|Tony Avent surveys a sumptuous new Colocasia in his trial ground at Plant Delights Nursery, North Carolina, September 2011.|
The majority of American home gardens may still be very dull and uninteresting, but over the past few years I have come to find American horticulture extremely exciting. Part of this is, no doubt, seeing a range of plants that we can't grow easily or well thriving in a different climate, but the activities of the best gardeners, whether it is with innovative landscaping and planting combinations, or in the nursery, is invigorating and inspiring. I've been fortunate enough to meet and get to know some of those involved in this revolution, notably Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery, where he is experimenting with a vast range of new material, both wild and highly bred, and is encouraging others to do the same. A visit there, such as I made in September, is mind-blowing.
|Tom Ranney with his creation |
×Gordlinia grandiflora, a hybrid between Franklinia alatamaha and Gordonia lasianthus.
|Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle Spirit, at NCSU Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Center.|