Unseasonably warm and dry, this fall has offered terrific weather for outdoor work. But colder temps have forced me indoors to work on the catalog and the website for the 2016 season. Plant availability and prices on the website are current for 2016. I will add a few new offerings as time permits. The print catalog is now available in pdf form on this website, or in the mail, just for the asking.

Check out my schedule of off-site plant sales and Epimedium talks for this year, possibly coming to a venue near you. After a year’s hiatus I will again be back at O’Brien’s Nursery in Granby, CT on Sun. May 15. If you have never visited this nursery, you are in for a treat! John specializes in shade plants, particularly hostas, but dabbles in all sorts of other unusual and hard to find woodies and herbaceous perennials. Check his calendar for open weekend dates.

This year our Open Nursery weekends have a bit of an odd flow, in order to allow me to attend some of the off-site sales that I am accustomed to participating in. So check the dates to make sure the nursery will be open on the day you plan to visit. My apologies, it was just the way the calendar fell this year.

evergreen deciduous epimedium foliage comparison in winter

Evergreen and semi-evergreen Epimediums (top and bottom left) compared to deciduous varieties (center, bottom right) against an early January snowfall in Massachusetts

I ventured out in single digit temps today to photograph Epimedium foliage in the nursery. It always surprises me when a customer asks what the difference is between evergreen and deciduous Epimediums.

Evergreen varieties have leaves with good substance that usually maintain their color (or a winter version of it) until spring. The leaves of deciduous varieties dry up and either blow away or hang limp with the first few frosts of the season. We actually classify the foliage into three categories, the third being semi-evergreen, meaning that the plant keeps its foliage in good condition throughout the fall, only succumbing when the weather really gets cold, usually right about now, in early January. Semi-evergreen types do not have much substance to their leaves. In the northeast, even evergreen Epimediums with thick, waxy leaves, suffer some winter burn by early spring, unless protected by snow cover. However, they do make a good showing up through the coldest part of the winter, even here in the Northeast.

So far this year, we have had the perfect amount of snow to show off our Epimedium winter wardrobe. Enjoy this quiet season, and I hope to see you in the spring.

Karen Perkins

Garden Vision Epimediums