Road Trip: Juniper Level Botanic Garden at Plant Delights Nursery


Plant Delights may be in Raleigh, North Carolina – no short hop from the Hudson Valley – but it’s a mail-order nursery so anyone, anywhere can reap the rewards of their plant breeding efforts, exploration, humor, dedicated research and enthusiastic plant love. Owner, Tony Avent, leads the way and writes personal catalog entries for the unusual and hard to find perennials they offer like none other. Not on their mailing list? You can request a catalog here.


If you’re in the Raleigh area you can pay Plant Delights an in-person visit. According to their website, the nursery business exists to support the Juniper Level Botanic Garden which is located at the nursery and is open to the public on select weekends. A fantastic destination for any gardener who excites to see plants they’ve never seen before (and some you’ll see no where else)!

DSC_0151Trillium foetidissimum ‘Clouded Skies’

DSC_0174Sauls Road Drought Border

DSC_0179Heuchera ‘Delta Dawn’  - I’m not usually a heuchera kind of gal,
but this plant immediately went on the “must get” list.


Podophyllum difforme (Deformed Leaf May Apple)

DSC_0190Grotto Garden with small waterfall

DSC_0251Bog Filtration Garden

DSC_0259Arisaema ringens ‘Talking heads’

DSC_0263Sanguinaria canadensis (Deep lobes)


Hosta Seedling Trial Beds

DSC_0288Loved the plan, and the name!


Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ (Pineapple Lily) as a bedding plant. Dianthus in front.

DSC_0311The irises were in bloom, and the Sunken Rain Garden was absolutely gorgeous.

DSC_0316 DSC_0327My favorite iris of them all – ‘Professor Paul’ –  had huge,
soft-looking blooms but was, unfortunately, a Louisiana and only hardy to zone 6.
So handsome to look at, none the less.

DSC_0349Hosta ‘Praying Hands’

DSC_0353The Southwestern Garden Patio was home to the amazing Agave collection

DSC_0360 DSC_0363 DSC_0371Amorphophallus konjac
(at left). 

Plant Delights Nursery and the Juniper Level Botanical Garden was a must see garden destination in the Raleigh area, and with only a brief, 90-minute window to explore on my first visit, I can’t wait to go back!

In between catalog mailings, you can follow the nursery and garden happenings of Plant Delights on their blog and Facebook page.


Plant Delights Nursery
 9241 Sauls Road

Raleigh, NC 27603


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Event Photos: Locust Grove Peony Tour


On June 5th, 2014 with the cooperation of Locust Grove historic estate’s horticulture team, Tim Steinhoff and Susan MacAvery, Hudson Valley Garden Association organized a guided tour of Locust Grove’s peony collection.


Open to the pubic and free to all, it was a lovely evening – strolling the blooming aisles of magenta, white and blush, breathing in the peony’s perfume each with their own unique scent.



This past February Susan presented a lecture on Locust Grove’s historic peony collection as part of HVGA’s Winter Lecture Series. The class explored the Young family’s records documenting their expansive collection, how the plants from this historic collection have survived and been cared for through division and replanting, and the challenges of classifying and maintaining the peonies.


In combination with June’s tour, these two events focusing on Locust Grove’s peonies have offered an interesting (and gorgeous) glimpse into local garden history.




Deciding which Locust Grove peonies to preorder for sale when dug in fall!


An overview of the Heritage Vegetable Garden, where each of the three families that have lived at Locust Grove have an area grown in the kitchen garden style that would have been used during the time of their residence.



It was a true pleasure ending the day in a beautiful garden, surrounded by other enthusiastic gardeners – thank you guests and Locust Grove! Be sure to join HVGA on our next evening garden excursion – a guided tour of Wethersfield Garden in Amenia on Thursday, July 3rd, 2014, 6pm-8pm, $12. Registration is required. (View photos of a previous visit here.)

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DSC_0014Locust Grove’s gardens are planted and maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers.  Volunteers work on Tuesdays 9am-12pm in the flower gardens and ornamental grounds, and Thursdays 9am-12pm in the Heritage Vegetable Garden. For more information about becoming a garden volunteer call (845)454-4500 ext. 216.

Locust Grove Historic Estate
2683 South Road, Poughkeepsie, NY  12601
845-454-4500  |
Grounds are open 8am to dusk, year-round.

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Local Garden Tours – June & July 2014


Suzanne Pierot’s garden in Willow, NY – you can visit on 7/12 with the Garden Conservancy Open Days program.

The Hudson Valley garden party continues in June and July with a full schedule of local garden tours. Take a well-deserved break from weeding to explore what other area gardeners are growing behind their garden gate. Hand-in-hand with getting your fingers in the soil and growing (and killing!) lots of plants, visiting gardens is one of the best ways to learn about gardening, not to mention tons of fun. Go! For full event details visit Hudson Valley Garden Calendar.

June 14, Saturday
Garden Conservancy Open Days, Dutchess County
Garden Sensations Pond Tour, Warwick

June 15, Sunday
Vanderbilt Gardens Guided Tour, Hyde Park

June 18, Wednesday
Stonecrop Gardens Guided Tour
Shrubs & Vines, Cold Spring

June 21, Saturday
Gardens of Goshen & Luncheon on the Lawn
Rondout Valley Garden Tour
Spencertown Hidden Gardens & Garden Market
Garden Conservancy Open Days, Ulster County

June 22, Sunday

Garden Conservancy Open Days, Rockland County

June 28, Saturday

Middletown Hidden Gardens Tour
Warwick Countryside Garden Tour
Hortus Conclusus Open Garden, Stone Ridge
Shawangunk Art & Garden Tour, Wallkill & Gardiner
Garden Conservancy Open Days, Columbia County

June 29, Sunday

Hortus Conclusus Open Garden, Stone Ridge
Garden Conservancy Open Days, Dutchess County

July 3, Thursday

Wethersfield Guided Evening Tour, Amenia

July 5, Saturday

Innisfree Wildflower Walk, Millbrook

July 6, Sunday

Garden Conservancy Open Days, Dutchess County

July 12,  Saturday

Hidden Gardens of Amenia
Saugerties Secret Gardens Tour
Garden Conservancy Open Days, Ulster County

July 16, Wednesday
Stonecrop Gardens Guided Tour – Systematic Order Beds, Cold Spring

July 20, Sunday
Hudson Valley Iris Daylily Society Member Gardens
Vanderbilt Gardens Guided Tour, Hyde Park

July 26, Saturday
Innisfree Guided Tour, Millbrook


Vanderbilt Garden

Guided tours of Innisfree Garden in Millbrook, Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, Vanderbilt Garden in Hyde Park, and Garden Conservancy Open Days are ongoing throughout the summer.

For more information, late summer events, garden classes and more visit Hudson Valley Garden Calendar – new events added regularly!

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