Friday, April 18, 2014

Bloom Day April 2014!

GBBD April 2014
Hello everyone out there! Sorry I've been MIA for such a long time...but I'm back, and I can't think of a better way to return than with a Bloom Day Post (of course, a couple days late). Spring is well and truly underway here in Portland...the garden changes so rapidly right now that every days I wake up and can't wait to see what else has returned or is in bloom. At this point, I think everything that will return HAS returned. There were a few losses over the winter, I'm guessing due to our parking strips flooding repeatedly. Oh well...such is life, right? Without further ado...on with the show!

Purple Tulips
April in my garden is Tulip season. I'm not a collector or connoisseur by any means...I just buy a bag of whatever looks good at the time. My favorite Tulip purchase was a few years ago when I found a mix of pinks/purples/whites called Plum Pudding or something similarly silly....they are great...a perfect blend of colors that makes me look super chic! I wish I could find it again...maybe this fall, right?

More Tulips
Here they are again...just love them!

First Iris
While its early for most of my Iris, the purple ones we inherited with the house always bloom about a month to a few weeks earlier than all the rest...which I extends the Iris season by quite a bit...and they are so pretty (and fragrant)!

Love 'em or hate 'em, if you live in Portland, chances are you have a healthy patch of Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides). They spread at a frightening rate...and I've given up trying to get rid of them...I just pull them out the moment they are done blooming. Does it really weaken the bulbs...maybe a little, but not enough to keep them from coming back each year!

hyacinthoides least they are a pretty weed...and they do provide a nice cool flush of color for several weeks.

Hyacinthoides & Calamagrostis
I especially love them mixed with here with Calamagrostis 'Avalanche'.

Geranium macrorrhizum
The Geranium macrorrhizum I have scattered around the garden are also starting to bloom. I love their lush, green (and fragrant) foliage...and the blooms are brief and lovely addition.

I know there was a time I really liked this Euphorbia 'Dixter', but it seems like such a distant memory. I tried exorcising from my garden last year, only to have it return even more vigorous this year!

Oxalis oregana
One of my favorites, Oxalis oregana, flowers fairly heavily in the spring and then sporadically during's another plant which forms a lovely, lush carpet of leaves.

Manzanita James Roof
I purchased this Manzaninta 'James Roof' earlier this spring when I fell in love with it's deep mahogany bark and bonsai-like form. Imagine my surprise when I noticed these tiny, white urn-shaped blooms!

spring garden
That's about it for now in my garden...we're literally just days away from the flood of Iris and Alliums...but you'll get to see those next month, I'm sure.

North Border April
I hope you're having as nice a spring as we are here in Portland...we've had some nice, sunny weather recently, but have returned to lovely, soft showers today, for which both I AND the recently transplanted plants are grateful. Check out May Dreams Garden for more blooms from around the world...and happy GBBD!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Garden Bloggers Fling - Are You Going!?!

pdx registration graphic copy

It's here, everyone...the moment you've all been waiting for! Registration for the Portland Garden Bloggers Fling is officially open! There are a limited number of spots available, so please sign up soon to ensure your spot in what is going to be an amazing Fling! FYI, we'll be releasing information on how to make reservations at the Official Fling Hotel very soon as well.


If you follow the Fling blog, you'll know we've been publishing teaser images from some of the gardens over the past few weeks, and we'll continue to do so during the upcoming months. To further whet your appetite, here are some more images from gardens we'll hopefully be touring during the Fling...enjoy!

Curly Aloe 2

The Floramagoria Garden 4

Maryellen Meadow

Astrantia with bee

vertical maple with scattered leaves

metal art


Ehicnacea white swan

Cactus & Stipa tenuissima

arbutus bark 2

English Brorder 4


summer splendour


Primula vialii

Arisamae from below

Floramagoria bees on eryngium

Amsonia clump

Floramagoria cattails


We hope to see you there!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

This is why gardeners are never bored...

cheyenne sky blades at sunset
For todays post...let's take a trip into the not-so-distant past...last September, to be precise.

north border from east  1890
When we first moved to our house in SE Portland, I started digging up the lawn about a month after we moved in. One of our neighbors noticed, and one day, showed up on our front steps with a plant in his hands...a gift! It was a nice little Variegated Willow...a plant I have to admit I probably wouldn't have picked out myself (that's it in the background of this photo).

