Montrose Garden again (Six on Saturday #35, October 13, 2018)

Most of the pictures this week are really Six on (last) Saturday, because they were taken a week ago at the autumn open-house of Montrose, Nancy Goodwin’s garden in Hillsborough, North Carolina.  See here for my pictures from last autumn.

The final picture was taken yesterday, in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Michael.

1. Costus species


Costus are related to ginger but have been separated out of the Zingiberaceae into their own family, Costaceae.  I made a beeline for this plant the past couple of times I visited Montrose, because I have never seen one growing in the NC piedmont before.  This time, Nancy let me in on the secret:  She digs it up every autumn and stores the rhizome in her house, so it isn’t as hardy as I hoped.  Still, our summers are clearly long enough and the soil warm enough for it to get established and flower.  Might be worth trying one of these days.

2.  Double-flowered Colchicum


This might be Colchicum ‘Waterlily’, but without a tag I can’t be sure.  Montrose is famous for its bulb plantings, and two of the three plants that I picked up at the sales table were also bulbs (in the broad sense):  a huge Hymenocallis that might be H. ‘Tropical Giant’ and a seedling Cyclamen mirabile.  The third plant I bought was Primula sieboldii.

3.  Abelmoschus species



A beautiful Hibiscus relative with fuzzy buds.  I wish the plants in Montrose Garden were labeled.  I suspect this is Abelmoschus manihot, but don’t quote me on that.

4. Brugmansia (angel’s trumpet)


South American Brugmansia are surprisingly hardy in the piedmont.  My plant of Brugmansia ‘Betty Marshall’ has survived three or four years outdoors and is currently about seven feet tall.  This yellow flowered clone, perhaps ‘Charles Grimaldi’, has been growing below a couple of large eastern red cedars at Montrose for longer than that.

5.  Salvia oxyphora (fuzzy Bolivian sage)

Salvia Oxyphora

I hesitated to post this photo, because it is another bright pink/red flower that blows out the sensor of my iPhone camera and is almost always overexposed.  But S. oxyphora is so fantastic and furry that I couldn’t resist.  My sole attempt to grow this species failed, but perhaps I haven’t found the correct spot for a plant that must surely be right at the edge of its hardiness zone in the piedmont.

6.  Fallen oak (Quercus species).


Hurricane Michael hit the Florida panhandle like a bomb.  By the time it crossed our area, it was downgraded to a weak tropical storm, but it still did plenty of damage to trees sitting in soil saturated by the remnants of Hurricane Florence just a few weeks ago.  This beautiful oak on our neighbors’ property was uprooted and dropped across our lane, blocking access.  By the time I got home from work, the neighborhood chain saw gang was hard at work clearing the road.

For more Six on Saturday, head on over to the Propagator’s blog.  Take a look at his Six and then see the comments section for links to other blogs.

16 thoughts on “Montrose Garden again (Six on Saturday #35, October 13, 2018)

  1. Nice Six as usual, Nick. You took pictures of a hairy salvia like Jim did with one of his (it’s a Salvia confertiflora). Red isn’t easy to take, even with an iPhone…
    I do liked the Abelmoschus flower and the double Colchicum in your 6.
    (PS: Hurricane Florence was “a few weeks ago” and not “a few years ago”, I presume 😉)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, Fred! I was starting to wonder how long hurricanes impacted on an area they hit. There was a Florence back in 2006 – I’d forgotten about last month’s Florence despite having friends in its path. I like that Salvia too and it seems I may just be able to grow it if, as the RHS say, it’s OK to -5C, if I cloche it in winter.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The illustration for the ‘Charles Grimaldi’ angel’s trumpet in Sunset – Western Garden Book was from Brent’s garden in Mid City Los Angeles. He hates when I prune it back. It gets so weedy. I got copies of it, as well as a white one and and a pink one. I had a pale orange one, but I think it did not survive. (I have not seen it in a while.) Once they get going, they can get quite big. I do not prune them down until after frost.
    What I find more interesting in the picture are the Eastern red cedars in the background. The larger has a trunk like a Monterey Cypress! I brought two back from Oklahoma. I find them to be very interesting. We have nothing like them here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are some gorgeous old cedars around the chapel on Duke University campus. I really like them, too. They get so old and gnarled looking. They like sun, so they tend to deteriorate when faster growing pines and hardwoods shade them out.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, Juniperus virginiana. It is fascinating that juniper grows like that. There are big junipers around the perimeter of thee Mojave Desert too, but they are not that big. There might be some Eastern red cedars downtown, but I never identified them. Their foliage is too high to reach.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you made it through the latest storm with just a few bumps in the road.
    Those brugmansia are a surprise, I wouldn’t have thought they would grow so much in a single season. Here of course it’s a two year adventure in overwintering before they reach a decent size, but seeing one in bloom makes me consider trying it again is spite of the trouble!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s fortunate that there wasn’t more damage from Hurricane Michael. What terrible time you’ve had over there meteorologically speaking. Hopefully things will settle down now. Beautiful photos in your six.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Always a shame when a big tree like that is a goner. But something else will take advantage of the newly available space and light, and the wood will get used I’m sure. Glad to hear damage was limited.

    Liked by 1 person

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