A few of us came in Sunday morning to go on Richard Olsen's impromptu tour for Sean Hogan who flew in from the west coast Saturday night to speak in the Friends of the National Arboretum Distinguished Lecture Series. Sean is the owner of Cistus Nursery, an accomplisihed horticulturist, plant collector, and designer. His talk wasn't until 2:00, so a few of us toured the Asian Collections. Cistus Nursery is one of those nurseries whose catalogue incites me to a covetous frenzy. And it's just a black and white list with brief interesting descriptions. It was fun comparing our relative climates and how differently the same plants perform on our respective sites.
A little group who arrived early, including me, walked through the Herb Garden where we saw among other things, this insane colored Salvia hybrid. It was selected by Lauren Springer Ogden, designer and plantswoman par excellence, and Scott Ogden, her husband, a great plantsman and the author of one of my favorite books, Garden Bulbs for the South. The plant apparently appeared in their garden; they think likely it is a cross between Salvia greggii and Salvia lycoides. Its a vigorous large plant and today it was covered with these flowers that are, if anything, more colorful than I have captured them.
Though the Herb Garden was wonderful in its entirety, the Salvias, the Peppers, and the new Rose Garden were particularly nice.