Explorer's Garden: Rare and Unusual Perennials

Overview


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 ...

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Overview


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.

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Editorial Reviews

Sacramento Bee - Pat Rubin
"Reading the book is like taking a plant hunting trip with Hinkley." Pat Rubin, Sacramento Bee, March 26, 2005
Fine Gardening - Steve Silk
"[Dan Hinkley's] depth of knowledge, breadth of humor, and exuberant love for all things green — or, for that matter, variegated — translate well to the printed page, making this intriguing and informative new volume a must-have for anyone who wants to know more about unusual garden plants."—Steve Silk, Fine Gardening, November/December 2000
Pacific Horticulture - Valerie Easton
"This is just the kind of information we need to know ... It is experienced guidance in choosing amongst the hosts of available plants."—Valerie Easton, Pacific Horticulture, Winter 2000
Akron Beacon Journal - Mary Beth Breckenridge
"Hinkley … addresses his plant-collection procedures and standards to assure readers he's taken pains to avoid introducing pests, diseases or invasive species."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"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."
GardenDesign.com

"Hinkley … addresses his plant-collection procedures and standards to assure readers he's taken pains to avoid introducing pests, diseases or invasive species."
Houston Chronicle

"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."

Country Gardens

"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."

Gardens Illustrated
"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."
Michigan Gardener

"[Hinkley] traps us with his eloquent, spot-on descriptions as cleverly as a Dutchman's pipe bloom lures, traps, then releases its pollinators."

Star Tribune

"Hinkley, like all serious gardeners, knows that to understand how a plant behaves you must first see how it grows in its native environment."

SciTech Book News

"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."
American Gardener

"Scores of exciting plants still await wider use by gardeners, and The Explorer's Garden is a masterful guide to this cornucopia."
From the Publisher

"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.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881924268
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/1999
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 7.66 (w) x 10.62 (h) x 1.08 (d)

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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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.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 9
Preface 13
Acknowledgments 19
Introduction 21
Ch. 1 Woodland Ranunculids: Anemone, Anemonella, Anemonopsis, Ranunculus, Trollius, and Glaucidium 27
Ch. 2 On the Vine: The Climbing Aconites 54
Ch. 3 Berries and Bugbanes: Actaea, Beesia, and Cimicifuga 60
Ch. 4 Hepatica: Liverworts and Island Treasures 76
Ch. 5 Beyond Frilly Filler: The Genus Thalictrum 85
Ch. 6 Berberidaceous Botany 94
Ch. 7 Corydalis: Jewels in Many Hues 124
Ch. 8 Woodland Poppies 137
Ch. 9 Rheums with a View: The Ornamental Rhubarbs 152
Ch. 10 Cuckoo for Cardamine: Cardamine, Pachyphragma, and Wasabia 164
Ch. 11 Triosteum 176
Ch. 12 The Herbaceous Aralias 180
Ch. 13 The Ubiquitous Umbellifers 184
Ch. 14 Herbaceous Hydrangeas: Cardiandra, Deinanthe, and Kirengeshoma 200
Ch. 15 Singular Saxifrages: Chrysosplenium, Mukdenia, and Peltoboykinia 208
Ch. 16 Bodacious Bounty: Rodgersia and Darmera 216
Ch. 17 The Prickly Rhubarbs: Gunnera 226
Ch. 18 The Lesser Lathyrus 233
Ch. 19 Far and Away from 'Johnson's Blue': The Hardy Geraniums 241
Ch. 20 Shrieking Solanoids: Mandragora and Scopolia 259
Ch. 21 Starry Charms: Omphalodes and Myosotidium 264
Ch. 22 Comely Composites: Syneilesis and Ainsliaea 271
Ch. 23 Birthworts and Wild Gingers: Asarum and Saruma 276
Ch. 24 Enchanting Jacks: Arisaema and Pinellia 288
Ch. 25 The Wooded Lilies: Fairy Bells and Solomon's Seals 308
Ch. 26 Gargantuan Lilies: The Genus Cardiocrinum 342
Ch. 27 Boggy Beauties: Helonias and Heloniopsis 346
Ch. 28 Paris in the Springtime: The Genera Paris, Trillidium, and Scoliopus 348
U.S.D.A. Hardiness Zone Map 359
Mail-Order Sources of Plant Material 360
Glossary 363
Bibliography 367
Index 369
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