some observations


Things have been turning up in the garden that I know I never planted: hitch hikers, perhaps, in the pots of new acquisitions.

While the Pinellia in the first photo is more than welcome, this cheery, daisy-like creature will need to be relocated to a more appropriate setting. (no ID on this one).

Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’

A single pot of ‘Jack Frost’ spread to make a nice presence.


Little seedlings appeared in Jack’s second season…

to quickly become a colony. At this rate, I will have bounty to share (woo hoo…I can feel less guilty as I make off with a massive haul at the next bloggers’ plant swap).

Rosa rugosa ‘Buffalo Gals’ hip

Complaining about the weather has been a major pastime of late. Something about the ice and snow, followed by torrential rains, followed by the summer from hell has been to the perverse liking of a rugosa rose that I bought primarily for its huge hips (would that big hips could be considered an asset for the human form). At long last, ‘Buffalo Gals’ are swingin’ those hips as promised.


I’ve commented here before about the Crape Myrtle’s failure to produce any blooms. After 12 years in the ground, here they are and the color is not all that bad.

Lagerstroemia ‘Arapaho’

But speaking of color, this Crape Myrtle has it all: dark foliage and deep, rich red flowers. The one at JC is absolutely stunning: exactly what this little guy aspires to be when he grows up.

Phygelius ‘Devil’s Tears’

I’ve been enjoying this cape fuchsia for its long bloom and stamina…

but just look at the exciting pattern it’s been hiding. Now I challenge myself to find a way to reveal the hidden treasure by clever (not yet devised by me) placement in the garden.

Hydrangea ‘Limelight’

I was so annoyed by the leggy profile of ‘Limelight’, interfering with the view from our deck, that I had at it with the loppers in what I considered to be a brutal attack. Wowsa! It came storming back with lush new growth and the most imposing flower heads ever. This may cure me of timid pruning but we still can’t see the garden from the deck.

You may recall my enthusiasm for Antriscus ‘Ravenswing’ here. After careful preparation and planting, the sight we were greeted with the next morning was this:

The dreaded gophers strike again! Planting anything here is a gamble but we are gardeners…so what are you gonna do?

These handsome fellows wreak havoc two ways:

Sedum ‘Matrona’

There’s the nibbling, as here, where they nip off every flower bud. Then there’s the “antlering”, where they use tender saplings to rub the velvet from their racks in anticipation of the mating rituals to come. It’s easy to abhor, and declare war on, the gophers, who perform their evil deeds below ground. Hard to feel the same antipathy for the graceful and majestic stag…we all fell in love with Bambi, after all.

I’m running long but how could I leave out cosmic happenings? We were not in the path of totality at Joy Creek but 99.something should be almost as good, right? Not really, as it turns out, but sharing it with friends made up for a lack of true awesomeness.

And then there was this! The day after the eclipse, we were sent a cloud angel/phoenix. I can’t top that, so I will stop now.

14 thoughts on “some observations

  1. My Jack Frost Brunnera has made babies too, which I plan to spread all over. What a bummer about the Anthriscus, but I may be able to help you out. I have loads. I’ll pot some up for you and bring them to the swap. If yours lasts long enough to go to seed, you’ll have loads too.

  2. Twelve years seems like a long time for your crape myrtle to grace you with flowers. They are beautiful trees. Enjoy. Glad your Brunnera has been so generous. Mine disappeared this year.

  3. I loved this meander through the plants, people and experiences of your gardening life. I never gave the green Phygelius much attention, but like you, I’d be pretty stoked to discover that green throat hiding below. I have two lovely dark-foliaged Phygelius with salmon flowers (“Passionate”) that haven’t bloomed for several years due to increased shade. Maybe they need to come to the Fall swap to be exchanged for Brunnera seedlings…

  4. Great selection, Rickii. Those yellow guys, I have those too! They seed around in the shade garden at Joy Creek – I can’t recall their name.

    I feel for your deer issue…and those gophers or moles or voles – whatever they are, I have a new disdain for and appreciation of your frustration.

    Also, that last shot of the phoenix is amazing. Love it. xoxo

  5. Enjoyed your update, Ricki. Wild critters in the garden is an age-old dilemma, you have my sympathies.
    The photos of your cohorts watching the eclipse is precious!

  6. Is the sunny character Arnica montana maybe? Whew, that was a long wait for crepe myrtle blooms! I’ve been surprised by the number of deer seen lately here in town (none in my garden, thank goodness.) They are beautiful creatures but the damage they do would be extremely frustrating.
    Love the sky angel/phoenix. Perhaps it’s a sign that we’ll have a mild winter.

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