Cool Plants Have Great Stories Neighborhood Plant Sale

We’ve lived and gardened on Maple Street for 25 years. Of course, our farm is out of town, way out on a sandy road in Aiken county.  For the Melrose Art in the Yard, we’re bringing a selection of cool plants. We’ve picked these based on success on Maple street.  We specialize in Crinum and we love a plant with a good story.

Crinum ‘Cecil Houdyshel’  Of the old-fashioned, almost forgotten Milk and Wine lilies, this one not only flowers more but has a sweet story. Around the turn of the century, in booming California, Cecil Houdyshel fell in love with Ethel, who was the anchor, the love of his life. An obsessed plantsman, Cecil became known throughout Los Angeles, quoted in the paper, speaking at clubs, traveling to share new plants. He named over 100 new plants but was so modest he rarely allowed photographs of himself. Equally obsessed with  Ethel, when he traveled, he wrote love letters home. His family still has them.  After her death, he was so lost that he retreated to his garden and his nursery. His only contact were the children from the nearby orphanage, to which he eventually gave part of his ranch and nursery.

Our niece Caroline with ‘Cecil Houdyshel’ Crinum Lily. (photo reuse courtesy of Southern Living)

The Crinum named for him flowers May, June, into July. Like his long love, it takes time to establish. Plant one today and it will live, multiply and thrive for decades.  For this sale; 10 bulbs available. $25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salvia x “Jenks Farmer” A plant with a past associated with Riverbanks and mistaken identity. Most culinary sage plants do not live our heat. But this Israeli selection makes a 3′ tall, silver-leafed bush with 15-inch tall lavender flowers.  5 plants available. $5

3-year old Salvia ‘Jenks Farmer’ in flower in mid-April.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lespedeza x ‘Little Buddy’  makes dramatic, waist-high fountains of purple flowers in late summer. This easy-care, drought-tolerant, sun lover reaches just 4 feet. One in our front yard on Maple Street has been there, without irrigation for 20 years. Bush-clover is good for the soil, working in tandem with bacteria to create nitrogen thereby fertilizing other plants. 15 plants available. $5

20-year-old Lespedeza ‘Lil’ Buddy’ in flower on Maple Street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crinum ‘Lolita’ get’s more attention than any other during our July open houses. Stalks reach over 5 feet tall with brilliant, flashy, attention-grabbing hot pink flowers. 

5 bulbs available. $40   1 giant bulb available. $100

Crinum ‘Lolita’ reaches almost 6 feet tall. Tropical drama but totally cold hardy.

Eucomis ‘Coco’ On the other end of the spectrum, this plant has a short timeline!  In fact it so new that it’s rare. Thick burgundy leaves emerge to 18 inches long. Then, 2-foot tall spikes holding hundreds of green and burgundy flowers come from the center. Besides being an excellent garden plant, it’s a great cut flower.  For this sale; 18 potted bulbs available. $15

Liriope ‘PeeDee Ingot’ 

As tough as any ‘monkey grass’ type plant, this one adds year-round drama with its golden leaves. Named by renowned South Carolina plantswoman Ursula Hertz. 10 plants available. $10

Eucomis ‘Coco’ On the other end of the spectrum, this plant has a short timeline!  In fact it so new that it’s rare. Thick burgundy leaves emerge to 18 inches long. Then, 2-foot tall spikes holding hundreds of green and burgundy flowers come from the center. Besides being an excellent garden plant, it’s a great cut flower.  For this sale; 18 potted bulbs available. $15

The classic color combo of purple Eucomis ‘Coco’ and gold Liriope ‘PeeDee Ingot’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry GuavaHandsome silver-leaved shrub makes a great privacy screen. Tough and easy care. Tropical flowers can be eaten and plum size fruits are a favorite in Central America. Evergreen. 2 plants available.  $30

 

Tongue Fern in a garden we designed in New Orleans

Tongue Fern

For dry, deep shade, this tough fern tolerates drought. It makes a spectacular container plant too.  15 plants available. $20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delicate looking but this little bastard gets six hours of sun a day and loves it!

Finally, Ground Orchid. Everybody loves orchids but lots of people get orchid culture wrong. Not all orchids are fragile, shade-loving things. Some like to bake in the blazing sun in hard, compacted clay soil or container.  Deceivingly delicate in flower, I’ve seen this ground growing orchid flowering in hot sunny meadows in Cambodia. Plant it right in the ground or leave it in a pot or just enjoy it for the season.  

 

 

 

We’ll also have copies of our book which is a month-by-month of gardening stories, duties, and plants for the deep south.  Check out this review. 

 

Funky Book Cover Proof

 

3 Comments

  1. Vicki Aleck on May 10, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    I was with the Garden Club on the tour last week. I’m going to see Sarah Frey (Frey Farms) on Wednesday and I’d like to ask her if she’s ever considered the kind of no till farming that you do, but I can’t remember it’s name. Is it eco-farming??

    • Jenks Farmer on May 16, 2021 at 10:26 am

      Nice! Please do. J

  2. Deborah Allen. Would like to send pic. on July 18, 2021 at 11:30 am

    My crinums in full bloom. Red.full. Bloomed once last year. I’m amazed.

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