WELCOME! To Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens
WELCOME! To Plant Delights Nursery, you want to know more about us? We're glad you asked. Plant Delights Nursery Inc. is an on-line mail order plant nursery specializing in perennial plants, new plants, exotic plants, and american native plants. We publish a color plant catalog twice per year and have a great web site so you can buy plants on-line from us too. We have a particular specialty and a world-class collection of the following genera of perennial plants:
Our adjunct facility, Juniper Level Botanic Gardens, is where new plant introductions are trialed and displayed. Plant Delights Education Center is where we teach gardeners about new plants and garden techniques. To find out more about the various aspects of our facility, see the links at left.
Started in 1988, the goal of Plant Delights Nursery, Inc., is to change the way America gardens by offering the best, the newest, and the strangest fun, garden-worthy perennial plants to gardeners around the world. Our Retail Nursery division is a 2.5 acre adjunct funding facility for our research/development/educational arm, Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. Income from the Nursery Division allows us to continue our research and breeding, maintain our display gardens, and expand our garden outreach programs. We strive to offer large, quality perennial garden plants at affordable prices. If you are used to receiving dried bulbs, barely rooted cuttings, or cooler-stored D.O.A.'s, we think you will be pleasantly surprised to receive our healthy, live perennial plants.
Juniper Level Botanic Gardens is currently a 5 acre display garden containing over 18,000 different types of plants including woody plants, flowering perennials, ornamental grass, garden ferns, native plants, exotic plants, shade plants, sun plants, and fall, winter, spring and summer perennials. We are a proud institutional member of the APGA (American Public Gardens Association). The botanical garden not only functions as a display area, but doubles as a research and development facility. New plants from seed exchanges, plants from our breeding program, and exotic plants from our plant hunting expeditions are evaluated for their garden worthiness, their adaptability to the climate of the Southeastern US, and their ability to peacefully co-exist with our native plants. We also strive to sort out some of the misinformation and nomenclature problems that unfortunately abound in the gardening industry by assembling complete collections of specific plant groups.
Our specialty is hostas...you know, "I've got both, the green and the variegated one." Since 1984, we have conducted one of the most extensive breeding programs of this shade plant in the country, yielding exciting introductions like Hosta 'White Wall Tire' (98), Hosta 'Tattoo' PP 11,603 (98), Hosta 'Elvis Lives' (95), and the ugliest hosta ever, Hosta 'Out House Delight' (94)! Despite the large number of hostas on the market today, there is room for distinctive leaf patterns, better flowers, and good old Southern non-wimpy names. We have worked with other garden perennials to a lesser extent, and we hope these ongoing programs will yield some wonderful results in the near future.
For years, we have worked with other plant breeders and explorers from around the country to introduce and market their new plants. If we can be of help to you, feel free to give us a call. We require a trial period for new plants before including them in the catalog...please understand that this is not always a quick process. Also...don't expect to get filthy rich! Our website details a list of cool perennials that we have either introduced or facilitated their introduction into the market.
COLLECTIONS AND INVASIVE PLANT POLICY
We spend several weeks each year in different parts of the USA or in other countries on plant hunting expeditions, from which we bring back many new perennials you may one day enjoy. All plants are carefully evaluated here and at other cooperating sites. It is our goal to not offer plants that will become invasive (i.e., invade and displace natives in functioning natural ecosystems). We adhere to the Nursery Codes of Conduct as adopted at the 2001 St. Louis Summit on Invasive Plants and encourage other nurseries to do the same. Realizing that it is impossible to completely predict invasiveness in every ecological region of the country, we implore gardeners to watch for plants that show true invasive potential and to let us know those findings. Please understand also that re-seeding around the garden is very different from invading natural areas. Please also understand that while a species may be invasive, cultivars within that species may not exhibit those particular undesirable traits. While the invasive plant issue is a great area of concern to us, a proposed nationwide ban of plants that are only invasive and hardy in Hawaii or South Florida is absurdly extreme. We are very wary of a small but vocal group of plant bigots who advocate a horticultural ethnic cleansing as a means of satisfying their myopic view of nature. As with all vices, moderation and responsibility are the answer.
Our perennials for sale are nursery propagated, not wild collected or nursery-grown. We practice conservation by propagation. We are members of the International Plant Propagators Society, a group dedicated to the proposition that all plants should be divided equally. If we have a plant, we will either propagate it or kill it trying...and as a good friend taught me, once you propagate a rare plant...it's not rare anymore!
We use all means at our disposal to make sure the plants are named using correct horticultural nomenclature. Our primary references include the RHS Index of Garden Plants, Hortus III, Jelitto's Perennials I & II, The Genus Hosta, The Hosta List of Registered Cultivars, The Hosta Handbook, The World Checklist of Conifers, The BONAP Database, Mobot's Tropicos Database, England's The RHS Plant Finder, and many National Collection holders in the UK. Special thanks also to our friend Barry Yinger for his invaluable contribution with Japanese plants, and Wilbert Hetterscheid, who worked on the 2004 International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. If no information exists on a plant (which often happens) we throw a cookout for the neighbors, who after a few drinks begin throwing darts at Jelitto's Perennials I & II, along with the remainder of Hortus III. When botanists differ on correct nomenclature, we hop in the pickup, find a few taxonomists, and throw darts at them.
Our perennial plant nursery and display gardens are in Juniper Level, North Carolina (USDA Zone 7b), centrally located between Panther Branch and Willow Springs...pronounced "willer sprangs" in the South. In case you don't have a Juniper Level map, we are off Interstate 40 south of Raleigh, NC. And since we are open only by appointment, we will leave it at that.
Our open sale days are limited to eight weekends per year, two each during February/March, May, July, and September. Any other time, if you are coming from out of town or would like to bring a group, call WAY in advance and we will be delighted to try to make arrangements to meet you at the nursery and garden...weekdays are strongly preferred. Peak season in the display gardens is from late April until October. PLEASE DO NOT DROP IN UNANNOUNCED. We can be much more flexible with visitors after our spring rush ends in early May. We love having visitors, but your visit must be scheduled. If you cannot wait, then we invite you to visit our plant shop on-line.
We publish two plant catalogs each year, one on January 1, and the other one on August 1. As much as we would like to be able to send a plant catalog to everyone forever, this is not possible with the rising cost of publishing. If you are a garden writer, communicator, teacher, extension agent, horticulture guru, etc., who would like to remain on our list permanently, just let us know. Customers will remain on the catalog mailing list for 2 years after purchasing. Even if you run out of room in your own garden, there are always gift certificates for friends. Our plant shop on-line contains many plants that do not appear in our print catalogs. Some are leftovers from past plant catalogs and some are rare plants which are available only in smaller quantities.
Since our plant nursery growing area is limited, we must rotate items in and out of the plant catalog. If you don't see your favorite item listed this year, a return engagement is probably scheduled. Our general policy is that the more popular an plant becomes in the trade, the less likely we are to offer it for sale. Our function is to get new plants into the marketplace, then allow other plant nurseries to produce them in mass-market numbers.
Gift certificates are available for $40.00 or more, and we will gladly forward one directly to the recipient with a nice note and our latest plant catalog. Our gift certificates can be used at any time and will take the guesswork out of gift giving for that hard-to-buy-for gardener in your life. Please indicate the amount of the gift certificate and the recipient's name and address on the plant order form.