I was drawn to the sharp shadows created by the emerging flower heads on Hydrangea ‘Preziosa’. This one, at Joy Creek, gets more sun than my two plants and is denser and further along in the blooming process. These are easy to propagate by layering so I think I’ll start a couple more to place in a sunnier locale. Click through to see what Anna (Flutter and Hum) has in store with her Wednesday Vignette.
The subtle coloration and markings of these Iris from Alison are best appreciated in a vase, up close and personal. The dark leaf of Persicaria ‘Purple Shield’ sets it off nicely.
Herer’s a closer look at that cute little vase by a local potter.
When the rain beats down a few tall bearded Iris, those come inside as well. Join Cathy (Rambling in the Garden) to see what she and others have found for their vases this morning.
If you’re a plant geek (and you probably are, if you’re reading this) you are probably salivating at the thought of getting together with a bunch of like-minded plantaholics to swap stories and plants. Even better if you get to see the beginnings of a new garden being crafted by a creative and ingenious gardener like our hostess, Tamara (Chickadee Gardens) here seriously contemplating a point raised by Evan (The Practical Plant Geek).
Tamara and her husband, David, recently moved from a densely planted city place to their dream spot in the country.
Already, they have begun to put their stamp on the property. The Blogging buddies were excited to see it in the beginning stages. We’ll be keeping tabs on the progress as it evolves into the little piece of paradise it is destined to become.
Lots of good things to eat, the fellowship of others whose passion for plants might be misunderstood in ordinary circles and a bucolic setting made for a cool way to spend a hot day.
Linda (Whatsit Garden) managed to look stylish relaxing in the shade.
Peter (The Outlaw Gardener) returns from exploring that colorful outbuilding bearing Tamara’s signature bright colors. For a bunch of people who mostly claim to be introverts, we sure do have a good time. And then there are the plants. More about that next time.
So many levels of perception present in this photo. I’m sure Anna (Flutter and Hum), our host for Wednesday Vignettes, would find deep philosophical meaning there. If you click through to her blog you will get so much more than just pretty pictures.
All of the big, showy flowers are showing up early this year. I say, while we got ’em, flaunt ’em.
The bearded iris ‘Immortality’ starts as an icy blue bud that unfurls to pristine white perfection.
This clump is about ready for dividing. I plan to put some closer to the house, where we can truly appreciate them.
The tree peony ‘Chinese Dragon’ produces magnificent deep red flowers but I haven’t perfected the pruning techniques that would coax the shrub into a pleasing overall shape. Enter the close-up, a device used by gardener/photographers to fool you into thinking that all is sweetness and light. To fill out the bouquet, I added a few stems of Weigelia ‘Wine and Roses’ and some Tellima grandiflora, a wildflower that looks something like Heuchera.
And now for the “and more”: (Joy Creek) has changed up its Sunday seminars a bit. There is still the occasional free talk we’ve become used to, but there are now expanded sessions for a nominal fee. Coming up this Sunday is a class called Troughs the Easy Way, taught by a true rock garden star, Christine Ebrahimi. This might be a creative way to spend part of Mothers’ Day. Disclaimer: I am now part of the JC team, but my enthusiasm is genuine and I just have an inside track on what’s going on there.
Valerie Finnis must have been something special to get this beautiful Artemesia named after her…and (Linda) is just as special for passing it along.
My consolation prize for missing Hortlandia was a visit to Xera, where I OD’d on luscious plants and brought home these two.
Here’s the tag description for Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Maki’: “A compact form of the Japanese Yew Pine that forms a wonderful fine textured shrub with a distinctly asian appearance to 4′ tall in 5 years and 4’wide. Waxy needles are fresh looking year round. Adaptable to many situations including understory shade. Tough and draught resistant when established but just as happy with regular irrigation. Tolerates extreme heat well and may be grown against a hot wall and even endures dry shade. Underused.” Amen to that! I have it in a pot for now, but it sounds like a trooper, wherever it lands.
You may detect a theme developing here. This one is Pitosporum tobira ‘Tall and Tough’: “Japanese Mock Orange is an exceptionally tough, handsome and long-lived evergreen shrub. Scrolled green/black leaves are good looking year round. In May/June, clusters of white/cream flowers emit a powerful orange blossom fragrance. Full sun to shade in average well-drained soil. Light summer water, extremely drought tolerant when established. To 6′ x 6′ in 5 years. This selection is much hardier to cold than other P. tobira. Fantastic shrub.” OK, there might be more than one theme here, but the one that grabbed me was the indestructible part. The flowers are already starting to open and my nose knows that I did the right thing.
