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Current Staff's Favorite Plant
I wanted this arrangement to celebrate the diverse beauty that autumn affords. It was photographed by acclaimed garden photographer, Saxon Holt, who happened to be visiting us.
Autumnal Fanfare: Lambent Leaves, Glistening Berries, Fleeting Flowers, last chance for Fantastic Fall Sale, Gift Certificates now on sale!
Here at Digging Dog, we’ve had some welcome rain to actually soak the soil. With the onset of shorter days and chilly nights, a quieter contemplative mood envelopes parts of the garden. As many herbaceous plants are fading into dormancy, evergreen shrubs, bold-toned leaves, textural seed-heads plus plump glistening berries take center stage. The impressive group of plants featured in this newsletter caught my eye when I strolled through the nursery and garden yesterday. I hope you enjoy these compelling autumnal offerings. In many locales throughout the country, there’s still time to tuck some botanical gems into an empty garden nook.
Digging Dog Nursery
a retail and mail order plant nursery specializing in unusual and hard to find perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees, and vines.
31101 Middle Ridge Rd.
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~Brian in California
Perennials at Digging Dog
Giant fanciful leaves—deeply dissected, lustrous, aromatic and the largest, up to 8 in. across, in the genus—set this dramatic Geranium apart. Hailing from the island of Madeira, its tall stout trunk supports a lush shrubby arrangement of lacy overlapping foliage and thick, tapered brownish red stems. Copious, densely set fuzzy buds and white pink-eyed flowers populate huge trusses that bloom for months. Resplendent in a container, ‘Guernsey White’ appreciates average moisture, needs protection from hot sun and heavy frosts, and easily reseeds.
Blooms June – August.
Size: 4' 0" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 9.
Geranium maderense ‘Guernsey White’ (P-1596)
The strength and sturdiness of this sterile hybrid is truly magnificent. One of the most reliable of all Geraniums, it has ample dark violet-blue flowers and soft, shaggy, deeply cut foliage that tints red and yellow in the autumn.
A late spring and early summer bloomer, it makes a perfect companion for flowering shrubs such as Philadelphus or Viburnum. Enjoy it as a specimen in a large rock garden or en masse at the edge of a walkway or perennial border.
Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Geranium x magnificum (P-0203)
Everything about ‘Melinda’ is first-class, from her upright shapely stature and well-branched vigorous habit, to her elegant leaves and lovely soft rose-pink blossoms. Fingered foliage fashions a good-looking basal clump dressed by a legion of pink-veined flowers that bloom for months.
Discovered at the prestigious Dutch nursery, Rijnbeek, and named for the owner’s daughter-in-law, this enticing new Geranium is a cross between Geranium sylvaticum ‘Mayflower’ and Geranium endressii, boasting the best from both parents.
Poised to please, position her in a prominent spot coupled with summer flowering Euphorbia sikkimensis.(pp#19,506)
Blooms May – July.
Size: 15" high x 10"–12" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium ‘Melinda’ (P-1650)
From the namesake’s French nursery, this shade lover produces generous clumps of broad medium green leaves and reflexed smoky pink blossoms. Emphasizing unique details, each pastel-hued flower features protruding stamens and a white eye trimmed with a slate blue ring and dark veins. Strong growing palmate foliage is divided into toothed lobes, which impart subtle chocolate blotches, bright yellowish greens in early spring and lots of oomph during dry spells.
Size: 18" high x 15" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium x monacense ‘Claudine Dupont’ (P-1695)
In an improbable tribute, this Geranium was named after Spotty Muldoon, a British radio show character played by the late Peter Cook, and like the performer, Geranium ‘Muldoon’ really grabs our attention. The leaves have a pronounced mahogany dappling and echo the colors of the reflexed maroon flowers, whose petals fade to violet at the base. In the fall, as the leaves turn to yellow, the dark spots become bolder, enhancing the performance. Truly spotty!
