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, May 31, 2016

End of Month View

This is my first time to participate in this popular garden blogging meme, mostly because I finally remembered that it's the last day of the month.  End of Month View is hosted by Helen at The Patient Gardener.  Click here to visit her blog and see her EOMV and links to those of other participating garden bloggers.  I'm a bit behind in my regular garden tasks this year and because of our mild winter and warm spring, the garden is ahead of where it usually is at this time of year.  Having just had a long weekend during which I didn't make any field trips but stayed home and worked in my garden, there has been a bit of progress.  The greenhouse is over half emptied of it's seasonal residents as the semi annual migration is now in full swing.    The area in these pictures is near the greenhouse and contains the danger gardenette which looked like this in 2014

Summer 2015

From the side.

Last fall, instead of leaving empty pots when the tender succulents came inside for the winter, the area got a bit of a makeover for winter.

I like the way it looked but learned that I don't visit this area as much in the winter so probably won't do as much this fall.  At the beginning of this weekend, the area looked like this. It's scary.

A bit of weed and winter debris clean up has happened and a few plants have come out of the greenhouse.  During the migration, a mealy bug infestation was discovered on a few plants, sigh.  Most of the bigger plants are out but there are a few more to be dragged out.  They get to stay in the shade for a few days before being placed in the direct sunlight so it doesn't look like much progress has been made.  Once all the biggies are in place, filling in with the smaller plants will happen.

On the other side of this little seating area, I've given up trying to grow much in this bed.  Spanish bluebells have taken over and only seem to become more numerous when I dig them out.  I surrendered.  They get the bed until they're done blooming then get pulled out and some of the potted bromeliads will spend the summer filling the empty space.  A few have been placed already in this picture.   In another week or so, all the pots will be sorted out and put in order.  Okay, it might take until June's end of month view.

Can you believe that it'll be June tomorrow?  

Monday, May 30, 2016

In A Vase On Monday - Pineapple Pruning

Pineapple Broom (Argyrocytisus battandieri) that is.  A now rather large specimen grows in our parking strip and must be cut back from the stop sign a couple of times a year.   Tom decided it was time to cut it back so there were lots of blooms smelling a bit like ripe pineapple  with which to play.

The deutzia  down by the greenhouse threw some long new branches out into the middle of a path so those had to be cut back as well.  This is an older picture of the shrub in bloom as I forgot to take a photo of the offending branches. 

Also left over from a bit of pruning was some foliage of Sambucus "Black Lace."  The pineapple broom brought to mind this pineapple-shaped coffee pot.

In went the prunings.

  And there it is.  In looking at this, I'm thinking that some glaucous foliage like eucalyptus would look good with this combination.  Better yet, the eucalyptus-resembling foliage of Parahebe perfoliata with it's little blue star shaped flowers.

Instead, added were the teapot, sugar, and creamer. 

And a few more flowers. 
Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting In A Vase on Monday each week.  Click here to see Cathy's arrangement and links to those of others.

Friday, May 27, 2016

End of the Month May Favorites

I'm joining with Loree at Danger Garden in sharing some favorite plants in the garden, this month. Click on over there to see plants that others are loving this month!

I'm cheating a bit here as none of these pictures are of my garden/greenhouse but I've spent more time visiting other places than in my own garden lately and I have at least one of each of these kicking around the house, greenhouse, garden somewhere.  These images are all from a recent visit to Rare Plant Research's annual open house.

My favorite plants this month are the Bromeliaceae.  Yes, the whole family from the tropical moisture loving  neoregelias and cryptomerias to the tillandsias and even the succulent puyas.  While I haven't met all 3, 475 species, those that I've had the pleasure of growing have all proven fairly easy to please.

These get quite large but are so beautiful that they're worth dragging in and out each year.  

Some of mine simply stay inside year round, especially the vrieseas.  One couldn't ask for a less fussy, pest free, easy house plant.

This one came home with me as did a cool red Ananas (Pineapple)  also a bromeliad. 

Cryptanthus like the one that also jumped into my cart. 

