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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.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Lucky Week! (So Far)

On Monday of this week at around 5:00 a.m. I headed into the kitchen and saw out the window a great fluttering of  blue and white wings flailing awkwardly and nearly filling the whole window! There is a narrow patch of grass and a brick path between the house and my pond, not a lot of space for a blue heron to land or take off.  It almost looked as if it was a failed attempt to land but having just arrived on the scene, I couldn't tell.  The fish were  hiding in a  covered spot I built into the bottom of the pond.  Had they been aware of the predator?  When I approached, they swam up to greet me and all were present and accounted for.  Had the unsightly electric fence around the pond done its job and frustrated the big bird?  It sure works wonders to keep the raccoons playing in the water features that are for them and away from the fish.  Before rebuilding the pond and putting up the electric fence, both raccoons and herons feasted on my finned friends, for the last three years, no one has bothered them except for one time when I left the fence off after weeding around it and the raccoons visited.  So far, the heron hasn't been back to the sushi bar.  What a lucky start to the week.
 
You may remember that on Tuesday Hosta 'Empress Wu'  for which I'd been searching for some time,  practically landed in my lap at a local nursery.  
 
On Wednesday, I got a nice email from Kelly Dodson from Far Reaches Farm who had  looked at my blog and was kind enough to send the following plant identifications.  It was a very nice thing for one as busy as he to do.
 
My guess was  Cypripedium (Lady's Slipper Orchid) 'Lothar Pinkepank'   In fact, it's Cypripedium parviflorum which Kelly got from a small nursery in northern Minnesota in the late 80's as a salvaged plant from new road construction.

 
 
I guessed that this was some sort of  Kirengeshoma but it's actually Diphylleia grayi.

And the moment we've all been waiting for:  This gorgeous grass that ripples with the slightest breeze... "The mystery grass is featured in the current Gardens Illustrated in the container gardening article and is Melica uniflora f. albida although it is identified in the article as M. altissima ‘Alba’ I think.   It is around under both names but the current RHS Plantfinder has only one listing for the M. altissima and quite a few for the uniflora so we’ll go with the popular vote."
 
Thanks so much Kelly for the plant identifications!
 
On my way home from visiting Willow Tree Nursery, I saw the following outside of  a business called Tacoma Boys.  More on that tomorrow! 
 
 

With a week this lucky, Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket!

18 comments:

  1. ....and a burrito?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpp-pvFw_Fg


    It's good the fence and other measures worked. That's amazing to see a heron in such a small space.

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    1. Loved the video! Thanks! One visited my neighbor's pond a few years ago but her pond is HUGE and eight feet deep so the fish were fine. The herons land in trees and then work their way down to the ground.

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  2. I LOVE Tacoma Boys! Buy one, get two free? You are such an enabler. I go to the one in Puyallup, I wonder if they're having the same sale. Far Reaches has been putting links to your blog posts in their newsletter as well.

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    1. Isn't Tacoma Boys cool?! If Puyallup is doing the same sale, I bet that H & L Produce in Lakewood, owned by the same people is doing it as well. Each location seems to have a different selection of pots and plants so you'll have to visit them all! It is very kind of Far Reaches to link to my blog posts!

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  3. Maybe you should buy a lottery ticket? Do it!!!

    Can't wait to see what you bought at Tacoma Boys!

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    1. Since you said I should, I will buy one on my way home today!

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  4. Glad the fish are ok! Nice when things work out... :)

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    1. I'd be sad to loose these as they've all got names and have been with me for several years now. It was a relief to see them all still there.

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  5. An interesting species of Diphylleia, I grow both it and D. cymosa, the latter which so far seems to be my favourite for its more palmate shaped foliage. I was leaning towards C.calceolaris myself, but since I tend to favour the pink and white ones, I didn't want to comment. This has made me realize that I need to label the new display gardens at work so that the shier of customers will get the proper ID and not have to ask a staff member who at this time of season is likely running in circles chasing his or her own tail!

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    1. I can't even remember the names of the plants in my own tiny garden most of the time! Labeling would probably save the sanity of the staff at your place!

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  6. Lottery ticket sounds a good idea! And Melica, yay!

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  7. Wait, are you lucky because you attracted a blue heron or because the fish weren't eaten? So the fish aren't in the pond to attract birds?

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    1. I'm overjoyed to see the herons wading in the water on the bay down the hill but not so fond of them hungrily eyeing or eating my koi! Guess I was lucky to see one though.

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  8. Those little yellow slipper blooms are adorable. I'm glad you got them properly identified but I still think they look like delicate fancy slippers... I was on our roof once when a heron flew by at eye level-- those are enormous birds! Your fish are having a lucky week too.

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    1. It still works as all Cypripedium go by the following common names: slipper orchid, lady's slipper, moccasin flower, camel's foot, squirrel foot, steeple cap, Venus' shoes and whippoorwill shoe. Take your pick. I think that Big Bird on Sesame Street should get a makeover to look more like a heron.

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  9. Yes, we were on the edge of our seats, waiting to find out about that grass. Thank you...and thank Kelly. Ain't blogging grand?

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.