Thursday, June 28, 2012
I was just going through a bunch of photos the other day and came upon a few from last month...I could hardly believe how much the garden has grown in such a short amount of time! Next year, I really, really, REALLY have to try to remember to cut the Agastache back before they get as tall as I am.
I know I'm not alone in this...and that all our gardens go through a similar growth spurt during spring...but still...wow! I have to say, I came to the realization last weekend as I shoved my way through the backyard...the next time I plan for a path of any kind, it has to be a minimum of 6' wide! I seem to be unable to keep plants from spilling over the edges of things...it's just not in my nature to reign them in. Also, I could swear that a lot of plants are just BIGGER this year...like TWICE as big as usual. I don't know if it was our bizarrely warm winter or what. Conversely, some plants are really behind...emerging months later than usual.
As we're on the cusp of summer officially starting here in Portland, I'm enjoying our last few cool, rainy days (which seem even more wonderful in light of the harsh weather around the rest of the country)...reveling in the fact that I haven't had to water yet (well, except for new plantings). What about the rest of you...how are your gardens progressing?
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Happy first (full) day of summer, everyone!
During summer, my favorite time of day is sunset, when the warm light ignites all the plants and our neighbors wander out into the lengthening shadows to enjoy that moment when the day's warmth gives way to evening cool.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
It's time for Foliage Follow-Up y'all! I know, it's about a week late...but better late than never, right? For more fabulous foliage-centric posts, head on over to Digging, hosted by the inimitable Pam Pennick.
This year I moved every single Sedum 'Matrona' in my garden into the parking strips. For one thing, they were all getting smothered by their more-aggressive bed partners...and it saved me big $$$ having to buy new ones! I don't know if it's the weather or the stress of getting moved at the beginning of June, but the color of their stems is particularly intense this year.
One of my fave foliage combos is embodied by this pairing of Rhus 'Tiger Eyes' and Persicaria 'Red Dragon'. They are so totally opposite, and a really wonderful, contrasting combo. They seem to stop just short, however, of being jarring, which is a good thing. Just behind them are the wonderful, feathery flowers of Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster'
While it is flashy, I adore the wonderful, whorled foliage of Veronicastrum 'Fascination'. There is something so incredibly elegant about that tiered foliage.
I got this plant (Teucrium scorodonia ‘Crispum Marginatum) from the always-generous Mr. Impatiens last fall...after spying it at a nursery, but neglecting to buy it. I love the undulating edges with their contrasting purple stems.
|Selinum wallichianum||Adiantum aleuticum|
Another shot of the Selinum, showcasing one of my favorite traits...the purple stems!
The invaluable (in my garden) Sedum 'Angelina' is so tough and beautiful, what more could you ask for?
A new form of Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium 'Blue Heaven') for me this year...even though it's only a few inches tall at the moment, the leaves are a wonderful mix of green, blue, red and purple...gorgeous!
|Persicaria 'Lance Corporal'||Persicaria 'Golden Arrow'|
Here's the same area of the garden, from another angle. In the foreground is Agastache 'Golden Jubilee', another golden-leaved perennial that I have scattered around the garden.
Oxalis 'Iron Cross' is one of those plants that I can't believe are real...they look too amazingly perfect!
As much as I like Euphorbia 'Dixter', it hasn't produced more than 2 stems in the past two years it's been in my garden. If it doesn't improve next year, I'm pulling it out.
The yellow-flowered Corydalis that Ryan Miller gave me last year has turned the most amazing shade of coppery-orange...does anyone know if this is typical???
I have to admit, I'm tempted to move the Persicaria 'Golden Arrow' in the photo above and replacing it with one of these, Cimicifuga 'Brunette'. I think the contrast would be amazing! I love the sultry, almost somber, coloring of the dark Cimicifugas. I have this planted among the front Astrantia patch, and can't wait for them to all grow together.
Earlier this spring, my poor Astilboides tabularis was schredded (and I mean SHREDDED) but cutworms. As you can see, there wasn't much left of them...and I wasn't even sure they would come back.
Yay! Over the past few weeks, they've rebounded nicely, much to my relief!
Amsonia hubrichtii (Thread-leaf Bluestar) is one of those plants that takes a few years to settle in, but once it's there, it's THERE for good. This is the oldest of my plants (would you believe, purchased on E-Bay?). This is its third year in the garden and it's finally formed a really handsome clump. I value it mostly for it's amazingly buttery fall color, but even when it's just green, it's quite lovely.
And lastly, I leave you with my favorite diminuitive, purple-leaved, evergreen ground cover, Acaena inermis purpurea. How can you NOT love that color!?!
