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Monday, April 16, 2012

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - April 15, 2012

GBBD April Header
Drat...I swear I'm always at least a day late for GBBD...and this month is no exception! This time, the only excuse I have is that the weather in Portland was SPECTACULAR this weekend and I spent as much of it outside as I could! As I type this today, there is a gentle rain falling, which is nice, because I do tend to miss the rain after a few sunny days. I'm especially grateful to live in Portland, today, after seeing photos of the area around my hometown this morning. Apparently, they got GRAPEFRUIT-sized hail in places, and in others, 3' drifts of hail...UNBELIEVABLE! For all you in the Midwest, I hope you made it through ok...and your gardens aren't too badly off. Anyway, let's get the show started!

tulips
It's no surprise that the biggest showing this month comes from spring bulbs, mostly, the tulips. Every spring, when I see everyone else's gardens full of tulips, I swear that THIS will be the year I really do it right and plant tons of them in the fall. Then fall rolls around, which is the time of year I kind of just want to enjoy the gardens last hurrah, and I somehow forget to plant them.

parking strip tulips
Last year, however, I really did plant quite a few new ones, which was much easier in the newly-planted parking strips, since the plants were still fairly small. I have no idea how people plant them in established beds, which, at least here in Portland, are still going (fairly) strong until late November or December. It's not exactly fun elbowing aside large perennials,trying to pop in bulbs!

tulips  1434
Yikes...I didn't even realize my neighbor's recycling bins were in this shot until just now...oops!

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One thing I've never been good at is remember the names of the Tulips I plant. I think part of it is just that I don't expect them to live longer than 3 years (which is about as long as most hybrid Tulips seem to last), so try not to get too attached. I also realize, once they start blooming, that while I start with set color schemes, I inevitably end up with a few extra bulbs that get planted anywhere I can find space...hence these random yellow tulips!

Hyacinthoides
Hyacinthoides (Spanish Bluebells)
While these are beautiful in flower, their leaves flop all over emerging perennials, smothering them. Also, right as they finish flowering, the leaves don't wilt so much as they disintegrate into strappy green slime ribbons...ugh. I've been slowly trying to thin them out...and honestly, end up tossing what seems like thousands of them into the compost each year. Oh well...let's enjoy the flowers for now ;-)

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Geranium macrorrhizum
While the white version I have is just on the verge of flowering, the magenta ones have been going for over a month. I love their rich, warm coloring...and they are pretty much indestructible.

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Daffodil
It's probably our cool weather, but it seems like daffodils flower for months here in Portland, which I don't remember them doing back in the Midwest. These are getting moved as soon as they are done flowering this year...back in the border where larger perennials will hide their foliage, which again, here in Portland, can stick around until August or September.

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Oxalis oregana
I have an ever-expanding patch of our native Oxalis on the north side of the house, where it grows beneath Ferns, Hostas, and Rodgersias. It's happily evergreen and for most of the spring and summer, blooms off and on.

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Oxalis oregana 'Pink Select'
I even have a pink-flowered Oxalis I got years ago from Xera plants at the HPSO plant sale. I sort of forgot about it at some point and it's been invaded by turf grass...ugh...that's one project I dread this summer, digging this all up and pulling out all the grass.

corydalis bronze beauty  1445iris  1411
Corydalis 'Bronze Beauty'Purple Border Iris
Ok...I know the Iris isn't actually blooming, but it's SO close!

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Knautia macedonica
These crazy Knautias in the back yard have been blooming for the past month or so...the blooms are a bit stunted, but hey, they are blooms.

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So, there you have it, a quick tour of what's blooming here on Rhone Street right now, for more blooms from around the world, head over to our gracious hostess, Carol, at May Dreams Garden.

And now...to work on the Foliage Follow-Up Post!

41 comments:

  1. Very beautiful flowers! I like your blog very much!

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  2. Gorgeous display of bulbs, Scott!

    Bins, what bins?

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    1. Thanks, Shirley...that's nice of you to say.

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  3. I have the opposite problems with bulbs--I go to put in a new shrub or perennial and I keep running into bulbs! I guess we should do our gardens like they do on tv: all at once. ;)

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    1. Hahahahahaha....I do that too...it's almost impossible to remember where I've planted them by the time fall rolls around. If we only all had a TV budget...oh, to dream ;-)

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  4. Hi Scott,

    Stunning photos, and I love your Tulips - they're doing very well! I had hoped for a somewhat more modest show in mine but many of them seem to be distorted and a bit weird... Not really sure why, no doubt my clay soil is too heavy.

    Re: Spanish Bluebells. Yep and this is the very reason they're threatening our native english bluebells - they're just so difficult to get rid of!!! Plus they hybridise between the two and people don't seem to realise this. Like one garden I go to makes a big thing of their bluebell walk, only to someone like me I know they're not true bluebells so am less than impressed that they're selling them to unwilling customers who don't realise the problems they cause!

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    1. Oh no...I wonder why that is? Come to think of it, however, I have a few that are the same way...almost looking shriveled...and really stunted...not sure what's up with that...maybe a virus? That's so sad to hear about the Bluebells...eek! They may be pretty, but what a nuisance.

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  5. I didn't even notice the bins until you pointed them out. They are so out of focus, they're just blobs. Thanks for the bright, beautiful, colorful pictures!

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    1. Hahahahaha...whew...that makes me feel better...I always seem to get them in pictures...but not notice it until I'm actually posting them!

