Podcast: Garden Confidential

Episode 4: Cabbage Patch

Dan Heims' friends in Japan, Mr. Hirose and Dr. Yokoi (front), former professor at Chiba University, at a specialty micro-nursery that only sold wild-collected forms of Hosta rectifolia. Play this podcast... Photo/Illustration: Dan Heims

Ever notice how an obscure plant today can turn into a treasure trove of exciting new varieties overnight? Take the genus Heuchera, for example: it wasn’t too many years ago its few species labored pretty much in garden obscurity. Today, you’d be hard pressed to walk into a nursery without tripping over 10 new Heuchera cultivars. There are so many Heucheras, in fact, that we decided to start this show off with a Heuchera slam. Listen in to find out what we mean.

Where do new plants come from? In this month’s episode, I talk to Dan Heims, president of Terra Nova Nurseries, and arguably one of the harbingers of Heuchera as a household name.

Heims first became a plant explorer right out of college. “I would spend 3 weeks to a month mostly hitchhiking around Hawaii exploring every realm, from abandoned army bases to collecting plants that had crept out of landfills. You’d be amazed at how much really exotic stuff, like alocasias (really rare plants at the time), was there,” he said.

Links mentioned in this podcast…

Terra Nova Nurseries
Terra Nova Nurseries on Facebook

Tune in to find out how new plants come to market, from the time of their discovery to when they land in nurseries, as well as:

  • the new plant Heims is most excited about this year;
  • the coolest plant he just couldn’t propagate;
  • the hard-to-propagate genus he feels deserves more attention, and;
  • his favorite Heuchera AND Heucherella… Well, on that particular day, at least.

Special thanks to Jesse Greenblatt for the Heuchera slam that kicks off this episode.

Music from this podcast by ccMixter users Pat Chilla The Beat Gorilla and grapes.

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