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.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday Vignette

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by my wonderful fellow plant whore, Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to see her post this week and to find links to those of others.

Spring brings a lot of avian garden visitors.  For several days, a Western Tanager, one of the most colorful birds in our area, visited the pond.  I even went out with the camera equipped with a telephoto lens one day to try and get a photo but he kept flying behind foliage.   For some reason, birds and other wildlife in my garden simply don't cooperate when I tell them to stand still and look at the camera.  The other evening, I heard a song that reminded me of that of the Bohemian Waxwing flocks that we used to enjoy all winter in Alaska.  I couldn't make out the identity of the birds but could see a crest on their heads.  By the time the camera was ready, all but one had flown away. Fortunately, this one stayed for a few seconds.

I'm guessing that because of the yellowish tinge to the feathers in front this is a Cedar Waxwing, a close and much more common (in this area) relative of the Bohemian Waxwing.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Making Progress

I was able to do nothing but play outside in the glorious sunshine for most of my four-day weekend. Hooray. While  some things got done, there are still a lot of projects to tackle.  However, when doing one thing a gardener notices that something else needs to be done and gets involved with the other thing for a while.

You may recall the Danger Gardenette looked like this on Friday.  

Now it looks like this.  A few things need to be finished but most of the plants have migrated.  The forget-me-nots growing in the spaces between the bricks will be removed once they're done blooming. 

The Danger Gardenette flows into a collection of bromeliads.  There are more of these that are houseplants but probably wouldn't mind joining their friends outside for the summer. Agave, cacti, bromeliads, and ferns all growing in the same area.  Is it too jarring?  

The other side of that gray/blue round water thingy. The brick needs to be swept.

The table and chairs have been cleared and washed.  Most of those plants have actually found places in the ground or in pots. 

Now it's time to weed between the bricks. 

Still a pot or two to plant.  The begonias stay here where I can see them during the summer.  Since there are still about 20 in the stained glass room and greenhouse, there may be a rotation.

Hey look, no sixty-pound bale of pro mix.  It's more than half gone and has been hauled to the greenhouse to pot up the tomatoes.

No stash of pots here either.  The one pot in the picture will be planted in this area. 

I'm easily distracted by Acer palmatum 'Ukigumo' whose white leaves stand out beautifully in the midst of all of the dark green in a shady area.

Having started so many begonias, I decided to throw a few in with the hostas to hide the pots. 

The pot ghetto is still, and probably will always be the pot ghetto but the pile of plastic pots has been moved, organized by size and will disappear soon .
 Green goodness. 

As this vacation draws to a close and I sit on the back porch, I'm happy to have gotten a good start on the garden and can see a lot more that needs to be done.  For instance behind those Welsh poppies is a little water catcher that needs to be saved from the encroaching plants but those sweet yellow flowers are so cheerful.  It just never ends, does it?

Monday, May 29, 2017

In A Vase On Monday - We Remember

In A Vase On Monday is hosted each week by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click here to see what she's found in her garden to put in a vase today and to find links to posts of other participating bloggers.

Memorial Day in the US is a day set aside to remember soldiers who lost their lives for their country.  While for many, this solemn day of remembrance has come to mean the beginning of summer,  a long weekend, sales, and back yard barbecues, we must not forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

While talking to my niece on the phone on Sunday, she informed me that I had to make a Memorial Day vase today so off to the garden I went, phone in hand, to search for red, white, and blue flowers. Here's what I came up with:

NOID red rhododendrons from the parking strip.

Inherited Valerian (Valeriana officinalis.)

 Kolkwitzia amabilis

Ceanothus branches that had to be cut as they were hanging over the sidewalk. 

Props for today's vase include the flag from my father's coffin (both he and Tom's father served in World War Two but were lucky enough to return alive.) and a lit candle, a flame to remember the fallen.

Let us all continue to hope and pray for a day when war will cease.

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it."
-Mark Twain

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Awful Truth - It Gets Worse

People often ask how I have time to work several jobs, post five times a week, and have time to garden.  The answer is, I don't as you'll see in the pictures that follow:

First up is one of the many special gifts my pals at work gave me during teacher appreciation week: That was two or three weeks ago and these poor annuals are crying out to be planted.

You must be tired of seeing beautiful, tidy gardens on the interweb.  This is surely the antidote to that. WARNING If clutter and disarray  bother you, you may wish to avert your eyes now, read no further, simply leave the computer and ask a friend to shut it down.  

