23 January 2016

Winter Happenings at Arrowhead

Daphne cuttings, seed germination, winter grumbling, and much more

Also -- winter specials ending January 31st (click for links):

Winter -- the best time for propagating Daphnes!

For once, extreme winter weather is in the news and it ISN'T in Michigan! All you East Coasters getting buried under massive amounts of snow… welcome to our life. We did that the last two winters. This year we're enjoying moderate snow and reasonably average temperatures. Hopefully if the trend continues, we'll soon be able to enjoy our new ocean front property in mid-Michigan.

Global warming won't stop our Daphne propagation, anyways.

As much as we all love to complain about winter, it is an important part of Arrowhead's schedule. For one, if we had to be watering and weeding 12 months a year, we'd probably go insane. A little winter break when everything is dormant and frozen solid isn't a bad thing.

Winter is also our key time for propagating Daphnes. We cut them at various times, but one of the best is early January. Cuttings brought in from the cold and stuck in a warm, bottom-heated cutting frame come out of their winter dormancy and start growing roots in a hurry.

Some of our prized D. calcicola cuttings, growing in a bottom-heated frame

Well, in a hurry for a Daphne. There is a reason we're about the only nursery that grows many of these things. They're a pain in the ass pretty much from the moment you take a cutting until the time you plant them in the garden. But they're OUR pain in the ass, and once they do get put in the ground, provided they've got excellent drainage, they are so ridiculously beautiful and non fussy that it is impossible not to love them.

Daphnes, as hopefully you know, transplant best when they are tiny, so every year we're sticking big batches of all of our favorites so that come spring we'll have the best, most vigorous plants to ship out to our customers. After those cuttings are a couple years old, they may look bigger and fuller, but they simply don't transplant well -- to the chagrin of everyone involved.

Warning: big, cool looking Daphne photos incoming:

D. calcicola in bloom
D. calcicola in bloom, close up

In addition to all our usual offerings, we've been working on taking cuttings of some of the very rarely available yellow flowered Daphnes, D. calcicola (seen above) and Daphne gemmata (aka Wikstroemia gemmata). These guys are never easy to produce, but fingers crossed we'll get enough rooting that we'll be able to list them this spring!

Some of our cuttings of Daphne gemmata, also known as Wikstroemia gemmata
The impressive cream-yellow flowers of D. gemmata

If any of this Daphne-talk has piqued your interest, head on over to our shopping cart here and take a look at some of the new offerings we've been adding over the winter. And of course you can find many of our wonderful selection of Daphnes on tap at this link here. Don't forget you have until the end of January to use our winter coupons:
  • Either enter the code ‘SNOW’ at checkout and receive 20% off your entire order (excluding our collections, grafted conifers, and bulk wildflowers)
  • Or enter the code ‘ICE’ at checkout to get free shipping.
As always, we will hold your orders placed now until spring when the weather has thawed and planting may begin.

28 August 2015

20% off trees and shrubs clearance sale!

 Who needs flowers if you can enjoy the brilliant fall foliage that only shrubs and trees can provide.

Fall will be arriving soon, and we've put together a sale to accommodate your need to add some color to your garden.

Liriodendron tulipifera, Stewartia pseudocamelia and Daphne x Burkwoodii 'Silveredge'

Here at Arrowhead we're trying to downsize and refocus on doing what we do best: alpines. To that end, we're doing a massive sale on our trees and shrubs to clear out the stock. Order now for trees and shrubs shipped through November, and take 20% off. You can also stop by the nursery in person and still receive our trees and shrubs discount. And if there is something in our catalog you've been wanting and putting off buying, now is the time, as once they're gone, they're not coming back.

 For example, you won't want to miss Weigela subsessilis'Canary' which is worth growing for the very unusual soft yellow flowers, but is also the most vigorous, winter hardy Weigela I know, blooming its head off after even the harshest winters.

Or Abelia mosanensis, with abundant fragrant pink tubular flowers, white on the inside giving a unique two tone effect in spring. Fall color is an excellent orange red which tends to develop late. The flowers in midsummer hold the crown as the most popular shrub in the nursery with butterflies of all types.A deciduous Korean species, it is considerably hardier than the evergreen species.

Or end your season with the late summer glory of Heptocodium miconoides 

A cool new plant introduced from China in 1980, although Wilson found it back in 1907. Ornamental peeling Crepe Myrtle-like bark, fragrant white flowers in late summer in six flowered whorls terminated by a single flower (hence Heptocodium) followed by showy cherry red calyces surrounding the fruits, giving the impression of still being in flower in autumn when the leaves turn purple.  
Despite what Dirr says it seems to thrive in full sun, and struggles in the shade at least in the north.

07 July 2015

New goodies in the catalog!

Our summer of too much rain is sloppily moving along, and the cooler, cloudier weather means plants are in great shape and will ship well, so we're excited to have added to the catalog a few cool new goodies and some old favorites that we haven't listed in a while. Here are a few highlights:
Saxifraga paniculata minutifolia
We're getting back to our alpine plant roots, and glad to be listing this saxifrage with terrific silvery foliage that will nestle happily between rocks in your rock garden. Some saxes are fussy in hot summers, but this is one of the tough survivors and will give no trouble with sun and good drainage.

Tricyrtis macrantha ssp. macranthopsis 'Juro' is a one-of-a-kind plant, a fully double flowered form of this gorgeous species, with huge yellow flowers on trailing stems in the fall.

Lily of the Valley is not a rare plant by any stretch of the imagination, at least not in the regular green form, but there are a lot of really cool variegated forms that are well worth growing. 'Golden Slippers' has beautiful brilliant yellow-green foliage, and 'White Margin' which has a neat white edge to the leaves, much nicer than the usual striped variegated form.

Dicentra canadensis isn't new, but it is beautiful, and now is the time to think about ordering it and other bulk bare root woodland wildflowers like trillium, blood root, and virginia bluebells. All of these will do best planted in the fall, like you would your daffodils or tulips.

If you live locally, we look forward to seeing you are the nursery. We're now on our summer/fall hour, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11 - 5.