Our recent trip to North Carolina for my son’s college graduation (see North Carolina and Duke Gardens) included a visit to Plant Delights Nursery just south of Raleigh. Plant Delights is a mail order nursery started in 1988 and specializing in new and rare perennials, including many shade plants like jack-in-the-pulpits, wild ginger, mayapples, and toad-lilies. The sales area is quite large and well laid out and, of course, purchases were made. But the real reason I visited was to spend time in what Plant Delights calls the Juniper Level Botanic Gardens, a five acre display garden featuring the weird and wonderful plants they sell plus additional plants that are being trialed.
Michael and I spent over two hours in the shade section of the gardens (we never made it to the sunny side) admiring and photographing all the amazing plants displayed there. I have to thank Michael who was by my side the whole time viewing (with suitable comments) every plant I pointed out and patiently recording the botanical name of every plant I photographed. He even pointed out some of his own and never said don’t you think we should be going. That’s dedication.
I love jack-in-the-pulpits, both native and Asian, and Plant Delights must have the best collection in the U.S. Here are some of my favorites:
I didn’t realize that there were variegated forms of our native jack-in-the-pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum, but I saw two at Plant Delights: ‘Black Jack’ above and a white variegated cultivar called ‘Starburst’.
I can’t imagine that Plant Delights’ collection of another of my favorites, mayapples, Podophyllum sp., can be surpassed:
Plant Delights also has a comprehensive collection of wild gingers:
I found a number of other weird and wonderful shade plants that I would like to add to my gardens:
If you are in the area, I highly recommend that you visit the Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. Plant Delights is open eight weekends a year for garden visits. Their website lists the dates. If you can’t visit then, you can always make an appointment.
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Nursery Happenings: The nursery is closed until it cools off in the fall around the middle of September. If you are on my customer email list, look for an email. If not, sign up by sending an email to email@example.com with your name and phone number.