Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Trip to Plant Delights Nursery

I've seen quite a few nurseries in my time, but I'd have to say that Plant Delights, in the southern outskirts of Raleigh, NC, is in a class by itself. This is the second time I have visited on one of their open house days, I went last year during July as well. Being a hard core plant geek, I timed our summer vacation trip down South (my wife and I visit family living in Charlotte NC and Bluefield WV) to coincide with PD's open house days. Not only were there lots of cool plants to buy, but they also have an extensively planted area around their house which contains all manner of wierd and unusual plants. I will post more pics in later posts, but here you can see one of the plants I should have gotten, Colacasia gigantea, growing in one of their gardens. Makes typical elephants ears look puny! In the second pic my wagon is full of goodies includes a lovely green flowered Kniphofia, K. pumila (which may or may not be the true thing from what I see in references, but is quite amazing anyway), a colorful canna (C. "Orange Punch"), some salvia greggii cvs, and others about which I will post later.
Plant Delights publishes an interesting illustrated catalog with commentary that most find witty, and a few find offensive. Their website includes customer reactions, including the negative and spacy ones, which I find very funny indeed. Their plants tend to be priced high, but in most cases you get a well grown larger plant ready to burst from its pot, not to mention an incomparable selection of rare items. I recommend transplanting their plants into larger pots or the garden asap, as the media they use seems to dry fast, is kind of "flaky" and in my experience at least, the plants are better off when not kept in their medium too long. Evidently it works very well for them under their conditions, but it is not ideal under mine.
If you ever get a chance, do visit PD, they are a horticultural thrill!

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