Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 2014 Foliage Follow-Up

Each month on the day after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, the inspirational Pam Penick  at Digging hosts Foliage Follow-Up, a garden blogging meme to remind us all of the importance of foliage in our gardens. Flowers are pretty but foliage is forever. Click on the link above to see gorgeous greens from around the world!

Spring is an explosion of exciting foliage so instead of even pretending to have a theme, I just let the camera lead me around. 

Meconopsis paniculata foliage looking gorgeous in the sun!  Can't wait to see a mature rosette of this gorgeous plant?  Go here.  This is an easy Meconopsis and the golden glow of that foliage...sigh! 

Astilboides tabularis leaves looking a little rumpled as they unfurl.  Soon they'll cover the ripening foliage of the galianthus.  Probably best not to point out that hedera helix leaf in the  bottom center of the picture.  One would think I'd pull a weed or two before taking pictures.

Acer palmatum 'Ukigumo' has survived three years for me so maybe it'll decide to stay on permanently.

Pieris Japonica 'Forest Flame'

Syneilesis palmata adding some more growth to the tall stalks behind that emerged earlier.

Very excited to have this specimen of Schefflera  delavayi from Gossler Farms (Portland Yard Garden and Patio Show)   The leaf margins are not as deeply incised as some I've seen (watch for aan upcoming post!) but are more so than my other S. delavayi.

Acer pseudoplatanus 'Esk Sunset'  

Golden hops vine  seems like a good idea at this time of year before it starts trying to conquer the world. 

Since I read Alison's post with pictures of Rhododendron 'Super Flimmer' a year ago, I've been smitten by this plant but hadn't seen one until we visited Hortlandia, the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon's amazing plant sale (post to come soon.)  Unfortunately it got a little sunburn on top while in the car but it'll be fine!  Evergreen foliage that seems to glow from within.  Perfect for a shady spot!

Hoover Boo and Loree posted about this new Alstromeria 'Rock and Roll'  Both Alison and I wanted one and Loree pointed us to Portland Nursery to get them.  Sources disagree about hardiness 8? 8b? 9?  It may stay in a pot and come in during the coldest part of the winter.  (Screaming orange/red flowers - don't tell Pam I mentioned the "F" word!)

Hosta 'White Feather' is another Hortlandia find.

Tulip ' Fire of Love' has a tag that says it's a perennial bulb.  I sure hope so!  It's a Greigii and they usually stick around for a while.  Just found that Brent and Becky's Bulbs sells these!  I'm seeing many of these being planted in my garden this fall!

From a recent trip to Dragonfly Farms Nursery came this Pyrrosia lingua 'Hiryu' which had just arrived from Japan!
 All of these new plants are sitting near the back door where I pass them several times a day so they got a lot of attention in this post.  Agave americana 'Cornelius' has been very expensive when I've seen it before.  On our recent visit to Portland, Cistus had them on sale for about a fifth of the price of the others I'd seen.  Since the danger gardenette is moving to a larger, newly cleared-out area, I'll be able to find space for this beauty!

This hosta has nifty undulating leaves that emerge a little differently form their smoother-leafed peers.

Elated that I didn't kill Sinopldophyllum hexandrum  (Far Reaches last year.) It Is Alive!

Old friend Devil's Club, Oplopanax horridus, makes my Alaskan relatives laugh as there it is cut down all of the time.  It's pretty well-behaved, has huge leaves, (a good gunnera substitute in cold winter areas) and produces a nice cluster of white flowers followed by striking red berries.  Probably a good idea to plant it a bit away from paths as the sensory experience of brushing against it isn't pleasant.

What foliage has caught your attention this month? 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day April 2014

On the 15th of each month, Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, a meme that invites garden bloggers from around the world to post images of what's currently blooming in their gardens.  Thanks, Carol, for once again hosting the party.  Be sure to click on the link above to see what's blooming in gardens everywhere this month.
Spring has sprung and there are now so many things in bloom outside that I will only post some of the floral offerings. 

Some Daphne or other with a delicious fragrance! 

The magnolias are at their peak.  Here's M. 'Black Tulip'

Magnolia 'Julia'
Inherited magnolia.  You know, there's a reason that all of the books recommend siting ponds well away from trees.  I can tell what time of year it is by what I'm skimming off of the water.  Camellias, magnolia blossoms, bamboo leaves all summer then magnolia leaves in fall.  Oh well, skimming 2  - 3 times a day keeps me in touch with the goofy fish.
The newest addition to the magnolia collection is Magnolia laevifolia which perfumed the car with it's beautiful lemon scent on a two hour drive home.  Heaven!
Trillium in a shady area

Skimmia Japonica's flowers have a strong wafting fragrance that I look forward to enjoying each spring!

