The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Monday, August 29, 2016

What is It and Where Did You Get It?

Last week during the Garden Conservancy Open Day, there were a number of questions about the garden. Here are the most commons inquiries:

The large plant is Solanum quitoense from seed brought from South America by the folks at Walker Farm in Dummerston, VT. The metal pot is from India and I got it at Michael Trapp's shop in West Cornwall, CT. The ground cover is Bergenia cordifolia from the late Joanna Reed's garden in Malvern, PA.

This tree is Acer griseum x 'Gingerbread' from Twombly Nursery in Monroe, CT.

The hydrangea behind the Acer griseum x 'Gingerbread' is Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snowqueen'. I got this plant many years ago from the now defunct Heronswood Nursery but I got a second one at Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT.

I planted this Stewartia pseudocamellia (crossed with another unidentified stewartia) from seed collected at the Arnold Arboretum in 1996. If you take the propagation class at the Arnold Arboretum, you can have your own stewartia for your garden.

These are seedpods of Clematis tangutica 'Bill MacKenzie', a vine I got from another sadly defunct nursery, Loomis Creek Nursery. It should be fairly easy to find on-line.

Amaranthus hypochondriacs is progeny from seed from Wave Hill in the Bronx. If you come to my garden in autumn, I'd be happy to share some seeds.

This relatively new tender salvia is a new favorite of mine. It is called Salvia 'Amistad'. I got it at Edgewater Farm in Plainfield, NH.

My favorite rose is Rosa villosa, is again, from Heronswood Nursery.

This shrub in the woodland garden is Rhus coppalina 'Lanham's Purple' from Broken Arrow Nursery.

The three shrubs with interesting foliage in the Woodland Garden are right-to-left: Lindera glauca var. angustifolia from another closed mail-order nursery, Fairweather Gardens; Sorbaria kirilowii from Forestfarm in Williams, OR: Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snowqueen', again from Broken Arrow Nursery.

The plant scrambling over the arch is the easy-to-find vine called Actinidia kolomikta. I can't remember where I sourced it.

The grey-foliaged plant is Lavatera x clementii 'Barnsley' from Edgewater Farm. The spiky plant is Agave americana 'Mediopicta Alba'. A plant I got from one of my all-time favorite  nurseries, Blue Meadow Farm, Brian and Alice McGowan's former nursery in Montague, MA.

The graceful shrub cascading down the Woodland garden is Stephanandra incisa 'Crispa'. I don't remember where I got it but it is readily available at many nurseries.

The pair of benches on the Blue Bench Terrace are vintage hospital benches form the '40s. I found  them at the Brimfield Antique Flea Market a dozen years ago.

The groundcover beneath the box balls is a spreading epimedium called Epimedium pinnatum ssp. colchicum from Garden Vision Epimediums in Templeton, MA.


  1. Thanks for this, Michael. Apart from the plant ID education, it's a powerful reminder to not to postpone visits to or orders from specialist nurseries.

    That Rosa villosa is a *knockout*. Hips are my favorite aspect of roses (closely followed by fragrance). What a stunning display.

    Years ago, I bought a swamp rose (Rosa palustris) from now-gone Sherando Roses, and stuck the pot in a shady corner "just until I figure out where to put it". It languished there for a shameful number of seasons, but was strong enough to grow through the pot and even bloom a little. Finally I got it together to move it to a decent spot, and it rewarded me with luxurious growth and bloom for the last two seasons -- but not one hip. Last year a scorching heat wave that followed bloom made that understandable, but this year conditions were so favorable that I was sure we'd have the late-summer show I'd been imagining for years. Well, third time's a charm, I hope...

  2. Nell,
    I think Rosa villosa's hips are the biggest, reddest I've ever seen. They make big statement from along distance. Good with third time charm!

    1. PS I was very lucky to get some of the plants I have in my garden from nurseries like Heronswood and Blue Meadow Farm. They are greatly missed.

  3. Lovely plants and objects and even better memories. I wish I had realized earlier in my gardening life that great nurseries can quickly disappear.

    1. I feel the same way! As I was writing this post, I kept noticing how many of my favorite plants have come from nurseries that have since closed. I feel fortunate to have gotten the plants that I have when they were open.



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