Friday, June 15, 2012
I cannot believe June is already half over...I want a re-do!!! Seriously, work has been so crazy for the past 3 or 4 weeks that I've barely spent anytime in the garden during the week...so it really feels like the garden is "happening" without me getting to really witness it. I took a few minutes over the last few days, however, to get out there and get some quick photos and try to sum up what's going on.
How can you not love June...especially in Portland...where we get a nice mix of warm, sunny days and cooler days with rain. As a result, the plants are surging with growth.
A reliable favorite, Geranium 'Rozanne' can be a bit of a brute at times, but generally she mingles nicely with other plants around her, as she does here with Anementhale lessoniona (New Zealand Wind Grass/Pheasant's-Tail Grass).
Geranium 'Katherine Adele' is huge this year! I think it may be that she REALLY hated the spot she used to be in, on the front slope (which is the WORST soil in my garden...and has claimed the lives of many a plant). She seems to love being in the north parking strip, surrounded by the semi-evergreen sheaths of Pennisetum macrourum (which I am SO looking forward to blooming). I think the Pennisetum helps keep 'Katherine Adele' upright, as she has a tendency to sprawl after blooming.
How fascinating are the blooms of Allium christophii...TOTALLY AMAZING! When I look at it, it's so intricate and geometric, I'm amazed nature came up with something that looks so much like cut-metal artwork.
Somehow, this little area of the garden has morphed into a chartreuse/purple area...I've inadvertently used ONLY those colors here! Still, I do love them, but think a little contrast would be nice...I may move Persicaria 'Golden Arrow' later, and replace it with something with silver or blue-ish foliage.
It seems earlier than usual for the Verbena bonariensis to be blooming, doesn't it? I could swear they usually ramp up in July. I have SO many this year...they've re-seeded all over, but I'm not complaining, they are care-free and gorgeous.
I really love how well the Verbascum chaixii album are doing this year...they are blooming their hears out...and I love that little purple/orange combo in the center of each bloom. A bonus...bees adore them!
Another plant that I never think about the flowers of, until they bloom, Sedum rupestre.
I get so fed up with how the Sanguisorbia flops all over every year, that sometimes I forget just how lovely and dainty those flowers are. I actually like them even better after they fade...they become a rich, russet color, which contrasts so wonderfully with everything else in the garden. Next year, I'm going to be ready with the stakes and twine for this beast.
This photo of the front garden is a bit of a cheat because it's from last weekend, before my Joy Pye Weed collapsed and flattened this poor red Lupine...still...at least I have this photo of it's brief moment of glory, right?
Pimpinella is one of those plants that I can't help buy love...I'm pretty much a sucker for anything in the umbel family...and that delicate coloring is great...especially in part-shade.
After they all did so well last year, I've grown to really love the Knautias. I actually got the ones above from Joy Creek Nursery a few years ago, and finally moved them to a spot where they would have better drainage and more sun. They've rewarded me with much more vigorous growth and are now blooming happily. I love how variable the blooms are...in a nice mix of reddish-pink tones.
This is one of the few plants I grew from seed, Knautia 'Melton Pastels'. I was hoping for more variety in color, but most of the ones that sprouted were the light pink ones. Oh well...maybe there will be more variation in the ones I planted in the front parking strip this spring...only time will tell. still...I really like these, they are very vigorous and TALL (over 5')! They are very informal and I love how they kind of twine in and around other plants.
A shot of Iris 'Gerald Darby' mixing it up with Knautia 'Melton Pastels'...LOVE this combo!
While it's a little early for Agastache to be in bloom (most are a week or so away from really blooming), the ones I planted this spring are, or course, blooming already! 'Blue Boa' is a new one for me, and even though I swore I didn't need any more different Agastache, the rich, saturated color of these caught my attention.
Agastache 'Purple Haze' is one that proved itself last year in the back garden, so I knew I wanted more of those sultry purple blooms out front too.
Centranthus ruber (Jupiter's Bear) is one of those plants that I remember being astounded by when I first moved to Portland years ago. I just remember loving how gorgeous they were for such a long time...and with absolutely NO CARE!
I love my blue Lupine. I do hope its foliage stays fresher-looking than it has in years past. Aphids...keep away!
Of course, as Grace Peterson will tell you, one of my plant obsessions as of late are the Astrantias...I just can't get enough of them! Above is one of my faves, 'Roma'. As long as they get a bit of shade and enough water, Astrantias are totally tough-as-nails...love 'em! They also seed around a bit...which I'm hoping will create some interesting hybrids and nice, serendipitous combos.
Well, I think that covers most everything (I'm sure I've left out a few things), so I leave with you a few wide pics. This is the front garden from the North.
The Front Garden from the South.
The Back Yard from the North...not a lot blooming just yet...but give it another week or so!
And the Back Yard from the South.
Check out all the other blogs participating in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day at May Dreams Garden. Happy GBBD, everyone!