Size: 15" high x 15" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Geranium monacense ‘Muldoon’ (P-0752)
With a name that summons celestial visions, ‘Nimbus’ is light on its feet. A preeminent sterile hybrid between Geranium collinum and Geranium ‘Kashmir Purple’, this Geranium puts on a splendid display of violet blossoms defined by spaced petals, darker purple veins and white centers. The starry violet flowers float above large and loosely arranged, fine-feathered foliage. Position near Salvia ‘Caradonna’ for a fusion of purple.
Size: 2' 0" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium ‘Nimbus’ (P-1111)
Glossy, deep green, Maple-like foliage and a spreading habit combine for a lush, leafy look in the darker corners of your garden. While the pale lavender flowers of this species are not as numerous as other Geraniums, they bloom over a far greater time, even in heavy shade. With a drift of yellow blooming Kirengeshoma, our Geranium nodosum lives happily under Heptacodium miconioides, where it never fails to please.
Size: 8" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 7.
Geranium nodosum (P-0644)
Recently discovered in some of Normandy’s famed gardens, this European native bestows a steady supply of violet flowers with dark striations, pronounced light margins and deeply notched petal tips. Elongated shallow rhizomes spawn fine hummocks, shaped by lustrous green leaves, sporting 3 to 5 shallowly toothed lobes and warm russet tones as they mature. ‘Clos du Coudray’s valiant cold hardy habit produces late season blooms, enjoys well-drained soil and exhibits superb shade tolerance, even under dry conditions.
Size: 15" high x 18" wide. Zone 5/6.
Geranium nodosum ‘Clos du Coudray’ (P-1840)
Glossy bright green, shallowly lobed and finely serrated leaves form handsome hummocks that support a bevy of endearing lilac-colored flowers. Its abundant funnelshaped blooms showcase pale eyes and delicate notched petals with dark veins.
First offered by the British nursery, Monksilver, this hearty Geranium endures dry shade and is well-suited for colonizing under trees in a border or woodland garden.
Blooms May – October.
Size: 10" high x 15" wide; hardy to zone 7.
Geranium nodosum ‘Svelte Lilac’ (P-1496)
Named after one of the brightest constellations in Europe’s night sky, this possible ‘Brookside’ seedling extends a shining floral display. Large, saucer-shaped and brilliantly blue flowers enhanced by violet-red veins and luminous whitened centers levitate above a mass of ample, finely dissected greenery. Courtesy of Dutch nurseryman Brian Kabbes, long blooming ‘Orion’ can be partnered with Helianthemum ‘Wisley Pink’ for sparkling color.
Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium ‘Orion’ (P-1266)
Named for the Essex home where this lovely Geranium. x oxonianum and Geranium versicolor hybrid first appeared, ‘Walter’s Gift’ hosts a dashing low growing clump characterized by shiny divided green leaves, each centrally splashed with irregular dark maroon markings. A prominent netting of rosy lavender veins embellishes delicate pale pink flowers that generously bloom for months above the artful close-knit foliage. Adapting to sunny or partially shaded nooks, it spurns deer and bunnies and can be installed alongside Alchemilla ‘Robusta’.
Size: 15" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium x oxonianum ‘Walter's Gift’ (P-0529)
A hybrid of Geranium endressii and Geranium psilostemon, ‘Patricia’ offers deeply cut foliage and months of magenta flowers, which are lighter than those of Geranium psilostemon and have large, star-shaped black eyes. If you appreciate the beauty of simplicity, contrast with the pure white flowers of Philadelphus ‘Snowbelle’.
Blooms June–late October.
Size: 2-1/2' high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium ‘Patricia’ (P-0528)
This elegant white cultivar with strongly reflexed petals has been described by Graham Stuart Thomas as having reached “a high state of beauty.” We fully agree.
Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium phaeum ‘Album’ (P-0530)
A buoyant display of pretty mauve pink flowers poised well above generous foliar mounds is what initially grabbed British-born Alec Anderson’s eye and compelled him to introduce this steadfast shade enthusiast in 2000. Slender leafy stems and broad shallowly divided green foliage gives way to open pastel-colored blooms, emphasizing somewhat reflexed petals and veined dark lavender centers with sprightly stamens. Soft-hued companions like Omphalodes ‘Starry Eyes’ or Astilbe ‘Ostrich Plume’ make a soothing statement for shadowy abodes.
Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Geranium phaeum ‘Alec’s Pink’ (P-1802)
An all-around superb performer, ‘Langthorn’s Blue’ earns its keep in our garden for its strong stature, handsome foliage and long bloom display. The reflexed light violet-blue flowers are centered in paler shades as they rise just above an upright, somewhat compact mound of medium green leaves patterned with deep maroon splotches. The dark foliage of Cotinus ‘Grace’ adds rich contrasting color and a subtle echo of burgundy.
Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Geranium phaeum ‘Langthorn’s Blue’ (P-0942)
The shade-loving phaeums have been called “mourning widows” for their dark colors, but Mr. Jason Hill wrote that, “their subdued vivacity suggests a widow who has ceased to mourn.”
The definitive early bloomer, ‘Lily Lovell’ is endowed with some of the largest flowers in the species, which appear as early as April and always in abundance. The eggplant-colored flowers are feathered with purple veins above luxurious light green foliage that everyone likes to touch. Plant with early bulbs under a high canopy.
Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium phaeum ‘Lily Lovell’ (P-0079)
Discovered as a chance Geranium ‘Lily Lovell’ seedling at a Canadian nursery, this strong growing Geranium produces a bounty of broad flat-faced nearly jet black flowers, sparkling with white eyes plus a reddish purple luster. The lavish long blooming display rises above attractive shallowly divided green leaves that outlast dry conditions, deep shade, humidity, rabbits and slugs.
Size: 18" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Geranium phaeum ‘Raven’ (P-1885)
Reflexed, dark burgundy petals and purple-black leaf markings give a strong character to this survivor of war-torn Croatia. Small enough for a stone crevice or wall, ‘Samobor’ performs well even in deep shade.
Size: 18" high x 20" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium phaeum ‘Samobor’ (P-0531)
This demure beauty is ideal for the moist shady recesses of your garden, entertaining large lavender blue flowers with light centers. Soft green leaves, chiseled into seven or nine lobed and toothed segments, form a generous, easy-to-grow basal clump. Perched on tall branching stems, the clustered signature blooms feature broad, slightly recurving pointed petals.
Set off its shimmering pastel hues by planting alongside Trollius ‘Alabaster’.
Blooms April – August.
Size: 15"–18" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium phaeum ‘Walküre’ (P-1651)
A choice hybrid between Geranium renardii and Geranium platypetalum, ‘Phillipe Vapelle’ forms soft-looking, neat mounds of quilted gray-green foliage, similar to that of Geranium renardii. The late blooming, deep bluish purple flowers, whose delicately notched petals are marked with prominent dark veins, create a pleasing blend of color next to Aster ‘Lutetia’.
Blooms late May–September.
Size: 10" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium ‘Phillipe Vapelle’ (P-0647)
Recently introduced from Turkey, this impressive perennial promotes vibrant blue-violet blooms atop lusty mounds of good-sized verdant leaves. Dark green and broad, the textured hairy foliage is divided into 9 segments, each toothed and lobed; come fall it blazes with red and yellow highlights. ‘Turco’s low growing stance and plentiful floral details–deep purple veins, intricately etched on overlapping petals and soft colored centers–merit an upfront position in the border or along a garden path.
Size: 15" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium platypetalum ‘Turco’ (P-1696)
This sumptuous low growing Geranium vaunts a compact mound composed of finely chiseled purplish plum-colored leaves and tall leafy mulberry-tinged scapes, buoying vibrant lilac-blue blooms. Superimposed against dark well-groomed foliage, the clustered saucer-shaped flowers assume a lovely iridescent quality. Ideal for rock work, the border’s edge or a treasured container, ‘Dark Reiter’s seductive color-rich mien can be planted next to silver-infused plants such as Stachys ‘Silver Fleece’, Primula ‘Mauve Mist’ and Viola ‘Silver Gem’.
