24 April 2008

Conifers, Hellebores and mystery plants

It was too good to last, the spell of nice weather! Today the cold rain, fog and drizzle arrived, but I was gone to the city in preparation for the marathon of activity that is the fourth annual Saltscapes Expo. I'm leaving in the morning to go back to the city, and the show opens at noon, running to Sunday at suppertime. I give two talks a day, plus I expect there will be lots of potential articles to write about; there usually is. The Expo isn't like your typical (boring) home show or anything dull like that. NO plastic siding or tacky carpet or vendors hawking crap; there are plenty of interesting vendors with unique artisan jewelry, pottery, soaps, foods; talks and demonstrations, music, food to sample...it's like the magazine is dumped into the Exhibition Park and brought to life. Hectic, tiring, but a lot of fun, too.

While the good weather did last things grew insanely fast this week. Including, of course, the weeds, but they'll keep til I get home; LSS doesn't do weeds, and he'll be busy here holding down the fort. As a little present, that Helleborus purpurascens decided to open its first blossom for me. I'm very excited, and of course, have had a flareup of Urgent Plant-Seeking Madness. (UPSM, not to be confused with GADS)

When I was at Briar Patch the other day, I oogled and ogled and drooled over the hellebores that Lee and John have on hand. How do you like 'Goldfinch'?

Or perhaps 'Kingston Cardinal'? No, I didn't buy either of them...but given that my big hellebore has at least half a dozen buds and seems to have survived brilliantly...I just might succumb to buying ONE more.

This is one of my must have plants this year. Meet Sciadopitys verticillata, also known as the Japanese Umbrella pine. I've been thinking about this handsome, slow growing evergreen for a year now, and finally I've decided where to plant it (it's a bit marginal here) and am going for it! Of course, I'm also getting a small gold Korean fir, too--emphasis on small, so I can afford it and so it will settle and grow nicely--and some more conifers. And some more shrubs. And some more perennials...

This is one of my 'I have to have this' plants from last year. Juniperus horizontalis 'Lime Glow' is delicious, with brilliant gold and green foliage, tipped with burgundy in the late winter and spring. It's not a big plant, working well at the front of a border with a collection of other perennials and shrubs, but somewhere up front where it can catch your eye.

Congratulations to Ewa, Adrian and Layanee, who all identified the mystery shrub as Thujopsis dolobrata! AJ, of course, you didn't point out you were there the day I got my Staghorn Cedar from Bunchberry...and Layanee, since I don't have deer problems, I'll enjoy mine and hope the deer leave yours alone.

I'll try to post over the next couple of days, and get caught up on my blog reading, too!


  1. Absolutely when you have UPSM, you should buy the plant once you find it. You never know if it will be there when or if you go back for it!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. The show sounds wonderful and the two talks a day sounds exhausting. Good luck. I know you'll do great!

    I don't think I've ever known anyone who loves evergreens as much as you. Must be that living in the North thing---you gotta have green.

    Gardening hugs your way this week as you shine and do your thing. You'll do so well and folks will love ya just like we do. If they don't then come back here and tell us so we can beat them up.

  3. That umbrella pine is quite something and I can see why it's on your must-have list.

  4. I have a bad case of UPSM going here since we got the fence up.

    I love the Japanes Umberella Pine. I want a Whichata Blue Juniper. It is quite a drive from here to get one. With gas at nearly $4/gal it makes me cringe.

    I don't like to buy plants from mail order. I haven't had much luck that way.

    Speaking of luck...good luck with your talks. I know everyone will love hearing what you have to say. Now don't buy too much while you are there. tee hee...

  5. Sounds like a great time! Wish I could come and hear your talks :) It can be exhausting though - all that work preparing and then speaking.

  6. I like the Lime Glow. I can see a couple of them by my front walk. Enjoy the show and send reports. Would like to hear you give your talks!

  7. I succumbed to a bad case of UPSM this morning at the Morton Arboretum plant sale. (Always dangerous.) I'll be an enabler - go ahead, get the Hellebores!

  8. This will be my first year going to the Saltscapes Expo and I'm ridiculously excited. Trying to tone it down a bit, because surely it can't be _that_ amazing? but I'm prepared to like it no matter what. I'll be there Sunday afternoon. I even have a friend performing on stage with Clary Croft that day. I'll try and check out your afternoon talk on Sunday!

  9. Jodi, You always manage to show us some new or unusual plants. I had no idea there were so many varieties of conifers.
    Thanks for yesterday's post on heaths and heathers. I'm not sure if my comment was the one you were thinking of, but I did ask about the difference between the two. Very informative!

  10. Hi Jodi, Is it okay to say good luck on your talks, or is something along the lines of break a leg better? ;-> I would love to hear your voice saying the words you write so wittily in your blog. Both of those hellebores are stunning. I am thinking of trying one of the doubles, the price has come down some, maybe they would interbreed with my others. I started Korean Fir from seed and have four little guys that you need a magnifying glass to see, but they are alive. We shall see how they like our hot summers. Love the pine also. You need them all.

  11. I'm sharing your excitement over the Hellebore bloom! Isn't it wonderful to see things bursting into life again? It's so dry here that the daffs aren't going to last long, but they're glorious at the moment. We've been promised some rain this weekend and it'll be very welcome.
    It's been fun catching up with all your latest posts. I spent last week in the garden every spare minute, so my blog reading fell by the wayside.
    Good luck with your talks!


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