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  6. Beautiful photos of your tulips...they could easily be in a gardening magazine! I'm still waiting to see blooms on the Knautia macedonica I planted last year, so it's nice to see what I have to look forward to.

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    1. Thanks, Dorothy...that would be a dream come true...wouldn't it! I bet your Knautia will be blooming before long...these are 2nd-year plants blooming, the ones I planted last year have yet to bloom :-)

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  7. My tulips are just about gone, but I usually do just early ones because of the foliage. I did plant the hycinthoides this year in a bed with liriope so I hope all of those leaves will be covered up. They are lovely when in bloom.

    Eileen

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    1. That's a good idea! I think they would be wonderful in the right setting, but mine are so front-and-center...with nothing to cover them up...I may steal your solution ;-)

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  8. Scott your rainbow of colored tulips are just so pretty.I say the same thing every year about planting more of them too but by planting time the ground here is usually so hard I say forget that. LOL! Your Knautia is so pretty. Mine died out over the winter. Seems I lost so many plants this winter and it was so mild. The Pink Oxalis is lovely too.

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    1. Glad to know I'm not alone! Oh no...not your Knautia :-( I have few Agastache that aren't up yet, which is over a month late now...and I'm beginning to wonder if the same thing happened, our winter was so unusually mild :-(

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  9. Love the shot of Oxalis. I also have some invasive grass to dig out - mine is in growing through campanula. I'm NOT looking forward to that job! Pretty tulips. Mine are just starting to show buds, so it will be a week or two before they bloom.

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    1. Uh-oh, sounds like we both have a "not-fun" chore to do this summer!

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  10. Lovely! I have NO spring bloomers. And I swear every year that is going to change. And it doesn't. Sigh.

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    1. Oh yes...I know that feeling all too well...this is really the first year I've had a decent showing...but even now, it's mostly the north border that has blooms...the east border (front of the house) is pretty bare...but it's much harder to plant in the fall. Maybe I'll do it this year...maybe we BOTH will!

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  11. Really nice shots of the tulips. The photo of the oxalis with the turf grass is pretty nice, even if it's not a good thing that the grass invaded.

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    1. Hahahaha...you're right...if I didn't know better I would just be able to enjoy it as well ;-)

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  12. You certainly are a good advocate for Portland! Love all those tulips. You really have a nice variety of blooms already.

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    1. Yay...thanks! I'm pretty happy with them...much better than the past few years where I had no blooms at all until about June.

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  13. Scott - i always love your posts I feel like I am looking at a coffee table book. I am amazed that you guys love that oxalis so - it grows like weeds here. it gets into every flower bed I have. I don't like it - a lot!
    I planted hyacinth bulbs late one Fall on both sides of the front walk and by Spring joggers were stopping to ask what they were and if they were real.

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  14. Yeah, I'd say you made up for lost time with all those gorgeous Tulips! I really appreciate them because I don't plant them anymore--they're rabbit food here. :) As always, I envy your plentiful Oxalis(es?). They were growing like weeds in New Orleans when I was there recently. I love the foliage and the flowers. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Oh no...that's too bad about the Tulips :-( Don't you love the Oxalis...there is something so wonderfully simple and beautiful about them, isn't there?

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  15. Whatever you post here are so delightful for me, because i love your photos, always!

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  16. Scott, your photos are just stunning, not to mention the flower display itself. Really great job.

    I didn't know that the 'fancy' tulips had a short life, until last spring. I must say I was really disappointed in that.

    Question for you: I see you have tulips mixed in with other perennials (I love that look!). What do you do with the tulip foliage when it's dying down? (Just leave it, try to hide it somehow, trim it?)

    Diane

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    1. Thanks, Diane! I know...isn't it frustrating about Tulips...it's one of the things that always gives me pause when buying them :-( I actually just let the Tulip foliage fade on its own...usually the perennials around them cover up the foliage as they get bigger, and it's pretty much either completely gone or hidden by July :-)

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    2. That's pretty much what I do as well, but I think I'll take a lesson from you and plant more perennials in front of them. Thanks!

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  17. It seems you have quite the display of tulips no matter your thoughts on them. I also believe the random yellow is quite the pop of color, so springy! I wonder if those bulb planter things make it easier to plop bulbs closer to the larger perennials?

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    1. Thanks Darla...and you're totally right, the yellow actually makes everything else better, because of it's wonderful contrast. That's such a good point, and you're probably right...I need to get one of those this fall when I plant more...it's worth a try, right?

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  18. Super photos as always! I gave up on tulips a few years back but always have regret when I see pics like this. Also jealous of your rain, we desperately need it here in NJ.

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    1. Thanks, John...I know the feeling...it's exactly how I felt the past few years...seeing them all over town and feeling kind of sad. I'll try my best to send you some rain...sounds like everyone out east really needs it.

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  19. I had no idea you are such a tulip guy! I love them...and wish you were my neighbor so I could really enjoy them.

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    1. Hahahaha...I don't know if I would have ever said it out loud ;-) They hit that sweet spot in being pretty while in bloom, but not having the messy fading foliage that stays around forever!

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  20. Lovely photos, I'm a big tulip fan , need a splash of bold color with so much PNW green everywhere.

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    1. You said it...I love how green our winters are, but right about now I just want some color ;-)

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  21. I am starting to regret planting more Hyacinthoides each year.

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