Thursday, January 17, 2019

From my hotel window in Boise...

I see a greenhouse in the distance. If we were in Victorian times, it would be full of flowers. I blew up the image and peered and peered: no flowers did I see. For all I know, they're empty...check the next picture...

See them there, tucked away left center? They were quite a ways maybe there were flowers in them. Or maybe they're for some other kind of research. I'd like to have some greenhouses like that all to myself. I guess I have a whole Botanic Garden--musn't be greedy!

 I look a little over to the right--and there are two of the towers of Boise: both banks. Banks have an awful lot of money in order to build monuments like this. I guess, you get what you pay for (and we apparently pay for big banks). We're not paying government workers right now--something I hate to think about.

I can't begin to explain how big this roof is: YUGE!  I think we're approaching acreage up on top of this really nice Hotel. The rooms are more spacious than usual, and nicely appointed. Hate to think what the Trade Show pays for them. There was a pool and a gym on the fourth floor. The restaurant and bar downstairs were better than average. But if they had turned that roof into a green roof, I would have been really impressed: such a vast waste of space! And all the runoff!

I peer to the right of the banks--there are the Boise Hills: I would like to hike those in late March when the distinctive Pacific Northwest flora is burgeoning. I imagine there would be Fritillaria pudica there, and I'm told there's Primula cusickiana....and who knows what other treasures? I saw pictures in the lobby of hills covered with Balsamroot.  I'm sure it's there...For all the grandeur of cities--I really prefer the wild hills.

Most lecture tours to clubs I'm hosted in homes which I prefer. Hotels are really much of a muchness, no matter how fancy. Except for rustic, colorful old hotels. Chains invariably suck, no matter how expensive.

I sometimes wonder what I would have done if I'd actually been picked to work here fifteen or so years ago. I have quite a few friends, and like the people I've met here. I don't think I have the skill sets that would have allowed m to succeed at the job I applied for. Instead, I stayed in Denver, have traveled to a dozen magical places I would not likely have seen otherwise, and helped with a number of books I'm very proud of, and learned so much from colleagues and from a boss such as I've never imagined could exist

And looking out my window this morning, I look at this wonderful Western town I've come to love and realize all has worked out for the best.

Just wish they had some Pelargoniums in the greenhouses!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Wondering about weeds

Cardamine quinquefolia, Corydalis marschalliana and Alliaria petiolata in a forest at Sabaduri, Georgia
 It's Georgia the country, not the state, incidentally! I was reviewing and labeling some images today when I noticed that the white crucifer growing alongside the Corydalis and Cardamine was in fact Garlic Mustard, the undeniably pernicious weed that's been smothering woodlands across much of the United States. I had assumed Colorado would be safe from its ravages,,,
Alliaria petiolata along Cherry Creek in Denver
Until I found a huge patch midway between my house and work, smack dab next to Cherry Creek shopping center. But look! How gentle and harmless it looks alongside the other spring ephemerals in its native habitat...

Cardaria draba at Sabaduri, Georgia
 Around here this is known as "white top" and it does make a striking groundcover (that will smother anything in its path) you often see in Colorado along highways or in the homes of inattentive gardeners (usually rental homes, or poorer neighborhoods of course). I've not been cursed with this in any space I've tended, but I'm told it's well nigh ineradicable, but look how innocent (almost lonely) it looks in a meadow in its native habitat...

An image of Cardaria draba from the web
I'm surprised looking through MY archives not to have found a single image of White-top anywhere in my files. But I think this picture pretty well depicts how the species spreads and looks on countless acres across the West.
Euphorbia cf esula, near Red Bridge, Georgia
I will not SWEAR this species is Euphorbia esula--but it sure looks like it! I have seen the true species in Central Asia where it was likewise growing rather modestly, but in Colorado it has smothered countless acres.
Euphorbia esula in a planter bed in Aurora
 No, Virginia: the Euphorbia wasn't planted here. I've seen this here and there all over Metro Denver--but it's really in the foothills and on the Great Plains where literally acres can be smothered by this toxic and really invidious pest. This is an undeniable noxious and toxic plant...but look how harmless it looks in nature in the photo further up... I find it slightly amusing that Metro area cities have gone on an extremely aggressive witch-hunt to eliminate Euphorbia myrsinites from regional gardens...
Euphorbia myrsinites

You have to admit it's pretty alluring! I secretly still love this plant and plan to sneak a bit into my non-city garden (where the Gestapo won't arrest me for growing it)--what kills me is that tons of money is spent propagandizing against myrtle spurge (which occupies a tiny FRACTION of our native habitats compared to Euphorbia esula) while the homelier spurge ramps on

One of a dozens of pieces produced by various local agencies on the witchhunt for myrtle spurge (they're after Cypress spurge too--but not so often). Meanwhile the far more noxious spurge ramps on in municipal garden beds!!!

