playing catch-up

I’m impressed how so many of you can keep up your blogging and commenting even with spring springing and garden chores beckoning. I’ve been overwhelmed, with two gardens to clean up, spruce up and prune into shape. Sooo…I’m rolling blooms and foliage into one post, and if I have failed to comment on your recent posts, please know that I love you still and will be back in the saddle as soon as the rains return.

Hamamelis intermedia ‘Diane’

Out here at the R&R Ranch, it’s slim pickins in the bloom department. The Hamamelis with the split personality is having its ‘Diane’ moment. Earlier (sometime in January) that middle tall part bloomed yellow. The plant I purchased was meant to be ‘Diane’ so your guess is as good as mine about what’s going on here.

‘Diane’ close-up

‘Diane’ was ready for her close-up, with the sun catching her against a background in shadow. The only other things blooming here are snowdrops and slug-tattered primroses.

bergenia flower

In town, we are getting ready for new tenants to take over. They say they will maintain the garden, but we have heard that song before. At any rate, it seems only fair to get them off to a good start. The garden here has a southern exposure, is surrounded by concrete and gets reflected light from the house. The Bergenias are in full flower,

Bergenia bud

With those around the corner, in the shade, fattening up their buds, ready to star in the second act..

mystery plant

I can’t recall having planted this low-growing charmer (i know…I sound like I’m testifying before congress) . Anyone know what it is? This just in from The Mulchmaid: the plant in question is Lesser celadine, and is on the invasive species list. Jane included a link to Kim Pokorny telling us all about it. Sorry, Linda…I guess I won’t be passing this one along.

yellow crocus

I’ve never been big on crocuses (they seem to bloom for about five seconds, tops), but these cheerful little fellows emerging through the duff make their case pretty convincingly.

valentine bouquet

Since Bloom Day fell the day after St Valentines Day, I think it only fair to include this mixed bouquet from my Valentine. Some of these flowers will go out early in a blaze of glory and the nature of the arrangement will morph over time…just as relationships do.

Melianthus Major

And now for the Foliage Follow-up. Melianthus Major was one of the first plants I ever spent serious money on (well, $20 seemed like a lot at the time). It was my first (and, so far, only) visit to Gossler Farms in Springfield OR. The plant was in a one gallon pot, with three or four leaves…but what leaves! They were a very pale green with a bluish cast and deep serrations. Lightly brushing the leaves produced the scent of peanut butter. It was love at first sight.

the long view of Melianthus Major

Backing up a bit here, you can see that my one little plant has colonized an entire area (it goes on some ways beyond the left of the picture frame, but I wanted to include the bright red dogwood twigs encroaching from the right). I have tried several times to divide and move it to our current digs, but it will have none of it. I will keep trying, because this is one of my all-time favorite plants. In the meantime, I hope our new tenants give it the love and attention it deserves.

You could do worse than to shower your love and attention upon May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and Digging for Foliage Follow-up.

19 Responses to “playing catch-up”

  1. Pam/Digging Says:

    I bet that Melianthus has been worth every penny and more over the years. Thanks for taking the time to post for Foliage Follow-Up. Yep, it’s the crazy time of year in the garden. Enjoy!

  2. Alison Says:

    Yes, blog posts do take a while to put together, time you’d much rather spend out in the garden working. Your Melianthus is huge! I hope your tenants take care of it. Your ‘Diane’ is such a pretty shade of red!

  3. Heather Says:

    You gave me a LOL over your witch hazel. I think I have Diane moments sometimes.

  4. Loree /danger garden Says:

    Wow I’ve never seen such a huge Melianthus! How old is it? Surely you’ve bought another for your current garden?

  5. Mark and Gaz Says:

    That Melianthus, and all of your other plants looks lovely! And love the purple colour of the foliage too :) take your time and enjoy the arrival of spring!

  6. ricki Says:

    Pam~You’re right: worth every penny and then some. Boy, have YOU ever been busy. Thanks for taking a minute to stop by here and say “Hello”.

    Alison~Meli has reached that stage where I doubt any amount of neglect could kill her.

    Heather~Glad to return the favor…you make me laugh every time I visit hammer girl.

    Loree~It must be at least fifteen years old. I keep trying to get a start from it but no luck so far.

    Mark and Gaz~And that isn’t even one of the new varieties advertising bluish and purplish shades.

  7. Peter/Outlaw Says:

    You are ritght, blog posts and commenting do take some time and the garden is beckoning. Fortnately I have a few days off so I can d both. And know that we love you too! Really, who doesn’t love spending time outside when it’s not raining?

  8. Grace Peterson Says:

    I bought my Melianthus at the wrong time, right before the end of our horrid winters. Had I waited a year, it would still be alive like yours is. I’m kind of jealous.

    The little yellow beauties are Winter Aconite, I believe. Another one of my failings. I sure like the bright little Nandina next to your Diane.

    The garden is waking up!

  9. linda Says:

    Oh , can I put in a request for a little bit of that Winter charmer…please . The plant exchange perhaps ? My Mel, was sailing along just fine all winter…till that last hit of frost, hoping it’s root hardy .

  10. Angie Says:

    Ricki – I do like your Melianthus – I must admit to having spent a bit too much on the occassional plant, you get a guilty feeling until they do their thing. Then you get the justification of buying :)
    I thought your little yellow plant was Celandine – the foliage on Aconite is usually right beneath the flower.

  11. Anna B Says:

    Hello Ricki! I’ve just finished your book and am dying to see more of your garden so please keep posting lots of photos!!! :) Really enjoyed it. I’ll do a post about it when I get chance!

  12. ricki Says:

    Peter~A few days off in spring…did you have that written into your contract?

    Grace~I tried Aconite too. About three of the dozen I planted came up and flowered the first year, but no sign of them since them. I think Angie may have it right with Celandine. That Nandina is such a common plant, but gives pleasure all year.

    Linda~This should be our last day working on the town garden. I will dig up a bit of the “Celandine” for you.

    Angie~Thanks for the plant ID. I Googled it, and that seems to be it, all right.

  13. ricki Says:

    Anna B~Yay! Another satisfied reader! I will be looking forward to seeing what you have to say about it. Thanks.

  14. Jane / MulchMaid Says:

    I know about your time constraints: we have just completed the rental process with new tenants as well. Your Melianthus is prodigious and awe-inspiring. Mine can only hope to achieve such size.
    I’m sorry to say your pretty unidentified yellow flower is an invasive: Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) Here’s a post by Kym Pokorny related to it: http://www.oregonlive.com/hg/index.ssf/2012/09/aggressive_ground_covers_may_r.html

  15. ricki Says:

    Jane~Oh dear! We seem to be always encouraging the things that don’t want to grow here or beating back the ones that do. Thanks for the heads up on this one…now I will have to break the bad news to Linda.

  16. linda Says:

    Thank you Ricki, I probably have too many envaders already,

  17. Janet, The Queen of Seaford Says:

    Yes, in Virignia we had a Lesser Celadine in the Learning Garden, sadly. The foliage disappears as the weather warms up so it is hard to remove through the season. Very invasive.
    I think your witch hazel was indeed spliced to a native root stock. I would prune out the native witch hazel growth and keep the Diana growth dominate.

  18. Charlie Says:

    I loved the walk through your garden. It is a true blessing to be too busy…two gardens. I loved the photos, and any plant that reminds you of peanut butter is special. Thank you for sharing.

  19. ricki Says:

    Janet~Thanks for the encouragement I needed to attack the witch hazel.

    Charlie~And thank YOU for stopping by.

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