Seattle’s enormous perennial and decorative shrub collections stun me each time I visit gardens there. My host was Nita Jo Rountree, who has an incredible perennial collection of the very most choice plants. What a connoisseur! As a momento, I purchased a stunning dogwood, Cornus kousa ‘Akatsuki‘, with leaves clearly banded in brilliant white and purple fall color from Gossler Farms Nursery. I’m a sucker for variegated dogwoods. Standing 4 feet high in its bucket, once removed, I wrapped it in recycled host-basket cellophane, made it into a circle and stuffed it into my diminuitive Orvis flyfishing roll-aboard. It is now in the ground in Cashiers, NC at our office grounds, “The Barn on Blindside”, happy as a lark, not having missed a beat.
Other finds were a Uvularia sessilifolia ‘Albostriata’ (a gentle infiltrator) from Far Resches Farm Nursery, Aconitum ‘Bressingham Spire’ (a july-aug bloomer 3′ tall compact), annual Salvia patiens (gentian sage) with hugh blue flowers, Symphytum x uplandicum ‘Axminster Gold’ (variegated comfrey best for semi-shade to preserve foliage color), Penstemon ‘lost tagicum’ (my newest mystery plant!).