an abundance of flowers.  I usually find it very difficult to photograph a full camellia shrub.  When I step back far enough to get the whole bush in the photo, the flowers lose their impact even though they look great in person. That was not a problem on my recent trip when cultivars like ‘Snow Flurry’ were bursting with flowers as you can see in the above photo.

Camellia x 'Snow Flurry'‘Snow Flurry’ is the earliest to flower of the cold hardy fall-blooming camellias selected by William Ackerman at the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC.  It is at the top of the list for additions to my garden.

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Camellia x 'Autumn Spirit'‘Autumn Spirit’ is another cold hardy camellia that blooms early and has produced a plethora of flowers this year.  Early bloomers are desirable because they are guaranteed to bloom even if we have an early winter that freezes the buds on the late bloomers.

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Camellia x 'Autumn Spirit'‘Autumn Spirit’ was selected by the North Carolina nursery Camellia Forest for its intense color, early bloom, and cold hardiness.

I have featured all four of the camellias shown above in my previous posts.  However, my visits to the Robertshaw and Cresson gardens did yield seven new cold hardy camellias that I haven’t seen before.  If you combine these with the approximately 20 cultivars profiled in my 2010 and 2011 posts, you will have a pretty comprehensive reference library of camellias suitable for the mid-Atlantic area of the US.  Here are the new candidates:

Camellia x 'Survivor'‘Survivor’ is another Camellia Forest introduction producing an abundance of single white flowers in early fall.  If you are in an area north of the mid-Atlantic, you might want to try this very cold hardy camellia which survived -9° F (-22.8° C) in the Camellia Forest Nursery garden.

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Camellia x 'Long Island Pink'Another camellia in addition to ‘Survivor’ for gardeners who prefer single flowers, ‘Long Island Pink’ is also valued for its large highly polished leaves.  Although it is a cultivar of  C. sasanqua, which is generally considered tender, ‘Long Island Pink’ was selected for cold hardiness from a Long Island, NY, garden.

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Camellia x 'Polar Ice'‘Polar Ice’ is a cold hardy Ackerman hybrid with anemone form flowers blooming in November and December.

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Camellia x 'Ashton's Ballet' ‘Ashton’s Ballet’ is an Ackerman hybrid with rose form double flowers blooming in November and December.  It has a compact form and makes a beautiful garden specimen.

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Camellia x (Ackerman seedling)I am cheating by putting this camellia in the post because you can’t buy it.  It was an Ackerman seedling given to Charles Cresson but never introduced to the trade.  The flowers are huge, gorgeous, and pure white.  I think we need to lobby to have it named! 

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Camellia x 'Winter's Rose'The Ackerman hybrid ‘Winter’s Rose’ is unusual.  It is a semi-dwarf that grows very slowly and densely with small leaves and flowers, making a great patio plant.  If you don’t have much room, this is the camellia for you.

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Camellia x 'Winter's Rose'‘Winter Rose’ has an abundance of small delicate shell pink flowers from mid-October to early December.  Charles Cresson pointed out that although the plant is exceedingly hardy, the flowers freeze easily.

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Camellia x 'Winter's Rose' ‘Winter’s Rose’ seems to be the favorite among commenters so I thought I would add another photo.

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Camellia x 'Winter's Fire'‘Winter’s Fire’ was present in both gardens and is the most intriguing camellia that I saw during my visits.  The flower color is very unusual, a beautiful mix of red, pink, and coral with contrasting white splotches.  While Keith and Charles both stated that the white was caused by a non-harmful virus and both plants displayed this coloring, I could find no mention of this on the internet.

[Thanks to reader Alisa Brown for answering my question about ‘Winter’s Fire’.   Variegation in camellias caused by a virus is not considered part of the official description of the flower.  You can read more about this by clicking here.]


Camellia x 'Winter's Fire'William Ackerman, who selected ‘Winter’s Fire’, characterizes it as having “spreading growth with a weeping habit.”  In the Robertshaw garden, it was growing like a groundcover.  This photo is taken from above.  I would love to try it cascading over a wall.

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Camellias in Cresson gardenThis is one corner of the Cresson garden showing ‘Snow Flurry’ on the left and the unnamed white Ackerman plant on the top right intermingled with several other large camellias.  Though it may be hard at first to get used to such big gorgeous flowers in November, as you can see they make for a beautiful fall landscape.

