Japan: Photographic Odds and Ends

Cash and carry garden center. While Dale is the master of getting plants into a suitcase this could be beyond his abilities.

My favorite sushi chef. We tried one of everything and it seem to amuse the locals.

A sweet little flower girl at a horticultural trade show

A flower boy

Double Decker Highway in downtown Tokyo

A breeder shows off his genetics - African Daises

Old and New Technology

Dr. Yokoi 's Variegated Plant collection. We spent a few hours rummaging through this vast collection of plants. Dr. Yokoi wrote the book on variegated plants.

Variegated Ragweed. Now my collection is complete.

The Royal Horticulture Society Issues Final Report

About 150 years ago German physician and botanist Philipp Franz von Siebold introduced Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandliflora’, the Pee Gee Hydrangea, from Japan to the Western World. For nearly a century, Grandiflora reigned supreme and was the only cultivar available to buy. It was so ubiquitous that people eventually came refer to the whole species as Pee Gee Hydrangeas.

Today the market has been flooded with cultivars and we have over 40 selections to choose from. I’ve grown most of these selections and have chosen my favorites. Limelight and Pinky Winky Hydrangea are most certainly the top two plants on my list. Well scientists at the Royal Horticulture Society in England appear to a similar opinion.

The Royal Horticulture Society just completed a five year evaluation of 47 Hydrangea paniculata cultivars. The results are in – Limelight and Pinky Winky (‘DVPpinky’) earned the highest rating of Excellent (3 stars) and both were awarded the prestigious AGM – RHS Award of Garden Merit. And how did Pee Gee fair? It received the lowest possible rating of no stars – (average to poor).

While I sincerely appreciate the time and effort the RHS put into this study - in the end this trial is kind of like those scientific studies that go to great lengths to prove what we already know.