Size: 10" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Geranium pratense ‘Dark Reiter’ (P-1886)
Recently included in Graham Rice’s top ten new perennials, this classy double white Geranium sprouted from a packet of Geranium pratense seeds sown some 20 years ago by British gardener Christine Morley. Upon witnessing its amazing vigor and flower power, she began to realize that it was indeed different from Geranium pratense ‘Plenum Album’ and subsequently named it for her mother. Snowy green-eyed sterile flowers on erect branching stems make a long lasting superb splash, illuminating the dashing resilient clump of fine deeply divided leaves.
Size: 2' 0" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium pratense ‘Laura’ (P-1757)
Brimming with old-fashioned charm, this Geranium’s deep violet-blue flowers were once likened to “exquisite rosettes” by Graham Stuart Thomas. Upright branching stems host richly colored double layered petals, arranged in a perfect cup shape around a dark purple-tinged center. Strong fleshy roots produce a good-sized sterile clump of handsome, chiseled dark green leaves—irregularly lobed, toothed and deeply split into 7 or 9 segments.
Equally at ease in a cottage garden or a more formal setting, ‘Plenum Violaceum’ looks positively noble when situated amid Sidalcea ‘Elsie Heugh’s silvery pink blossoms. For a more daring association, try orange blooming Geum ‘Starkers Magnificum’.
Blooms May – July.
Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide. Zone 2/3.
Geranium pratense ‘Plenum Violaceum’ (P-1597)
The distinctive foliage of this Geranium is grayish green, feltlike, and decorated with lobed purplish margins. Clusters of pale lilac flowers with deep purple venation are held on strong stalks well above basal mats of foliage. Geranium renardii makes an excellent ground cover and blends well with other gray-green Mediterranean plants.
Size: 10"–12" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium renardii (P-0147)
‘Tcschelda’ is graced with charming blue flowers, lobed, grayish green feltlike foliage, and a handsome low-lying stature. Plant as a ground cover amidst Schizachyrium ‘The Blues’ for contrasting form and similar colors.
Size: 10" high x 16" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium renardii ‘Tcschelda’ (P-0754)
‘Mavis Simpson’ has pale, satiny pink flowers borne on trailing stems covering a choice mounding carpet of soft gray-green. For greatest impact, plant it on 12 in. centers. This Geranium looks just right with Origanum ‘Bristol Cross’, and Saponaria ‘Max Frei’.
Size: 8" high x 2-1/2' wide. Zone 6/7.
Geranium x riversleaianum ‘Mavis Simpson’ (P-0081)
For its unbelievable quantities of large, violet-blue blooms and much appreciated versatility, this new, strong performing Geranium should be ushered into your garden.
Lightly marbled foliage sculpts a plush, deep green mound that stays covered from June until frost with lovely 2-½ in. saucer shaped flowers, each heightened by black anthers, magenta veins and a radiant white eye.
A naturally occurring sterile hybrid of Geranium himalayense and Geranium wallichianum ‘Buxton’s Variety’, ‘Rozanne’ proposes fiery red leaves in autumn, withstands sunny, hot sites better than most other Geraniums and is happy just about anywhere, from an exposed border to a container, and even in a hanging basket! (pp#12175)
Size: 20" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (P-1336)
Bred by Scotland’s Alan Bremner, this energetic Geranium libani and Geranium ibericum ssp. jubatum hybrid emphasizes a good looking large green mound of deep-hewn palmate leaves plus large, early blooming dark violet-blue flowers. The upward facing vividly hued blossoms are embellished with thin dark purple veins and soft white centers. Appreciating an early summer cut back, cold hardy ‘Sabani Blue’ can be added to mixed perennial borders, dappled woodlands, low walls and cottage gardens.