Tulip time!  It's nice to think back to that October day when we planted tulips in the morning then went to the pumpkin patch.  We'll make it an annual tradition!

Who wouldn't hit the bottle after spending the winter out in the cold?  These have come back for ten years.  Unfortunately, I don't remember the variety.

If I recall correctly, these were supposed to be orange.  Perhaps they change color as they age. 
Our native skunk cabbage, Lysichiton americanus.

The flowers of Rhododendron 'President Roosevelt' fade to this vibrant pink color as they age.

They start out looking like this. 

Smelling Fragrant Stock brings back a flood of happy memories so there is often a pot or two on the back steps.

Berberis darwinii is a hummingbird favorite.

Pulmonaria is still going strong.

The earliest Camellia japonica has finished blooming for the year but many others are now continuing the show.  There is one strange one that blooms on and off all summer long.  go figure.

Agapetes 'Ludgvan Cross' has now taken its place back outside for the summer. 

Sanguinaria canadensis 'Multiplex'

Soldanella villosa
The curse of Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica.) I'm a pretty good plant killer having done in running bamboo, kept bishop's weed where I wanted it and nowhere else, and tamed impatiens glandulifera but this thing is pure evil. 

 Uvularia grandiflora
 Last but not least is Anemone nemorosa 'Viridiflora' 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Visiting Valley Nursery

Last weekend we went on a little nursery hop on the Kitsap Peninsula.  It's a beautiful drive but we only had time to visit three nurseries this time as we lingered and enjoyed something special at each of them.  First up was Valley Nursery in Poulsbo.  This is a full service, large nursery with lots to see and buy.  There are always some imaginative and interesting planted up containers for sale.  What fun hostess gifts these would make, they're less expensive than a bottle of wine, and last longer than cut flowers.  Fun!
One surprise was that talented photographer, knowledgeable plant person, author of Rainy Side Gardeners, funny lady, and friend Debbie Teashon, is now working at Valley.  This was only a surprise because someone doesn't keep up with facebook the way he should. 
Grevillea 'Ned Kelley' was tempting as I love it but killed mine this winter by bringing it inside when it got cold (good) and then forgetting to water it until it was mostly brown (bad.)  I'll have to love you from afar Ned, as I'm clearly too neglectful a plant parent to deserve you.

Some of the staff were taking turns having their picture taken standing on the bench on the right and peering into this dracaena.
They showed me that the excitement was this - it was about to bloom!  For some of you, this may be a regular occurrence but in these parts, it's unusual. 
Another fun event was Dan Hinkley's talk about his favorite plants for this climate.  Being a Monrovia-sponsored event, he spoke mostly about many of the "Dan Hinkley, Plant Explorer Collection" released by Monrovia but also threw in plugs for some of his other faves.  The nursery was very well stocked with the Monrovia offerings and it was interesting to watch the attendees of the talk march out and stock up on the plants about which Mr. Hinkley so entertainingly spoke.
Disporum longistylum 'Green Giant' has white flowers followed by blue/black berries but the emerging foliage is very decorative by itself!

To see more of the Hinkley Collection, go here.
Remember the pictures of Magnolia 'Blushing Belle' from our Vassey visit?  Here's one at Valley that's just past her prime.  The watermelon pink color is still lovely.  Here are some images of the thing in full bloom.

One of my Yucca Gloriosas did this beautiful color shift this year; others in the same bed did not, nor did any of my Y. 'Bright Star' that have in the past.  Many nurseries have Y. 'Bright Star' in the same size and color intensity this spring.  All from one big grower?  Anybody know the secret of the beautiful pink color shift?  I've heard that it has to do with cold temps and light exposure.

This bromeliad really wanted to come home and join the collection in my music room but (O.K. they're all plant rooms now but have been given names to differentiate which plant room is which.)  Maybe this should be the bromeliad room with the instruments in it.

Xerosicyos danguyi looks like one of those plants that would be happy baking in a sunny window and growing over the years to take over a room.

Here kitty.  We'll name this one envy.
(Because it's green.)

Warning!  Broken pots should be repaired, half buried in the ground or discarded immediately  or dwarves, elves, leprechauns, lighthouse building fairies or other garden pests may take up residence and you'll have to decide on a method for dealing with them.

Won't this look great when it's completely rusted?

Repurposing of garden tools?  Looks like they may have been made just for this but there are some interesting ideas for do it yourselfers who have broken tools.  Who says that gardeners don't have hang ups?
Visit Valley's site here, see previous posts about them here and have a happy new week wherever you are!