 

My annual fall camellia hunt is over with seven new specimens bagged.  Now I have a year to determine where I will continue my search next fall.  If you know of any local public or private gardens showcasing camellias please let me know.

Carolyn

 

Nursery Happenings:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is done for the fall.  Thanks for a great year.  See you in spring 2013.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

 

Woody Plants for Shade Part 6

Posted in Camellias, evergreen, Shade Gardening, Shade Shrubs, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

‘Early Amethyst’ beautyberry, Callicarpa dichotoma, is available in the current offer but was profiled in a previous woody plant post so I am not describing it here.  However, it is a favorite for fall interest and I wanted to include a photo.  For a full write up of this plant,  go to Woody Plants for Shade Part 3.

My nursery, Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, specializes in perennials for shade with an emphasis on hellebores, unusual bulbs especially snowdrops, hostas particularly miniature hostas, native plants, and ferns.  However, a satisfying shade garden does not consist of just perennials but includes trees, shrubs, and vines.

‘Winter’s Joy’ fall-blooming hardy camellia is another repeat, see this post for details.  I planted one myself last fall, and I would like to add to my previous write up that this camellia has more buds and flowers than any other camellia in my garden.  In 2011, it produced the beautiful flowers pictured above through out the entire winter.  Right now my plant is poised to do it again with hundreds of buds waiting to open.

Despite the need, woody plants for shade are difficult to find in local nurseries.  To fill this gap for my customers, three times a year, I offer woody plants for pre-order.  The plants chosen for the offer are the result of hours of painstaking selection in the shade houses of wholesale nurseries to find the healthiest, most desirable woodies available.


‘Winter’s Snowman’ fall-blooming hardy camellia is another favorite offered previously, see this post for details.  I have written three articles about fall-blooming hardy camellias in general.  If you are interested in finding out more about them, start here Fall-blooming Hardy Camellias Part 3, and you will find links to the first two installments.

 It is now time for my fall 2012 woody offer.  If you are a customer, you should already have gotten an email with all the details.  Blog readers can look at the catalogue on line by clicking here.  My nursery is on site retail sales only.  The only plants I ship are snowdrops in February and miniature hostas later in the season.  However, I hope out-of-town readers will get some good ideas for woody shade plants to look for at their local independent nursery.

The previous three photos are of another repeat: paper bush, Edgeworthia chrysantha, for details click here.  My plants have thrived through the last two hot and dry summers with pristine tropical looking leaves, gorgeous fall-forming buds, and highly fragrant late winter-blooming flowers.  This is truly a shrub with 365 days of interest.

So much for the preliminaries and repeat offerings, let’s get to the new plants.  There are six: three from my favorite group of shrubs, hydrangeas, and three evergreens for winter interest (the camellias are evergreen too).  Here are the details.

Native oakleaf hydrangea, H. quercifolia

The fall color of oakleaf hydrangea.

Our native oakleaf hydrangea, H. quercifolia, is the best all round shrub for shade—everyone should have at least one!  Huge, long-lasting, upright pyramids of white flowers bloom from May through July. It has bold-textured leaves with heart-stopping burgundy-red fall color, and cinnamon-colored exfoliating bark—a true four season plant. 

The white flowers of ‘Amethyst’ oakleaf hydrangea age to a striking red that does not fade when dried.  Great for flower arranging.

I am offering ‘Amethyst’ native oakleaf hydrangea, a new cultivar selected because  its initially white flowers turn to a striking red color and stay that way.  It grows to 5 to 6’ tall and 5 to 6’ wide in sun to full shade.  It is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9, walnut and drought tolerant, and native to the southeastern US.

 

‘Blue Bird’ sawtooth hydrangea, H. serrata


‘Blue Bird’ sawtooth hydrangea produces lovely blue lacecap flowers starting in June for an extended period.  Acid soil results in the best blue tint.  I also grow it for its beautiful clean bright green leaves through out the season, which are enhanced by red highlights in the fall.  It is very tolerant of cold temperatures avoiding bud and twig dieback in harder winters.  ‘Blue Bird’ reaches 4′ tall and 4′ wide in part to dappled shade and grows in zones 5 to 9.  Sawtooth hydrangea is native to Korea and Japan.

