Karen Perkins operates Garden Visions, the nursery that propagates and sells Darrell Probst's collections of Epimedium species and the hybrids he has created. His lecture on searching in China was most enthralling; and, having many of the plants available on the Karen's sales table added more to the obvious interest of the audience. To our great delight, Karen has agreed to attend and setup a sales table for the Stonecrop Sale on April 24. She will have wide selection of offerings, all beautifully and orderly set out with color photos. If your interest goes beyond the rock garden, then selection of Epimediums will entice you with the wide variation there is in leaf form and color.
The flowers too have their delicate appeal , colors ranging from white, through yellow, orange, and shades of purple. From the EWSW I brought home some smaller species including a form of E. platypetalum that barley exceeds 5cm in height. - I can see it as a mat in a trough for a shadier setting - perhaps with Haberlea and Ramonda. Like the other vendors at this sale, the grower is the seller and the stock is garden-evaluated.
Don Dembowski- Shade plants: Don was also at the EWSW, and he will return to the Stonecrop Sale with a good selection of mostly shade plants. Again, he will bring double-flowering Trillium grandiflorum, which will sell quickly in the initial frenzy. Also, he will have a selection of shade tolerant plants - Arisaema spp., several varieties of Anemonella, Tricyrtis spp. Primula seiboldii selections and some interesting forms of Primula kisoana. Also: Magnolia x 'Arrowhead Sue' (pink flowers and reblooms in summer), Stewartia malacodendron, Heleborus thibetanus, Paeonia obovata 'alba', Gold-laced Primrose, Primula x 'cherry pinwheel', Iris lacustris, I. gracilipes and I. verna; Tricyrtis nana and T. 'lightening strike' (wild variegation) and Podophylum pleianthum.
Cyclamen: A Stonecrop member, Bill Perron, will be selling 10 different species of yearling Cyclamen spp. including several subspecies and varieties, the majority of which are hardy in our local (zone 6) area. There will also be 2 and 3 year old flowering C. hederifolium, C. coum, C. cilicium,C. purpurascens (all hardy) and C. persicum. C. coum and C. hederifolium will be available singly as well as in 6-packs and flats for those who want to plant a large grouping of plants in a shady area. Bill will also be offering a variety of yearling Arisaema spp. and Helleborus x hybridus from Pine Knot strains. An exciting addition is a small evergreen flowering shrub, Hebe pinguifolia 'sutherlandii' from New Zealand that has thrived in his local garden in several spots for years. Great for a rock garden or border, 10 of these will be offered for the first time this year.
Evermay Nursery: Richard May specializes in primulacaea, both species and hybrids- all hardy for northern New England gardens. Last year I remember seeing some beautiful pots of Dodecatheon dentatum, a diminutive white flowering shooting star. This year Dicentra peregrina is listed on the website. There is also a wide offering of rock garden plants and woodland perennials.
Stonecrop Gardens: It seems that the plant benches at Stonecrop always have something new. Last year I came back with some Primula marginata selections to add to our stock. In the garden walls there are huge mats of Gypsophila aretiodes f. caucasica that Frank Cabot brought from England some 30 years ago. Absolutely hardy to winter and summer, it clings to the earth like moss on a rock. On the benches you can buy a pot of the same wonderful plant. That's the great thing about Stonecrop - the nursery and the garden are right there and you can view plats in a garden setting.
Wrightman Alpines Nursery: The most exciting thing for me is the plant material we are raising from seed collections of several experienced Czech collectors. The wealth of new material could be a catalogue of its own - and so much of it is proving to be very growable. Most intriguing are the gentians, especially the fabled autumn blooming species. Older collections always seem to be more delicate and not tolerant of limestone soils; so, it was with some trepidation that I bought those first few packets. Results have been gratifying, with even those sought after large trumpet types, Gentiana spp. farreri, Gentiana .lawrencei, Gentiana sino-ornata, G. veitchiorum, G. georgei. All are showing
good growth with no fussiness. Go to www.pavelkaalpines.cz and click on 'China 2008- for photos of the various species. Take a good look at the shots that show the conditions they are growing in - often in pastures with short grasses and forbs. We will have a selection of the new species at the stonecrop sale.
At this sale, the growers are the vendors, and the plants are garden-tested by them. You get honest assessments and personalized advice. Mark April 24, 2010 on your calendar and plan a day around this terrific event. There will be a food and beverage vendor onsite too. It all starts at 10:00AM.
***See Also Abbie Zabar's write up and beautiful drawings in the BNARGS newsletter:
Stonecrop Alpine Sale 2010 (pages 7-9)