Speaking of indestructible, take a look at Berberis ‘Jamesiana’. Isn’t it a beauty? Now tell me, how can it be that R has a vendetta going against this fabulous shrub. It does have a very prickly personality, but that is just because he keeps hacking away at it to liberate a nearby Italian cypress (of which we have MANY).
On one side, it is complemented by Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’…
…while on the other a carpet of Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’ does the honors. Jim’s pendulous flowers will give way to pearlescent pale yellow drupes on their way to blushing red later on.
I hope you won’t tire of my going on and on about (Joy Creek), but how can I help myself, surrounded by plants like this Weigelia middendorffiana with its charming splashes of orange peeking out of buttery yellow blossoms?
That’s my roundup for this week. I hope you have a memorable weekend.
While out shooting foliage, this photo rose to the top to be featured as this week’s Wednesday Vignette, hosted by Anna (Flutter and Hum).
For this month’s Foliage Follow-up, hosted by Pam (Digging), I was attracted to newly emerging leaves and needles. Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’, or Bird’s Nest Spruce, is a uniformly colored background plant most of the year, but in early spring the new growth is a fresh spring green that raises its value considerably.
This little procumbent deodor cedar is interesting by virtue of its form, but even more so right now, with the new needles coming in.
Right after Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’ finishes blooming (with flowers that look to me like dirty handkerchieves) the real show begins, earning it its name.
Here we have the Cotinus blushing bright red before putting on its ‘Purple Robe’ and cozying up to ‘Thunderhead’ pine sporting the “candles” that will become new foliage (at least the ones that escape being snapped off to control the growth pattern).
Ending, where we began, with Fagus sylvatica ‘Pendula Purpurea’. It’s at its very best when the leaves are brand new and coppery and pleated like this.
A ball of chicken wire is a handy device for holding stems upright in a vase.
The patch of Lily-of-the-valley growing through golden baby tears has grown exponentially each year (starting with a single start from a friend).
I wanted to keep the simplicity of the white and green.
Pristine little bells give off a powerful scent (but not too powerful). Cathy of (Rambling in the Garden) hosts a weekly In a Vase on Monday meme to tickle your nose and your eyeballs. I highly recommend it.
I knew when the Hortlandia posts started rolling in I would regret having missed it. But who would pass up time in the gorge with good friends, good food and wildflowers? Not me!
The drive to their place in Mosier was a dream journey.
We wanted to take some shots out their windows to show how our bird-saving silhouettes can be used without obstructing the view.
And what a view it is!
The last time we hiked Rowena Crest, the Balsam Root was just finishing up. This time it was in full flower.
Lupine on the crest was just getting started, though we saw drifts of it coloring roadsides at lower altitudes.
Less bold, but worth a closer look, larkspur amidst the grasses,
and all sorts of dainties tucked in here and there amongst the bolder show-offs. We passed several fields of Camassia turning the landscape blue but they were behind fences so no photos.
Last, but certainly not least, I answered the call to help out at (Joy Creek Nursery) on Sundays. What kind of a dream job is that? I hope you’ll stop by to say “hello” if you’re in the neighborhood, stroll the fabulous display gardens and fall for a few of the enticing plants in the sales area.
Not sure if this is Euphorbia ‘Firecharm’ or ‘Dixter’. They are both planted in this bed with no distinguishable difference that I can see. I’ve heard complaints about their vigor but this flaming beauty is welcome to as much territory as it desires in this garden. Anna (Flutter and Hum) often dishes up deep thoughts to go with her Wednesday Vignettes. I wouldn’t miss it, if I were you.
So much of what is blooming now is old fashioned, like the lilac. I love it and wouldn’t want to miss having that fragrance in the house, but wanted to update it some.
Combining it with the acid green blooms of Euphorbia wulfenii and a single ‘Queen of the Night’ tulip did it for me.
A new vase came from the local one-stop for half off.
You can’t get much older-fashioned that bleeding heart and forget-me-not.
Rescued from prissiness by a few emerging bronze leaflets of tree peony. If you haven’t yet tuned in to ‘In a Vase on Monday’, I strongly recommend you click through now to (Rambling in the Garden) to see what it’s all about.