Well, California's Monrovia Nursery has come up with a solution. In 2009 they coupled up with a giant of the horticultural world, Dan Hinkley and came out with a hand selected collection that 'dares to be different'. Instead of solely going the route so many breeders are by constantly re-releasing a supposed new version of an old favorite, they're bring excitement to the garden world with nearly 60 rare and difficult to find plants originating from Hinkley's personal worldwide collecting expeditions. Although limited by availability, its a bold step for any grower to be investing in little known and rare plants during a hard economy.
For a plant nut like myself, waiting for that truck to arrive with the latest offering from Hinkley's collection that I've ordered is on par with a child's excitement of Christmas morning. Once unloaded, I waste no time in calling my connoisseur customers to report of what horticultural treasures they'll find on their next visit. Plant collecting is just as addictive as any drug on the market. I guess in the grand scheme of things, that makes me a dealer!
Here are just a few that I've been fortunate to lay my hands on;
Hydrangea angustipetala 'Golden Crane'
|Hydrangea Golden Crane|
Monrovia - Dan Hinkley
Cestrum 'Orange Peel'
Cestrum Orange Peel
Monrovia - Doreen Wynja
Sausage Vine 'Cathedral Gem'
|Sausage Vine 'Cathedral Gem' - Monrovia|
I see this plant as the jewel in the crown of the Dan Hinkley / Monrovia offerings. Ok, its a personal statement but this is the coolest thing I've seen. A hardy Schefflera from the mountains of Vietnam, claimed to be hardy to zone 7! Scheffleras, or Umbrella Trees are normally seen as tortured houseplants, often collecting dust in dark corners of homes or offices but prized for the umbrella-like foliage texture they offer. With this introduction, it offers the same textural qualities for use outside. Small flowers in summer give way to an exciting display of purple fruit thats equally pleasing to the foliage. I've always had an affinity for tropical inspired gardens and this release will help those with similar appreciations to achieve this concept.
|Schefflera brevipedunculata - Monrovia|
During this time of economic hardship, Monrovia has thought outside of the box and set themselves apart from the group of mainstream group of growers. By bring onboard Dan Hinkley, they have begun to offer the spirit of adventure for the gardener looking for something different. Maybe this partnership will echo in a rebirth to the famed golden era of plant collecting last seen during the reign of the famous Veitch & Sons nursery in England. Now the only questions is, do you dare to be different?
Learn more about the Hinkley collection by clicking here:
Or, read more about Hinkley's travels through one of these amazing books: