134 posts in Plant Profiles

December 2010 Plant Profile: Prunus ‘Mount Vernon’

Contrary to its original form (Prunus laurocerasus), this selection of the common, overused and potentially invasive Cherry Laurel is a welcomed addition to any landscape. ‘Mt. Vernon’ is beginning to appear in many urban plantings both as a hugging evegreen groundcover or as a prostrate specimen shrub in front of a border. It is truly versatile, hardy, and a very dependable plant with glossy, deep green foliage that looks fabulous all year around. 

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November 2010 Plant Profile: Osmanthus fragrans v. aurantiacus

In the three years I’ve expected it to bite the dust, this plant has survived our winters and we’ve enjoyed the fruity scent from this form of Sweet Olive every autumn. Osmanthus fragrans is a popular shrub/small tree in the warmer regions of the United states (USDA Zone 8 +) and in China, where it is highly revered and its scented autumn blossoms are used to scent and flavor tea. 

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October 2010 Plant Profile: Symphyotrichum (Aster) lateriflorum ‘Prince’

Symphyotrichum (Aster) lateriflorum ‘Prince’

A regular visitor to the garden recommended that I make sure that I profile a plant that would stop people on their tracks when they walk by it and for October of this year, I’ve selected a dashingly handsome Aster, or now properly known as Symphyotrichum lateriflorum ‘Prince’ thriving happily in Bed 8. After years of sulking in the same bed; but overtaken by other plants, I finally moved it where it would receive full sun and less competition and, oh boy, did it take off! 

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September 2010 Plant Profile: Begonia grandis ‘Heron’s Pirouette’

Probably one of the most elegant of all late summer to fall blooming perennials, this hardy begonia has been loved and admired by many avid gardeners since plantsman, Dan Hinkley, brought it back from Japan in 1997. It is somewhat late to emerge in the spring and it grows from a hardy tuber. The large, almost succulent leaves and stems provide a backdrop to airy inflorescences that dance in the breeze and soft pink, bubble gum flowers have a very faint, but pleasing fragrance. 

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August 2010 Plant Profile: Lilium ‘Scheherazade’

A most outstanding hybrid lily known worldwide for its hardiness, vigor, and overall dependability in the garden. ‘Scheherazade’ was one of the first interspecific hybrids introduced on the market and began a trend that would revolutionize the world of lily breeding. Bred by L. Freimann using tetraploid (double the number chromosomes a plant typically has) forms of a cultivar called ‘Thunderbolt’ and a tetraploid form of the famous ‘Black Beauty’, you get a most unusual mahogany crimson edged in gold and later fading to cream born in profusion over stalks that have often been referred to as “Lily Trees”. 

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July 2010 Plant Profile: Cornus elliptica

Taxonomically confusing and indecisive, but I am so enamored by this small tree from China.
We have this stunning specimen growing here at CUH (within the Fragrance Garden, though it’s not fragrant at all) and, each June-July, I stare in amazement at the glossy evergreen foliage blushed in deep red and bronze with a smattering of star-like bracts that cover almost the entire tree from top to bottom. 

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June 2010 Plant Profile: Rosa ‘AUSboard’ [Gertrude Jekyll]

One of David Austin’s timeless tributes to the famous garden designer. In bloom since mid-May, this English Rose is one of the most captivating and richly scented of all his hybrids and does reasonably well for us in the Puget Sound region.
Common Name: Gertrude Jekyll Rose
Location: Soest Garden Bed 5
Family: Rosaceae
Origin: Garden Origin
Height: 4-6ft.
Spread: 5-6ft. 

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May 2010 Plant Profile: Lupinus ‘The Governor’

Lupines have long been staples in the perennial border. With their elegant line, exquisite colors and fine-textured foliage, they create accents, punctuation, and almost a wave of movement when used as a group in both the garden and in cut flower arrangements. We have just one lupine in the Soest Garden and it is a seedling strain known as ‘The Governor’. 

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April 2010 Plant Profile: Epimedium

It has taken me almost three years to get the chance to feature one of my most favorite of all blooming shade perennials and with a wide assortment of them beginning to hit their peak, I will discuss the entire genus. Known as” Barrenwort” to some, “Fairy Wings” to others and “Horny Goat Weed” to herbalist, I am talking about the enchanting Epimedium. 

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March 2010 Plant Profile: Tulipa kaufmanniana ‘Ancilla’

Very VERY early this season, but the weather has been outstanding for this little gem. Having lasted a decade in these beds, ‘Anclla’ still keeps coming strong each spring with these outstanding blooms.
They are reliably perennial and stunningly beautiful as a mass or group planting.
Common Name: Ancilla Tulip
Location: Soest Garden Bed 6
Family: Liliacea
Origin: Garden Origin
Height: 6-8″
Spread: Can form tight clumps after several years
Bloom Time: Usually mid-late March onto April
Bloom Type/Color: Cream colored tepals with bright orange red centers. 

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