Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Very Green Post: Spring Hike in Forest Park

The time came last weekend to break away, breathe some fresh air and explore one of the many green spaces of Portland. I can think of none more vast and rich than Forest Park. As I walked along snapping photos along the way, though, I noticed on several occasions my husband many leagues ahead of me because I was so sucked into the landscape. That said, here's a tour of photos, all of Pacific Northwest native plants. Nice! 

Warning: This is a very green post. As in the color. 

The view from our parking space. That's the Willamette River and a railroad bridge.

The false Soloman's seal or Maianthemum racemosum was in bloom; what a treat. I have some of this in the shade garden. It's taken a while to establish itself but it shall be nice once it does.

Tellima grandiflora or fringe cup. Deciduous perennial.

. . . A whole bank of them, mixed with other lovelies.

Vancouveria hexandra, inside-out flower graces the forest floors of this area, a lovely groundcover in the shade garden, too. Sweet little white flowers will soon adorn this delicate native.

Maidenhair fern, Adiantum aleuticum. I have these in my shade garden, they are the graceful ladies of shade. So lovely with contrasting black stems. Like most ladies, they improve with age.

Speaking of LADIES, here are the ferns. Lady ferns, Athyrium filis-femina. I have these in the garden, too, and they were just there....I think they have always been there. Deciduous and big, kind of nice. Too bad there's invasive English ivy in the background here, that's a huge problem.
Don't buy it or plant it, please!

Viola glabella or streambank violet. I have these in the garden, and they are really sweet. There were millions in bloom in the forest this day, very special.

Plant porn:
Hmm...this Trillum...

plus this Trillium...

equals THIS Trillium? I'm no botanist but I think some Trillium hanky-panky has been going on.

Even the air looks green.

Another view of maidenhair fern. So very sweet.

Hello, husband! Again, I'm lagging way behind...lolligagging...taking pictures of green things.

Nice example of a feeder log. Looks like it was once a snag for woodpeckers and other critters. It's an important part of the forest ecosystem.

Canopy of lovely vine maples - Acer circinatum and other deciduous trees.

A bit soggy here and there.

Western sword fern, Polystichum munitum.

and their weird cool fronds.


A sea of Oxalis oregana. So pretty. careful! But in a shady setting, this NW native can't be beat.

A bank of Trilliums on the right. There were thousands.

On the trail down in the sunshine, we found a whole field of Ribes sanguineum or flowering currant. Nice to see it out in the wild. These blossoms are just about spent but still full of color.

Oooo, we'll end our little hike with a furry buddy. I used to see these guys everywhere when I was a child but after seeing him here I realized I hadn't seen them in years. 

Hopefully next week we'll be back in the garden, right now we're experiencing a week-long deluge. Until then, thank you for visiting and happy gardening.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring is Here, Take That, Snowpocalypse!

After our horrid---by Pacific Northwest standards---winter, I had doubts anything at Chickadee Gardens would survive. The following photos prove me wrong!
Have a look and tour a bit of some springtime fun.

The hell strip has made a comeback! Armeria maritima up front, a native plant but this is a variety - Victor Reiter I believe. Still, they are lovely and blooming their little heads off! The shrubs on either side are Spiraea douglasii, a native deciduous shrub with pink clusters of flowers to come later in the season. The tulips are from our dear friends in the Netherlands. Thanks, you guys! 

Ceanothus 'Dark Star' has not quite bloomed, but when he does there's a little critter sitting there waiting for the pollen to arrive. Looking forward to seeing this bloom.

I purchased this Anemone 'Green Fingers' from Joy Creek last year. I moved it so much it died last spring. Or so I thought. Not only did it come back, but every place from which I moved it a little patch is growing. What a pleasant surprise! 

Cotula hispida. These little "silvery buns of goodness" were toast last year. Heather of Just a Girl with a Hammer fame, these are for you. A whole field (eventually) of silver buns of goodness. They will spread and have little yellow UFO flowers bobbing around. Some plants are just too good not to replace, so in that regard, I have beat the Snowpocalypse by living close enough to Xera plants that I can just replace them. Ha! Take that, crummy weather!

All of my Polypodium scouleri, another native (and evergreen!) small fern, did fabulously and is showing signs of new bright green growth. 

The native sword ferns are each laden with new growth, so interesting and beautiful, I think. 

Our sweet dogwood is blooming away. It lives in a pot. We had to root-prune it the last couple of years, but there are finally a good amount of blossoms this spring. 

A new addition to Chickadee Gardens, a wavy cloak fern or Cheilanthes sinuata from Cistus Nursery. Native to the American Southwest, likes sunny dry conditions with cool roots. Go, Buddha!

Eco roof is looking fine, filling in nicely. It withstood snow, rain, ice and rain and rain and rain.
Thank the Lumber Gods for 4x4 wooden posts!

Lonicera ciliosa, our native honeysuckle which has gorgeous orange flowers, deciduous. Took a long time to get established, but it's finally taken off and ready to bloom.

Maidenhair spleenwort and oak fern have decided to take over this little container.
I think I'm glad it's contained! Both are native plants. 

The new strip is filling in nicely; Hobbes is helping, of course. 

The shade garden is popping up, the Podophyllum is taking over. See the little leaf in the foreground middle? That's a spreader. Uh oh. 

Mukdenia I purchased last year came back! I thought it was dead as it completely disappeared after slugs had a party on it. Glad it survived and it looks like no slug damage this year, with blooms, too!

The Gala apple tree in blossom. The mason bees are busy! 

Penstemon barrettiae (native to Klickitat County, Washington) and native Sedum oregana looking better than ever.

Yucca filamentosa purchased from Home Depot recently. I think they have the tag wrong, as Danger Garden pointed out in this post from last year. I think I scored a Yucca gloriosa?? Anyone??

 Hosta 'Mouse Ears' from the Cistus "tough love sale" last fall. So cute! 

Acer circinatum 'Pacific Fire' - a discovery of a fab version of the native vine maple thanks to Scott at Rhone Street Gardens. Looking good! 

Vaccinium ovatum, our native evergreen huckleberry in bloom. These are a staple at Chickadee Gardens, so reliable and a backbone of the garden. Bees love them. Speaking of bees,

 Finally, a photo of one of our mason bees! Yay, they are hard at work filling up the new nest! 

Super close-up cam. You can really see the difference between common flies and mason bees here.

So Snowpocalypse did take the life of an old pot which had an Arctostaphylos 'Greensphere' in it. The pot crumbled, I got this new big one for it. The Arctostaphylos then decided to turn its leaves all black. Aaack. So another new yucca "filamentosa" (not really filamentosa, see above) has a brand new pot, too. 

Grape vine native to California, Vitis californica, is pushing out some new leaves. I honestly thought this would be fried due to the bad winter, but it's doing just fine ... thankfully, as it's growing in the cat  fence that I blogged about recently here and helps to conceal it.

Native Sedum spathulifolium 'Purpureum' - gorgeous new growth. These all look better than ever.

This Arctostaphylos 'Sonoma' has seen better days. The cambium is green....maybe it will make a comeback? 

Another Arctostaphylos 'Ponchito' is putting on new growth and looking fab....its neighbor, however is not:

My Martha Ewan is so sad, but again, the cambium is green so I'm hoping . . ..

Rosa nutkana looking great; a deciduous rose native to the Pacific Northwest.

So there you have it, a springtime tour of some of the activity in the garden. What's new in your neck of the woods? Thanks for reading and until next week, happy gardening!