Despite the clouds and a brief downpour, I was able to have a soulful visit with Tony Avent, plant collector and nature benefactor extraordinaire. Tony is also the owner of Plant Delights Nursery. I am taking home inspiration and a bountiful harvest from the six acres of themed gardens, test beds, greenhouses, moss-filled shaded pathways filled with 17,000 one of a kind plants. Plants you won't find anywhere else on the planet for sale.
The garden center and Juniper Level Botanic Garden with its' picturesque pathways is outside of downtown Raleigh, NC. it is only open to the public two weekends a year so check out the times first to make sure you can tour. Groups are welcome. While you're making arrangements, go online and order the free catalog. Each catalog with plant details and Tony's experience and insight becomes a piece of well-thought out artwork and garden enthusiast collectible - much like Avent's plants. Written by Tony and his staff, the catalog is intelligent, humor-provoking, and as deep South, and politically uncorrect, as you can get these days. When you're digging in dirt, you might as well dig deep.
I'm going to float all the way back home filled with hope and conservatively, I'll be getting a little dirty myself.
Plant Delights Nursery - May 2009