Thursday, March 13, 2014

Replacing the Dead of Winter

The only good thing about the uncommonly cold winter (from a gardening perspective) is that I get to go shopping to replace plants we lost. Luckily (or unluckily depending on your plant-addiction level), I live within minutes of several epic nurseries. To name a few, Xera Plants, Cistus, Joy Creek, Garden Fever and Portland Nursery are all ones I've visited in the last two weeks. I know. I know. I'm spoiled.

First up is Cistus Nursery. Now, I hadn't planned on visiting recently as the Yard Garden & Patio show was at the Convention Center, that was my total focus for weeks. As luck would have it, we woke to freezing rain. Du'OH! Not that a little freezing rain scared us off--oh no! We went all the same. I had so anticipated stocking up on my grocery list of plants. I was simply giddy. Know what? I did not buy one plant. Shocker! I'm pretty picky these days, I guess. So rather than go home empty handed, we drove to Sauvie Island to Cistus and then to Scappoose to Joy Creek, which just opened for the season on the 1st of March.

 Under the big top at Cistus! See the Astelia 'Red Gem' in the middle? That bad boy came home with me. A splurge indeed.





 Out on the front porch, our two gorgeous Phormiums died. Yes, it was a PKW, Phormium killing winter. I have seen just one Phormium alive around town, but every other one is gone, baby, gone.


 My husband picked these sexy spiky plants out to replace the dead Phormiums - two gorgeous Dasylirion wheeleri, also from Cistus. I like his choice.



On an earlier trip to Cistus a few weeks ago, I bought some Sedum rubrotinctum (my previous ones are mush from the freeze), Cheilanthes tomentosa or Wooly Lipped Fern and a small Astelia 'Red Gem':


 This little Astelia replaces a mucho mushy Cotyledon. Darn. And there was another Phormuim behind this pot....also long gone and a pile of mush.


 Wooly-Lipped fern, likes sun and dry. Great! Gorgeous foliage.


 There's the sedum in the little pot and one of two Dasylirion wheeleri in the big one.


I also brought home this sexy Agave 'Blue Glow'. The friendly new chap at Cistus recommended it and went into the back nursery to pull one from mail order. Oh-my-god this is gorgeous.Yes, please!



 Here's the jumbo-sized Astelia 'Red Gem' in its new home on the front porch area. Hoping it will hide the gas meter thing eventually. The Callistemon to the left looks dead :(   Got it at Portland Nursery for my birthday. I hope he lives!



 Next up on the list is Joy Creek. Although I took no photos at the nursery (remember it was freezing rain this day...too cold to break out the camera), I managed to get a Penstemon pinifolius and Sedum 'Bertram Anderson'. This is the Penstemon that is evergreen, hardy and so cute!



Several weeks ago, I ordered a Rhodie from Gossler Farms:

 Rhododendron pachysanthum. Sooooo beautiful, those leaves. Loree of Danger Garden blogged about one she saw at Cornell Farms here.



So I ripped out an old, scraggly Rhodie that came with the house to make room for this little guy and three Polypodium scouleri (purchased at Garden Fever).



Oh, speaking of Cornell Farms, I managed to stop by there and buy a Sedeveria 'Jet Beads'.



Last weekend while the husband was out of town, I did some damage at Xera Plants, Portland Nursery and Smith Rock. No, not THAT Smith Rock for rock climbing, rather THIS Smith Rock for landscape rocks in SE Portland. 



It's called a "Bronze Bird Bowl" - they had a bunch to choose from. The owner came out, super friendly, and offered his help should I need it. I told him what I was looking for and wanted a bird bath with personality. We both went for the same one, so it was a done deal, meant to be! Who knew this little rock would weight in at 150 pounds? I guess it's not going anywhere! LOVE that Smith Rock. They have such selection of not only these, but tons (literally) of all kinds of landscape rocks.



Earlier in the day at Xera, I bought this Saxifraga x geum 'Dentata'



 This little native Iris x pacifica.


Geum 'Marmalade'. I also purchased a native Geum triflorum. Loves me some Xera Plants!


And finally,....another small-ish project that the husband took on, all those extra paver bricks which came from this project ended up in a new and improved location.


A solid path in front of the veggie bed. Nice! More "bones" for the garden.
(Hey, that's Hobbes the boy Bengal sniffing around, inspecting our handy work. He's the boss of us.)


Here's what the veggie path used to look like, all gravel and messy. 

So that's what we've been up to here at Chickadee Gardens...happily soaking in every dry moment and planting away. I guess losing a few plants is an opportunity to try new and better and HARDIER things. I bought another Vaccinium ovatum or evergreen huckleberry and a few other native guys at Portland Nursery. All my native plants have done so well that I'm continuing down that path as much as I can (and adding in a little zing from New Zealand!) Lesson learned, for now at any rate.


And last but not least, a fond farewell from my new buddy at Cistus:

 He followed me everywhere, hoping to get me to throw sticks. I happily obliged!


 What a cutie pie!



It seems we've been busy despite the fact that it's winter - and I have a feeling we'll keep going through spring which is FINE by me!

Happy gardening until next week!




16 comments :

  1. Plant buying expeditions are such fun! I love all your choices. I'm going to start looking for that Geum 'Marmalade,' it sounds like it's right up my alley. I adore your rock bird bath. I may just have to get another 'Blue Glow,' my first one is fine, but they are so beautiful, they inspire Agave lust in me.

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    1. Oh, aren't shopping expeditions fun? The Geum is great, the other I have "Totally Tangerine' (Annie's Annuals) was a champ during the cold weather. And oh, the Blue Glow, gorgeous.

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  2. It is always exciting to buy new plants and you are lucky to have so many nurseries in your neighbourhood.
    You made lovely choices.That Saxifraga 'dentata' looks wonderful to me and an evergreen Penstemon.....

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    1. I am lucky, Janneke! Very lucky. The Saxifraga is really lovely, if you can find it in the Netherlands, I would suggest giving it a try! Cheers!

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  3. I was just at Joy Creek and Cistus last weekend, I couldn't stay to long or I would have been seriously broke , I wanted everything !

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    1. Oh, I KNOW. Both of those places are dangerous. My bank account is hurting right now, to be sure!

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  4. Wow you've been busy, not only buying (the easy part) but planting too! You're putting my efforts to shame.

    I love all your choices, and it turns out David has got a good eye too! Plus score on that huge astelia...

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    1. Yes very busy. July is just around the corner (OH NO!!) ...David has a great eye, I have discovered :) And are you kidding about putting you to shame? Hello, what about that gorgeous fence you just put in? That's some major project! Looks fab!

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  5. So your husband gardens too? Do you two fight for space in the garden? You picked up such beautiful specimens and that BIRD BATH! I am so envious.

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    1. Hi Heather, well - he gardens through osmosis....that is to say he likes to occasionally go with me and if he does go (to the nurseries) I like to get his input...also, he's a project guy. I am lucky! Oh, that bird bath? GO, I'm tellin' ya. Smith Rock ROCKS.

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  6. How cool is it to have a husband with good plant taste? Your garden must be a knockout.

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    1. I KNOW, Ricki! He does have good plant taste, and he didn't even know it :) I think I'll keep him. Garden not so much a knockout right now....I'm still waiting to see what else survived, but thanks for the encouragement!

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  7. I have a feeling nurseries will do really well with sales this year. Replacement plants are all the rage this year. :)

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    1. Hahahah...sooo true. I think they will do very very well. Oh, well, better to spend $$ on plants than clothes or food, right? Sign of a true addict.

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  8. Holy moly - that's a lot of plant shopping! Thanks for sharing -- if more bloggers would do this, I think I could fulfill my plant acquisition desires vicariously -- at least a little. I have had a little problem with bringing home too many trees lately -- who can resist 50% off trees?

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    1. Haha..that's true, I think I could too. Maybe. Well, it's fun to see what I have actually purchased and share it...especially post-freeze. I wouldn't have been spending so much $$ right now but so many things seem to be toast. So trees, if I had the space, I would have bunches, I don't blame you at all with 50% off! That's great!

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