Friday, September 26, 2014

Far Reaches Farm...Finally!

Last week I finally made it to Far Reaches Farm in Port Townsend, WA for the very first time.  I was completely determined to go this year before they closed for the season.  Their selection of plants is mind-boggling.  Like Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina or Cistus Nursery in Oregon, this is a horticultural hotspot.  And being the horticultural hotspot that it is, I did manage to pick up a few plants:

Top row (from left):
Eucryphia moorei - It's only hardy to Zone 9 but that's why pots exist.  I couldn't resist the pinnate evergreen foliage.
Iris japonica CR038 - This iris gets tall and forms purple "trunks".  Supposedly evergreen.
Sarcococca hookeriana ex G-W&P# - Interested to see how this differs from S. confusa.
Magnolia macrophylla subsp. ashei - A dwarf version of the big leaf magnolia.

Middle row:
Eucomis 'Rhode Island Red' - This gets huge and completely exudes the tropical look.
Woodwardia unigemmata - Giant, evergeen fern with the new growth a brilliant coppery-bronze.
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Edge of Night' - Black mondo grass with a thin white strip along the edges.
Dryopteris championii - It was simply an evergreen fern that I didn't have.
Asarum maximum 'Shell Shocked' - Ridiculously huge leaves for a wild ginger.

Ozothamnus 'Sussex Silver' - Another silver plant to add to the collection.
Eucomis pole-evansii 'Purpurea' - I'm hoping it will be darker than 'Sparkling Burgundy'.

Clematis finetiana CDHM 14683 - Rare, evergreen, hardy clematis.

Clematis finetiana CDHM 14683
Cautleya spicata 'Robusta'

Cautleya spicata 'Robusta'
This post exists solely to label plants that couldn't fit in this post.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Clone Me!

I admit and accept that I am addicted to plants.  No, not smoking them, just buying and growing them.  In order to not go bankrupt, I have resorted to propagation.  It's not a get-rich-quick scheme by any means (it's not even a get-rich-slow scheme) but I did manage to make a nice chunk of change this summer out of just a few plant sales.

There are many ways to propagate plants.  One of the easiest and most rewarding methods is called air-layering.  Air-layering is simply getting a branch to grow roots from some place on the branch.  This is done by scraping off a section of the cambium layer (the green layer under the bark) all the way around the branch, brushing the exposed white sapwood with root tone, surrounding the entire scraped off part with a handful of moist peat moss (or other rooting medium) and then enclosing it in a waterproof barrier such as plastic wrap.  The bad news is it's likely too late in the season to try this outside now.  It will work on just about any woody houseplant any time of the year.

Here is a Lion's Head Maple (Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira') which was successfully rooted using the air-layering method.  I severed it from the mother plant and potted up into a one-gallon pot.  The roots are still young so I'm keeping it in a cool, shady spot until it's more established.

Here is another awesome plant, Crinodendron hookerianum, aka Chilean Lantern Tree, which was more than ready to be potted up.  Now the dilemma is to decide whether to sell it or to keep it and plant it somewhere else!

Finally, here is the first ever Schefflera taiwaniana that I've propagated.

Everything I needed to know about air-layering I learned online.  Here are two videos I'd recommend watching if you're interested in trying this out for yourself:

Dan Hinkley - Air Layering

Mikes Backyard - Air Layering