 Meanwhile, I've found myrtle spurge treasured in gardens elsewhere...

A lonely Euphorbia myrsinites at an arboretum in Kentucky
I've seen it planted proudly in an arboretum in Kentucky...Not the best specimen, I'll voucher..

Euphorbia myrsinites in the alpine house at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Am I condoning weeds? Of course not...what amazes me is that our "weeds" are often harmless in their natural settings or even choice in an alpine house at Kew...

The problem isn't the plant--but its context. In the wild there are obviously ecological factors (insects, pathogens, biochemical factors) that prevent the "weed" from rampaging...

But first we have to distinguish which are the real invasive weeds, like Euphorbia esula, and target them instead of far less invasive and merely attractive (and therefore more easily identified) taxa like Myrtle Spurge.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Roses are red, violets are yellow?

Viola biflora at the Reykjavik Botanic Garden in Iceland in late June
So "Violets are blue" eh? Poets do take their liberties. I was recently thinking about how amazing it is that the Universal yellow violet of Eurasia is pretty much restricted to the boreal parts of America, except for Colorado, as you will see. Above it makes a heck of a mound in a botanical garden...

Viola biflora at Brunquist Gulch 20 miles West of Denver
Here it is at an amazingly low altitude not far from Denver in Denver Mountain Parks. I have featured this locality in a past blog.

Range of Viola biflora in the USA from a BONAP map
Here is the overall range map according to the US Government...which has unconscionably been shut down by the Narcissist-in-chief inflicting suffering and grief on nearly a million of my fellow Americans in order to build a hideous, ecologically disastrous and symbolically repugnant wall: I HATE IT, but I digress... I can't help but wonder if there aren't a few Viola biflora lurking in Idaho or Wyoming!
Viola biflora on the Austrian Road, far easternmost Kazakhstan

And here it is in Central Asia--another of those links between Colorado and the Altai that William Weber first limned.
Viola sheltonii: short lived in my garden
I have never seen this in Colorado, although Dan Johnson did last year and photographed it. High on my Bucket List for the last Colorado wildflowers that have eluded me. I grew it from seed and bloomed it--but it only lasted one year.

Viola pensylvanica in Kentucky
Here's the commonest yellow violet of the East: apparently this can be weedy in some gardens. It has grown for me but I'm still waiting for seedlings: I think it's lovely

Viola nuttallii on the Flattop Mt. in western Colorado at 11,000'
By far our commonest native violet, this is found all over the Great Plains, the foothills and I've seen it all the way to timberline. These were taken on subalpine roadcuts in Western Colorado a few years ago.
Closeup of same

Viola atropurpurea
Surely the silliest name for a violet--named for the purple color on the undersurface of the leaf, in my home state, this is restricted to Northwestern Colorado where I photographed this years ago. But it's common throughout much of the West. Chary of gardens I've found thus far.

And there are so many more--especially pansies from Europe and Asia that often come in yellow....dozens of species really--but they're another story to be told another time:

Roses are red
Violets are yellow
I'll be pleased as Punch
when we're done with that fellow.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Anno wunderbar! A year comes to a close...farewell 2018!

Many the wonderful years I've lived, but none have been quite so action-packed and rewarding. Come join me on a quick glimpse over the recent past.
Mt. Cook from my hotel window
 January: My idea of a perfect January is escaping to the Southern Hemisphere, and I was fortunate to have 3 weeks in New Zealand leading a tour for the American Horticultural Society. Fantastic gardens and companions along the way: I blogged pretty frequently about this trip ...but the memories (and slides) are legion, so you must settle with this sunset on the highest peak of this magic isle.

Iris x histrioides 'Katharine's Gold'
February: Home for the month.  I have been lucky to be able to purchase a wide variety of Iriodictyon section irises over the years--many of them Alan McMurtrie hybrids--which thankfully seem to like my garden.  This was the first year I bloomed 'Katharine's Gold' which lasted much of February--and warmed the cockles of my wintry heart. I don't think I shall ever have enough of these! They make February worth waiting for!

