12 July 2008

A Walk Through Baldwin Nurseries

There are very few people who can get me up and going when I'm sick. Especially if it means getting in the car on a hot day and going for a drive to another county.

Good thing that Robert Baldwin is a buddy of mine as well as a nursery operator. He called several days ago when I was really in the yuckies, and I hadn't called him back. I was working in my office this morning when the phone rang, and I felt guilty because I hadn't returned his call. So naturally, I answered. And feeling guilty because I hadn't been down to visit in at least a month, I put on some sunblock, drank some gingerale, and told LSS I was off to photograph Rob's nursery again.

Longsuffering spouse just grinned. He knew I'd come home with more plants.

I've said before that Baldwins is one of my favourite nurseries, but friendship aside, if you've ever been there, you know why. The plants are just SO healthy and well cared for. And profuse. Lots and lots and lots of healthy, well-grown shrubs, trees and perennials. In the past couple of years Rob has, like many of us, become concerned over pollinators, and he's brought in a lot of pollinator-friendly perennials as a result.

We spent quite a bit of time with our noses in the buddleia, and then spied three or four hummingbird moths. I then spent the next twenty minutes almost standing on my head to get a few good photos of these unusual, graceful creatures.

Then it was time to walk around the nursery and resist temptation to bring every plant home with me.

The Karl Foerster feather reed grass is blooming marvelously right now, and the flowers are a lovely rosey-green. Watching them en mass is especially appealing, as they move just like an ocean wave.

Of course, when we arrived in the greenhouse where Rob's coneflower collection is, I was a goner for good. Of all perennials, these are definite favourites. And they do well for me, which makes me even happier to add half a dozen new ones to my collection.

Little Giant is one of the more compact cones, but has a rich colour to its flowers, which grow on strong stems.

I didn't have success with the Meadowbrite coneflowers several years ago, but I blame that on a nursery bringing in tissue cultured plants which weren't grown on properly. These cones came in as tissue culture babies, but have been grown on properly by Rob over the past several months. This is Mango Meadowbrite...

And this is Orange Meadowbrite, the first of the coloured cones I saw, back at Canada Blooms a few years ago.

Big Sky Twilight is one of the deepest-red-rose of the true 'purple coneflowers', and its richly coloured centre cone is pretty handsome too. Some of the cones are fragrant, but with as many in the car as I had, I didn't stop to check them all out--yet!

This IS fragrant. I know it's not going to be to everyone's tastes, but I've been wanting Coconut Lime, and the first one I got died--it was a bit of a spleeny plant when I purchased it, and the nursery I purchased it from is a reputable one that I frequent a lot, so I simply got a different plant and carried on. This new one I got from Rob is very vigourous and I just have to decide where to plant it.

I had read about 'Hope' and forgotten about its story til Rob reminded me. I went to the Terra Nova website, and sure enough, here's the story:
Calm, fragrant, soft pink flowers of great size, fragrance, and substance adorn this long blooming perennial. It is dedicated to the breast cancer survivors and the memories of those who have succumbed to breast cancer. Terra Nova will make a donation of $.25 for each plant sold, to the Oregon & SW Washington affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to help further the search for a cure for Breast Cancer.

I'm going to be putting this echinacea in my memory garden for Marilyn, my former mother in law, and though it's called 'Hope' I've nicknamed it 'Living on a Prayer' coneflower. Let's hope there IS a cure someday soon--for all kinds of cancer.

That's my thought for today!


  1. I got a kick out of the 'Hummermoth' photo because it reminded my of the first time one was spotted in the garden. My wife came running up to me saying I needed to see the mutant hummingbird feeding on the garden phlox. Turns out it was a Hawkmoth.

    I'm going to have to get down to my favorite nursery. With 21 listed I should be able to find something new to frustrate the deer looking for a free meal.

  2. I haven't had a good nursery fix in some time. Looking at your friends nursery has given me the urge to go out and shop. The Cone flowers are so pretty in those orange colors. I will have to look for one.

    Good to see you are feeling well enough to shop. I hope you are healed soon Jodi. It is no fun to be sick any time but during summer it is really a bust.

