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.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Random Friday From My Garden

Let's take a walk around the lower part of my garden and see what strikes our fancy shall we?

Danger Garden sometimes writes "Learn From My Mistakes" posts.  This would fit in that category. Usually my smoke bush (Cotinus) and have bautiful deep purple foliage to make Clematis 'Nelly Moser'  look even more beautiful.  I got busy this year and didn't prune so the Cotinus is blooming with in a clashing gold color.  The Smoke will be purple once the blooms fade so I could avert my eyes when passing, and wait or cut the smoke bush blooms.  Being lazy, I'll just wait but next year...

Sinocalycanthus chinensis, the cousin or our Calycanthus floridus (Carolina allspice, Sweet Shrub) has much larger flowers. 

The  spherical buds are pretty swell too.

I decided to plug the hole in the sphere made by Jim King and copy my Pals Judi and Alison by filling it with water and  throwing some glass spheres in.  (If you live in the PNW, you probably have a collection of these kicking around.)

There are lots of allium  in my garden but Allium schubertii is my favorite. Ignore the weeds.   They look great dried and can be used as a Christmas tree topper a la Heather or used as a headdress.  (See below.)

They can be spray painted to match any attire!

Polyantha Shrub Rose 'Margie'  is a hybrid of Cecile Brunner.  Originally propagated by the original owner of Swanson's Nursery, Ted Swanson who named it for his daughter.  If possible, the fragrance is even stronger than Cecile Brunner,  it's a shrub instead of a voracious climber that will take over the world, and it's a repeat bloomer.  This came from a recent visit to Swanson's Nursery (post coming soon) and the car smelled heavenly the whole trip home.  I'm not a rose fanatic but I love  rose fragrance that wafts! 

Deutzia is getting huge and will be pruned way back later!

'Westerland' a climber, is one that Ciscoe really likes.  It's growing on me. 

Ballerinas dancing in the shade.

A bromeliad found on sale at a big box store.  

Furcraea from Rare Plant Research (Watch for post later.)  is a lovely thing!

The Danger Gardenette is starting to take shape but there are quite a few more plants in the greenhouse waiting to be squeezed in.  Cecile Brunner climbing rose has grown over the top making a delightful canopy but these guys would prefer more sun so the rose will be cut way back.  Always best to do that after there are lots of plants beneath to be damaged in the process.
Thanks for strolling with me.  Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Meanwhile, Out in the Laboratory...

Time to update the greenhouse experiments but first, I'm delighted to once again have Cardiocrinum giganteum in bloom in my garden!  It takes them a few years from the time the bublets from the parent plant are planted in the ground until they bloom.

The begonia experiment which you can read about here is coming along nicely.  So far, the grocery store begonias are holding their own; in fact, they have some of the largest foliage so far.  The Blackmore and Langdons are looking healthy and the tubers from Brecks, having been planted later are a bit smaller.  However the Brecks and Fred Meyer hanging varieties (started in the baskets and hanging above these are farther along.  Higher equals warmer and more sun so maybe that's the reason.

The ones that are farthest along are those that I've saved from year to year in their pots.  This wins for the largest leaves (over a foot long) is this pink American Hybrid from Wells Medina about 10 years ago.  Two thirds of them have been potted up into the terra cotta pots where they'll spend the rest of the summer.  The thing emerging from the ground at the bottom of the picture is Amorphophallus konjac which I'd forgotten about.  Must label those pots better.

Speaking of begonias with large (and furry) leaves, Begonia 'San Miguel' 

Begonia aff. Sizemorea from Vietnam came home with me from a March plant sale.  I left it and a couple of other begonias outside. The others didn't mind but this guy decided to loose it's one leaf.  It much prefers life inside the greenhouse and has produced  prodigious  new growth.

The tomatoes started from seed have now been transplanted from four inch pots into one gallon pots and will soon go into five gallon pots.

From this

To this

They're scattered around everrywhere!

From a packet of random heritage varieties came this pretty variegated plant. 

The two plants that I got in one gallon pots at the hardware store are in five gallon pots and have green fruit on them.  This is Early Girl.  Sungold has a a fruit that is almost ready to pick!   

Citrus have set fruit.  

Interesting but the plants aren't that great looking in pots, the bloom time is fairly brief and it's a lot of work for a few lemons or tangerines.  Do you grow citrus inside?

The tropical pitcher plants are putting out more pitchers and leaves so they must be happy.

These both have botanical names but their tags didn't mention them and I'm too lazy to look them up right now.

Solanum pseudocapsicum or Jerusalem Cherry that came home around December.  I thought it would be sort of a seasonal interest thing that would go to the compost heap but it kept growing, is now blooming and making more fruit to adorn itself.  

