Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Random Garden Photo Wednesday

Astrantia major 'Star of Beauty'
The first Astrantia bloom in my garden...woohoo!!! To be fair, this is one I bought at the HPSO sale a few weeks ago...and must have had a small blooming stalk I didn't notice at the time. All the ones I planted last year in the garden are still just growing mounds of foliage. Still, it gives one hope for the blooms to come :-)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

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Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm - Woodburn, OR
This past weekend, on Easter Sunday, my partner and I, along with some friends, went to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, OR.

My partner and I go almost every year, and even though neither of us is particularly crazy about tulips, I find I really do love them during springtime...and honestly, how often do you get to see a floral spectacle like this! In past years, I've not really paid much attention to the different varieties I wasn't planning on adding tulips until I had the borders figured out...but I realized last year that I might as well just plant some...especially after seeing every other yard in the neighborhood full of such glorious color! This year, the winner by a landslide was Princess Irene (no snickering, please)!

On a side note, one of the friends who went along is just getting into photography and wanted a few tips. I think I told her initially it was so pretty out there that it'd be hard to NOT take a good picture. I realized, however, once we arrived that the exact opposite is true...there is so much going on that it is more important than ever to edit and find a focal point...trying to really capture the entirety of the fields in perfect detail would result is an image that was overwhelming and busy beyond belief!

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Fashionably Late

There are some plants that I know from past seasons are just a little later to emerge than everything else...Eupatorium, Vitis vinifera and warm-season grasses, to name a few. For plants that I just planted last season, however, it can be a harrowing wait to see if they made it through the winter.

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Hosta 'Big Daddy'
I was a little surprised this one came up so late, it seems like Hostas are often some of the first plants up in the spring. I had just planted it last spring, however, and was afraid it might have rotted over the winter...luckily, this bad boy finally showed up.

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Clematis recta purpurea
Ok, so I've seen the little nubbins of growth for a month or so, but these seem to take forever to finally decide to GROW!

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Rodgersia podophylla 'Rotlaub'
I planted these last year and they grew huge leaves which looked great until, after a few weeks of hot, windy weather last summer, started to scorch and promptly retreated underground. I thought for sure they had croaked. Lo and behold, they are back! They are even beefier than last year and are growing rapidly. I'm not sure if I should transplant them to somewhere shadier (likely) or hope that they have a more established root system and with regular watering, they will be ok in their current spot. Honestly, with the hot winds my neighborhood gets during summer, I should probably play it safe and move them.

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Veronicastrum virginicum 'Fascination'
I planted these lovely ladies last spring and they seemed to do pretty well...and the blooms were AMAZING. I sort of lump them with Eupatorium (being of similar size/habit) so figured they would be later in emerging...but I was still biting my fingernails. They finally are here...and I'm jazzed. If you've never seen them before, imagine a Veronica...but taller, slimmer and far more glamorous...basically, the Kate Moss of Veronicas. They bear these long, wispy candelabras of flowers and are amazing. They can be a bit slow to get established, but 'Fascination' is supposedly a little quicker to bulk up than most of the other hybrids. To top it all off...just look at that new foliage...what a kaleidoscopic mix of purples, pinks, oranges, reds, yellows and greens!

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Rhus typhina 'Balitiger' (Tiger Eye Sumac)
I'm not sure why, but this little bush that's practically a weed for some people really doesn't like my garden...and that makes me WANT it to grow even more. I'm hoping last years strange grow/wilt/grow/wilt cycle will be broken and I will just get the "grow" part.

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Astilboides tabularis
Luckily, I was reading Loree's blog over at Danger Garden a few weeks ago and saw here mention her Astilboides was just I had hope mine wouldn't be far behind. Wouldn't you know it, the very next day I saw it's odd little head pop out of the ground.

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Rheum palmatum tanguticum
I mentioned in a previous post how I was lamenting my Ornamental Rhubarb wasn't up yet, and while it was indeed a late riser, it's now joined by 2 additional buds coming up near the original crown...awesome!!!

