The last full day of our travels around the California Spring Trials was well rewarded at three sites where we enjoyed seeing plenty of color and some fun new selections.  Directly above is Bidens ‘Golden Empire’ which looked gret today.  The day originally had the forecast of rain but we lucked out with sunshine, Read More

Day three of my excursion to the California Spring Trials (CAST) was jam packed full of fun stops and lots of plants like the Evening Scentsation™ petunia (Petunia) seen above at Takii America, Inc.  This is one we’ve grown and enjoyed for vigor, color and scent!  It’s also an All-America Selections (AAS) winner!  Our group, Read More

A nice shot of ‘Enduring Onyx’ begonia seen meeting with folks and sharing ideas (see Diane, Rick Grazzini, and myself this morning in the photo below).  We had a cloudy start to the day but our group hit the ground running to two large displays from growers.  I networked a bit but focused on, Read More

I again find  myself typing this blog after a full day seeing plant trials featured at the annuals California Spring Trials (CAST) event for 2019. I’m fading quickly so will try to be efficient before resting up for tomorrow! Our group (Diane, Gail, Mark K., Steve, Jeff and I) hit the ground running this, Read More

Long day today with a 3:30 am bus shuttle from Janesville, WI to O’Hare Airport to fly to Los Angeles directly.  I joined a pre-arranged meet up with a crew [Diane, Gail, Mark K. (Green Bay Botanical Garden), Steve and Jeff] that will be travelling together over next five days to see the coolest, Read More

I’m a huge fan of using lungworts (Pulmonaria sp.) in the garden and frequently recommend them for part shade and tough soils.  Native to Europe and West Asia, these perennials are in the Boraginaceae family and feature beautiful and colorful spring blooms.  Funnel-shaped flowers usually turn blue once the pink buds open although flower, Read More

I’ve always appreciated the value of smokebush (also called smoke tree) out in the landscape as a solidly performing woody plant with plenty of “curb appeal”.  This blog includes many photos of this plant that I’ve taken over the years and represents some of the fun selections that are available for the home gardener. , Read More

I’ve long admired the hummingbird mints (Agastache sp.) for their colorful and long lasting blooms throughout the summer.  Directly above and below is the variety Kudos™ ‘Coral’ (z5) and further below is a wide array of these fun plants ideally suited for the drier, full sun garden.  I haven’t included many of the blue, Read More

Today was another continuation of the early March cold spell at the gardens although the sun did come out and we’ll have some warming yet this week!  I delivered seeds to one of our growers this morning and have another delivery tomorrow.  Collectively, these seeds will result in over 100,000 plants for the gardens, Read More

I am a HUGE fan of the Sombrero® series of hybrid coneflowers (Echinacea) and have featured many of them in this blog (my photos).  The photo at the top is of Sombrero® Baja Burgundy (‘Balsombabur’) which has an exceptional color!  The bed seen directly above (located at The Gardens at Ball, West Chicago, IL), Read More