Paeonia tenuifolia in bud
 My home garden provides perennial (and annual and woody) delight throughout the year. I little suspected when my clumps of fernleaf peony bloomed the last day of March that less than a month later I'd see acres of them in the wild in easternmost Georgia (within sight of Azerbaijan, Russia and not far from Armenia! Hooboy!

Old town Tbilisi from the botanical garden
April and early May were a three week expedition on behalf of the Plant Collection Cooperative with Boyce Tankersley of Chicago Botanical Garden and Peter Zale of Longwood: one of the most productive, fun and fantastic experiences I shall ever have! I fell in love with this unique country and was thrilled to finally experience the Caucasus (both lesser and greater).

Quince in full bloom
 Coming home to your garden in full bloom only enhances the joy of travel when your a plant nut! My rock garden gives me endless delight every month of the year--but never more than in May.

Tony Hall by Mike Kintgen's "hell" strip
 June: A brief visit from Kew's brilliant horticulturist early in the month was a highlight in a year of highlights: Tony and I first met and went camping together 41 years ago: I have enjoyed his hospitality at Kew repeatedly over the decades and was finally able to lure him to Denver for a fantastic presentation on the Scorpiris--perhaps the single group of plants I yearn for and love more than any other...and that's saying a LOT!

Meconopsis and Incarvillea at Napahai

Once Tony left, June consisted mostly of just over 3 weeks in northern Yunnan with 13 intrepid North American Rock Garden Society members: I don't think I've had another more rollicking, fun, flower filled or rewarding trip (Okay, Georgia was pretty dang cool)...the Chinese mountains exceeded my fondest memories (I'd visited briefly 20 years earlier) and the weather was perfect!

Sarracenia purpurea near Hawk's Hill, Newfoundland

In July I attended the North American Rock Garden Society's annual meeting in St. Johns Newfoundland. I'd visited in May--which was wonderful. But the flowering of practically everything at once around the 4th of July in the Maritimes has to be experienced to be believed. Todd Boland--organizer of this meeting--is a Continental treasure. If you don't belong to NARGS you're missin' out!

Monardella macrantha 'Marian Sampson'
I may have taken this picture in May, June, July--but let's say August. It kept blooming until October--surely the longest blooming spectacle one can grow in a rock garden. But here the best specimen I've ever seen is growing in the Labyrinth at Chatfield Farms--Denver Botanic Gardens' amazing "satellite". I suspect one day it will be a satellite much as the Sun is to the earth--a lot bigger and pretty dang outstanding! Getting the know the fantastic gardeners there, and taking a field trip with them was another high point for me this year.

Westridge in August
I think I like my prickly pears in fruit almost as much as in bloom: the vast xeriscape that is Westridge at my home garden keeps morphing. Opuntia has become a centerpiece for me.
Zdenek and Zdena at Spring Creek with Bryan Fischer
Zdenek and I began corresponding nearly a half century ago, and he's been visiting Denver and sharing his great knowledge for nearly four decades (his first visit was in 1983). What a pleasure to have him tour ten regional botanic gardens, at each of which he saw spectacular crevice gardens in progress or on the planning boards: evidence of his huge influence so far from the Czech Republic. I could tell he was pleased, and his presentations were a huge success. Launch of a Rocky Mountain lecture series!

Butchart Gardens
I was deeply honored to be the annual speaker for the Elizabeth Miller Garden lecture series in Seattle later in September: Jan and I took over a week to visit Vancouver island and various friends around Puget Sound. Four powerhouses have had an enormous positive benefit to gardening in North America: Martha Stewart, Dale Chihuly, Longwood Gardens and Butchart Gardens. These four have inspired millions of people to leap into and revel in Public Gardens and gardening. "Sophisticated" gardeners are understandably a tad jealous (been there, done that) and returning to an ever more sophisticated Butcharts this past fall humbled me. The spectacle is astonishing and really superb. There, I said it. Until we fully acknowledge the debt owed to these four Gods of our art, we will always remain mean and thwarted. I hereby bow down, hell, I kowtow to all four! bang bang bang bang (that's my forehead hitting the ground).

Nonegenarian and her white pine in east Denver (she remembers it as a sapling: "I sure hope I die before it does"
Fifty years ago my friend and mentor, Alan Rollinger, began a survey of the street trees of the Denver metropolitan area. He identified and measured 1200 or so of the most unusual trees in the area. He published a booklet with his finds. I have been fortunate to work with Ann Frazier on our staff, partnering with Rob Davis and Denver city arborists and Master Gardeners and DBG volunteers to seek out and re-measure all the trees identified by Al. After several years of frequent field trips across the region, the final measurements were concluded in November and we're now working on a report--another highlight of this past year's work!