This photo shows ‘Endless Summer’ bigleaf hydrangea, H. macrophylla, right now.  Yes, it is loaded with fresh flowers and buds and has been blooming since late spring.

‘Endless Summer’ bigleaf hydrangea sports very large pink or blue mophead flowers from late spring through summer and well into fall—it’s in full bloom right now as you can see from the photo above.  It represents a recent breakthrough in hydrangeas because it blooms on old and new wood giving it an extended bloom season.  This also means that if the buds formed on old wood the previous season are frozen over the winter, buds will form on new wood as the season progresses.  ‘Endless Summer’s’ large, medium green leaves provide a pleasing backdrop for the flowers.  It grows in zones 4 to 9 and reaches 4′ tall and 4′ wide in part shade.  It is recommended for full sun only with supplemental watering.  Bigleaf hydrangea is native to Japan.

‘Gold Dust’ Japanese aucuba, A. japonica, is an elegant specimen for deep shade.

A close up of the unusual leaves of ‘Gold Dust’ Japanese aucuba—glorious in winter.

‘Gold Dust’ Japanese aucuba’s very shiny, broadleaf evergreen leaves sprinkled with yellow spots make it one of the most vibrant and colorful plants to thrive in dense shade.  I have grown it successfully for many years in several areas of my garden that receive no direct sunlight.  It is very vigorous, disease free, and easy to grow as long as you don’t plant it in the sun.  ‘Gold Dust’ grows to 6 to 8′ tall and 4 to 6′ wide in part to dense full shade and is hardy in zones 7 to 9.  Aucuba is native to Japan, and the variegated form was introduced to the west in 1783.

The fall flowers of ‘Rose Creek’ glossy abelia, A. x grandiflora.

‘Rose Creek’ is a compact form of glossy abelia, great for smaller spaces and smaller gardens.

‘Rose Creek’ is a dense and compact glossy abelia that covers itself in a multitude of wonderfully fragrant, showy white flowers continuously from May through September.   When the flower petals drop off, the rosy pink sepals (bud enclosures) remain and are very eye-catching.  The beautiful, glossy evergreen foliage has pink highlights and turns purple in the fall, providing excellent winter interest.  The stems are  crimson red.  ‘Rose Creek’ grows to 2 to 3′ tall and 3 to 4′ wide in part shade or full sun and is hardy in zones 5 to 9.  It is deer resistant and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.  Glossy abelia is a cross between two Chinese abelia species.

The incredibly shiny leaves of Prague viburnum, V. x pragense, sparkle in the winter.

This photo of the flower of Prague viburnum was kindly lent to me by Monrovia, for their full plant profile, click here.

Prague viburnum’s pink buds open into large, bouquet-like, creamy white flowers in May followed by glossy, persistent black fruit.  Just as ornamental are its very showy, lustrous, dark evergreen leaves.  Prague viburnum reaches 8′ tall and 6′ wide in full sun to part shade and is hardy in zones 5 to 8.  You can grow it in full shade and the leaves will be gorgeous, but it won’t flower very well.  It is fast growing and deer resistant.  It is a cross between leatherleaf and service viburnums, which are both from China.

I hope you have a space in your garden for at least one of these wonderful shrubs for shade.  For more ideas, check out Woody Plants for Shade Parts 1 to 5 using the links provided below:

Part 1,   Part 2,   Part 3,   Part 4,   Part 5

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings:  Shrub orders are due by noon on Wednesday, October 3.  For the catalogue, click here.  We are offering two sessions of a seminar on low maintenance gardening for fall on Wednesday, October 3, and Friday, October 5, from 10 to 11:30 am.  For the details, click here.  Look for a special offer of double hellebores next week.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

 

Landscape Problem Solved

Posted in How to, landscape design, native plants, Shade Shrubs with tags , , , , , on July 25, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

20120724-154006.jpg‘Invincibelle Spirit’ and ‘Incrediball’ smooth hydrangeas massed at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Three things came together recently to help me solve a landscaping problem that had bothered me for years. First, I was reading one of my favorite blogs called Conrad Art & Glass Gardens authored by Larry Conrad. In a recent post he talked about his favorite combinations including one achieved by massing white and pink smooth hydrangeas. I have been interested in smooth hydrangea, H. arborescens, because it is very shade tolerant. I also like it because it is a native plant found through out much of the eastern United States, including Pennsylvania. The well known cultivar ‘Annabelle’ with very large white mophead flowers was discovered in the wild in the 1960s. It grows well in Maine and has proven to be quite deer resistant on the island where my family vacations.

