Ed Bowen, owner of Opus, contemplating just the right plant for his customer
Connoisseur plants looking for a home
Ed's delightful wife, Ivy, is often on hand
When I am at a plant sale, like I was last weekend at the Sakonnet Symposium in RI, I have to suppress the urge to use my, admittedly quite large 6' 3", body to it fullest advantage to get at the plants I am most interested in. Long arms are always an asset but it is really bad form to knock over a little old lady to get to the Arundo donax 'Golden Chain' so I behave myself.
One of the nurseries with plants for sale last Saturday was Opus, Ed Bowen's self-descibed " deliberately small nano-nursery." I first met Ed about a decade ago when he worked at the now defunct Conway's Nursery in Tiverton, RI. It didn't take long to see that Ed is a true plantsman. He knows his plants and he knows how to make them happy. After Conway's closed, Ed opened his own nursery named Opus specializing in "under-cultivated, garden worthy and unusual perennials."
Ed is open by appointment only but it is probably easiest to see what plants he has to offer at one of the half a dozen symposiums or gardening events that he frequents each year. Ed is extremely knowledgable and he couldn't be a nicer guy. The plant I was most excited about was Centaurea benoistii. Centaurea benoistii has excellent silver grey folliage with knobby maroon colored flower heads. It likes well-drained soil and I am hoping it will be happy in my upper border. Check Ed's website for more details about where you can find him next and his very intriguing plant list.