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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

12th x 12th Part One; A Hidden Community Garden

On June thirteenth, Claudia Riedener (more on her and her fab garden in a later post.) hosted an event called 12th x 12th, a walkable neighborhood tour.  Neighbors were invited to open their gardens to the public, exchange seeds and seedlings and have yard and garage sales.  A map with participating  addresses was provided. This garden wasn't on the list but a gardener whose garden was told me about it.  The story goes that a home was removed from the space (perhaps it had burned?) Concerned about what might happen as far as development of the property in this lovely neighborhood of older homes, a retired dentist in the hood purchased the land and made a garden to honor his recently-deceased wife, and and invited his neighbors to enjoy it.  The dentist still lives across the way from the garden he continues to tend.

Out on the sidewalk.

Turning into the garden.

 Inside the garden, one discovers a dappled shade wonderland.

Crazy azalea can't decide what color to be.  Perhaps they open pink and fade to white? 

Paths meander through a variety of mixed beds. 

Martagon lilies in their glorious prime.

Around each corner is a discovery.

Rhododendrons waiting to b planted. 

At the rear of the space, is a large opening where the neighbor who told me about the garden says neighbors gather for a drink at the end of the day, have picnics, and enjoy themselves.

Following another path back out to the street. 

More treasures. 

There are lots of places to sit and enjoy the garden.

Looking back at the sunny clearing/ play area/ meeting space. 

A bench in the shade.

What a great find and sweet story of a neighborhood garden!  Stay tuned for more of 12th x 12th!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Visiting Far Reaches Farm

It's always a treat to visit Far Reaches Farm to see exquisite plants and what Kelly is wearing. Chartreuse toenail polish was a standout on this visit.  Kelly and Sue, the owners of Far Reaches are such entertaining and humorous people that it's worth the drive up just to see them.  To see previous posts from Far Reaches, click here.

The dry bed in front of the house is looking grand.  Was this here last year?  

In the huge mixed border that lines the drive on the other side are cool plants a go-go.  Here is Embothrium coccineum in glorious bloom. Mine has just changed leaf form so hopefully next year it'll bloom.

This Cornus is a riot of bright pink blooms.

Quercus dentata pinnatifida is looking delicious!

The border ends in this fab green-roofed gazebo  in the center of a bog.  From extremely dry to very wet, the needs of a large variety of plants can be met.

Happy looking gunnera!

Let's see what's on the tables!
Very tempting but where could I find space?

On the other hand, there's always space in the greenhouse for another brugmansia!

Jerry at Courting Frogs has been up to his magic again.  Notice the unusual blooms on the left.  They last for a very long time.  Mine's been with me for at least a month and, with the exception of new "pitchers" emerging, looks the same as the day I bought it!

Podophyllum in storage.  Can't explain why I love this group of plants so much.

Shady characters inside.

Begonia pedatifida has great foliage and nice flowers.  

Out in the sun.

I wish now that I'd picked up a couple of these!  They'd look fantastic with the maroon and orange variety in my garden that came from Far Reaches a year or two ago.


Let's see what's happening in the shade garden.  First we must pay our respects to this lovely puya.

Is that Stachys 'Bello Grigio'  He's sure getting around this year!

 Looks like Begonia grandis with gorgeous pink Maianthemum blooms.

OMG!  A Purple Polygonatum! Not burgundy, not lavender but grape purple. Major plant lust!  Evidently the opening in the flowers doesn't allow native polinators in so seed production has been difficult.

Of course, everyone wants this one.  

Including this in their garden;  Great marketing technique or sadism?  Whatever, it's a beauty!

 Tom noticed this great marbled coloration on several Cardiocrinum giganteum plants.  

Beautiful new variety or leaf chlorosis?  They'll iron (manganese or zinc) it out.  

Nomocharis  looking charming.  I'll never forget seeing masses of this for the first time in Les Brake's incredible zone 2 garden in Alaska.

They're killing me with this ever more gorgeous schefflera delavayi with it's deeply incised leaves.  Variability of seed?  I'm looking forward to seeing seedlings of this beautiful creature for sale!

 A very nice woman working at the nursery asked if I'd seen the big red trillium.  I've forgotten the names of both the cool woman and the marvy  trillium.  It's the largest blooming trillium of this type and it's stunning but carries it's flowers below the foliage.  Isn't it sweet?

It was time to pay for my plants and be off for Windcliff.  Thanks Kelly, Sue and staff for another fun visit to your exceptional nursery and gardens!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Night in My Greenhouse

Come join me for a walk out to the greenhouse.  It's eleven p.m. (Yes, niece Alison in Alaska, it's dark here then!)   and as we walk from the porch, the fragrance of brugmansia is heavy in the air.

We stroll down the path to the door to the greenhouse backlit from inside.

The first time we saw the effect of the roof lights from outside, we thought the panels were warped but it's just an interesting effect.

The path that goes the compost bin.  Light from the greenhouse illuminates the pot ghetto.

Let's go inside. Looking right.

 The tomato jungle is growing rapidly in the heat.  The trunks going into the rafters are those of a large brugmansia.  Unfortunately mine have had a heck of a time with spider mites this year.  They're still blooming but the usual lush leaves are fewer.  I've sprayed so much soapy water that it's not funny so now we'll step it up to neem oil.
 Looking straight ahead.  The door and screens are hiding bicycles, empty pots, a wheelbarrow and a host of other necessities.

More plants.

Grevellia 'Ned Kelly' stayed inside this summer and doesn't seem unhappy in the least.

The big glass globes came from Bedrock Industries that was recycling them from somewhere.  At the time I bought them, my plan was to used them as spheres in the garden.  Fortunately I never got to that as they work nicely in the greenhouse.

My pal and co worker gave me the uber cute gome on the right. Fortunately, I had a cage just the right size.

Looking left from the door.

More tomatoes.

Deep in the green.

Looking back from the middle right. 

The potting bench was recently a pile of plastic pots of all sizes with potting soil everywhere.  It's nice to see the surface again.

This campy pot was on clearance at Home Goods (my new favorite store.)  Perhaps it'll encourage the lemon tree inside to produce more heavily.

Looking up.  Note to self, remove that dirty glass shelf!

The tentacled pot has some new friends.

The tillandsia tree is growing happily.  These seem much happier in the greenhouse than they do inside because outside they get misted almost every day.

Thanks for joining me, not just tonight but for the last three years!  Do come visit again!

Saturday will mark my third year of garden blogging at least five days a week.  It's been a wonderful adventure full of delightful surprises I'd never imagined when I started.  Chatting with readers and other bloggers online is a great deal of fun and meeting them  in person is a special joy.  Crazy gardening friends are precious and making more of them has been one of the best parts of blogging.  Asking questions and having a worldwide panel of expert advisers is way cool!   Thanks for reading, thanks for your comments, advice, jokes, and friendship for the last three years and 809 posts.  Here's to many more!  Happy weekend friends!