Coenosium Gardens visit, Sept, 2011
I made another happy visit for me to Coenosium Gardens this weekend. It was an extra-happy visit as I picked up a copy of Bob's new book, Small Conifers for Small Gardens. Boy, it's beautiful, loaded with glossy photos of great plants. I think it appeals to both collectors like myself, with it's stories of cultivar origins and old-specimen photos for reference but also to weekend gardeners and new collectors as it also has 'alternates' to cultivars if you're looking for a certain effect instead of a 'name'. This time of the year is great for planning, dreaming and buying new plants and this is certainly a great guide to do all three.
I also picked up one of the gold seedlings I am buying from Bob. The story has been getting around but a quick summary of the origins is this: About 12 years ago Bob crossed two Picea abies cultivars, 'Acracona', a heavy coning variety with his own plant discovery, 'Gold Drift' and came out with a couple dozen seedlings. Almost all had golden qualities but they displayed widely varying growth tendencies from small upright dwarves to spreaders to upright weeping mounds, and many also had the coning tendency from 'Acracona'. You couldn't choose two better plants to mix. Well OK, Abies koreana 'Kohout's Icebreaker X Picea omorika 'Pendula Bruns' would be epic, but goodluck on that one! :)
Ultimately Bob decided to introduce and sell grafts from six of these varieties. The other plants, he has made available to anyone interested. See the website for details but each order comes with the original plant(if you can work out getting it home), the naming/registering rights and twenty healthy grafts to sell, introduce, trade, etc.
It's a fantastic way for someone to put their 'hallmark' on a plant, and a special one at that. I couldn't resist.
Picea abies 'Catharine's Golden Heart'. Named for my beloved, huge-hearted mother, it's a pendulous, spreading plant with gold needles(this specimen was in the shade this Summer)and lots of future cones coming as well, similar to 'Acracona'. Needless to say, it's my most treasured plant now.
As always, I had the pleasure to wandering Bob's huge gardens. Bob accompanied me for a few hours, showing me various cool discoveries and some renovation he had done recently. Some smaller plants were uncovered and others will be given more light and more space to resume their full glory. Sunlight conditions weren't friendly to photography but I took many nevertheless.
Picea pungens 'Wendy'
Picea pungens 'Silver Threads'. A seedling from Larry Stanley(I believe), that pushes white-gold before turning to a pale white-blue in later Summer.
Picea X Troemner(pungens 'Kosteri' x omorika). An OLD specimen!
Picea orientalis 'Nutans'. A monster. Careful walking too close, it might reach out and pull you in.
Picea pungens 'Porcupine'. 30 years old?
Abies pinsapo 'W.B. #7'
Picea abies 'Witches Broom'
Cedrus deodara 'Scott'. No pruning training here, that's it's natural form.
Abies veitchii 'Rumburk'. I'll leave verification to Bob here, I have a hard time telling the differences between these three. Pretty sure it's 'Rumburk' though.
'Rumburk' with a tenant.
Pinus parviflora 'Richard Lee'. Hard to get established but sure is a great tiny parviflora.
Abies procera 'Pesek'. Love the nobles.
'Mikulasovice'. Unusual look.
Abies lasiocarpa 'Lopalpun'. One of the best true miniatures there is.
Pinus parviflora 'Kinpo'
May need help here, think it was labeled as Pinus jezoensis 'Nana Kalous'. I have a plant that is similar both in look and name: Picea sitchensis 'Nana Kalous'. Maybe Bob can chime in here.
Pinus mugo 'Jakobsen'. What a plant.
Taxus baccata 'Icicle'
Abies alba 'Hedge'
Abies borisii-regis 'J.K. Greece'. Proper spelling?
For some reason, I happened to end up in the nursery section towards the end of my tour and felt compelled to take a few plants home!
The 'backroom' area has some amazing plants including many cool cultivars on standard. Bob cannot ship these under normal conditions, so it's best to visit in person if you're interested.
Wipe that drool! :)
I'll post some more photos later this week.