I am blessed to have come in contact with some amazing plantsmen and women over the years. People who love plants, know plants and most importantly share plants!
Today I’ll expose you to some of my unique and cherished specimens. While somewhat hard to find, these plants are available. As with most things in life, it’s all about leveraging your network.
My friend Andy, who owns Sam Brown’s Nursery, is a plant savant and I’m not the only one who thinks so. I shop at Andy’s nursery and he has helped me find some unusual and interesting plant material.
Andy patented Metasequoia ‘Soul Fire,’ a tree with golden needles that lights up the garden and immediately draws your attention. According to the Plants Nouveau website “each spring, bright, lime-green needles emerge with a rosy-orange frosting, making for a two-toned effect. As the summer days grow longer, and the heat and humidity pick up, the needles change to bright, chartreuse and don’t fade until fall brings on a bright, orange hue.” I adore this plant, its changing color scheme and its fast growth.
I’m a sucker for any plant with variegation, so I was thrilled to find a variegated form of our native ginger (Asarum canadensis). Asarum is a great ground cover and excellent shade garden plant made much more impactful when adorned with splotches of white.
Another plant I love was sourced by John O’Brien of Connecticut. ‘Carol’s Limelight’ Daphne is a sport of Daphne Carol Mackie. I purchased this special beauty at the Galanthus Gala in Downingtown, PA in early March in my quest to have yet another plant named Carol.
I learned about Calanthe discolor in a class I took at Longwood Gardens. I ordered mine from Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina and had it shipped. While it doesn’t look like much now, I look forward to the flowers this plant will share with me in the future.
Far Reaches Farm was the provider of my Pachyphragma macrophyllum, a great shade plant for dry conditions. This evergreen plant chugs along, looking great all season and showing off some pretty spectacular flowers. While related to the invasive thug, garlic mustard, Pachyphragma is a well-behaved cousin.
While it is easy to hop in the car and head to the local nursery or big box store for plants, I encourage you to seek out a few ‘one of a kind’ plants for your landscape. Try mail order suppliers and attend local plant sales hosted by plant societies. And of course leverage the expertise of your gardening friends.