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).