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Showing posts from September, 2013

A masterful gardener comes to Denver...

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I think this closeup of Peter's face pretty much says it all: incredible goodwill, openness and enthusiasm characterizes his spirit. His physical energy, however, is manifest only if you hear his presentation--or visit his vast gardens...and his incisive intellect which has propelled this youthful gardener to visit and grow a large proportion of the world's loveliest plants (and sell them into the bargain), well that is something you must visit his garden to really appreciate! Most gardens are rectilinear, and relatively small. It takes a special style and temperament of human to garden on acres and try to grow a large proportion of the world's flora! On Sunday, September 6 we will be lucky to have just such a person speak to us at Denver Botanic Gardens--Peter Korn is perhaps the most ambitious gardener on the planet--unquestionably the most ambitious rock gardener: he has several gardens, but the magnum opus near Landvetter airport near Gothenburg, Sweden, is many acres…

"Remembrance, like Rembrandt, is dark but festive"

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For whatever reason, my transparencies come across rather darker than digital images would. hence my quote from Vladimir Nabokov's Ada...Rembrandt is perhaps a bit darker than these even, and despite the somber neutral colors, the expressions on the faces of his portraits glow with light. I flatter myself to compare my little posies with the great Dutchman--but you have to admit, the giant Campanula cousin resembling nothing so much as a lily--does seem to glow. I am lucky that Mike Bone, head of Propatation at Denver Botanic Gardens, is fond of this plant and grows lots every year...
This little muppet self sowed for years in my original xeriscape. We collected seed in the early 1990's near the John Day monument in eastern Oregon. I'd give a lot to have it again!


I think there are five or more Moraea along the trail to Sentinel (including one that Jim Archibald and I collected that turned out to be a new species--another story that)...I did not see this species on my …

The best phlox, and more (a tale of woe!)...

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Time to make amends: I rather rudely (and prematurely) declared the end of High Country Gardens last year...well: I was wrong! High Country Gardens is alive and well, although reconfigured (it's complicated!)--but David Salman is still Horticulturist, and making sure the best plants are offered and grown, albeit in Denver rather than Santa Fe! David talked to me last week, and although the business is booming, he was astonished that Phlox nana (their featured introduction of the year) has sold poorly. He asked for an endorsement: I told him I'd do better than that--that I would talk about this best of phloxes: and I ought to know. In case you don't know, I happen to be a very phloxy fellow! I doubt that anyone has grown more Western phlox than I have, and Eastern ones too!

What makes the Santa Fe phlox so special? The huge flowers help (two inches across on some specimens) which are a melting pink. And they start blooming in late April some years, blooming pretty heav…