Tony Avent, owner Plants Delight Nursery, will give two talks in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Horticultural Society is hosting two events with internationally renowned plantsman, Tony Avent. He has traveled the world in search of new and rare plants for North American gardens. Gardeners eagerly await his Plant Delights catalog each year for its hilarious and often irreverent prose and its outstanding covers, which are filled with cartooned satire modified with horticultural overtones.

On March 19th, Avent will present “From Exploration to Exploitation:  The Road from Plant Discovery to Market” at 6:30 p.m. at the Tulsa Garden Center, which also co-sponsors the event. On March 20th, Avent will be in Oklahoma City at the Zoo, giving a presentation on “Landscaping in Drifts of One:  A Focus on Plant Combinations” at 1:00 p.m.  Avent’s entertaining speaking style will keep everyone entertained. For more information, go to





First daffodil and new hellebore flowers

It is always a surprise to see which daffodil is the first to bloom in my garden each year. Usually the jonquils or the dwarf daffodils are the earliest, but this year ‘Ice Follies’, one of the best daffodils to naturalize, was first.  When it just opens, the trumpet is very yellow. As it ages, the trumpet turns white, giving this daff a completely different look. ‘Ice Follies’ is an excellent cut flower and is so sturdy that it can withstand rain and snow.

I’m also including some of the new hellebores that bloomed for the first time. I’ve had the plants for at least three years, but they weren’t big enough to bloom. There are several unusual color combinations. Enjoy!

Hope springs eternal. . . turning our thoughts to May.

Patio Fountain and Street Light Are Pretty in Snow

This is what the weather has been like for the last two weeks and more snow is predicted.  I thought I’d share some good news about David Austin’s latest offerings of own-root roses. They are each selected to grow well in the United States. They are shrub roses that have high ratings for disease resistance and flowering. If you live in an area where temperatures usually fall below 0°, you will appreciate the fact that Austin is growing some of his best roses on their own roots. If they die back to the ground, no problem. They will come true from their roots, unlike the ones grafted onto the root stock of Dr. Huey. I’ve had at least 3 grafted roses that came back out, only to be “Phooey, Dr. Huey!” The rose I’d paid for was gone for good.

new own root roses

The roses are, from left to right, ‘Susan Williams-Ellis’, ‘Tam o’ Shanter’, ‘Lady of Shallot’, ‘Kew Gardens’, and ‘The Wedgwood Rose’. All of the Austin roses have lovely forms and, most important for me, strong old rose fragrances.

The double white rose was a sport of ‘The Mayflower’, one of Austin’s most disease resistant shrub roses. Its name is honoring the co-owner of Portmerion pottery, which often had botanical themes painted on it.

‘Tam o’ Shanter’ is a cerise colored rose with 25 petals or so. It is named in honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Poet Laureate of Scotland, Robert Burns. The name comes from one of his best-loved poems.

‘The Lady of Shallot’ is from a favorite ballad of Alfred Lord Tennyson. This tall shrub, to six feet, has by-tone petals of strong apricot and lighter peach on the under side. It is a repeat-flowering rose often with its biggest show in the autumn.

‘Kew Gardens’ named for the 250th anniversary of Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens near London,  is a single white rose with a center of yellow stamens. It makes a great hedge rose and has the added trait of being completely thornless so it can be utilized in situations close to people. It looks very much like a species rose.

The lovely pink ‘The Wedgwood Rose’ can be grown as a climber with canes growing to ten feet. Its fragrance is fruity on the outside and clove spice toward the center. It also enjoys the disease resistance of all the Austin shrub roses. It honors the famous blue and white pottery founded by Josiah Wedgwood in 1759 and produced in England.

Hope these lovelies have brightened your day and that you will give some thought to a special place in your own garden where one of these beauties