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, January 16, 2017

In a Face on Monday/Euphorbia flanaganii for Foliage Follow Up

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Go to her blog to see her arrangement this week and find links to those of other participating bloggers.  This week my vase is a face planter and the contents were foraged from a  nursery.

Foliage Follow Up is hosted by Pam at Digging on the day after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day each month to remind us of the important role foliage plays in our gardens.  I cheated a little there too.

This week, I'd planned, well in advance,  what I was going to put in a vase  for this post but then  we visited Molbak's (90% off all holiday merchandise) and I noticed these which, at first, didn't really appeal to me. Nonetheless, one was allowed to ride in my cart for a while.  A delightful worker saw it in my cart and decided to advise me about  plant possibilities and went about grabbing plants and plopping them in.  We were both having fun so I didn't bother telling her that I didn't need another plant.  Eventually, we came up with something that was pleasant and whimsical enough.

Then, over in the cacti and succulent area was this windblown-looking Euphorbia flanaganii.  The other plant was quickly re-shelved.  I already have one of these but it's far to big for this pot and they're such fun and easy plants that everyone could use another, right?

Here they are together.

Throw in a bow left from the flowers my sisters sent a couple of weeks ago et voilà, a lady on a windy winter day

Many thanks to Cathy and Pam for hosting and for putting up with my cheating ways!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day January 2017

On the fifteenth of every month, Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Garden bloggers from around the world are invited to post images of blooms in their gardens.  Many thanks to Carol for hosting the floral party; it's a great way to peek at gardens around the planet.

Due to our recent freezing weather, there's not a lot blooming in my garden at the moment.  Inside the greenhouse, some of the schlumbergeras are still blooming.  (You may notice that no moss has covered the ugly pot yet but I got the moss and it's sitting in a bag waiting.

Abutilons outside are a bit frozen and probably won't resume blooming until later in the year, assuming that the freeze didn't do them in.  However inside is a different story.

The crazy pelargonum (geranium) is looking cheerful.

Believe it or not, even with night temperatures in the teens, there are still blooms outside.

Camellia japonica

Lonicera fragrantissima

Viburnum × bodnantense ‘Dawn’

Helleborus argutifolius which is now a mostly prostrate 7 foot circle of weirdness.  One of these years, I swear that I'll support it somehow.

There may be a primrose or two blooming but during the freeze they were laying on the ground and looking quite shriveled.  Most likely the winter jasmine has a bloom or two as it has for a couple of months now.   Only 64 days until the vernal equinox!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Visiting a Nursery During A Cold Snap

So, what do nurseries do when the weather turns really cold?  I visited Watson's over the weekend just to see.  The parking lot there is almost always full on weekends  so I was surprised that there were only two other cars in the lot when we pulled in.  Seems that some folks are thinking things other than gardening about now.  Hmm.    Anyway, all of the woody plants (trees, shrubs, evergreens) were still outside in their regular spots.  Watson's has a large covered area (roof, no walls on three sides)  attached to the greenhouses. In this area, hardy plants and annuals are sometimes covered with row cover fabric at night.  This cold snap called for more radical action.

Where did all the plants go? 

Some were on wheels and had spent the night inside.

Others remained inside. 

That's probably why their heucheras look like this.

While mine look like this.  Mine did perk up a bit when the weather warmed. 

I wanted to check out the  70% off Christmas merchandise inside and ended up purchasing a silver ball and eucalyptus seed capsule wreath and a large bottle brush tree that I'd admired earlier and ended up spending nothing for them as I still had space on a gift certificate. 

There are always things to admire.

And others not so much.
Great art is always large and matches your couch, right?  It's comforting to know that one can now obtain hippieastrum (Amaryllis) bulbs and candles that match.  ($44.99 You  know you were curious.)

