Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Parting shots: Peter Korn's Garden: just before it EXPLODES!

Peter Korn in part of his remarkable nursery....
 Hard to believe I was strolling around this magical nursery just a week or so ago: I'd returned to Gothenburg after the German/Danish extravaganza, and a lot of new flowers had emerged--but it was obvious the explosion was just about to happen: Peter has put together a collection of many thousands of the worlds most beautiful wildflowers in one of the most spectacular settings imaginable--and they were about to implode. I am not sure I could have torn myself away a few weeks later, so it's good I came when it was still frosty at night and only the toughies were blooming: but there were lots of those!

Dicentra formosa growing very compact in open ground
Primula marginata 'White Lady'

 I'm a sucker for white flowers.

Prunus incisa 'Koju no mai'
 A gorgeous tiny leaves cherry from Japan. I would love to grow this.

Saxifraga sempervivum
 I love this gem from Mt. Olympus--heck! I love all saxifrages! (Malcolm would be proud of me).

Iris bloudowii
 I have admired this iris in the Altai Mountains and grow it too (but not so well---darn it!)

Wyethia helianthoides
 I can't tell you how galling it is to see challenging plants like the wonderful white Mule's Ears that I've yearned to grow for years, thriving in Peter's garden!


Lomatium utriculatum
 OK: it may not knock your socks off YET--give it a year or two. The biscuit roots rock.

Dicentra Canadensis
I would KILL to grow squirrel corn like this. Maybe not kill: just maim or severely disfigure. (I know that's a tasteless joke by the way).
Dicentra cucullaria
And of course he has the common one too...
Anemone x seemanii
 The lovely hybrid between A. nemorosa and A. ranunculoides...

Mystery Fritillaria
 There were frits popping up everywhere...

Trillium chloropetalum (I think)
 And tons of trilliums were coming into bloom.

Vitaliana primuliflora
 Someone had told me Vitaliana did not bloom well in northern Europe. Harrumph!

Caltha palustris
 Caltha decided to take a dip...
A drama of drabas...
 If you can have a pride of lions and a congress of baboons, why not a drama of drabas?

Soldanella in quite a few spots.

Primula hirsuta
 Is this not to die for?

Primula auricula

Polygala chamaebuxus

Euphorbia cyparissius 'Fen's Ruby'
 Why so sparse? He'd actually removed this colony the fall before to plant it at the nearby Airport's steppe garden he'd designed. These had come up from the remains...(ouch!)...

Erodium cezembre
 Erodiums are very under utilized in my opinion....
Labels may be distracting for one, but I loved to know this came from Ron McBeath (one of my all time heroes)

Dracocephalum discolor
 I've grown this dracocephalum for years--and realize that I've lost it. Glad Peter still has it!

Dodecatheon (pulchellum?)
 Of course, pedants would insist this is a Primula...

Mertensia maritima
 As you would expect, this thrives for Peter..what wonderful foliage!

More of the same, self-sowing...


More views

And more views...what a spot!

Thousands of plants bursting forth!

Androsace in masses

Peter surveying his kingdom...

Draba, possibly streptocarpa from Colorado (Mike Kintgen's seed) allowed to run rampant!

A little broom...very cute.

A white Androsace carnea

More pink Androsace...

Phacelia sericea

Lewisia cotyledon self-sowing

and blooming (from wild collected seed)

Lewisia tweedyi about to open--this must be spectacular right now.

Rheum reticulatum

More views (and gorgeous boulders)

A Southern Hemisphere Angelica

Lysichiton americanum

Another vignette

Moss does not grow like this in Denver

Primula elatior--one of this year's Plant Select recommendations. What a fabulous plant!

Persicaria tenuicaulis...obviously happy! I always thought this was tender...

Fritillaria meleagris
 Maybe it's common, but I love to grow this and so does Peter (and it's growing very well--check out the willow to the right of it! The place is one treasure after another.

The nursery ready for sales

Saxifrages if you don't want primulas...

And some of those famous "non flowering" vitalianas----Ha!

Thanks once again, Peter, for you exceptional generosity in hosting me and Jan, and the wonderful dinners and talks. And for the privilege of spending time in that amazing, expansive and incredibly conceived masterpiece you call your garden! See you in Scotland in a month...


  1. Holy Moly: What a nursery and property! Amazing Rockery! I cannot imagine all the work that went in to make it look like that: it makes me seem positively lazy. Thanks for the photos.

  2. I was there very early in the spring: by all accounts this time of year it's almost painfully colorful: he's almost God-like in his abilities: do check his website and get his book:



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