Friday, February 5, 2016

Plants from DBG to revisit! Part one

Amelanchier alnifolia
 This shadblow was photographed at Kendrick Lake Park: I know there are a few I planted years ago (of the native species) in the Rock Alpine Garden that persist--and the Navigator indicates that we have a good selection:

I think it would be good to do an assessment on these and see how many are still around: they just don't seem to make an impact here commensurate to the number of taxa we have. We used to have four spectacular specimens in the rose garden that I would notice now and again all year: beautiful (if brief) spring bloom: then they have a period of attractive new colored foliage that can last a while. They're pleasant in summer, but the fall color is almost always brilliant. And of course, they're great food crop for birds. There are so many selections and forms, I wish we had more...the four spectacular specimens in the rose garden disappeared (a long time ago)--I have missed them ever since and look at where they were spring and fall and there's nothing there.
Amelanchier utahensis
 I know this is in Dryland Mesa--but it doesn't show up as wonderfully as it should in the spot it's growing. Just because we have a specimen doesn't mean that we can't find a better spot for it: this is so distinct, with such beautiful habit and totally xeric--I wish we had this quite a few places in dry environments (like in the back of the Childrens garden)--until we could get one of those gnarly wonderful specimens as you see in nature.
Corylus colurna buds in winter
 We had a fabulous specimen of purple leaf Hazelnut I believe has been removed for the new AAS garden (, and we have the state champion Corylus colurna.  I hope we can get the purple leaf hazelnut back: there are many selections of Hazels and many species: they INVARIABLY bloom in February most years (I've seen C. colurna in full bloom in January) and they can be spectacular. I think there is room for many more of these--although it would be judicious to try and select different species (there are tons)...

Exochorda wilsonii
 I am still ruing the loss of this spectacular plant from where the Potager is now: I know white isn't that sexy, and it blooms in late April with every other white flower--but it is so distinct and characteristic of the Silk Road and Central Asia--I do hope someone can find this or E. albertii: SOMEone has to be growing them! It would be perfect in the new Steppe garden...
Exochorda wilsonii
 Closeup of the flower...

Quercus alba on 6th Avenue and Holly
 One of the commonest forest trees of the East and Midwest--many think this is the most majestic oak. Here is a relatively young specimen I've dragged many of you to admire: there are ridiculously few of these in Denver. And we don't have one anywhere on the grounds. They get enormous--but there has to be someplace for this greatest of American oaks! You can't find large specimens (they do best planted small)...

Rhododendron 'Northern Lights'
 One of the greatest shows in my garden is this Rhody: I believe all the Northern Lights series are equally showy and hardy. They're not that fussy about soil acidity--they just want a woodsy soil and not to get too dry...
Rhododendron 'Northern Lights'
 It would be great to find a woodsy spot to show these off: they're quite inexpensive and you can get largish ones, and they would make a fabulous spectacle for a few weeks in late April and May.

Rosa 'Harison's Yellow'
 Our gigantic, magnificent Father Hugo's rose (  in the Rose Garden is now gone: we are supposed to have Harison's yellow in the Plains Garden. I believe we actually had it and the father Hugo's together in the Rose garden: I hope we hasten to get more of both--they make the first spectacular display of color every spring in the genus...and they're tough as nails.

Rosa 'hemisphaerica' NOT
 This was grown from seed as Rosa hemisphaerica--supposedly from wild seed (I believe the seedlings were grown by Bob Nold). I didn't have room for them so I gave one to Marilyn Raff--probably 30 years ago, and one to Tom Peace. These are pictures of Marilyn's plant (that is probably there--but she sold the house and the new owner--who knows?). Tom's is still thriving in Crestone. I wish we could get it going--since it's from Turkey--thousands of miles WEST of where it's supposed to be (in China). I dragged Dr. Campbell to see this in bloom a long time ago--he thought it was Rosa hugonis. But it seems to me the flowers are bigger.

Rosa 'hemisphaerica' NOT
That's it for now!