Happy Weekend!  Only 66 more days until spring. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Big Chill

"Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." The last few weeks have brought flooding to California, Snow and ice storms to Portland, and to Tacomaville, nothing. We had a few flakes and a light dusting that quickly melted.  However, we have had longer stretches of very cold weather than we've seen in many years.  Just cold, sometimes with wind and without a protective blanket of snow is no fun for people or plants.  There are still a few blooms outside but they're few and far between.  A gardener wonders.

Will the loropetalum survive?

Were these potted rhododendrons wet enough before they froze?  

Will this be the year that the potted Abutilon megapotamicum will need to be replaced?

Will this be another phormium killing winter?

Just how many buds will fall off of the Stachyurus praecox?

The old man and the "C" are stoic as ever.

With no magnolia leaves on the tree, Buddha is visible once again. 

did you notice the ice over the falling water?  There was a bit on the surface of the pond as well.  The fish wonder when it will warm up again.

"In the bleak midwinter, frosty winds made moan.  Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone."  You may notice the downed column in the lower left of the picture.  Don't know if it was strong wind, frost thrust or a combination.  Fortunately it didn't do too much damage. 

The artless big bucked of carnivorous plants don't look dead.  Yet.

Some things look pretty good despite the cold. 

Others don't look so hot. 

 Why is it that dragons don't breathe fire when you want them to? 

It's not over until it's over and cold temperatures are predicted again for the next couple of days. In a few months, we'll know what survived and what died opportunities for plant shopping have been created.   

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday Vignette - Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to join in the fun!

Last week was cold with low temperatures in the high teens around these parts.  Hummingbird feeders had to be thawed early each morning to make sure that our local birds had something to eat. Bugs are few and far between this time of year and I'm not sure if the few open blooms produce anything worthwhile when temperatures are below freezing.

Here, a hummingbird perched on a maple branch asks a mahonia, "Where have all the flowers gone?"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Garden May Be Frozen but the Mailbox is Blooming

It's that time of year when the seed and plant catalogs begin arriving and gardeners begin to dream of spring and new plants.  Because we have so many fabulous nurseries in our region, I don't do a lot of ordering through the mail but still enjoy the annual blooming of the mailbox.

First up is a Preview Guide for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show which takes place in February each year.  For many of us, this show is the start of a new gardening season.  We go, see the display gardens, get ideas, buy fun stuff, and visit with friends. It's only a few weeks away and yet as the weather forecasters are calling for freezing temperatures and the possibility of snow again, it seems distant.

The Northwest Perennial Alliance's March Mania Sale follows close on the heels of the NWFGS. Such a treat to see so many great specialty growers and their plants!  The Hardy Plant Society of Oregon's "Hortlandia" Plant and Garden Art Sale takes place on April 15 & 16 and is a pretty spectacular event!

This flier fell out of the Northwest Perennial Alliance's "Perennial Post."  After very much enjoying last summer's  visit of the Cascade Cactus and Succulent Society,  I had pretty much decided to open my garden this year but in looking around right now at the naked trees, leaf-strewn paths and nursery pots placed in beds, now quite exposed, I wonder if there'll be enough time to pull it together enough to be worth visiting.
One nice thing about this time of year is the luxury of time to think, dream, read, drool, plan.  Have you made any plans for your garden for the coming year?  Any new plants that you simply must have?

Monday, January 9, 2017

In A Vase On Monday

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by the talented and inspirational Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Click here to see what she and other bloggers have put in a vase today.

On cold winter evenings, a nice cup of something hot is just the thing.  A few years ago Lenox "Winter Greetings" everyday started to appear sporadically at local discount and thrift stores. Thinking that the birds were cute, I started picking up pieces and now have a small collection. During the cold months, hese over-sized cups and saucers have become a favorite receptacle for hot soup and beverages.  Today, one is holding dried rose hips from the garden.

I can never bring myself to get rid of perfectly beautiful poinsettias just because Christmas is over so one got used again in this week's offering.

The silver bits are spray-painted eucalyptus branches saved from a year or two ago.  
Hoping that you're having a bright and shiny 2017!