Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Plant Delights Nursery & Heirloom Hostas

January. Oh, sweet January. Finally, the catalogs come. I love gardening catalogs not only to see if some plant on my most wanted list is available, but also for all the information. My favorite garden catalog and website is that of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, North Carolina (http://www.plantdelights.com/). The nursery specializes in perennials and has a particularly large selection of hostas. The website is a gold mine of information. The descriptions of the plants are full and give great information about heat and humidity tolerance as well as what are the plant's tendencies--a spreader or stay putter. The catalog is so informative because they do a lot of research and testing themselves.

They are also able to offer many hard to find plants because of their relationships with other plantsmen and propagation efforts. They make available many plants that are difficult to propagate or are time consuming to grow. All plants are grown in containers which helps ease their transition into the garden.

Also, on the website you can find horticultural articles. Last August, I ran across an amazingly fragrant, double hosta at Willowwood Arboretum in Chester Township, New Jersey (http://www.parks.morris.nj.us/aspparks/wwmain.asp). On the Plant Delights website I found a great article on fragrant hostas which discussed their history and identified named, fragrant cultivars.

The proof in the pudding comes in the spring when you receive your shipment of plants. Plant Delights sends out good sized, healthy plants that have been packed with a lot of care. Every plant I've ordered from them has had no problem settling into the garden, even the new ones that were damaged from the fallen oak tree clean up appeared the next year even more robust.

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