The Last Frost of Spring

When I looked out my window last Saturday morning, the freshly blooming spring was coated with a layer of glistening frost. 

Pieris Japonica – an late winter bloomer – seemed unscathed by the frosty touch. 
Solomon Seal and Azaleas pressed on in their glory

My hellebores kept their little heads down as usual as if to say, “Oh dear, here we go again.” 

 My Japanese maples were glorious with their glitzy foliage in the early morning light.

Japanese double kerria 

Have you ever wondered how the tulip magnolias got their name? One look gives it away. 

 Kwanzan cherry with virburnam/

 I LOVE this heuchera called ‘Electric Lime’

 Erica or Mediterranean heather still blooming after 3 months finally gets usurped by the blooming azaleas.

Fothergilla is a very under-rated 3 season beauty in the garden. 

 This Golden Shadow red twig dogwood is one of my favorites and echoes the colors of the Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ blossoms seen the photo below that are about 3 feet away from it.

Chinese Snowball viburnam – blooms again in the fall but is audaciously stunning each spring. 

 Variegated Solomon Seal is almost other-worldly as it rises up from the ground each spring

A freshly frosted tulip 

Muscari

Mable has just about figured out how to get out of our old fence. Peonies ready to bust open.

California Spring Trials – Day 2 Prologue

Well, it’s not actually Day 2 – it’s more like a week after Day 2 in case you were worried that you have been in a time warp. The only thing warped is my overstuffed schedule where I’m trying to work full-time designing and organizing the planting of thousands of annual flowers, write articles, start writing a new book, be a participating part of my precious family, travel to plant nerd events and give seminars on plant nerd info, and sometimes escape to enjoy some time with my ever-faithful girlfriends. Somewhere in there is doing something that I also really enjoy – having time to write my blog!
But I know what you really want to know is “WHAT WERE THE BEST NEW FLOWERS YOU SAW”.  I am incredibly thankful to Proven Winners Plants for providing me and opportunity to be a part of their trials and a chance to tour the other plant trial facilities. Proven Winners has some fabulous plants that are calling my name.

One of PW’s Graceful Grasses that will find its way into many of my containers is this rich burgandy-leaf “Vertigo”. 
“Vertigo” creates a nice arching grass that gets 24″-36″ high and 24″ round, loves full sun, and is tolerant of heat and drought. 

Hibiscus “Cherry Cheesecake”

Proven Winner’s Hibiscus Summerific ‘Cherry Cheesecake’ was absolutely dreamy,  even in bud form.

PW’s Hosta ‘Whee!’ and Heuchera ‘Cinnamon Curls’

Groovy leaves on the ‘Whee’

Available next year will be Lilac “Boomerang” – a repeat blooming lilac bush! 

Spring Plant Trials 2013 – Day 1

 The Proven Winners courtyard display at Chaminade Spa and Resort in Santa Cruz, Ca.

 I arrived as a guest of Proven Winners (I’ve go into that more tomorrow) the day before Spring Trials began and was able to snap a few photos. Still pinching myself that I get to be at this event!

I enjoyed getting container combination ideas like this one with begonias and Diamond Frost Euphorbia

Ready for show and tell!

The views from the trial garden patio was fabulous! 

I kept getting distracted by the wisteria – so elegant!

Supertunia Vista Bubblegum and Vista Silverberry have been 2 of my favorite for years because of their vigorous habit and because they don’t need to be deadheaded. 

The scent of wisteria always gives me a feeling of comfort and home – had it growing right outside my window growing up. 

Did I say I loved the Wisteria? 

Ligularia “Bottle Rocket” with Hosta ‘Hudson Bay’

Jeanine Standard – my hostess for the Proven Winners event. Jeanine is the head of media and public relations for Proven Winners plants and is a completely delightful person to enjoy dinner with!!