Australian plants are like the ultimate self-sacrificing mother: They give and give (certain trees can reach 20 feet in just a few years and flower for six weeks or more) but ask so little in return. (Fertilizer? Rain? If you insist.) Their fantastical forms, however—including sculptural, hairy, or waxy blooms in neon colors—are anything but matronly.
Glass gem corn was bred years ago by a part-Cherokee farmer and master seed-saver. Yes, it's real, and, as an heirloom, its seeds will grow true. Today, glass gem corn seeds are saved at Seeds Trust, who anticipate more available next month. Glass gem is an extreme iteration of corn's natural tendency towards different-colored kernels, as each kernel has its unique genetic set for color and size.
A dwarf form of Taiwan-native Cunninghamia lanceolata, ‘Little Leo’ forms a globe of soft, densely packed needles, looking like a pincushion. After 10 years, this rare conifer will still be less than 3 feet tall. Leaves are dark green during the growing season, taking on a bronzy, purplish cast in winter. Zones 7 to 9.
Here at the GARDEN DESIGN office, the seed catalogs have started coming in the mail. Though our town will be covered in four inches of snow tonight, it's fun to dream about the first shoots breaking through the ground in the spring. Have you thought about what you're going to plant this year? What seed and plant catalogs are your go-tos?
Up in Cape Cod, the rhododendrons are in full bloom at the annual Heritage Museums & Gardens Rhododendrons Festival. Home to two noted hybridizers—Charles Owen Dexter and Jack Cowles—the garden is a great place to see the many new varieties in bloom. A new and dramatic water element—the Flume Fountain—and a new children's garden are also worth visiting for their unusual landcaping.
Pop-up flower stores from some of the hippest and coolest florists around the country at West Elm stores, starting in late April; GD contributor Amy Merrick writes about deciding to move her flower business out of her apartment; and this weekend, Rodale's Tulip Festival, with U-pick bouquets, and tulip tastings!