Too tired to post

'Van Gogh' sunflower. I got the seeds from Renee's Seeds. She sent them to me to try. I like them.

I feel a post percolating about the fires and rebirth, but having just returned from GWA, I’m too tired to write it today. My home and garden were spared–the fire was several miles away–but many were not so lucky.

Below are two recent posts from Fiskars and Lowe’s. If you visit my Lowe’s post and leave a comment, I’ll give you a big hug next time I see you. Of course, I’d hug you anyway.

'Graham Thomas' and a look back at early May

Would a plant by any other name truly smell as sweet?

Pond plants and prairie natives: a tale of two extremes

Art in the garden: how much is too much?

Have a beautiful Labor Day, and please donate to the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities U.S.A, or the rescue agency of your choice. All over the country there have been floods, fire and power outages.

Our rescuers now need our help. If you see a firefighter, give him or her a hug and say it’s from all of us in Oklahoma and Texas. You might also buy some water for your local fire department too.

It’s all a way to say thank you and pay it forward. Thank you for reading my blog too.

Plant Delights Nursery Lives Up to Its Name

A pink muhly grass cloud floats behind a spiky yucca. I thought the juxtaposition begged to be photographed.

This morning, buses arrived at 7:00 a.m. to whisk 600 plus writers, photographers, television media personalities, designers and other garden communicators to Plant Delights Nursery with side trips  to the local garden of John Dilley and Willie Pilkington and the Raleigh Farmer’s Market.

What can I say?  Plant Delights was a feast for the horticultural senses and a tapestry of perennials, shrubs and trees.  Surrounding the greenhouses were planting beds filled to the brim with all sorts of good things. I took a lot, and I mean, a lot of pictures. Perhaps, I’ll do a slideshow once I return home and can get my bearings.

A ginger I turned and snapped.  I did not get the name of this variety, but it smelled divine.
A ginger I turned and snapped. I did not get the name of this variety, but it smelled divine.

I wish you were with me to smell the gingers in the greenhouse. In the meantime, feast your visual sense upon this.

On the left was a row of agaves.  I brought home two varieties which are hardy to Zone 7.
On the left was a row of agaves. I brought home two varieties which are hardy to Zone 7.

For my friend, Pam, and other gardeners who don’t mind being poked and prodded by their plants, here’s a shot of the agave greenhouse, which also had mangaves and other warm weather loving plants. Two young guys from Tennessee (I’m sorry we were too busy swooning over the plants to exchange names) guided me to two varieties they knew were good and cold-hardy. I’ll let you know when I plant the new purchases in containers.  Note: they also said they use chicken grit as half of the soil as the greatest danger for agaves is root rot.

I really wanted this one, but it wasn’t hardy, and I didn’t want to mess with bringing it inside.

A. lophantha 'Quadricolor' at Plant Delights Nursery.
A. lophantha ‘Quadricolor’ at Plant Delights Nursery.

But, enough about agaves. Not everyone is as obsessed with them as I. Behind the nursery, there were more gardens, and paths wound round and round, up and down. It was, dare I say, delightful?

Echinacea and other perennials planted at Plant Delights Nursery give customers an idea of how plants perform.
Echinacea and other perennials planted at Plant Delights Nursery give customers an idea of how plants perform.

I noticed a lot of structure, and although there were plenty of late summer, early fall blooming perennials, there were also numerous ferns, hostas, grasses, shrubs and trees. Oh, and there were a few annuals too. Tony Avent has a lot of breeding stock of Colocasia esculenta, elephant ears.

Gorgeous elephant ears on a patio at Plant Delights Nursery.
Gorgeous elephant ears on a patio at Plant Delights Nursery.

Here’s a stunning combination. If anyone knows the varieties, please let me know.

A stunning combination of plants.
A stunning combination of plants.

After handing our purchases into PD employees’ capable hands, we departed for the Dilley Willie garden (f/k/a the hobbit garden, but they had to change the name to avoid trademark infringement with the Tolkien estate).  It was a plant collector’s dream filled with beautiful specimens. Featured on Erica Glasener’s t.v. show, A Gardener’s Diary, it was fun to see it in person. Interestingly, the owners closed the garden after our visit to raise the tree canopy and change many of the plants, so it will never look as it did today. I took many photos of it too, but I’ll just post a couple here. I don’t want to overwhelm your browsers.

The garden's original namesake
The garden’s original namesake
The bog
The bog

Tonight, we ate traditional dry rub ribs and pulled pork at the  J.C. Raulston Arboretum.  We were encouraged to walk throughout, but exhaustion and a misty rain kept us from the entire garden. I did make it through much of it and have many photos to share another time. Tomorrow, a visit to Montrose Gardens and three other beauty spots are on the schedule. I’m off to bed.