Size: 18" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium ‘Sabani Blue’ (P-1936)
A healthy blush of pink graces these plentiful pale blossoms, with a flush of magenta throughout the delicately patterned veins and along the striated stems.
Found in the wild on the Isle of Walney, and cultivated since the 18th century, this long blooming, large flowered Geranium provides a softening effect wherever its planted. The small rounded leaves are divided into segments and deeply toothed lobes, casting a fine textured air and a last hurrah as russet, orange and red emblazon their surfaces in autumn.
Size: 10" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium sanguineum var. lancastriense (P-0083)
With an air of elegance, ample, loosely fashioned mounds host soft, dark green leaves and exquisite pure white blooms. Described by five spaced petals, the large, cup-shaped beauties are lifted on branching stems above deeply divided foliage, which in autumn wears colorful orange, rust and red streaks.
A long-lived floriferous perennial best planted en masse, this Geranium is well suited for the front of the border where its snowy accents can carpet the ground beneath Euphorbia ‘Jade Dragon’ or Hydrangea ‘White Dome’ all summer long.
Size: 10" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.
Geranium sanguineum ‘Album’ (P-1267)
Each summer this eye catching gem puts on a nonstop show. Large, illuminated white centers with dark stamens highlight captivating spode-blue flowers as they linger just above the luxuriant, slightly mottled foliage. An elegant addition to the border, back ‘Buxton’s Variety’ with Kniphofia ‘Naudes Nek’ and Campanula ‘Loddon Anna’.
Size: 10" high x 3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium wallichianum ‘Buxton’s Variety’ (P-0810)
As if radiating light from within, these extraordinary crystal blue flowers possess white eyes and striking purple-veined petals. Upright and outward spreading, freely branching stems are clothed by handsome marbled leaves that are palmately lobed and velvety soft, while hosting a profusion of 1-½ in. wide, cup-shaped blooms. A sophisticated summer-time standout, trouble free ‘Crystal Lake’ promises luminous accents anywhere you plant it.
Blooms June – October.
Size: 15"–20" high x 2' 0"–2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geranium wallichianum ‘Crystal Lake’ (P-1561)
The Greek name for this genus, which means “to give a taste of,” only hints at the flavor of happiness it brings to our garden. The cheerful flowers are held on sturdy stems above basal clumps of fuzzy leaves. Given good drainage and ample moisture, these robust perennials thrive with minimal care.
Streaked in cardinal shades atop reddish stalks, the nodding blooms adorn a handsome, close-knit hummock of divided medium green leaves. Casting warm-colored charm, ‘Beech House Apricot’ stays low to the ground, nestled alongside our stone steps with Campanula ‘Birch Hybrid’ for company.
Size: 8" high x 8" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geum ‘Beech House Apricot’ (P-1112)
Impassioned by blazing, dark scarlet shades, round upward facing flowers parade on wiry, merlot-colored branching stems. This compact, long blooming Piet Oudolf selection juxtaposes opulent colors against a low clump of dark green foliage that’s just right for nestling amid steps or along a pathway’s edge. (pp#13,730)
Blooms April – June.
Size: 16" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geum x ‘Flames of Passion’ (P-1598)
Aglow with golden apricot colors, ebullient saucer-shaped flowers garnish short stocky red-infused stems above a fetching tightset green rosette. The prolific 5-petaled lucent blossoms offer a repeat bloom if judiciously dead-headed, while the rounded ripple-edged leaves remain evergreen in most climates. This well-groomed compact charmer fends off deer and rabbits, enhances Euphorbia ‘Acid Wash’ or blue-flowering Dracocephalum and makes a prismatic easy-care addition to staircases, path edges and a terra-cotta container.
Size: 15" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geum ‘Georgenberg’ (P-0598)
‘Mango Lassi’ blooms a luscious medley of fruit-laden colors: soft orange, mango and peach infused with rich golden hues and coral tinges. Bedazzling her soft, small-toothed leaves, the layered and overlapping delicate petals shape sumptuous double flowers, while frilly-looking, dark nectarine centers and reddish purple buds heighten the allure. Introduced by Blooming Nursery, this neatly grounded ‘lassi’ will bring warm, glowing accents to Stachys ‘Silky Fleece’.
