Sunday, June 21, 2009


So...I've been wondering??? What does it mean when customers are selling YOU plants? Hummmm.......

The other day a couple of our "regulars" came in. The couple are a "couple" and I always enjoy seeing them and what they are buying. You can always spot "kindred spirits". People that enjoy growing things and being able to appreciate hard work and the beauty of what you can create. Of course all the hard work is never appreciated as much as one simple bloom on a flower.

I asked if I could help them find anything and they showed me two plants they were looking for.

The first was a salvia and we happened to have a four-pack of the one they were looking for. Gotta take advantage of those four-packs of perennials whenever you can.

The second plant was a coreopsis. They had picked a stem cutting with flower and leaves to try to match it to some they are growing already, since they were not sure of the name. They told me it was very short six to twelve inches tall. I was a bit intrigued by their short stature but I am not usually swayed by coreopsis, for reasons you will later learn.

We went down the bench that contained all our coreopsis, looking at size and flower color and couldn't find one we could be sure was the right one. He walked down with me looking and comparing flowers and leaf structure while she stayed behind. We were all the way down the bench when she said she found it. Actually, right where we had started looking. It was Coreopsis grandiflora "Presto". Actually.... a very cool name for a very cool plant.

I commented after looking at and admiring the short and stocky growth habit of this nice little plant, that I don't really grow coreopsis that much. I love the threadleafs but I just can't seem to make them happy enough to grow in my sand and the grandifloras need too much deadheading for my liking. He got a sly smile on his face when I mentioned the latter and said,"Its no problem for me, I just wack em with the weed wacker". We laughed and I thought that wasn't a bad idea at all.

Didn't think much else about it till the couple came up with their purchases. He had eight of the coreopsis and I commented "Oh my, I guess you really DO love this plant". They laughed and explained they were starting a new bed and really wanted that solid splash of yellow up front. He commented that they bloom for a good, long time and when they get tired he just wacks them with the weed wacker and in two weeks they are blooming their little heads off again.

OKAY....I told sold ME.

After they left, I walked back into the greenhouses and retrieved one for myself and and for this reason Coreopsis grandiflora "Presto" is my plant of the moment.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Plant of the Moment-Rosa Zephirine Drouhin

So.....Today at work I was in the "white fenced area". This is the area we keep most of our roses. I was there to collect some Knockout roses to restock an area where we also have them closer to the entrance of the nursery as a convenience to our customers.

While I was there I noticed a rose that was growing very vigorously about two feet taller than the other climbing roses in that area. I also noticed that this rose was almost fully green to the bottom, which is a bit unusual here in the south where older growth usually starts showing signs of black spot even for the most diligent gardener. Hummm, I thought...It has a name I can't pronounce and I don't know very much about this rose. So I picked out the Knockouts that I needed and made a beeline into our office to "google" this Zephirine Drouhin. I clicked on the first link that was listed and saw that I NEEDED to grow this rose.

Zephirine Drouhin is considered an heirloom rose. It is vigorous, floriferous, highly scented and blooms spring through fall with the strongest flushes of bloom being of course in the spring and in the fall. OH OH OH did I say it was completely thornless? Well I guess I just did.

I promptly walked back out to the "white fenced area" and claimed one for my own. My only problem being now where do I put it. I have an archway at the entrance of the walkway leading to my house and thought I would put it there but then after much rethinking, I was sure it would be to vigorous a rose to use in that area since the archway is very lovely and decorative and I was worried it would be completely hidden by this vigorous grower.

In the meantime I pulled Cinda (one of our greenhouse managers) into the "white fenced area" to show her this vigorous rose that SHE needed to grow too and also showed her the link that made me fall in love with it. I expressed to her my concern about it taking over my lovely, metalwork archway. She said to me "well...don't you have a deck".    EUREKA..."Yes...YES" I said (well I might have screamed that part). "I do...I do have a deck, and...and..and I have a nicely dug and amended spot right in the corner where I recently lost a shrub."  To which I added "You are a GENIUS" (I might have screamed that last part also).

Tonight after I got home from work I planted my lovely Zephirine Drouhin in that already amended spot on the corner of my deck right next to the stairway that my husband and I love to sit in the early morning and look out into the back fields and woodland. I imagine that in the coming years when we sit there with our morning coffee we will have the added pleasure of enjoying the fragrance of this strongly scented and lovely rose and for this reason Zephirine Drouhin is my Plant of the Moment.