Sunday, May 31, 2009


Our girl Alley is well known, far and wide for being a counter-potato.  She is a plopper.   She loves to plop herself here and there and everywhere but she especially loves to plop herself down into just about anything on our counter.

She was gone for a couple of days and she is very happy, as are we, that she is back here in a "box" on our counter.

Gotta love our girl Alley!

Friday, May 22, 2009


In my experience at the front desk at Big Bloomers I have noticed that agaves are a particular favorite of our male customers.  It seems most of our agave "collectors" are men.

Agaves are one tough and dangerous plant.  They make really great stand alone specimen plants and they are drought, heat and humidity tolerant which we have our share of here in North Carolina.  I have small dogs so I mostly use agaves in large pots.

John was excited to bring in some really great new specimen agave this spring.

Agave 'Burnt Burgundy'

This agave hybrid has blue-gray leaves with a sharp burgundy  edge.  It grows 12-15 inches tall and is hardy to zone 7b.

Agave funkiana 'Blue Haze'

This funkiana has beautiful powdery-blue leaves with a near-white central midstripe.  It will grow to about 2 feet and is hardy to Zone 7.

Agave funkiana 'Fatal Attraction'

'Fatal Attraction' has narrow dark green leaves with a lighter central midstripe.  It grows to two feet tall and wide and is hardy to zone 7.

Agave parryi ssp huachuensis 'J.C. Raulston'

This is one very special agave and is a clonal selection of parryi growing at the J.C. Raulston Arbotetum in Raleigh.  It forms a perfect 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide tightly held clump of blue-gray wedge-shaped leaves.  'J.C. Raulston' is hardy to zone 7.

Agave 'Silver Surfer'

This is a large agave.  It sports rigid silvery-blue leaves 5 feet fall by 9 feet wide.  Quite a stunning specimen plant and is hardy to zone 7b.

Agave toumeyana

Agave toumeyana has thick, upright gray-green leaves with unraveling filifers along the leaf margins when mature.  It is a small agave, 12"x 12" and being so would be perfect in rock gardens, front of the border or added to a container garden.  It is hardy to zone 7b

Agave utahensis ssp utahensis

This is another small agave forming a small clump of 6-8 inches.  Like toumeyana it would be great in rock gardens or added to a container garden.  This one is hardy down to Zone 6 so my sister in Connecticut could actually grow this one in her landscape.

Agave 'Zebra'

Agave 'Zebra' has marbled broad bands of pale green running horizontally through its v shaped leaves when it is mature.  It grows about 3-4 feet tall and wide.  This one is fast growing but will be slower growing if it doesn't have regular water.  Its hardy to Zone 7.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A New Blog

Testing testing

Monday, May 18, 2009




Our girl Alley is in denial about her “size”.  She still thinks she can fit a size 12 body into a size 8 box.


Saturday, May 9, 2009


Last week we received a shipment of Japanese Maples.  John has stocked Viridis, Bloodgood and Crimson Queen for many years now


John has added to our maple collection with nine new Japanese maples.

Beni Schichihenge




Emperor One




Oshio beni


Sango kaku



Toyama nishiki




Sunday, May 3, 2009

Plant of the Moment-Cuphea ignea ‘Dynamite’



Last week while running into one of our annual greenhouses to find a white blooming bacopa in a four pack for a customer,  I was stopped in my tracks once again by a grouping of four pack flats of a tiny little Cuphea ignea called Dynamite.  We have grown and sold Cuphea ignea in the past and in my first summer here, before I worked at Big Bloomers, I bought four of them two pink, and two orangey-red in four inch pots and planted them out in some beds in front of my fenced in front yard.  Not only did they bloom all summer long and attract hummingbirds but they have continued to come back year after year for me.  I even convinced my PIC Peggy to plant them in one of our side beds at work where they ended up looking like a lovely medium sized flowering shrub to see if they would be perennial there also.   We are pleased that even after this past harsh winter with a good covering of snow for a week, the cuphea ignea that she planted there are coming back strongly.

Anyway back to Cuphea ignea ‘Dynamite’.  This cuphea is small topping out at 8-10” and being so would do quite nicely at the front of a border where they would stand up strongly all summer


or in pots where they will cascade a bit.


They are heat, humidity and drought tolerant once established and the hummingbirds love them and for this reason they are my plant of the moment.