Friday, April 23, 2010

Dreaming of A House With New Paint!

There is no way we can afford to paint the house right now...and realistically, not for years to come...but it's nice to dream, eh! I've always wanted a red house (barn red), but after playing around in photoshop, I'm rather partial to the green and brown...hmmm.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another Progress Comparison - Monarda

Just thought I'd post an update of the further rapid the pics encompass a little less than a month...shows how quickly plants really do grow! It's hard to really appreciate it otherwise...and most times the progress seems so slow. Hopefully, by this time next month, everything will be pretty much filling in and there won't be such huge gaps in the garden. I believe this monarda blooms in midsummer, so I've probably got a while to wait before blooms.

This time, it's Monarda "Raspberry Wine". While not as dramatic as the previous Joe Pye post below, it's still fun to see how much growth a plant can put on...and it's interesting how quickly we forget how small they were at first. This was actually one of the very first plants to emerge this spring, I think there were little sprouts poking up as early as February. They just stayed as little sprounts for quite a while before really putting on some growth last month, and now you can practically watch them grow by the day. I planted these late last fall, so haven't seen them bloom yet...but having seen a full-grown specimen at Joy Creek Nursery (where I bought the seedling), I can't wait to see it in bloom!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Growth Progress - Joe Pye Weed

As with the monarda above, just wanted to post an update, especially as this plant has taken off! I can't believe it's rate of growth, in less than a month from just poking above ground to being almost 2 feet tall now! It's a good thing that most plants are really getting their feet under them, as the oak trees across the street are now leafing out and in a week or 2, the morning sun the garden has been enjoying will be cut off again until fall. That means only around 3 hours of direct sun a day...yikes!

I'm really amazed at how rapidly the plants are all growing now that the weather is warming up. Things which crept along for months are shooting up now. One example, shown below, is the Joe Pye Weed. This was actually one of the last (if not the last) plants to break dormancy this spring...I had almost given up on it. It appeared as small reddish buds just poking out of the ground and stayed that way, without much growth, for several weeks. Suddenly a couple weeks ago, it started shooting up. You can see the amount of growth it's putting on now...these pictures were taken less than a week apart! I'd estimate it went from about 2-3" above ground, to now about 7" above!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gardening Gone Wild - April Photo Contest

The Gardening Gone Wild photo contest theme for this month is "Green".


This is an image of Oxalis Oregana, commonly known as Redwood Sorrell, taken at the Leach Botanical Garden in Portland, OR. I was so inspired by the copious amounts of oxalis they have, which carpets large swaths of ground, that I have decided to do something similar in my own garden...but it's slow going!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Red Rodger, Red Rodger...


The "Rotlaub" Rodgersias I ordered from Forest Farm about a month ago have now all emerged! The first one emerged fully 2 weeks before the other 2, so I was getting a little worried that the weeks of cool, wet weather may have caused the roots to rot in the ground. Luckily, though, they are doing well. I have to say at this point that I'm really happy with the Forest Farms order and will heartily recommend them to anyone who asks. I will also DEFINITELY order from them again. I'm hoping I've placed these in an agreeable location...they get morning sun until about noon or so, and then shad until about an hour before sunset, where they'll get the last rays of afternoon sun. I'm going to have to keep them well-watered. Below you can see two earlier shots, one just after it emerged and one about a week later. They are REALLY hard to spot when they are just emerging, as they are exactly the color of the surrounding mulch and look a lot like a seed pod or dead leaf.

RodgersiaStage1 RodgersiaStage2

Friday, April 16, 2010

Columbine "Lime Frost"


Just a shot of the lovely Columbine "Lime Frost" from the front garden this morning. I love the dusky purple, nodding flowers.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Emerging Plants - HOORAY!

Just a quick survery of some things that have popped up, and some progress of others

Rodgersia henrici
My FIRST ever rodgersia emerging...I believe this is henrycii (spelling?) The first of Podophylla's (Rotlaub) has just emerged, have to get a shot of it later today perhaps. I've been looking for these for ages and finally found them via Forest Farm in southern Oregon. I heartily recommend them...they sent some great plants and have a really nice array of plants available.

Amsonia hubrichtii
These are taking a LONG time to really to do much...but they ALL came up, which is amazing, since the first 3 I bought were on EBAY last fall...just a testament to the hardiness of this plant. I got 3 more this spring from Dancing Oaks Nursery, near Salem. I can't wait to see how these fill out and shape up. I bought them mostly for their glorious fall color, which I first witnessed at Joy Creek Nursery, near St. Helens. They also offer lovely blue flowers in spring and nice feathery foliage the rest of the year. I think they were name Perennial Plant of the's to hoping!

Monarda "Raspberry Wine"
This is my first monarda here in Oregon! I am never surprised at just how hardy these plants can be. I bought this single small plant near the end of fall and popped it in the ground, at which time it was pretty much gnawed to death by slugs. I wasn't really sure it would even come back, but it was actually the very first plant in the garden to appear earlier this spring (way back in January, I think). It's taking it time getting going, but as soon as the weather warms up and we get more sun, it should shoot up.

Rheum Palmantum v. tanguticum
Another first for me! This is an ornamental rhubarb that I've wanted ever since seeing it on some gardening show and thinking how lovely it was as a specimen foliage plant. It's supposed to emerge with red-tinged foliage, for the most part it's emerging more on the green side...but I'll give it a year to get it's bearings.

Rhus typhina "Tiger Eye"
Another plant I fell in love with almost instantly. I remember growing up in Nebraska always being entranced by the glorious fall color of the wild sumac that grew in ditches along highways. I also love the elegant branching structure of the plants. So, now that I have a house and garden of my very own, I decided I had to have one. I love the different season of interst this plant brings to the garden, and can't wait to see how it changes during its first full season in the garden

Columbine "Lime Frost"
I actually grew this in my little apartment garden in Omaha years ago and was really struck by the wonderful contrasts in color this plant offers. The lovely variegated foliage is great and really offsets the pinky-purple stems, not to mention the graceful, dark purple flowers. Of course in Nebraska, it would reach its full glory just before a pounding rainstorm and get's to hoping the kinder, gentler, rains of Portland will be less damaging.


Last of all, here is something I didn't plant myself. The previous ownder didn't have alot of flowers, but she did have some spring bulbs planted. My favorite are the purple iris all around the house, which need to be moved and divided. I love them, though, they totally remind me of my grandma and parents' houses...we always had these. She also had a handful of daffodils and these blue flowers, which I'm not sure of, but think they are spanish bluebells... It is a good reminder to me at this time of year when my garden is quite bare, I REALLY need to solidigy placement of my perennials this summer so I can really plant more spring-blooming bulbs this fall!