Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New Additions!

On Saturday I drove to Castle Rock Nursery, a small garden center in the town of the same name, just off of  exit 49 on I-5. This place is very special to me as my first job was here. Of course I forgot to bring my camera (still need to get into the habit of taking my camera wherever I go) so I'll have to do another post later about the nursery itself. They have some wonderful old rhododendrons from the original nursery owner, so perhaps I'll wait until peak bloom. 

This post is for the plants I bought, and immediately planted. (I'm so proud of myself!) Michelle, the owner, always has some unusual plants that aren't often available at small-town garden centers and has more reasonable prices on many items than other nurseries in the area. You never know what you might find. Here's what followed me home this time:

 Adiantum venustum. I love this slowly-spreading semi-evergreen to evergreen groundcover. A large clump has a flowing effect with the triangular fronds layered like shingles or scales.



Daphne x transatlantica 'Blafra' Eternal Fragrance. I love daphnes but hate trademarks. Rant time. Feel free to skip to the next picture. Eternal Fragrance is a trademark name, and is the name most people know this plant by. Its actual cultivar name is 'Blafra'. When the patent on this plant expires, the person or company who owns the trademark retains the rights to that name. So while everyone will be able to propagate Daphne x transatlantica 'Blafra' after the patent expires, only those given permission from the trademark owner will be able to sell it as Eternal Fragrance. The trademark name has no real attachment to the plant. The trademark owner could use that name to market a different plant (or a scented candle, for that matter). If everyone did what they are supposed to and include BOTH the trademark name AND the cultivar name on labels and catalog descriptions, there wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately the cultivar name is frequently "overlooked," especially when writing descriptions in catalogs, even though they are technically required to include them. This results in gardeners who can't find a plant because they are looking for a name which is no longer attached to that plant, or they find the plant and don't realize it's the same thing they would pay more for under the name Eternal Fragrance. This is not meant as an attack singling-out whoever owns the name Eternal Fragrance. It is standard practice these days in the horticultural industry. Rather it is an explanation that will hopefully help educate gardeners so they can find the plants they are looking for.

This evergreen daphne blooms mainly in spring and continues to produce some flowers until fall. I placed it in a raised bed off of the back patio, so it's fragrance can be enjoyed when sitting outside in the summer.
 I'm really excited about this Lonicera crassifolia. This is a cultivar named 'Rualzam' (though I also found it listed under 'Ruatzam', another case of people not paying enough attention to the cultivar name in favor of the trademark name Run-a-Long. Regardless of the name, I couldn't find much information on this selection of Lonicera crassifolia, much less a consensus on that information. Oddly, this cute little groundcover is being sold as a column tied to a stake (and still marketed as a groundcover). Michelle and I were both confused by this, but after thinking about it, it is a space-saving way to grow and transport a groundcover (but I'm still seeing descriptions of this plant as a trellised vine). I should have taken a picture of the plant before releasing it from its bonds, but you can see it here (with flowers, to boot!). It looks a little awkward now because of how it was grown, but eventually it will reorient it's stems and leaves and fit itself around the rocks as it grows.



The last plant I bought was Cornus canadensis. According to some taxonomists, this plant should now be known as Chamaepericlymenum canadense. Doesn't that just roll off the tongue? I think I'll stick to Cornus. This native ground cover is hidden under a rhododendron so it can establish a good-sized patch, just in case the deer would mow down this newly planted clump. They might not bother it too much, as they haven't made a huge fuss over the several Cornus florida.



And so begins my season of plant purchases. It's going to be a good year.

9 comments:

  1. Hooray and happy new plants to you! BTW Rare Plant Research in Oregon is having a spring open on May 17, the same day as the Heronswood open and sale. So many choices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, Heronswood! But I'm getting my upper wisdom teeth pulled the Friday before, so I may have to wait until the July open house.

      Delete
  2. Lovely choices! Thanks for the lesson on patenting and trademarking plants. Do you have a cell phone that takes pics, BTW? If you do, you can always use it to take pictures if you forget your camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My background in garden curation means I know way too much about plant names, patents, and trademarks. I do have a camera on my cell phone, but I've never liked the pictures produced by camera phones, except the expensive smart phones I can't afford. I could use my cell phone and just apologize for the fuzzy pictures like everyone else does, though. lol.

      Delete
  3. Plant shopping and sunshine, it's a lovely combination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you believe this heat wave? One of the reasons I wanted to leave North Carolina was to escape the heat!

      Delete
  4. I missed your blog during the month of April and had a lot of catching up to do. Your landscaping task ahead would overwhelm a lesser person (me) but you seem undeterred. Good luck. You have an opportunity to create a paradise garden for you and your parents. Dose Heronswood ring a bell? Meanwhile, I put Satureja douglasii (from an earlier post) to look for in a nursery near by.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading, Chav. I don't think my parents' house will ever approach Heronswood status. My dream garden might, someday. Satureja douglasii, or yerba buena (Spanish for "good herb"), is a great Northwest native plant. It looks best with an occasional trim to keep it full and occasional water in the summer, though it will survive without. Mine seeded in on a spot the contractor put a bit of fine mulch over landscape fabric, so it doesn't look as good as it would growing in a garden bed. I hope you find a nursery that carries it! I've never needed to buy it.

      Delete
    2. I found it yesterday on the first try in the West Seattle Nursery. The rain prevented me from planting it yet, but I will soon. Thanks for the tips.

      Delete

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I love hearing what readers think and answering questions. I also welcome suggestions for improvement!