Monday, January 21, 2013


A SECOND INSTALLMENT for 2013 on places to go and plants to see this winter and spring. PINK is the hue today with three good ones on the docket. And 'tis the season for Flower Shows and Garden Talks, certainly there is enough in the area to whet your whistle. 

Here are three upcoming events that I will be attending with a recommendation to you as well.

2013 Philadelphia Flower Show
BRILLIANT, in coordination with Royal Hort is should be a stunner. Yours truly is judging on the first Friday, Begonias, Terraria, and Wardian cases. Here is the link, mark your "shed-yule,"

2013 Philadelphia Flower Show
2013 New York in Bloom 
State Museum in Albany---a nice little floral design show of which I have participated in for the past 12 years or so. The link will give you the dates and details,

2013 Berkshire Botanic 
winter lecture, Great Barrington MA.  Each year the "other" BBG hosts a February lecture that gardeners and horticulturists flock to from far and wide. This year is no exception as the Head Gardener from Hidcote Manor will be on hand to regale us with anecdotes and stories about the gardens’ recent 10 year renovation. Why not click here to let them give you the "skinny,"

First, Begonia 'Whopper Rose' 
is getting all kinds of press since its recent introduction. We will be growing it here for the first time and comparing it to Begonia 'Big.' Both these bedding types have shown sun tolerance and have a robust growth habit much like 'Dragon Wing.'

Begonia 'Whopper Rose'

Find them near the red and pink crayons.


Secondly, Gomphrena 'Fireworks' 
this variety has already been around a while although many guests have not been introduced to it yet. Certainly it towers over "garden variety" gomphs and the cluster of flower heads is kind of groovy. Well it will be back in 2013.

Gomphrena 'Fireworks'

Last, but not least, Gerbera 'Big Horn' 
is another of the new landscape Gerbera named for National Parks. Magenta is the color (or red-violet in the crayon box) with an anemone -like center. Boy, do I love these varieties, pricey but long season bloomers and rich flower form.

Gerbera 'Big Horn'

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013? What's New?

Don't you love that question?  I don't, I get it all the time. What's new? Well , new...although not always better, new plants or varieties come into the market all the time, so at Mohonk in 2013, we will feature many new varieties. So many in the show garden in fact, maybe 60%, you will have plenty to discover. Over the next few months I will introduce new varieties individually to make it easier on your "hard drive."

How new is new?

...That's tough, I am going with varieties offered since 2010. That should be fresh enough. Most come highly recommended from colleagues in the field. One new mix of Echinacea is called 'Cheyenne Spirit' (2013). My buddy and plant broker Ira Grasgreen says we will love it. It has performed well in trials all over the country. Does this picture spark your interest?

Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'

How will you blend all those new colors? 

Good question. In a show garden like ours, one has to be careful about the 'carnival' look.  So we are going to take a tip from Crayola and arrange ours in a crayon box. (More fun than a coloring book!) And for the center bed, I was inspired by a sculpture in front of the Woodstock School of Art by Shelley Parriott (shown below).

Sculpture at Woodstock School of Art by Shelley Parriott
We will instead of tubes make crayons of rustic cedar logs and paint the ends. NICE, huh? Cory McCurdy's idea. You remember Cory from the gardens for the past three years. Mr. Peppermint Stick is his alias.

Black.  A new color? 

No but plenty o'... the black crayon is one of the more challenging so we are starting with two new and one almost new. Vinca 'Blackberry Jam' and Sweetunia 'Black Satin' are new arrivals, 'Black Satin' being a major improvement over others and 'Blackberry Jam' making a color break for Vinca and an A.A.S. selection. Combined with Colocasia 'Black Coral' (which stopped traffic last year) should make Bruce Wayne proud.

Blackberry Jam
Petunia Black Satin
Colocasia 'Black Coral'

Are there any good new roses? 

Maybe, but 'Julia Child' is getting good reviews. I saw some at Longwood last fall, NICE. We will plant one or two this spring and will let you know. We are promised great fragrance and disease resistance, and that blush yellow... Hmmm.
Julia Child

I better get back to the drawing board (or crayon box in this case)... "till" next time.