Sunny Midday Garden  2100
It was a nice enough plant...but I just couldn't find a good spot for it...I must have moved it at least 3 times in as many years. It was too big for my garden...and just didn't fit in. Every time I walked by, I would hunger for that space it was taking up!

Dug up
In any case, this spring, as I posted previously, I planted some grasses (Panicum 'Cheyenne Sky') in the area adjacent to the Willow.

Planted Below
It was odd...but suddenly, since it was newly-planted and at the forefront of my mind, I started pondering that whole section of the garden once again.

Planted above
Seeing the grasses...and imagining them as they mind swam with possibilities, which I hinted at here.

Sunset Panicum Daucus
As spring turned to summer, I began to realize just how much I love this area now, with its grasses...I spent a lot of sunsets the last rays of sun caught the Panicum.

And I finally admitted to myself what I've known all the while. The Willow had to go. I wanted to expand this new micro-meadow and really exploit the sunset in this area (which the Willow, unfortunately, blocked).

new grass planting  3556
Happily, another gardener and blogger (Jenni at Rainy Day Gardener) said she'd take the Willow...which was a huge was a lovely plant...and just because it wasn't working in my garden didn't mean it had to die!

new grass planting  3557
Another trip to my beloved Wind Dancer and I had several more Panicum 'Cheyenne Sky' to fill in the area.

different cheyenne skies
It's funny to see how different the coloring is..on the right are the Panicums that I planted in the spring...on the left, the newly-planted ones...they have a much yellower tone, don't they!

grasses where willow was
In the background, I planted a few Pennisetum macrourum I had purchased in the spring and was growing in a container (which they had rapidly outgrown...those puppies are vigorous)!

october willowless corner
Thie Pennisetum is one of my favorite plants for catching light...and this clump echos another clump of the same grass in the facing parking's a thing ;-)

Cheyenne Sky at dusk
I also randomly planted some Agastache 'Black Adder' that had been struggling in the parking strips and some Sanguisorbia 'Tanna' I had bought on impulse. It's too early to say exactly how it will mature...but I spent the rest of the summer/fall intensely enjoying the show!

cheyenne sky sunset
Our grill is right next to this planting, so I spend almost every evening out here, waiting for whatever I'm grilling...and just enjoying the view.

dewy pennisetum hameln  3557
Even as sparse as it is right now...I have to say this planting feels much more at home in my garden than the willow ever did.

side garden from west  3559
Also, unlike the Willow, which was fairly static during the growing season...

north border from west  3666
...grasses, of course, are constantly changing, marking the seasons...

glowing north border
...and they celebrate the weather like nothing else!

side yard
I think this new planting made a huge (positive) impact on this area of the garden...not only did it open up the garden spatially, but it let light into an area that had become a bit dreary.

cheyenne sky v
Light, movement, color, texture.

sunny october sunrise
I have to say, I shouldn't have waited as long as I did to make the change!

Panicum cheyenne sky leaves
Then again, I wouldn't have appreciated it as much if I hadn't come to it in such a roundabout way (is there any other way in my garden...apparently not)!

north border with cat
As the first rains fell and fall gave way to winter...I was still in love with this area.

dewy north border h
And still am today.

leaf caught in cheyenne sky
I think this was the last of my big (ok, big for me) garden projects this past year...and now I look forward to this season as spring is just around the corner. Have you ever taken the "long route" to a solution in your own garden?

PS - I've gotten a few emails recently from people who were unable to leave comments...please let me know if you are having problems as well...and so sorry for the inconvenience!

UPDATE: It appears that one possible solution (especially if you are using Chrome, which recently released an update) is a plugin conflict..especially one called "Ghostery". Toggling plugins off and on may fix the problem