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.

Monday, April 24, 2017

In A Vase On Monday Fortunately/Unfortunately

Fortunately, we had the most beautiful weather so far this year on Friday (65 degrees and sunny.) Fortunately, I took the day off work.  Unfortunately, I took the day off work because the flu bug visited my house.

This meany left me with barely enough energy to hoist the remote control as the dogs and I lay on the couch, drifting in and out of sleep all day.

Fortunately, there are lots of blooms in the garden to put in a vase.  Unfortunately, rain poured down most of the day and I considered taking pictures of a silk arrangement already in place instead.

This Rhododendron 'President Roosavelt' had bent down to the ground very near my back door and looked as beat as I felt.  (This variety is gorgeous with variegated foliage and bi colored blooms but are also known for leaning and being a bit weak.)

One quick dash outside was about it for me.  The rhododendron was placed in an Helium mug, a gift of my niece.

If you don't know Strindberg and Helium, here are some uplifting videos:

The flu bug and rhododendron were joined by facial tissue, sleepytime tea, and a thermometer.  Not the most flower-filled Monday Vase  but certainly the fastest to assemble.  Didn't want to miss out on the addictive In A Vase On Monday meme hosted by the talented and creative  Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Click here to see her arrangement this week and to find links to those of other participants. 

Can you believe it's already the last week of April?  My poor garden has been sorely neglected this year and I've agreed to open it in a couple of months for the Northwest Perennial Alliance.  Hope they like the drifts of dandelions and masses of shotweed.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Spring Saunter Through The Rhododendron Species Garden

When attending the sale sponsored by the Rhododendron Species Garden Foundation, who could resist the temptation to take a walk through their spectacular botanical  garden?  As an added bonus, I asked a question and was directed to a fellow who turned out to be the famous plant explorer and director of the garden.  What a thrill to meet this brilliant and kind man about whom I'd read.  I won't bore you with many words because there are so many pictures in this post.

R. sinogrande for sale.  Dig the big bold foliage!
 Pleione bulbocodioides

Magnolia sargentiana var. robusta has huge blooms!

The conservatory.

Back outside.

The meadow.

Exciting things to come!

The non-gardener remarked at the darkness of this Camellia japonica.  They really were stunning!

A brief moment of sun between showers.

Soon to be a field of Cardiocrinum giganteum and blue poppies.

Cardiocrinum giganteum var. yunnanense

Vibrant textures of spring.

On to the stumpery.

Have a good weekend all.  Hope we all get some nice gardening weather!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Rhododendron Species Foundation Spring Sale

Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming!  How lucky for those of us in the Pacific Northwest to have two, count 'em two, fabulous specialty plant sales happening on the same weekend.  Fortunately, the RSF sale took place on Friday and Saturday while Hortlandia took place on Saturday and Sunday.    First the RSG sale.

This sale seemed even more grand than it was last year. It was a treat to see so many familiar vendors who I worried might forego this sale this year because of the conflict.  Some, like Keeping it Green Nursery found a way to be at both sales.  Plant people are magic.

Having bid farewell to our Chocolate girl in the wee hours of this Good Friday morning, it was good to get out of the house and try to  be a little distracted by late afternoon when the sale opened.

Being surrounded by so much life was helpful and walking the grounds of the garden (post tomorrow) was healing.

So many delicious plants.

Fuchsias with interesting foliage

and adorable blooms like this F. reflexa

Acers a-go-go

Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty' has come back during the last couple of years.  For a time this was hard to find.

I forgot which pyrossia this is.

 The foliage of Viola koreana, the cyclamen-leaved violet, caught my eye.  The clump of violets in my front lawn isn't increasing quickly enough to take over all of that grass so I'm collecting violets to plant around in the lawn to help out.

Teddy, the mascot of Keeping it Green seemed comfortable on a chair in his coat.  He's a very friendly and sweet boy who I've met and patted before.

From soft and cuddly to sharp and dangerous, there's always an agave.  Nice to see more of these showing up!

Ian of The Desert Northwest brought a very nice selection of agaves but I have most of these, having shopped with this great grower before.

Grevillea fivularis, which has sweet pink flowers came home with me. 

So tempted by these Banksias.

Descampsia flexuosa 'Aurea' looked quite fetching especially when the sun broke through the clouds briefly and lit it artfully.

A new plant to me that almost made it into the plant mobile just for the story!

Here's the haul:  Prostanthera rotundifolia, delighted to finally find an Artemesia versicolor 'Seafoam', Eucryphia glutinosa, Grevillea rivularis, Descampsia flexuosa 'Aurea', a couple of Saxifraga stolonifera to replenish a patch that I lost, Campanula 'Samantha' , Hosta 'Crumb Cake' and a new Grevillea 'Ivanhoe.' My Ivanhoe perished this winter in the wet and cold sitting out in a four inch pot.  I'll take better care of this one!
Tomorrow we'll stroll the garden together!