Some of the older dried fruits fell on the soil beneath and they're sprouting. Maybe I'll grow these on and give them away next Christmas.  Sounds like too much to fuss with right now.

Sedum morganianum or Burro's Tail Sedum is blooming. 

So is the grocery store gardenia.

While there's lots more fun stuff out there, you're probably bored by now so  I'll end with a couple of Neoregelias that came from the Rare Plant Research open house earlier this month. 

Happy gardening!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday Vignette

Recently I've been captivated by a little angel in my garden.  Brugmansia 'Little Angel' to be exact. I'm not usually a fan of double brugmansias as the beauty of  the single form thrills me.  In the fall, this one was on a sale table, out of bloom and with few leaves.  She put on a little growth in the greenhouse, battled spider mites and dropped her leaves again but is recovering nicely and putting forth buds.  This is the first to open, it's wafting evening scent seducing us to seek her out.

Layers of chiffon create a beautiful gown.  Steve Martin said in one of his routines that he believed that women should be put on a pedestal...just high enough that you can look up their dresses.  That's exactly what I've done with this lovely lady.  (Fun fact:  All of the angels mentioned Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scripture have male names although, being supernatural beings, would they need to be male or female? )

Splashes of frills.

Gown designed by Tim Burton?

One can almost hear the rustle of taffeta.  The fragrance of brugmansia has a mild euphoric effect on humans.

She's a pretty little angel and I'm glad she's happy in my garden. 

Thanks to Anna at Flutter and Hum, who each week hosts Wednesday Vignette. Click here to join in the fun!

Check out this interesting article here about Brugmansia and Datura use in a variety of cultures.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Visiting Marbott's Nursery

Loree at Danger Garden has been posting about visiting Marbott's Nursery for years now.  See her posts here and here.  Imagine my surprise and delight when, on the way to the Portland area garden blogger's plant exchange I drove by Marbotts!  You know that after the exchange, the plant mobile magically found it's way into the nursery's parking lot. It has a tendency automatically find Dairy Queens as well.  Ice cream is a food group, right?  Oh please, this body doesn't just build itself, I have to work at it!  I digress.  Marbott's has been in business since 1930 and they still grow much of their own stock.

This place is all about beautifully grown plants so it's no wonder that the parking lot was full when I stopped by.  The sight and smell of deciduous azaleas greeted me at the entrance.

 Citrus plants seem to be everywhere these days, even in my own greenhouse.  What up with that?  This one looks especially sweet covered with tiny oranges.

Cryptanthus 'Pink Star' (I think) looked especially bright!

Birdbath with a grass fountain.  

Gorgeous Azalea in a corner by the wagons.  Poor thing needs to be the spring star of someone's garden!
 If I hadn't already felt silly for growing tomatoes from seed myself this year, the following would certainly convince me!

What, there are more?

and more...

And more yet.  Did they plant all of the seeds in their packets as well? 
Truth be told, it's been very gratifying to watch those little seedlings continue to grow into plants and it may just happen again next year.

Purple and gold.  Are you folks in Portland fans of the University of Washington Huskies? 

 Glorious tuberous begonias which were started from seed in November to get them to this size by April. There's no rest for folks in the nursery business!  Notice the papyrus on the left.  One of them came home with me.

While the foliage usually isn't anything to write home about, who could resist those big beautiful blooms?

More things growing  in a back greenhouse.

Kalanchoe uniflora 'Coral Bells'  somehow jumped into my cart.  The spent flowers dry and remain on the plant for a while and make a sweet sound when they collide with each other in the breeze on the car ride home.

Interesting area where they heve set up tiny garden vignettes.

Pretty pastels!

Walking into a huge greenhouse full of geraniums (Pelargonium) is quite an experience.  Looking one way.

and the other way.  These popular stalwarts of many gardens provide interesting foliage and mostly hot colored blooms all season long.  They always remind me of a sweet elderly couple in my home town who year after year kept  several  pots of red geraniums on their glassed-in front porch.

Not for sale plants always seem more tempting than those that are available for some reason.

Double Delights Freedom Hydrangea seems like a long name for this innocent looking thing. 

While Marbott's has been in business for years, has some cool old greenhouses and an old time nursery feel, they also carry enough interesting and unusual plants to keep lovers of the same intrigued.

Echium wildpretii  was very tempting but there's simply not room inside the fence for a huge tower of a bloom stalk and I'd worry about planting in one of the hell strips.  Oh well, one can't grow everything, can one?

Aeonium tabuliforme(dinner plat aeonium); a second sighting.  The first time I saw one in person this far north was at Hortlandia this year and now here at Marbott's.  Hope that means that this sweet thing will become more widely offered here. Isn't it interesting looking?
There was also a small selection of eucalyptus - hooray!

This fixture of Northeast Portland  is definitely worth a visit!