Pages Navigation Menu

Plants from the Ground Up

Blog

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi – Brilliant Bearberry!

Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi – Brilliant Bearberry!

Winter is upon us and I’ve rediscovered how much I love to see Arctostaphylos uva-ursi with its brilliant-red berries covered in a dusting of snow! Bearberry is found in many countries all around the world. Here in the U.S. we find it from Alaska to New England and California to Virginia. In some parts of the world it has become endangered, while other areas find it growing in abundance. It thrives in the cool, rocky soils of more northern areas, but is a poor choice for areas with hot, humid summers. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi has many common...

read more

Fothergilla – A native wonder!

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Fothergilla – A native wonder!

Fothergilla, known as Witch-Alder, is a wonderfully fragrant and interesting native shrub from the Southeast United States. In April-May, before the leaves appear, the bare branches become covered in peculiar bottle-brush like flower spikes. The white honey-scented flowers are apetalous (meaning they have no petals), they are made up of very showy stamens. The female plants have only white stamens whereas the male plants also have yellow anthers to add to their spring display. These plants shine again in autumn when they put on a fine show of...

read more

Stewartia pseudocamellia – A four-season beauty

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Stewartia pseudocamellia – A four-season beauty

There are few trees that match the grace and beauty of Stewartia pseudocamellia. Known in Japan as ‘natsu tsubaki’ or ‘summer camellia’, the Japanese Stewartia has wonderful year-round appeal. Spring brings dark-green 2-3 inch long elliptical leaves which have very finely serrated edges. The leaves are alternately arranged along the stems. From June until August the beautiful camellia-like flowers make their appearance. The large blooms consist of five-petaled white cups with showy golden-rod colored anthers. Each flower is short lived, but...

read more

Robinia – A Tough Beauty

Posted by on Sep 18, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Robinia – A Tough Beauty

Robinias are some of the most beautiful trees, but like many beautiful things they may prove hard to tame.  With so many cultivars available, these trees have become a much loved garden plant all over the US and Europe. Robinia pseudoacacia was introduced into Europe in the early 17th century. One of the most amazing examples of this pretty flowering tree is the old gnarled Black Locust planted at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in 1762! Click here to see Kew‘s ‘Old Lions’. Robinia pseudoacacia has long hanging clusters of deliciously scented...

read more

Clethra the Fragrant Beauty of Summer

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Clethra the Fragrant Beauty of Summer

Clethra is one of my true plant loves! Aptly called Summersweet due to its deliciously spicy-sweet summer flowers. We call it the ‘rootbeer’ plant here at the nursery since its fragrance reminds us all of that tasty brew. The pretty white (sometimes pink) flowers appear in July and August when not much else is blooming. They have an extra superpower, they will even flower in the shade! ‘Clethra’ comes from the Greek klethra, meaning Alder, since their leaves somewhat resemble those of the Alder tree. Clethra alnifolia: Summersweet or Sweet...

read more

Aronia – The Chokeberry

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Aronia – The Chokeberry

Aronia or Chokeberry is a superb shrub for both its usefulness and beauty. I would love to see this wonderful native plant used in more gardens across the country! Chokeberries, so named for the bitter taste of the fresh fruit, are easy-care low maintenance plants with loads of interest. Spring finds them covered with showy clusters of small five-petaled white flowers. The flowers are bi-sexual, therefore these shrubs are self-fruitful. The leaves of Aronia are a very glossy deep-green with a finely-toothed edge and raised glands on the...

read more

Cedrus libani – Cedar Of Lebanon

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 5 comments

Cedrus libani – Cedar Of Lebanon

Cedrus libani is a stunning evergreen coniferous tree from the Mediterranean which has been used extensively throughout human history. I love a plant with history and Cedrus libani or the ‘Cedar of Lebanon’ has epic stories to tell! The wood of Cedrus libani is extremely rot resistant and aromatic, these qualities make it very useful for ship building, lumber and medicine. Native to the Mediterranean region, these Cedars were being imported into Egypt by king Sneferu for ship building in 2600 BC. The Egyptians did not stop at just ship...

read more

Evodia the beekeepers friend!

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Evodia the beekeepers friend!

The Evodia tree is known as the Bee bee tree—and with good reason! The fragrant and nectar rich flowers appear in July and August when many other ‘honey’ plants have bloomed out. Planting an Evodia tree gives bees a wonderful forage tree for late summer. The Bee bee tree isn’t just for bees, it makes a fine ornamental tree for the garden as well. Evodia trees typically reach 15-25′ in the garden but can reach as high as 50′, they have a rounded to spreading habit and reach 20-30′ wide. I like that they do not create too...

read more

Davidia involucrata – The Dove Tree

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 1 comment

Davidia involucrata – The Dove Tree

I cannot think of many trees that can compare to the interest of a Davidia involucrata tree in full bloom. If you have ever had the pleasure it is not a sight you will soon forget! The enchanting and showy ‘blooms’ (truly bracts) give Davidia its many common names: Dove Tree, Handkerchief Tree or Ghost Tree. Large white unusually shaped bracts surrounding small reddish purple pom-pom flowers flutter in the breeze reminding one of doves, handkerchiefs and apparently ghosts! Dark-green cordate leaves (somewhat similar to those of the Linden)...

read more

Hellebores Winters’ Gift

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Featured, Perennials | 0 comments

Hellebores Winters’ Gift

Hellebores are such a gift in the winter or very early spring when one feels as if the winter may last forever. It never ceases to amaze me that even in snow these nodding flowers rise up over their foliage to greet you. To really get a good look at these bell-shaped beauties requires getting down on their level to have a look inside or bringing them inside in a vase for up-close viewing! Hellebore ‘petals’ are actually sepals (individual leaves of the calyx of the flower) that surround a cup-like center where specialized petals called...

read more