Ray Radebaugh's astonishing garden in Louisville
Nature and gardens are the focus of my work--but people create the latter and we have an increasingly complex relationship with the former (a stranglehold perhaps is a better way of describing our grasp of nature). Ray is another friend of half a century: both of us going through divorce and the distractions of time, we'd lost touch for nearly two decades. This past fall I finally had time to get to know his new wife and children, and visit his fantastic garden. These are the things that make life precious to me.

Alpenglow from my driveway, December 29, 2018

Now the year closes: for several months every morning it seems (or at least the bulk of them) I wake to a gorgeous dawn of Alpenglow igniting the Continental Divide--200 miles of which stretches within view of my living room windows. I have taken dozens, perhaps hundreds of pictures of the Front Range peaks which are sometimes pink like watermelon snow, other times Marmalade shades of orange and apricot, or the whole jelly case of fruit tints. Despite living less than ten miles from Downtown Denver (seen in this picture) and surrounded, really, by scores of miles of city in all directions, the half acre I'm blessed to live on--and our dispersed neighborhood give me the illusion of being somehow in nature. But its the Rocky Mountains that remind me of why I live here--so near and yet not so very far!

My blog usually dwells on plants, and this posting may lead you to think my life is a perpetual lark (and at times I'm almost persuaded myself)...but there are undertows in every life: this year I lost family members whom I have loved all my life, and who have had a great impact on me: my brother-in-law Earl Sampson, my first cousin Spiro Callas (on my father's side) and just two weeks ago my coeval first cousin on my mother's side, Eleni Nikolaou nee Kornaraki.

And I have experienced anger, depression and fury over the political direction of my very own country. I believe that treasonous collusion with a foreign power has polluted our political process and led to the installation of an illegitimate administration which is despoiling our environment--social, political, ecological and especially the airwaves with non-stop vulgarity, dishonesty and cupidity. The frightening contrast between the heinous world of national and international politics and the fantastic fulfillment of my work, my remarkably wise and good extended family and friends and the hundreds of honest, kind and thoughtful people I deal with from day to day is hard to jibe with so much violence in our country, our poor southern border and the world at large.

View of distant construction via the Romantic Garden promenade at Denver Botanic Gardens

Just noticed the last picture is out of focus: let's pretend it's "impressionistic" instead! The Blossoms of Light come to an end tomorrow night--and the crane looming over the Boetcher building presages the excitement of the Freyer-Newman Center that will expand our programs enormously and finally provide our Science, Exhibitions, Education and Library staff the Lebensraum they need to work even more powerfully.

I only wish there were a crane that would remove the demonic elements of our body politic and bury them deep in the compost heaps of history!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Rich Dufresne: Sultan of Salvia and provincial naturalist...

Rich Dufresne, November 2017

In Paradise

My soul, beyond distant death
your image I see like this:
a provincial naturalist,
an eccentric lost in paradise.

There, in a glade, a wild angel slumbers,
a semi-pavonian creature.
Poke at it curiously
with your green umbrella,

speculating how, first of all,
you will write a paper on it
then — But there are no learned journals,
nor any readers in paradise!

And there you stand, not yet believing
your wordless woe.
About that blue somnolent animal
whom will you tell, whom?

Where is the world and the labeled roses,
the museum and the stuffed birds?
And you look and look through your tears
at those unnamable wings.

– Vladimir Nabokov, from Collected Poems (2012), translated by Dmitri Nabokov, published by Penguin Classics, London.

When I read on Facebook that Rich had died, this poem, which isn't altogether apropos, came nevertheless to mind. If there is indeed a Heaven, Rich is one of the few people I know who'd be guaranteed rapid entry: I have known few kinder, gentler, more intelligent or caring people. He would, however, have walked right past the shimmering angel seeking mints instead. And if he were to find a new Salvia in Heaven, he would be even more frustrated than the provincial naturalist: he'd want to call us all up and tell us about it, propagate it and share it with all the great Nurseries of the world.

When I took the picture above of Rich Dufesne at the Annual General Meeting of the North American Rock Garden Society in Raleigh, North Carolina, little did I suspect it would be the last time I'd see my friend and mentor in Lamiaceae, and that that would be the last picture I'd ever take of him.

For many decades Rich and I would talk every month or so (I confess, he was usually the one who called, sometimes at inconvenient times). But once I'd heard the familiar litany of his breakdowns and frustrations, the conversation would wander to more salubrious subjects--the vast world of Salvia, Agastache and all the treasures he'd dedicated his life to studying, sharing and promoting.

