Archive for July 2008

The Spiny World of Opuntia

While traveling in California last month with the American Public Garden Association Annual Conference, we had the opportunity to visit Joshua Tree National Park and experience some unique desert flora and fauna. One of our favorite stops was the Cholla Cactus Garden.

This garden is a stand of Opuntia bigelovii, also known as the teddy-bear cholla. There is nothing cuddly about this cactus as you can see from the image. The desert sun really highlighted the bright yellow spines. A native of Nevada and Arizona, another common name for this Opuntia is jumping cholla because the spines seem to …

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Poliothyrsis sinensis

Last week, world renowned plantsman Roy Lancaster lectured at our 12th annual Woody Plant Conference. On the Thursday before the conference I had the opportunity to give Roy and some of the other speakers a tour of the Arboretum. As we headed back to the Arboretum offices Roy spotted a specimen of Poliothyrsis sinensis growing next to the Cunningham House. He stated that this was the most impressive tree he had seen that day (we had also visited the Morris Arboretum in the morning).

In 1993, we received a few seedlings of Poliothyrsis sinensis from J. C. Raulston at the …

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The Evening Garden

I’m not a big fan of gardening in the heat and humidity, but something I really appreciate at this time of year is relaxing in the garden as it transforms from day to evening. Experiencing the garden in the evening can offer a whole new perspective on the value of fragrant plants, white blooms, blossoms that open at night, and aesthetically pleasing and environmentally responsible garden lighting.

Phlox paniculata \'David\' behind Parrish Hall

One of my favorite garden plants often recommended to enhance the garden in the evening is Phlox paniculata ‘David’. This plant was named perennial plant of the year in 2002 by the Perennial …

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