20120724-185734.jpgWhite and pink smooth hydrangeas massed in Larry Conrad’s Wisconsin garden.

The second thing that brought me to this post was a landscaping dilemma at my family’s house in Maine. There is a perennial garden planted by the previous owners next to the front door. However, no one who uses the house wants to garden there. The native landscape is so beautiful we don’t need any added ornamentals. I had been wondering where to try Larry’s beautiful combination, and this neglected garden seemed the perfect place. I bought three pink and two white smooth hydrangea with the intention of emptying the bed and letting them fill it in.

20120724-195423.jpgSmooth hydrangeas at the entrance to the children’s garden at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

The third contributor to this post was a visit to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Donna from Garden Walk Garden Talk came to visit me in Maine, and I had to show her this gorgeous garden (among other Maine delights). In the fall of 2010 I wrote about my first visit to CMBG, and I will write a longer post about my recent visit later but right now we are discussing hydrangeas. Imagine my delight when we approached the CMBG children’s garden and found the hydrangea combination I intended to use lining the entrance. My project now had a professional seal of approval, and I couldn’t wait to get home and start digging.

20120725-113605.jpgInvincibelle Spirit’ smooth hydrangea at CMBG

There was a choice of which smooth hydrangea cultivars to use. The biggest determining factor was which plants looked the healthiest at the nursery where I bought them. Although smooth hydrangeas are extremely tough, taking both dry and wet soils, clay, drought, heat, shade, rocky soil, and almost anything else you can throw at them, I have found them difficult to establish if you don’t start with vigorous specimens. There are two pink-flowered cultivars: ‘Bella Anna’ and ‘Invincibelle Spirit’, which has been on the market longer. I have been told that ‘Belle Anna’ is an improvement on ‘Invicibelle Spirtit’, but the plants looked weaker and I don’t think you can improve on the ‘Invincibelle Spirit’ specimens at CMBG in the photo above.

20120725-113851.jpg‘Incrediball’ smooth hydrangea at CMBG

For the white smooth hydrangeas, I had a choice of tried-and-true ‘Annabelle’ and an improved version called ‘Incrediball’, which has even larger, to 12″, globular flowers. Although I wasn’t after larger flowers, I chose ‘Incrediball’ because the flowers are whiter than ‘Annabelle’, which has some lime in it, and because ‘Incrediball’s’ stems have been selected for thickness to avoid flopping when it rains.

20120725-120518.jpg‘Invincibelle Spirit’ and ‘Incrediball’ at CMBG

All the smooth hydrangea cultivars grow to around 3 to 5′ wide and 3 to 5′ tall in zones 3 to 9. They flower from June to September, but the dried flowers heads are quite beautiful through fall. They perform best in part shade, but will grow in full sun with consistent moisture. The straight species grows in full shade. They bloom on new wood so pruning in late winter is recommended to encourage vigorous new stem growth.

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20120725-122305.jpgMy newly planted smooth hydrangeas

As you can see from the two photos above, my new hydrangeas have been planted. I anticipate that they will fill in the whole bed and crowd out weeds. I am still working on the wall but am quite happy with it so far. I hope the trench along the front will allow us to keep the nasty, tenacious grass out of the bed. If I get really ambitious, I am going to fill the trench with mussel shells from the beach.

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This post is my second experiment with publishing a post directly from my recently acquired “new” iPad. Although it was a little easier this time and I mastered bold captions and links, I still had to call Donna in Niagara Falls to help me. I also took the final two photos with the iPad, and I think they turned out quite well. I am very impressed with the camera function on the new iPad, but you can’t truly appreciate the incredible resolution unless you have a very good screen on your computer, which I don’t. I think I would recommend an iPad just for looking at photos, that is if you can afford it. We don’t have internet access at the house in Maine so portability was a big factor for me. But the major reason I got it, 3G/4G capability is a huge disappointment, which I will explain at a later date.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The nursery is closed until the fall. Thanks for a great spring season!

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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