Size: 12" high x 12" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geum ‘Mango Lassi’ (P-1382)
Once you witness the floriferous deluge that spans nearly 3 months, it’s easy to see why this garden-worthy 1923 Dutch introduction is still celebrated as one of the best semidouble Geums available. Poised atop tall strong stems plus comely mounds of rounded rich green foliage, the abundantly petaled warm orange blooms emphasize their G. chiloense heritage by appearing earlier than most in the genus. Sunny rock work, cottage gardens or mixed plantings make an ideal domain for ‘Prinses Juliana’s fiery colors and undemanding temperament.
Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geum ‘Prinses Juliana’ (P-1842)
The sizzling scarlet-red display of ruffled, fully double roselike flowers perched upon 2 ft. tall well-branched stems will blaze this award-winning perennial into your heart. Peerless among Geum, ‘Blazing Sunset’s blooms claim to be the largest, nearly 2 ½ in. wide, the earliest to open and the last to call it quits. Anchoring the spunky floral pomp, winsome broad hairy leaves compose an undemanding compact semievergreen mound that stays low, maintains a lush green presence and can be situated right up front.
Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geum quellyon var. flora plena ‘Blazing Sunset’ (P-1755)
Springing up as a chance seedling in Beth Chatto’s Essex garden, this trim perennial fashions soft yellow blooms and a fresh green dome of scalloped leaves. Citrus-hued sprays unveil single bell-like flowers with orange stamens and green and red calyxes that dangle from arching wine-tinged stems.
Ensconced in the frontlines, this low growing Geum offers thirst-quenching accents just right for cooling down a fiery flowered companion like Potentilla ‘Monarch’s Velvet’.
Size: 9" high x 9" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geum rivale ‘Lemon Drops’ (P-1697)
Topping a good-looking leafy clump,the double tangerine orange flowers of this long blooming Geum make it undeniably playful and a lively companion for Geranium ‘Purple Pillow’ and Bergenia ‘Bressingham White’ at the front of the border.
Size: 18" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.
Geum ‘Starkers Magnificum’ (P-0086)
A small-statured inhabitant of our American prairies from Michigan to Washington and throughout most of the West, this aptly named charmer touts adorable nodding creamy white bells with flared mulberry-colored calyces, fanciful fruit and pinnately divided fern-like green leaves amid a rugged persona. The fading blooms, which generally occur in threes, give way to elongated 3 in. tall styles, creating prominent silver-pink smoke-shaped plumes and fluffy seed heads beloved by birds, butterflies and floral designers. Acquiescent to dry, sandy or clay soil, ‘Prairie Smoke’ can be massed along a path or tucked into a well draining sunny rock garden where its fine details, downy soft semievergreen foliage plus red, purple or orange fall colors are easily savored.
Size: 12"–18" high x 12"–18" wide; hardy to zone 3.
Geum triflorum (P-1935)
These are not the easily obtainable hybrids—you can find those elsewhere. The beauty of our native South African selections comes from the handsome sword-shaped leaves and spikes of unfussy, often flaring blooms.
Belonging to the Iridaceae family, Gladioli have long been associated with strength of character, and we think its strongly upright, yet graceful presence can fashion an intriguing see-through veil for any border. Place them in a well drained site and, after the bloom is over, support strong corm development by reducing water and trimming the stems to just beneath the lowest flowers. Provide winter protection in colder areas.
You can almost feel the heat as floriferous spikes sizzle with colorful intensity while stiff, ribbed Crocosmia-like blades stand in composed relief. Three white patches daringly dash across the lower petals, illuminating vividly hued cardinal-red flowers.
Seeking out moist niches, sometimes under waterfalls in its indigenous Drakensberg Mountains, this vigorous temptress tolerates summer water, makes an excellent garden plant for warmer climates and can be grown in a favored patio container where winters are cold.