He was so successful in what he achieved that many had no suspicion that he was the one who triggered the avalanche of interest and enthusiasm for these now enormously popular plants.

He was the one who prompted me to beg Sallie Walker to collect Agastache rupestris in the early 1990's: this opened the floodgates of interest in this genus. All this may have eventually occurred anyway, and if it had, Rich again would have been the instigator.

Tony Avent, proprietor Plant Delights gave a wonderful synopsis of Rich on his website:

And Tovah Martin's wonderful piece:

I imagine Rich is already urging that more Labiates be planted beyond the Heavenly gates. This Sultan of Salvia and Aga of Agastache has left us. I can't begin to imagine how many millions of salvias and agastaches grace the planet thanks to his efforts this last half century. What greater legacy could one have?

Friday, December 14, 2018

Another obscure hyssop to know and grow

Hyssopus angustifolius in summer

A little over 20 years ago Denver Botanic Gardens helped popularize the Anise Hyssops* but these aren't REALLY hyssops, are they? Nope: Hyssopus is a small genus of Mediterranean mints that possess the real name, only one of which (see the last picture of this series) is common in cultivation. The one shown above blooming in midsummer in my "East Ridge" (a dry garden featuring old world xerophytes) at Quince, my home garden. It glows bright blue for weeks in midsummer when everything in the garden is baking, and going dormant!

Hyssopus angustifolius in autumn
 Here is the same clump in late summer, in seed: not unattractive even in this state: it forms such a trim, attractive mound. I first obtained this (and several similar taxa) from Bob Pennington at Agua Fria Nursery in Santa Fe, and I believe he got the seed of these from collections made in western and central Asia I believe by some of the Czech collectors. There were several names (Hyssopus seravschanicus was one) for slightly different taxa, a few turned out to be pinkish.

Hyssopus angustifolius in spring
Here is the same plant in early spring--when the seedheads have been sheared off: it comes back bright green and very attractive. The form I obtained from Bob is more compact than the commonly sold Mediterranean hyssop, and possibly more drought tolerant. It has endured very long periods between waterings on this berm for nearly two decades now--and keeps filling and improving with age! My kind of plant--and probably your kind of plant as well!

Hyssopus officinalis
Unfortunately, although I produce enormous quantities of seed on my wonderful plants (evergreen, drought tolerant, bright blue flowers: what's not to love?), I have not had success pawning it off on any of the dozens, nay! HUNDREDS of nurseryman with whom I exchange plants and seed. Don't ask ME why, ask them! Nor have my otherwise brilliant and clever colleagues at the Gardens picked up on this...I suppose they're juggling so many thousands of plants, what's another gem overlooked? I don't mind: I'll enjoy it all to myself!

As you can see from this wonderful planting at Denver Botanic Gardens' Herb Garden, the "run of the mill" species is pretty wonderful in its own right. More info on them here on the Navigator. You can buy this one at almost any garden center worth its salt come spring--but if you want some of my little'll just have to ask nicely. ( is where you can do that if you're serious--don't forget your address. Stamp or money not necessary). Time to get this little sucker out there!

*The showy North American Brittoniastrum group of Agastache was introduced to a wide commercial market through Plant Select (a partnership between Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University serving the Nursery Industry). Now everyone knows and grows the likes of Agastache rupestris--which was only a figment of Rich Dufresne's feverish horticultural brain prior to the mid 1990's (he's the one who got me to ask Sallie Walker to collect the original germplasm..). Meanwhile the "real" hyssops have been overlooked!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Deck the halls with succulent monocots!

Agave neomexicana
Everyone knows how valuable conifers and broadleaf evergreens are for winter color. But the year around drama and beauty of succulent monocots--especially Agave, Yucca, Hesperaloe and Nolina--these are admired for their flowers and summer effect. But winter is when they reveal their stellar status!

Yucca schottii ?? in Watersmart

These pictures were all taken in the last few days--although still technically "autumn" we've had several snows and temps down to the lower teens pretty consistently. These, in any case, will hold up all winter like this!

Yucca linearifolia in Watersmat
Everyone wants these in their garden hereabouts!