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Astrantia 'Abbey Road'
While my Astrantia major emerged in the first week of February, this hybrid didn't come up until almost a full 2 months later! I bought them late in the fall (as they were discounted 50% - in case you didn't know, I'm a sucker for a sale). I snatched up 5 of them and popped them right in the ground. 1 week later, we had our first freeze and they were toast. I was afraid, at the time, they might not have had enough time to settle in before the freeze. Luckily, since our cold weather typically only lasts a few days, I convinced myself that their were busy throughout our mild, wet winter putting out new roots and getting ready for spring. Then they didn't show up. A. major was up and running...but no sign from 'Abbey Road'. Finally, a few weeks ago, the first one appeared, and now they have all returned, to my sheer delight! I really, really hope they do well in this odd spot of the garden...I've been coveting these plants for years and would love to keep them happy...we'll see!

So, who does that leave, which plants STILL haven't shown their pretty little faces? Well, there are only a few...Salvia 'Purple Majesty', Rudbeckia triloba, and Agastache 'Blue Fortune'. How about all you out you have something that you're waiting patiently (or impatiently for) you have something that always keeps you on the edge of your seat, thinking it didn't make it?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Foliage Follow-up - 4/20/2011

I know I'm a bit late on this one, but just couldn't get my act together this weekend!

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Nepeta 'Walkers Low'
As much as I love the flowers of Nepeta, I adore it's purplish stems and downy gray-green foliage even striking, especially in spring.

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Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
Even if it never flowered, I'd grow this Geranium for it's foliage...a wonderful, bright chartreuse. I enjoy how it winds its way throughout the garden...ending up over 6' away by summer only to die completely back every winter.

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Oxalis oregana
My little patch of Oxalis continues to expand and fill in.

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Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'
This was a total impulse buy last spring, and its spring color is breathtaking, especially in contrast to the delightful apple-green Oxalis. Sadly, the color darkens considerably during the summer and is a bit drab.

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Pennisetum spatheolatum
Nice, bright blades scream "Spring"!

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Euphorbia 'Faded Jeans'
My favorite Euphorbia, in spite of its diminuitive size. It's evergreen and a great textural accent to everything around it.

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Persicaria 'Red Dragon'
Photos can't quite capture the intensely saturated burgundy/scarlet coloring of the fresh growth of this perennial.

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Persicaria 'Red Dragon'Echinops bannaticus

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Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'
I always thought Baptisias were pretty, but wasn't terribly tempted by them. Then, last fall, I saw this variety with chalky purple stems...and I knew I had to have it :-)

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Geranium 'Katherine Adele'
Another perennial Geranium, this one with heavily marked leaves...really striking.

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Euphorbia 'Dixter'Dew on Crocosmia 'Orangeade'

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Sedum 'Angelina'
These looked really, REALLY scraggly at the end of winter, but are starting to fill out nicely again.

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Tulip 'Queen of the Night'Linaria purpurea
This Linaria is another plant that I was on the cusp of buying, and upon seeing the contrasting stems, snatched them up.

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Parrotia persica
I love the wonderful, pleated foliage on the Parrotias.

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Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'
The newest growth on 'Raspberry Wine' is always slightly flushed with red...a nice touch, and the foliage is a deep, rich green.

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Geranium 'Blogold' (Blue Sunrise)
This foliage on this Geranium is almost unbelievably bright.

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Rheum palmatum tanguticum
Now that the Rheum is up and growing, it seems to be expanding by the moment...I even found 2 additional buds emerging near the original crown...awesome!

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Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'
The earliest and fastest-growing of all my Agastaches ('Black Adder' and 'Blue Forture' are JUST emerging). I love the golden spring foliage (later fades to a mellow chartreuse), especially in combination with the purplish new growth.

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Rodgersia podophylla 'Rotlaub'
The ones I planted last year are just emerging, I got 3 more at Dennis 7 Dees sale rack this spring for $5 each...SCORE! This is one of my all-time favorite foliage plants, a mature clump is a sight to behold.

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Foeniculum (Bronze Fennel)
I know Fennel grows like a week all around Portland, but I still love their delicate, ferny foliage, especially the bronze variety.

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Maidenhair Fern
This little speciment I got last fall is just emerging, can't wait for it to settle in and really get going.

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Heuchera 'Marmalade'
I don't have many Heuchera, but the few I do have are really invaluable for their year-long contribution of color and texture.

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Columbine 'Tequila Sunrise'
If only the Columbine foliage could look like this all season!

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Persicaria 'Lance Corporal'

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Oxalis crassipes
I love how this Oxalis forms a perfect hemisphere of foliage.

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Nepeta 'Walkers Low'
We end as we began, but in the sun, with 'Walkers Low'. What's up and growing for all you?