  3. White echinacea makes me want it!!
    Grrrr... they do not have it here.....

  4. It's official, I now have Coneflower envy. Yesterday I toured a local garden with several varieties and then stopped by here today. My wish list grows.

    Glad you were feeling well enough to go out.

  5. Jodi,
    wonderful coneflowers and garden tour..
    Visiting a garden center is an excellent idea but no always good for my cash flow.
    Haven't been visiting for a while. Your blog is now on my Bloggers list to remind me of you.
    Wish you speedy recovery,

  6. It's always a treat to visit your lovely blog! This post about the new coneflowers with your great photos was very interesting. Just yesterday the latest issue of "Horticulture" arrived and it has a new one on the cover and some interesting info on the history of the development of the new colors and forms in the feature article. Echinaceas and rudbeckias are among the favorites in my garden from now going into fall, and they really stand up to our sweltering heat and humidity here in the Deep South. Best regards, Jon on 7-13-08 at Mississippi Garden http://mississippigarden.blogspot.com

  7. Hi Jodi, how wonderful that you were able to visit your friend and his nursery. I love all your picks and have coconut lime also. Mango meadowbrite did not survive it's first winter here, but can in your neck of the woods? Amazing. It must have been a dud like you say are floating around some places. I will give it another try. All the Big Sky series are doing well here, but the old stand by purpurea and white swan are the toughest if not the fanciest. Daughter Semi has hope, a gift from her sister in honor of their aunt, my sister in Law, a breast cancer survivor. Your thought for today is an important one, for sure.

  8. I thought you had gone on vacation! Glad to see you up and about. Yes, you did get some great photos in the past few days. Love those coneflower colors. I was going to buy the new colors this year, but decided to wait until I start my new garden when we retire, as I have only one summer left here, after this one.

    We occasionally see a hummingbird moth in the garden. Wow, four at once?

  9. This is the kind of nursery that I'd like to visit too. Love the new coneflowers you bought. I hadn't realised that some of them are scented, must sniff mine out. ;-)

    And amen to your last remark!

    On Bliss I'm posting about my love life. Intrigued? :-)

  10. I do love coneflowers! All the new varieties are so pretty, but I'm hoping they'll come down in price a little and get a little "tougher."
    Glad you're feeling better--strolling through a beautiful nursery like this can take your mind off "what ails you"!

  11. Your new acquisitions are all wonderful, but that Orange Meadowbrite is outstanding! (Especially with that bit of your blue in the background.) Would you believe I still haven't checked out the nursery? Um, I don't get out much, it would seem! :)

  12. Goodness! That Coconut Lime is gorgeous!!!!!

    And then the Hope is so perfect it doesn't even look like a real flower, but an illustration of one.

    Such wonderful coneflowers. You are so fortunate.


  13. What a wonderful place to visit. I love coneflowers too, though I'm just getting started with the basic purple coneflower. Now I see all these wonderful varieties...

    What a wonderful idea to plant a garden in memory of a family member.

  14. Jodi,I love the hummingbird moth pictures. I hope I have them come again this year. I hope you're feeling better.

  15. I see we're channeling each other once again, Jodi. :-) The coneflowers and hummingbird moths are the subject of my two most recent posts.

    I used to have both Mango Meadowbrite and Orange Meadowbrite and now only one of them remains, weakly. I'm not sure which one it is, but I think it's Mango.

    'Twilight' is high up on my list of favorites for color in the coneflowers. It's so hard to describe and I absolutely love it. I'd like to have a dress or a shirt made of that color!

    Hope you're starting to feel better!

  16. Thanks for the tour:):) The Coconut Lime is awesome---made me want the flower AND a piƱa colada!!

    I am so ignorant as a gardener--I had never seen a hummingbird moth before until your photos! Sooo cool!!

  17. I'm pretty darn sure we don't get hummingbird moths here, but I wish we DID! Thanks for sharing yours!

  18. OK, I'm wrong. We call them sphynx moths. And I recall white lined sphynx moths, but only flying at night. I've seen them stationery during the day. LOVE them!


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