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.
I wish you were with me to smell the gingers in the greenhouse. In the meantime, feast your visual sense upon this.
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.
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?
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.
Here’s a stunning combination. If anyone knows the varieties, please let me know.
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.
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.