Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Daphneville in Ypsilanti: the Thompson Garden part two....

Daphne cneorum 'Pygmaea' and Ranunculus millefoliatus

(from Jacques: "Actually this is Daphne x Hendersonii ‘Apple Blossom’  and Ranunculus millifoliatus One of many Daphne’s that were gifts from John Bieber, founder of the Daphne Society.  Can you spot the old plant label in this photo?  It’s well camouflaged.")
I have to be honest: I'm taking wild stabs at the names of the daphnes: I know that Jacques and Andrea do label plants in their garden (they went diving and prodding more than one specimen that I'd ask them about and invariably extracted a legible label: quite a trick!)--and I'm sure that they could have done it with many of these daphnes--although they undoubtedly know what many of them are off the top of their heads. Or maybe not--this is not by any means all the daphnes in that expansive garden! Quite a few had bloomed and a few, like oleioides and alpina, had yet to bloom. I think I can honestly say that aside from Arrowhead Alpines--where Brigitta had no end of giant daphnes--I have never seen a better collection more artistically grown than at the Thompson's--which is why they get a blog posting all to themselves!

PLEASE NOTE! Once again I have been very lucky to have Jacques Thompson comment on the pictures in this blog. I have appended his comments in blue! I think you'll enjoy reading them as much as I have!

Yes there is, as yet a reasonable collection of Daphnes here despite the past two winters, ( we’ve lost about a third of our collection).But Daphneville, no, to get to that place one has to take a little drive northwest of here to Don LaFond’s garden.  Last week while I was standing at his kitchen window, looking out at only a tiny portion of his unbelievable garden (those who failed to make the trip to Michigan for this year’s NARGS annual meeting, will  have to make do with the article Award for Alpine Rock Garden in the Summer 2015 Quarterly), I spotted 8 expertly grown specimens, tucked into his truly masterful rockwork.  I know there were twice that number in the same area that were out of my view, blocked by raised beds and his most impressive collection of dwarf and not so dwarf conifers.  Don is a skilled propagator and a generous friend as well, supplying everyone in the Great Lakes Chapter with a limitless supply of rooted Daphne cuttings to add to our gardens.

On the subject of labels; To my taste I find visible labels to be distracting, and often as not, impossible to maintain.  Ill mannered garden visitors pull labels and then invariably fail to put them back where they were,  I once had a non-gardener walk up to me with over a dozen plant labels in his hands that he wanted to ask questions about! 

Then there’s the Corvid’s, those feathered Pack Rats of the bird world, and they have a fetish for decorating their nests with them! So I do my best to hide plant labels by shoving them below the mulch surface, usually along the side a nearby rock. I make my labels out of aluminum, they don’t get brittle, you can get trim coil aluminum white on one side and the other side a color which closely matches the hue of the stone or gravel in ones rockery.  A number 2 lead pencil is all I use and its just about weatherproof.

Daphne cneorum

Unable to find the label, however it doesn’t look like cneorum to me, plus its in a high-rent area (at the top of my tufa wall), for a more-pedestrian cneorum, it could  be D. juliae , or some cool hybrid I got from Ric Lupp.

Daphne x hendersonii
I'm almost willing to guess that this is 'Ernst Hauser'....it looks like mine anyway (if mine were still alive that is).

Nope, it’s Daphne arbuscula ‘Jurasek Select’ in foreground.  Behind the Iris is D. cneorum ‘Benaco’  from Arrowhead Alpines

Daphne x susannae
I am guessing wildly that it is 'Cheriton'. I believe I still have 'Cheriton' alive at least. Although a fraction of this size.

Close,  Daphne x rollsdorfii ‘ Wilhelm Schacht’  from Siskiyou in  05

Daphne x susannae
This reminds me of 'Anton Fahndrich'....unless we're dealing with an x rollsdorfii and it's 'Wilhelm Schacht'...I'm now leaning to the latter as I look at it again.

Daphne Circassica  another John Bieber gift

There is a strong resemblance between this and D. x rollsdorfii ‘Wilhelm Schacht’ in these two images, but its only superficial in reality.  The preceding  D.xr. ‘W Schacht’ has smaller, shiny dark green leaves and is the size of a basketball.  D. circassica is a squat mound, 6” high by 15” across, has dull-flat  grey-green leaves that are considerably wider.

Daphne x hendersonii
I believe this could be a Guiness book of Records x hendersonii: unless it's just cneorum and I misread the leaves? It would be a champion cneorum as well, of course.

There are at minimum 3 Daphnes in this image, all three cneorum’s. There are at minimum 2 pink-flowered D. cneorum’s that were self-seeded.  They have grown up to swamp their parent (D. c. ‘Pygmea Alba’) that previously occupied the entire footprint they now occupy.

That seed-parent(not yet in flower but in bud), shows as the shorter, green foliage, growing between the 2 large rocks in the middle, on the right hand side .  I believe there is even a shoot or two of D.c. ‘P Albasneaking out from under its offspring along the shaded area of the middle rock on the right edge of the photo.


Daphne x hendersonii
I'm pretty sure of my I.D. on this...although I'm not sure if it's 'Lupp' or 'Kath Dryden' or another pink variation...

This image is dominated by the winter-damaged foliage of Daphne c.f. arbuscula x verlottii from Mt. Tahoma Nursery in 2000.  It is roughly 5.5ft in diameter by 12-14” tall.  It has mounded over rocks, which makes it appear taller than it really is.

Daphne x hendersonii
This could be 'Aymon Correvon' or even 'Fritz Kummert'...or even 'Marion White': they are all equally lovely...