Size: 2-1/4' high x 10" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Gladiolus cardinalis (P-1316)
Reminiscent of Halloween candy corn colors and nearly in time for that high-spirited tradition, this South African’s 3 ft. tall flowering spires deliver an alluring display. Grounded by straplike blades reaching up to 2 ft., the ample, well spaced blooms feature pendant, hooded orange petals glowing with yellow throats.
Full of vigor, easy-to-maintain and actively growing in summer, Gladiolus dalenii should receive adequate water throughout the season.
Size: 2' 0"–3' 0" high x 2' 0"–3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.
Gladiolus dalenii (P-1269)
Hardy Salmon Gladiola
Native to the grassy cliffs of the Drakensberg Mountains, this high altitude Gladiolus possesses a robust hardiness that defies the exquisite beauty of its flowers.
Ruffled in pretty salmon-pink colors, the showy, 4 in. flared blooms exhibit dark pink-streaked lower petals, and are openly arranged on long slender stems above grassy blades. Appreciative of summer moisture, this lovely bulb flourishes in ordinary garden soil.
Size: 2' 0"–3' 0" high x 10" wide; hardy to zone 6.
Gladiolus oppositiflorus ssp. salmoneus (P-1182)
Emerging from a swordlike cluster of light green leaves, the arching bronzy stems host numerous slender green and mauve buds, which open into funnel-shaped blossoms distinguished by a soft gray and dusty purple hue on the outside. A subtle gift inside awaits your glance: mothlike markings of maroon and gold decorate the lower milky colored petal segments.
Let a drift of these delicacies accompany Galtonia viridiflora and Kniphofia linearifolia and enjoy their quiet elegance.
Size: 3-1/2' high x 12" & spreading; hardy to zone 7.
Gladiolus papilio (P-0797)
Yellow Marsh Afrikaner
So dainty and exquisite, this South African native is one of our favorite spring blooming bulbs. Rising from a stand of tall, rushlike narrow leaves, each flowering wand produces a trio of upturned, creamy yellow, tubular blossoms. Stippled with bronze and green, the large and lovely, flared flowers give off a sweet almond scent. For an untamed look, plant amidst grasses such as Sesleria and Miscanthus ‘Little Kitten’ or for contrasting foliage try Euphorbia ‘Blue Haze’.
Blooms April – May.
Size: 3' 0"–12" high wide; hardy to zone 8.
Gladiolus tristis (P-1125)
From the sandy dunes of England and the Mediterranean, the Horned Poppy delivers an enticing blue-green rosette. Unusual elongated linear seed pods evoke its common name and add intrigue to the deeply cut, wavy-edged, fuzzy leaves. Painting an ardent contrast, burnt orange, poppy-like blooms with delicate gleaming petals and central tufts of peach-colored stamens are borne singularly on long branching stems.
A lover of lean and dry, well drained soil especially in winter, this “triennial” or perennial is well suited for a natural-looking garden with other seaside inhabitants like Erigeron glaucus ‘Ron’s Pink’ or Euphorbia myrsinites.
Size: 18" high x 18" wide. Zone 5/6.
Glaucium flavum var. aurantiacum (P-1315)
Everything about this amazing Chilean native is BIG! A super-sized perennial of prehistoric-looking, gargantuan magnitude, Gunnera tinctoria projects a bold, dignified persona.
Palmately lobed leaves with toothed and frilled margins unfurl to 5 ft. across atop thick edible stalks that emerge from underground rhizomes, rich in tannins. Launching a large cob-shaped inflorescence inhabited by tiny rusty red flowers, the enormous domed mound adds sheer mass and a coarse stiff texture to the landscape.
Although the Chilean Rhubarb sulks in high summer humidity, it is undemanding and quick to establish in moist areas, given A LOT of room and winter protection for the crowns.
Size: 8' 0" high x 8' 0" wide; hardy to zone 7.
Gunnera tinctoria (P-1317)