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, May 10, 2018

So, What's Happening in My Garden?

After work yesterday, I took a quick walk around the garden, well part of it, before getting busy with the many jobs that need doing.  Here's some of what made me smile.

Last summer, a few nurseries were offering Polygonatum x Hybrid 'Striatum' which have highly variegated leaves.  I got one, planted it immediately and it promptly died.  Well, perhaps I'd not watered it enough so I found another and left it in the pot where I could baby it a bit more.  It also decided to die. Being a lazy gardener, I just left the pot near the dead specimen in the ground.  This spring, I decided to start cleaning up some things, picked up the pot to empty the soil and saw shoots coming up.

The one in the ground was also coming up.  Wow, they weren't dead after all.  Hooray. 

The combination of Dicentra 'Gold Heart' and Podophyllum delavayi always thrill me and the white Polygonatum is now planted in front to take over when the dicentra goes dormant for the summer.

The first of the carnivorous plants to bloom this year is  Darlingtonia californica.

Most of the tuberous begonias are still inside but these, from Marbott's Nursery in Portland really wanted to be outside.

Robins have been busy picking at the Spanish Moss to make their nests, so I keep giving them more.

Every now and then, the thought enters my mind that  there are too many Camellias in my garden.  It passes.

Somehow, this Cardiocrinum preparing to bloom escaped my notice until it was about six feet tall.  What a nice surprise!

Rhododendron 'Wine and Rose' is just about finished blooming but it's the fabulous purple indumentum on the foliage that makes this plant so special.  It's growing in a pot on a pillar so I get to enjoy those leaves every time I pass.

Acer palmatum ‘Ukigumo’ looking ghostly white.

The divine fragrance of Magnolia dianica or Magnolia laevifolia or Michelia yunnanensis wafts over the garden, especially on warm days.  "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Canna 'Stuttgart' will look even better when it fills in a bit and those naked twgs of Clerodendrum bungei clothe themselves.  Their late and fragrant blooms earn forgiveness for the being late to leaf out and their tendency to take over the world.

Another Rhododendron in bloom.

Progress has been made  on the danger gardenette but there are still more plants to be added. 

In September, my pal Camille gave me this plant stand that her mother was getting rid of.   I'd no idea what I'd do with it but it's hard to turn down anything rusty.

It's perfect to hold some of the bromeliads during their summer vacation outside. 

Really, there are bricks under all those Forget-Me-Nots but I let these pretty weeds stay until they're done blooming when they all get pulled out.  Fortunately(?) they produce enough seed to come back year after year.

Some of the begonia baskets are out  but a couple are still in the greenhouse getting fattened up.

The pot ghetto is a mess but at least I can walk down the narrow path without tripping on empty pots.  Small steps.

The sorta stumpery is coming along nicely.

Hosta haven is okay but needs a little tidying.  and re-arranging.

The fire pit looks a bit different this year.  As I was planting it, I noticed that the Canna 'Tropicanna' from last year survived and is sending up new shoots as well.

I usually buy one or two of these intense blue gentians each year and have tried them in a variety of areas of my garden.  None seems to suit them but these, growing in a pot beneath a rhododendron seem happy enough and this will be the second or third year that they've bloomed for me.

Schefflera delavayi reaching it's new little hands skyward, trying to catch the sun.  
Next tour, we'll look at what's happening in some other areas but don't want to bore you with too many pictures.  Happy Friday Eve!


  1. Your garden is looking wonderful! I just moved my tuberous Begonias out of the greenhouse this week, and potted up some of the new ones into bigger pots for display. Now if I can just get all the front porch sun-loving denizens out and arranged that will be one more job ticked off the list.

  2. So many amazing plants! And isn't it funny how something can grow 6ft while hiding from the gardener? Granted, in my case it's usually weeds, but still! Thanks for sharing your pictures!

  3. Garden is looking great Peter! And such a nice surprise to have the variegated disporum come back.

  4. When I saw that rusty plant stand I thought bromeliads, so had to laugh at the next photo when it's filled with them. The myosotis and yellow garden furniture is incredible. Hooray for the return of the varieg polygonatum and the gentians and cardiocrinums -- all of it!

  5. Damn Peter, your garden is looking divine! The "danger gardenette" is so grown up and that plant stand with the Bromeliads is fabulous. I'm so jealous of your ability to keep Spanish moss happy, mine again has all dried up.

  6. So jam-packed with goodness! I have no sense of the layout of your garden. As much as you show in these photos, I know there are parts that you've not included -- I just can't figure out how it all fits together!

  7. There's nothing like a plant resurrection to perk one up! Your garden looks happy too. Best wishes with the fluffing yet to do in preparation for your tour.

  8. Oh my! I'm smitten! I can't find enough or right words to properly express my reaction to the beauty you've created and surrounded yourself with!

  9. The iron plant stand was a perfect addition to hold your bromeliads. That white canna is a beaut. Such a sumptuous garden.

  10. Bore us with too many pictures? Highly unlikely. We are a bunch of plant addicts; the more the better. It seems only yesterday you posted about Podophyllum popping out of the ground. They got so huge and gorgeous!
    Until I visited your garden last year, I felt like Alan, unsure of the full garden layout. Now I recognize every corner, which is fun. When is your open house this year?

    1. The warm weather has made everything spring ahead quite a bit. The Cascade Cactus and Succulent Society is coming on May 20 in the afternoon, the Arboretum Foundation and the Northwest Perennial Alliance open is July 14 from 10:00 - 2:00.

  11. So many lovelies you have, Peter. Very brilliant of you to put the rosy-leaved Rhododendron on a pedestal for optimal viewing. And I'm awed by the ghostly Japanese maple - such a beauty.

  12. Now I have to go out and get some yellow chairs. And forget me nots! What a fabulous combo.

  13. Wow, what a fantastic variety of plants you have in your gardens. My very favorite was the intense blue gentians.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  14. Awesome. You don't have too many camellias and your begonias are fantastic! I think your danger gardenette might be going full fledged garden in another year or so!

  15. So much to smile about in your wonderful garden !

  16. There is a reason they are called Forget Me Nots --how could you when the seeds ride into the house on your socks ? I LOVE Hosta Haven (Hostas will grow here climate-wise --but the snails !!) and the Danger Gardenette is looking splendid !

  17. Was nice to see what's going on right now in your garden, Peter! For sure you have several plants growing outside which would never survive the German winter, like Camellias.
    I hope I am as lucky with you with some of still not appeared perennials. I afraid that I forgot and also didn't know that some plants need winter protection.

  18. Everything is looking lovely but that Rhodie with the purple indumentim is a knockout. The chartreuse table and chairs are a dream combo with their carpet of blue and the blue pot on the table. And I do love the names of the specialty plant locations.

  19. Love those Forget-Me-Nots and the brick paths! Wish I could take a sniff at those Magnolias. Your garden is looking great.


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