Agave utahensis v. kaibabensis

Hesperaloe x 'Pink Parade'

Yucca baccata

Yucca faxoniana (left) Y. thompsoniana (middle) Yucca rostrata (right)
When Mountain States Nursery sent a semi load of these monsters to the Gardens in the late 1990's I had a conniption: surely these would be the most expensive annuals ever? But they (and Dan Johnson) knew better: these and the masses further out around the entrance to our Boetcher Education building are now labeled "Yuccarama" on our Gardens map (a jocular nickname we used at first that stuck!).

Mass planting of Yucca rostrata

More "Yuccarama"

Agave parryi

Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies'
Three of Sean Hogan's selection perched on three parapets at the west end of Watersmart--one day soon these will be a spectacle!

Agave neomexicana

Yucca elata

Yucca faxoniana (left) and Y. thompsoniana (right) on Dryland Mesa

Yucca glauca
We even grow our local yokel that's found in vacant lots around town! Here in Sacred Earth--our ethnobotanical native garden.

Yucca harrimaniae
Easily 40 years old, this clump came from a collected specimen from Southwesternmost Wyoming--a gift of Budd Myers. It's turning into a miniature tree.

Yucca rupicola
One of my favorites--army green. It never ceases to amaze me how hardy plants are from the Edwards Plateau of Texas.

Yucca pallida
The OTHER Edwards Plateau endemic, also thriving here.

Agave lecheguilla (above) and A. neomexicana (below)

Yucca sp.
Not sure which species Mike Kintgen tucked at the top of the very first crevice garden at DBG...I'll fill in when he tells me.

Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'
Early morning picture: look how different it looks with backlight compared to the one below!
Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'
Taken in the evening half-light: looking quite different.

Yucca thompsoniana
Another tree yucca, this one on our parking structure.

Yucca harrimaniae
In 1980 I collected a series of Yuccas around the Uncompaghre--and planted them in a big semi-circle around the Upper Meadow of the Rock Alpine Garden: "they Persisted!"... they are surprisingly different from one another in bloom...

Yucca harrimaniae #2

Yucca baccata in the RAG

Yucca harrimaniae #3

The "West Terrace" Nexus berm: from generic annuals to a desert extravaganza full of cacti, monocot succulents and more
I was startled when told this was planned: but I think it's already turning into a tour-de-force!

Agave toumeyana var. bella
One of the many choice morsels planted in the new terrace bed.

Nolina microcarpa

Denver is not the only place that monocot succulents are used effectively: this is a stunning garden in Pueblo that belongs to the Conrad family: one of Colorado's most spectacular gardens. Like a mini-Huntington--only with views of Pikes Peak and a huge pond!

A view down one of the Conrad's succulent planted slopes: what a collection!

Agave lecheguilla at the Conrad's

There's Pikes peak in the distance and the Conrad's pond below: this is a killer garden!

Bill Adams' greenhouse
Everyone needs enablers: we wouldn't have the enormous selection of rare plants available to us in Colorado without Bill Adams, whose Sunscapes nursery ( has consistently supplied us with the choicest, rarest plants of all kinds. Including a revolutionary series of rosulate succulent hybrids (x Aloinanthus)! Bill is a national treasure.

Jeff Ottersberg stepping gingerly in his succulent garden
The ultimate enabler, Jeff's Wild Things nursery has provided literally tens of thousands of rare succulents (mostly natives) grown meticulously from seed to regional retail nurseries and our Botanic Gardens sales for decades. Jeff's plants are not only beautifully grown, they're ridiculously cheap.

Here Hans Graf (who owns the largest hardy cactus nursery in Europe) is admiring a plant with Jeff

A few of Jeff's treasures: that's Delosperma sphalmanthoides immediately at above these words. The first new species to be described from plants that came from Denver Botanic Gardens (ultimately from John Lavranos and Komsberg Pass).

More succulent gems to be sold next spring

Four great cactarians: Klaus Werner from Darmstadt Botanic Garden far left, Bill Adams, Jeff Thompson (Pueblos master succulent expert and grower) and Hans Graf far right.

Kelly Grummons
The "Hardy Cactus man", Kelly Grummons is not only a local leading purveyor of cacty, but Cold Hardy Cactus is providing these plants everywhere.

Cold Hardy Cactus views
He has an unparalleled selection of hardy cactus, yucca, agave, hesperaloe: you name it! Many superior selections and hybrids. And you can buy these now!

Agave sp.
One of Kelly's stock plants... views

And many plants outside as well...

A greenhouse full of gallon sized agaves and manzanitas galore. All selling for ridiculously cheap prices.

There is no reason you can't fill your garden with these treasures. I know I've got more than my share growing at Quince: come by some time next spring and you will be evergreen with envy!

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