 The table in the back of the house where guests sit in the summer is full of plants.  I'd made a little dent in this.

 then came some more nursery visits.last weekend.  In case you wondered, the chairs are full too.

Brugmansias are out of the greenhouse and have made the transition nicely this year but they displaced the evergreens that were in the pots for winter. Now where did I put those last summer? 

You may remember the Danger Gardenette which looks something like this in the summer:

And similar to this in the winter: 

May brings this awful reality.  Most of the winter plants are moved away but the summer plants haven't journeyed out of the greenhouse yet.  All of that bamboo litter needs to be removed before the migration begins. 

Some of the begonias started inside have made their way into these hanging baskets (from a 70% off sale at Fred Meyer.  With my Tuesday senior discount added to that, they were a steal in January.)

Just don't look down!

It was time to re pot this staghorn fern as it wasn't doing all that well. A closer inspection revealed that mealy bugs were the culprit.  Out came the rubbing alcohol before potting it up. (A little alcohol for the gardener would surely help as well.)  Let's hope it makes it.

Close ups are much nicer as one can omit so much.

Nothing says welcome to my garden like a nice tangle of hose to trip over.

I believe you were  warned  not to look down.  When I get home from work, I take a little break and then dash out to get a few things done like cutting back, pruning, planting.  In the garden, I have a bit of attention deficit disorder and go from project to project, not fully finishing anything.  It all will eventually get done, perhaps by the first frost.

This Aechmea blanchetiana has been with me for three years now, wintering in the greenhouse.  Once it gets more sun, it'll turn golden yellow and orange.

speaking of bromeliads, here are a few of my long time specimens and some of the new ones from Rare Plant Research.  I kind of want to do a bromeliad area here but don't want to get rid of that glorious Adiantum pedatum which has taken some time to achieve that size.   What to do, what to do?

It's a jungle out there!

I don't know how these allium ended up here.  There are others planted around but these just appeared a few years ago.

Meanwhile, there are still more begonias that should go outside soon.

The miniature hosta collection grows.  I'm scared to plant them in the ground as that's a bamboo rhizome pruning area and they seem quite happy in pots.  The new ones in plastic will be potted up in terra cotta pots one of these days.

How about having a seat on a bench.  Oops, more plants.  Someone needs to get busy!

Often new plants get dropped over the front gate from the car.  Hooray, Clematis florida sieboldii was found yesterday at Watson's!   Should I power wash those bricks or just enjoy watching the moss cover them?

No path is complete without a bale of potting soil ready to fall on anyone who passes by!  By the way, if it falls on you, it's your job to carry it to the greenhouse. 

So, there you have it, the awful truth of my garden at this time of year.  The good news is that I have today, Saturday, and Monday off from work and plan to use all three days to do nothing but work outside.  I hope you'll also have a weekend full of gardening fun!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Glass Eye Studio Sidewalk Sale

For a few hours on one Saturday in May and another in October, Glass Eye Studio, a wholesale-only glass studio holds a sidewalk sale and throws it's doors open to the public.  There's always a lot of great glass to peruse and buy at 1/2 of wholesale prices, sometimes even lower.  To see a previous visit to this fab sale look here.  It had been a while since we'd attended the sale.  While some items are almost always present, each sale has unique prototype items and individual artists also set up their own spaces with  unique, non studio work.  What a great opportunity to obtain beautiful art glass for a fraction of the price!

Paperweights and ornaments have many admirers and collectors.  

Floppy bowls.

I've forgotten what these are called but they have an opening in the bottom so they can have lights inserted and be used to illuminate garden paths.  In the background you can sort of make out some hummingbird feeders.

Lovely vases. 


The flower-garden feel of this one was interesting. 

With so many eager shoppers milling about in search of treasure, I didn't take a lot of pictures.  If you're a fan of blown glass, this sale is definitely worth a trip.  To capitalize further on the sale, a few non Glass-Eye-affiliated artists sell their wares on the streets outside of the venue.  

Ah yes, the plantets.  Looks like someone's got the whole world in her hand. 

The moon, Saturn, and Mercury.

Some other planet.  One can collect the entire solar system. 

One of the individual artist's wares with many rhododendrons.  

Bird feeders.  I wonder if these are really frequented by birds.  the seed goes at the bottom but is glass too slick for birds to grasp?  They'd be pretty hanging from a tree anyway.

The eye candy just kept coming.  

What came home with me?  You may have seen a few things in a recent In A Vase on Monday post.  For the rest, keep your eyes peeled as they will certainly appear in future Monday arrangements.