Many have large, impressive, and interesting blooms.
More about Rare Plant Research in later posts.  What are your favorite plants this month? 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

When What to My Wondering Eyes Should Appear...

The other day, I was driving on South Tacoma Way (part of historic  federal highway 99 that stretched from one end of the pacific coast to the other)  in an area between  Asian markets and a large collection of car dealerships.  It's sort of a light industrial mixed use part of town, not particularly pretty.   You can imagine my surprise at seeing this:

Even more surprising was this!  Not the chain link fence with the precious barbed wire ruffle, that's a common sight in this area, it's the sign and the plants.  The plant mobile was equally excited and found the parking lot quickly!

They had some of my faves like this Abutilon 'Red Tiger' trained as a standard.

Cannas, brugmansia, tetrapanax, musa basjoo, the whole gang's here!

Looks like plans for raised beds!  

Turns out, the fenced lot goes with Green Thumb Garden Supply which recently moved here from a different part of town.  I'd shopped at the former location, an indoor gardening/hydroponics supply place (no plants) because they were the only place I could find Pro Mix potting soil and was disappointed when they left their location right between Home Depot and Lowe's. (handy, right?)

The good thing about this new location is that there is a great deal more space inside and a huge outdoor plant sales area.  Hooray!  It'll be interesting to watch the plant sales area of this place evolve.
The nice gentleman who asked if I needed help told me a bit about the shop.  It's owned by an avid gardener with a beautiful garden and the business has another location which is much more elaborate with water features and more plant retail space.  It's not all that far from where I work so be watching for a post about it one of these days.  How delightful to see a small business willing to have a go at plant retail.   May they have great success!  What crazed gardener wouldn't want another plant place nearby?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: To A Wild Rose

Thanks to Anna at Flutter and Hum for hosting our weekly Vignette party!  Click here to join in the fun!

Five little petals, so sweet, innocent, and fragrant.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cornell Farm Nursery

This was only my second visit to Cornell Farm in Portland. My first visit happened a little over a year ago and that post can be found here.  Cornell Farm is a large nearly thirty-year-old full service nursery (really plant store)  where beautiful plants, pots, and giftware mingle in displays that are a delight to the eye.

So much color.  May is a grand month isn't it?

Do you see something more than a flat of Saxifraga stolonifera in bloom? 

Let's get a little bit closer (just the lens, I kept a respectful distance.)  Another shopper said that the mother flew away as they approached.  I've no idea what bird it could have been.  The diminutive nest holds three pure white eggs.  This was quite different from the Killdeer I saw earlier in the day at Rare Plant Research who stood her ground screaming at passersby to  protect her nest built in a one gallon pot of Lewisia.  More on that in a later post. 

Some really nice plant combination ideas.

Yummy!  Who needs flowers with foliage this colorful?

 The succulent craze seems to be intensifying.  The more the merrier, right? 

Cordyline 'Electric Flash' in this arrangement is the only one they got this year.   So tempted to pull the plant, substitute another cordyline from the nearby selection and use the empty pot for this one. There were lots of helpful staff people around though so I'd most likely get caught and banned from the place for life. Fortunately, Cistus still had a few left in gallon sizes so I sped down the hill just in time to get one.  Bless the Cistus staff for letting me get it a few minutes after closing time!

Seriously tempted by this Clematis florida var. sieboldiana!  Isn't it pretty?
Unusually shaped galvanized metal pots... drool.

They come in a wide variety of sizes, too! One of the smallest ones came home with me.

The back of this house is as charming as the front!  I'd love to live here but wouldn't want to be responsible for keeping that much space tidy.  Who am I trying to kid, I don't even keep the space I have tidy.

The rose garden was entirely in pots. 

I bet you can imagine how delightfully fragrant this area is.

The selection was quite nice.  The area displaying David Austin roses was as large as the entire rose area at some nurseries.  Nothing extraordinary, no old/heirloom roses on their own roots or anything like that but  a nice variety to be sure.

Happy plant shopping!