Saturday, January 21, 2012

Behind The Scenes

I was invited again this year to the Proven Winners Choice Luncheon at the Mid-America Horticultural Show in Chicago.  It was a bitter cold day and I thought to myself this better be worth it!

Lake Michigan looks foreboding but it is still a beautiful sight even on a cold winter day.

I loved this Golden Spruce, grows only fifteen feet tall and has yellow needles on the surface.

The smaller conifers were very interesting to me especially with the small garden that I have.

Heuchera Green Spice

Hakonechloa All Gold and Fubuki

Solomon's Seal Prince Charming
A low growing variety 12"

Meadowbrite Fireworks Coneflower
Developed at the Chicago Botanic Gardens 18" tall

Darcey Bussell Rose
Considered one of David Austin's best red roses, named after Darcey Bussell an English ballerina.

Endless Summer is still a big display item even though many of us have issues with this hydrangea.

After touring the show we met for a working lunch with the renowned breeder Dr. Roderick Woods of Cambridge, England.  He began his career as a renowned physiologist, scholar and researcher at Cambridge University. 

Dr. Woods had a fascinating career before he became a well known plant breeder, a charming man and totally obsessed with the hibiscus plant.  If you would like to know more about Dr. Woods check him out on the internet.  There was a great article written by Tim Wood of Spring Meadow Nursery on his blog Plant Quest, in 2008, but the link would not transfer over.

Dr. Roderick Woods

The Chiffon series is the hibiscus that has been bred in a few colors with many more to come in the future.  His most loved Pink Chiffon is now being grown by Spring Meadow Nursery in small pots for release to the public in 2013.

Lavender Chiffon

White Chiffon

Hibiscus Blue Chiffon

I think you can see by the form that they are not like other Hibiscus plants from the past.  They are full, can be cut to the ground, can be controlled to be under the maximum twelve foot height, like to be fertilized, enjoy full sun and are one of the last shrubs to bloom in late summer and fall.

 Hibiscus Pink Chiffon

I have to say the day was worth it, the train ride, the walking and the bus rides to and from the train station, the walking through the icy sidewalks to and fro (I did use my trex attachments to my boots - they are great).

15 comments:

Mary Anne said...

Eileen: What a refreshing and informative post! The bright colored selections you chose to photograph were a welcomed sight. . .and as always so educational. Thanks for sharing Eileen!

Lona said...

Wow! Look at that Pink Chiffon Hibiscus. I think I am in love. LOL! The new Heuchera is a lovely thing also. Thanks for sharing some flowers with us iced in folk.

Zoey said...

I think my favorites are the Hakonechloa All Gold and the white chiffon hibiscus.

Thanks for sharing your interesting day with us, Eileen.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

How many exciting things I saw in this post, Eileen! New types of hibiscus are stunning! I have only one H., and it is struggling in our acid soil. On the other hand, I can tell that Endless Summer is doing great job in my garden. Well, there should be balance in everything, I think (Bad hibiscus is a minus and good hydrangea is a plus, he-he). Thank you Eileen!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Mary Anne, I may have to try one of these Hibiscus plants if I can find a place to put it!

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

I may ask for a couple of those little Pink Chiffons to try in my garden, love the color.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Zoey, I like those grasses also, small but very colorful.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Tatyana, I have such trouble here with Endless Summer, hate to give it up because of the beautiful colors.

Eileen

Julia@PolkaDotGaloshes said...

Oh my gosh!! I have just stumbled across you blog...love it! Your photos are so gorgeous..you made me literally say WOW out loud! The Hibiscus are just stunning, beautiful!!! Looking forward to more posts...Cheers Julia

The Summer Porch said...

A beautiful garden blog, the hibiscus my favorite!
Rosemary...

scottweberpdx said...

Glad to hear it was worth the trip! It must have been pretty cool to get a "sneak peak" at all those plants :-)

allan becker said...

Thanks for the sneak peek.
That is an awesome Amaryllis in the photo banner of your blog.

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Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Hi Eileen, Looks like the winter trek was worthwhile. It is always exciting to see the latest plant introductions. I like the Heuchera Green Spice and that Pink Chiffon hibiscus especially.