Explorer's Garden: Rare and Unusual Perennialsby Daniel J. Hinkley, Roy Lancaster (Foreword by), Ray Lancaster (Foreword by)
Dan Hinkley's quest for distinctive plants has led him on expeditions to China, Korea, Nepal, Chile, and remote areas of North America. The Explorer's Garden: Rare and Unusual Perennials presents the most fascinating perennials found during Hinkley's treks around the globe, describes the assets each plant brings to the garden, and explains how it is/i>
Dan Hinkley's quest for distinctive plants has led him on expeditions to China, Korea, Nepal, Chile, and remote areas of North America. The Explorer's Garden: Rare and Unusual Perennials presents the most fascinating perennials found during Hinkley's treks around the globe, describes the assets each plant brings to the garden, and explains how it is best cultivated and propagated.
Illustrated with Hinkley's own splendid photographs as well as those of Lynne Harrison, this new paperback edition includes a new preface by the author and a completely updated list of sources for plant material.
"Hinkley … addresses his plant-collection procedures and standards to assure readers he's taken pains to avoid introducing pests, diseases or invasive species."
"Hinkley is in the old breed of plant-hunter, one who hoofs about the globe with little more than a trowel and a trusty leather carry-all to hold his botanic treasures."
"The Ogdens put plants first when designing gardens and have assembled a photo-rich book filled with plant ideas, where they'd best flourish and in what kind of gardens. Their holistic approach embraces people, places and the natural world."
"[Hinkley] traps us with his eloquent, spot-on descriptions as cleverly as a Dutchman's pipe bloom lures, traps, then releases its pollinators."
"Hinkley, like all serious gardeners, knows that to understand how a plant behaves you must first see how it grows in its native environment."
"What sets Dan apart from the crowd is his understanding of how to grow plants well. His careful observations of plants in the wild give this book an edge and provide us with a better understanding of how to cultivate many of these wonderful shrubs and vines."
"Scores of exciting plants still await wider use by gardeners, and The Explorer's Garden is a masterful guide to this cornucopia."
"This would be a diverting read on chilly nights to come, when we can share, from a safe distance, Hinkley's "near-lunatic" passion for exotic plants and places."
"The armchair traveler will relish the quotes from [Hinkley's] travel journal which introduce each chapter; the horticulturalist will be caught up in the text, which describes the origins and hybrids of an array of perennials."
“Through his poetic writing, Hinkley’s passion for discovering great plants and facilitating their introduction to mainstream horticulture is evident on each page … a must-have for plant collectors.”
- Timber Press, Incorporated
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- 7.66(w) x 10.62(h) x 1.08(d)
Read an Excerpt
Few gardeners who have cultivated the edible rhubarb (Rheum xcultorum) can deny that they have admired the columns of white flowers unfurling in globular splendor in early summer. But homage to such things in the vegetable garden is generally bittersweet, often but a swan song of yet another spring gone by — the end to a season of freshly picked and eaten produce. As a young gardener, in fact, I was taught to never let the blossoming stems emerge from our rather antique hand-me-down clump of "pie plant" that we grew on the far side of the vegetable patch. Advice well taken but, fortunately, not always heeded.
I only recently began growing true Rheum palmatum, a species native to China and, in its typical white-flowered form, infrequently cultivated. Having brought this back from a collecting foray to England, I use the plant to good effect in my light woodland, where it produces gigantic, Gunnera-like foliage in matte green and erect flowering panicles of white rising to 6 ft. (1.8 m) or higher. Certainly the best-known of the ornamental rhubarbs is this species's red-flowering cultivar, R. palmatum 'Atrosanguineum'. With a flair for the dramatic, 'Atrosanguineum' awakens in early spring with ruby-red foliage, which conjures nothing short of pure, unadulterated anticipation for what is to come. As the jagged leaves unfurl to nearly 3 ft. (0.9 m) across, the reddish tints of the upper surfaces take on a patina of aged copper, while the undersurfaces retain an intensity of matte rose-red. I am held spellbound in the early days of May when the fresh, upwardly held leaves, backlit by sun, capture and illuminate a palette of arresting colors and textures. Yet the show has only just begun, as in early June a massive flowering stem heads skyward, carrying large, knobby buds sheathed with scarlet bracts. After the stems reach upward to 7 ft. (2.1 m), the buds unfurl to create an airy spectacle of crimson flowers with cerise overtones. If good seed set occurs, an additional season of interest continues with numerous glossy red, triangular fruit dangling from this treelike inflorescence, Several other selected cultivars of R. palmatum are available, including 'Red Herald' and 'Hadspen Crimson' (both by Eric Smith) and 'Red Select'. I should mention that the distinctive foliage shape and color is more a product of patience than of simply acquiring a good clone. Foliage on young plants is less lobed and less colorful than on mature specimens.
Meet the Author
Daniel J. Hinkley's fascination with plants goes back to his childhood in Michigan, where he studied horticulture before moving west to Washington to earn his master's degree. He writes for numerous horticultural publications and is in high demand as a speaker throughout North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Dan has been awarded the Scott Gold Medal, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award, and the Veitch Memorial Medal, among others. Founder of the original Heronswood Nursery in Kingston, Washington, with his partner, Robert L. Jones, he now brings his expertise to Monrovia Growers as well as to several design firms, including Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd., Portico, and The Berger Partnership, where he serves as horticultural consultant. He currently gardens at Windcliff, their home in Indianola, Washington, on five acres of high bluff overlooking Puget Sound.
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