Photo #8)  Daphne x hendersonii ‘Ernst Hauser’ Another Mt. Tahoma purchase planted in 5/05 , so easy and bone hardy. It’s now  a 2ft x 2ft ball.

Daphne cneorum  and Daphne x hendersonii on right
 And here's another champion x hendersonii with its cousin above it...

This image looks back at the route you’ve just taken us.  D. x h.‘Ernst Hauser’ in the forefront followed by a D. cneorum (that is up next).  Continuing back downhill the pathway appears to end at the D. c.f. arbuscula x verlottii, but it veers to the right in order to skirt around the D. c. seedlings & D.c. ‘Pygmea Alba’

At the upper edge of this photo (just a-little right of center), is an old, glazed, fired clay section of drainpipe, which has become a raised container.  To the right of that said container is the green foliage of D. jezoensis v. kamschatensis purchased from Herronswood Nursery in 5/02.  At this writing it’s just starting to drop its leaves (briefly summer dormant),  and tries to starts flowering in mid October.  Not the best Daphne for this climate!

By the way, at your feet (I believe you were standing when you took this shot), at your left heel was D. jasminea Delphi form.

Daphne cneorum
Surely there cannot be many gardens with daphnes like this scattered about with reckless abandon?

 Daphne cneorum ‘Winter Gold’

I found this Daphne in the mid 90’s during an outing with my mentor and dearest friend Dick Punnett .  We were scrounging-around at the abandoned nursery of his old mentor Bob Tucker.  Either GM or Willow Run Airport bought Bob out back in the late 70’s or so, but never got around to tearing  down Bob’s house or garden, nor did they fence or post the property.  So from time to time we’d go and see what we could
rescue from his garden beds (I wish we’d made more trips!).   On one
occasion we went out into the fields now overgrown (where he had lined plants out), to see what might be lurking down beneath the overgrowth, turns out quite a bit!  This little bush, (then) with 5 or 6 leggy foot-long stems, was one of several finds.

Once in the open garden this little Daphne took off.  Each winter its leaves turned golden yellow, but stayed on.  Even now during the growing season the leaves have an off color, yellowy-green cast to them.  Bob Stewart of Arrowhead Alpines wanted me to name it ‘Tuckers Sickly Yellow’, but I just couldn’t do that.  I never had the privilege of meeting Bob Tucker, but the Old Guard like Dick and Harry Elkins had nothing but praise for the man.  I did give it the name ‘Winter Gold’ in a very brief  article in one of the Daphne Society’s newsletters.

Last fall, in preparations for the 2015 NARGS meeting and garden tours, I had to cut this plant back about 2ft to get it off the path.

Daphne x rollsdorfii
Another wild guess--although I'm not willing to venture a cultivar.

What can I say but, D. x napolitana ‘Bramdean’  Mt. Tahoma  3/07

Daphne 'Stasek'
The one and only hybrid I can be positive I'm right on--unless it's a variegated cneorum instead!

Or as listed in Robin White’s monograph, D. x napolitana (?) ‘Stasek’

Daphne x schytleri
Not sure which clone of this cross (arbuscula x cneorum) but I'm reasonably sure it's this cross.

I haven’t made up an inventory of Daphnes in the garden since 2005.I show a D. x ‘Schlyteri’ from J. Bieber 8/05 but that was planted into the rockery made of fieldstone.   This is another photo of D.
arbuscula ‘Jurasek Select’ in the tufa bed.  (same plant as in photo # 3.

Daphne x rollsdorfii
Another mystery! Guessing as to the cross.

D. cneorum ‘Benaco’,  It’s the darkest pink flowered D. c. that I know.  (also in photo #3).

Daphne x susannae
Possibly 'Cheriton' again or 'Anton Fahndrich' with a wonderful view of the garden, and check out that columnar tree in the distance! What a place...

Close but no, (and another repeat, shown in photo #4).  It’s D x rollsdorfii ‘Wilhelm Schacht’.  However this shows additional Daphnes.  Moving up and right is D. alpina, just leafing out,  and centered in the photo are: D. arbuscula ‘Jurasek Select’ and D. c.‘Benaco’ appearing to merge together.

Daphne x rollsdorfii
More mounds of fragrant ecstasy!

A miss on the name but you’re spot on with “more mounds of fragrant ecstasy!
I hid this label so well I can’t find it.  I believe this is D. x schlyteri ‘Lovisa Maria’, however it could well be a x schlyteri Ric Lupp made and named after his granddaughter’ the name of which escapes me.  Sadly I’ve lost my Journal, which covers the years that included the construction and planting of this phase of the tufa bed.

Daphne x arbuscula
I end with this wonderfully tucked specimen of either arbuscula or one of its hybrids. I'm hoping Jacques or Andrea will confirm some of these names. But whatever name you inflict upon them, daphnes are sublime in any form.

Once more your keen editing skills have transformed this winter-damaged eyesore into a little treasure.  This little 12” X 18” holdout is all that’s left of  one of our most impressive looking (once), Daphnes.  I got this from Mt. Tahoma in May of 03 as D. sericea Compact Form.  I put this tiny little thing (and I believe that the best course for success with Daphne’s is to start with very small plants), into the open limestone bed and it’s never dove anything but grow up and out.  It had topped the 30” rocks  around it until it was a 4 ft. mound of pure purple magic. The fall-winter-early spring of 2014-15 just about wiped it out!  Its still a thing of beauty to me, as you’ve done a fabulous job of editing out the crater of missing foliage.

I was humbled to see them grow so abundantly and so well. And hope you've enjoyed them too!

1 comment:

  1. I love Daphnes. However, to my untrained eye all the plants shown on your blog look so similar that I could mistake them as being variations within a single species. I don't know how you tell some of them apart.


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