Toured Ken's garden!
Ken gracioiusly hosted my sister and I yesterday - wow is there some fantastic stuff there!
I worked a 17 hour day Friday so was pokey as a turtle Saturday morning and was running late. To top that off, I forgot my purse at my sister's house, so after we headed out and I realized that, had to turn around and retrieve that (because, of course, just when you don't have your driver's license something happens...). Then I had to call Ken because I kinda sorta got "lost" (not really lost-lost, just couldn't find the turn-off). Fortunately, Ken was very nice about my lateness and proceed to give me his "$50 tour" which really was more like the $500 tour - spent ~2 hours checking out all the great plants!
First off, what a view! He's posted pictures of the view off his deck before on the perennials forum, and pictures don't do it justice - beautifully laid out beds, it's such a relaxing, peaceful panorama off the deck.
You all know Ken has a great hosta collection - some really well-grown specimens, most of which I've never seen before. He even has one named after him :0).
What really impressed me was the collection of conifers and trees - wow! Some fantastic specimens I've never actually heard of let alone seen. Variegated conifers, conifers with blue cones, deciduous conifers - it goes on and on. Loved the variegated ginko in particular, and I've never seen daphnes grown so well - I'd like to pick one up next spring if I find one locally, I just loved the specimens he had.
Ken's wife and children are lovely - they came out to say hello before heading out. It did sprinkle for a while, but that didn't really put a damper on things, we just got out the umbrellas (actually, Ken's daughter thoughtfully ran out out to us) and carried on, and like was discussed in a post from the other day, can often seen plants better on a cloudy day. When the sun finally did come out when we were wrapping things up, it was getting brutal with the hot sun and horrid humidity, so it actually worked out in that regard.
Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures, but my sister did take notes on the hostas I was particularly interested in, since I'm on the hunt for some variegated specimens for my beds.
Had a really nice time, learned some interesting factoids, got some good pointers on plant shipping, and he even was kind enough to dig up a hosta for me to take home, which I potted up today.
Thanks for a great afternoon, Ken!! :0)
"Praying Hands" hosta from Ken: