Friday, May 31, 2013

Chipping Away...

Panicum Cheyenne Sky
Panicum 'Cheyenne Sky' waiting to be planted
So, a few days ago, I posted on my visit to Wind Dancer Garden...and touched briefly on the new grasses I had purchased. As you all know, however, I'm pretty much out of room in my where on earth was I going to put them, you may ask?

Dug up
While many of them ended up in pots scattered around the garden, a few were destined to grace the garden itself. Along the North border of the garden, I have a narrow path (all that remains of the lawn that once surround the entire house). It's only a few feet wide and meanders between the main border along the sidewalk and the shady plantings along the foundation of the house. I've been slowly chipping away at it as I add more and more plants...although this may be the last few I plant...lest the path goes away completely!

Dug up from sidewalk
I cut back the variegated Willow in the corner (I really should have coppiced it this spring) and dug up an area that should be large enough for these grasses. They are some of the smallest Panicums, only getting about 3' tall and 1-1.5' wide.

Planted above's all planted! I can't wait to see these fill in and give a little more definition and bulk to a space that was a little "loose" before. Plus, they will add texture and movement later on...and look amazing in the afternoon light!

Planted Below
Here you can see the plantings in front of the new area, which really needs a cleaning up. The Epilobium is sending up sprouts everywhere...and those Iris need dividing badly.

Planted with cat
Punky Cat gives his nod of approval (or, more realistically, indifference). What about all of are you faring with recent plant purchases...especially if you have limited space?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Spring Visit to Wind Dancer!

As you may remember last fall, I announced (very sadly) that Wind Dancer Gardens was closing. As luck would have it, however, Heather and I spotted the owner, Caroly Kolb, at a recent plant sale. It turns out that she still had stock available, and she graciously invited us to stop by and shop our hearts out!

Grasses and tuteur
I was so excited, I practically skipped all the way home. Ok, not really, we were in Canby, that's a LONG way to skip, especially weighted down with plants!

Grasses and Hostas
Via the magic of Facebook, I invited some fellow gardeners in the Portland area to attend our little shopping trip, and so, a few weeks a go, we embarked down to Salem to visit Carolyn and her husband.

Yellow PineGolden Oak
One of the best parts of Visiting Wind Dancer is getting to see Carolyn's garden...which is amazing. Of course, Carolyn is super-sweet, and the most gracious of hostesses, giving us a tour all around her garden, pointing out prized specimens and answering our questions.

While most of the grasses are still growing into their glory, this spring time visit let me really appreciate all the other plants of the garden. I don't think I've ever realized how many wonderful conifers Carolyn has...and I'm such a shrub and tree noob, that it's like discovering new plants to me!

Geum and bee
Don't you love the glowing color of this Geum...the bees certainly did!

Deschampsia wave
The wonderful Deschampsias were just starting to bloom.

Pink Columbine
I love me some Columbines...and Carolyn has scads!

LiliesHostas and Grasses
I was uber-jealous of how enormous Carolyn's Lilies were...they were so much taller than mine at home...what's her secret (hint, I suspect magic is involved)! Part of Carolyn's front display garden has this wonderful, open shade that is perfect for Hostas, Carex and shade-tolerant grasses...I absolutely love's like an idealized wooded glade.

Divinely golden Carex starting to bloom.

This wonderful Millium was erupting with blooms!

Tiger LilySorbaria and Corylus
The plant on the left totally stumped me...but it turns out it is a form of Tiger Lily...although it looks totally different than the common Lilium lancifolium I have in my garden...I must research this more!

Purple Columbine
Ahhh...more Columbine goodness!

Purple Clematis
This picture really does not do justice to the intense coloration of this Clematis.

Papaver Pattys Plum
I've tried and tried to grow this Poppy from seed ('Patty's Plum'), but to no avail! Look at those rich, crepe-paper petals unfurling!

agave 2
I know that I've noticed Carolyn's succulent/agave collection before...but with Loree along, it was like seeing it for the first time!

agave 3agave 4
Carolyn says she brings most of these into the greenhouse each winter.

She said moving them around is indeed tricky...and dangerous ;-)

Clematis and Bell
I love how Carolyn has added pieces of sculpture and artwork around the garden...each time I visit, I "discover" something new!

Grassy path my dreams, THIS is what my garden would look like!

Oh...but back to business...there are plants to buy! I seriously wish I had a large space left to plant...I really want a mass of Sesleria autumnalis....oh well...maybe in my next (MUCH BIGGER) garden, right?

Molinia Moorflame
It seems I am ever drawn to the allure of the Moor Grasses (Molinia).

We shopped, shopped, and shopped some more...and at the end, here's our group (minus Linda and Phillip, who had to leave earlier). From left to right, Heather, Moi, Loree and Jenni.

And here we have (part of) my haul! I got several Panicum 'Cheyenne Sky', Molinia 'Strahlenquelle', Sesleria autumnalis and Pennisetum macrourum 'White Lancer'. Believe it or not, I've planted almost everything already!

Carolyn still has a good amount of wonderful grasses left, so check out her website HERE. She's open by appointment get out there before it's gone! Also, Carolyn has started her own garden coaching business, and, having seen her garden in person multiple times, I cannot think of anyone I'd rather have designing a garden for me!

And lastly, in case you happen to be in the Portland area the weekend of June 8th, several of us Portland garden bloggers (myself, Heather, Loree, Jane and Ann) are giving a class on blogging at Joy Creek Nursery (info HERE). Do drop by, if you can, we'd love to see you (also, they have cookies). What sort of things would you like to have known when you first started blogging...what do you wish someone had told you?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Foliage Follow-Up - May 2013

FFU May 2013 Header
Last week, we celebrated flowers, and today we take a look at foliage in the garden, after all, a great garden should balance both, right? Head on over to Pam's site Digging for more FFU posts as well as Christina's Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for Garden Blogger's Foliage Day!

Shady Foliage
I have to admit, the shady area around the north side of our house is a bit of a foliage hodge-podge. I probably fell into the trap of "one of everying-itis". Oh well...that's the downfall of the plant-obsessed, right?

Fresh rodgersiaShady exuberance
While our early heat a few weeks ago caused most of the Rodgersias to prematurely go green, the new leaves still show the nice bronze coloring. Several varieties of Rodgersia dominate this space, and they seem to finally be settling in, and are really clumping up.

Agastache Golden Jubilee
Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' is one of those great plants with gorgeous foliage and it!

Selinum wallichianum
One of my absolute favorite plants, Selinum wallichianum, has leaves so finely-divided they make ferns jealous!

Persicaria lance corporal
For dramatic foliage patterning, you can't beat Persicaria 'Lance Corporal'. It manages to be dramatic without being ostentatious!

Persicaria et alPersicaria and malva
Persicarias are great foliage plants, tough and adaptable. On the left, again, is 'Lance Corporal', and on the right, 'Red Dragon'...probably the most-grown Persicaria in Portland gardens.

Sedum sieboldii
I do love the ghostly blue foliage of Sedum sieboldii...and as a bonus, it turns vibrant shades of yellow and red in autumn.

Sedum Matrona
My favorite tall Sedum, 'Matrona'. I love the pewtery leaves and contrasting red stems.

Sanguisorbia mensiezii
A recent purchase, Sanguisorbia these blue-gray, serrated leaves...almost like a miniature melianthus.

Persicaria purple fantasy
The newest in my collection of Persicarias, 'Purple Fantasy'. The dramatic color definitely gets more muted as the season progresses, but that's fine by me, as the contrasting chevron is still very apparent.

LupineHosta and Rodgersia 2
Lupines are prized for their blooms (and rightly so) but their foliage is so beautiful (while it lasts). On the right is my favorite Hosta, 'Big Daddy'...and this year it's really starting to live up to it's name...a good 2.5' tall and probably 5-6' wide...LOVE those blue leaves!

Hosta Big Daddy
Another shot of 'Big Daddy', I'm really pleased by how the Oxalis have colonized around the other plants, blanketing the area.

Panicum Northwind
Panicum 'Northwind' may be one of the finest grasses I've ever grown. It doesn't have the wonderful red coloring of many of the Panicums, but it is remarkably upright and has this wonderfully steely-blue coloring.

Oregano Sedum Anementhale
Another foliage-centric combo in one of my parking strips, with Origanum 'Aureus', Sedum 'Matrona' and Anemethale lessoniana.

Eutrochium GatewayEutrochium Chocolate
Eutrochium 'Gateway' is probably one of my top 5 garden plants...I can't imagine having a garden without it. Great, imposing structure, reddish-purple stems, wonderful mauve flowers (that bees go crazy for) and lush, serrated foliage that appears in whorls along the length of the stems. On the right is the related, Eutrochium rugosum...grown primarily for it's chocolatey-colored foliage.

Veronicastrum fascination
Another graceful plant that produces leaves in whorls (who doesn't like saying that), Veronicastrum 'Fascination'.

I honestly don't know if I'm supposed to call this Cimicifuga or Actaea anymore...but who cares, the foliage is still gorgeous, although it's usually much darker than this.

Panicum Huron Solstice
While talking about grasses last week, Heather mentioned that her Panicum 'Shenandoah' was already showing some red coloring in it's leaves. Of course, I ran home in tears, totally defeated. As luck would have it, I was able to dry my eyes the next day, as my Shenandoah was also showing some red coloring. Above is another Panicum, 'Huron Solstice'.

Agastache Purple Haze
While most of them aren't necessarily grown for their foliage, many Agastache do have nice coloring, especially on their newer foliage, as you can see here in Agastache 'Purple Haze'.

Agastache rupestrisAnementhale lessoniana
The Agastache on the left (Agastache rupestris) could hardly look more different from 'Purple Haze' in the previous photo. While the peachy-orange blooms of this Agastache are ok, I actually like the soft, gray foliage even more. On the right, another Anementhale lessoniana, this one located in the backyard.

After seeing Ricki's large colony of Acaena inermis 'Purpurea' this spring, I can't help but be a little perturbed that my own plants aren't nearly as vigorous...oh well...they are still pretty...and I can be patient...right?

Amsonia hubrichtii
While it's hard to ignore the multitude of blooms right now, the real reason to grow Amsonia hubrichtii is for the wonderful, thread-like foliage. It forms a substantial, shrub-like mass in the garden after flowering, and turns a wonderful golden color in autumn.

Back Yard
In the backyard, I have to admit, one of the things I'm most pleased about this year is the fact that the Parthenocissus is finally starting to really cover the fence. For some reason, it makes the garden feel more established.

Front Garden
Ahhh...spring...don't you just love all that fresh, new foliage!

Geranium and Clematis
Again, Happy Foliage Follow-Up and Garden Bloggers Foliage Day!!!