Thursday, July 31, 2014

Plants, Plants and More Plants (and Cats)

I was recently lucky enough to be a "Flinger" at the annual Garden Blogger's Fling, which was held in my city of Portland, Oregon. For three and a half days, more than 80 bloggers from all over the U.S., a few from Canada, and several from across the pond (U.K. and Spain), and I cavorted through some of our area's finest gardens (both public and private). And, of course, we hit the nurseries!

Chickadee Gardens was a stop on the tour so I did take one day from touring to play hostess. The garden was in tip-top shape; we've been planning this for six months, literally. Every nook and each little cranny was fluffed, primped, watered and loved - with not an inch of soil to spare. No room for anything else!

However, you might ask, what was I doing while touring nurseries with my fellow Flingers? Buying plants, of course. I figured: Hey, I live here, I don't have to deal with shipping, so why not? I was swept up in the moment, to say the least.

Besides, at the big Fling banquet dinner on Saturday night, I won a fabulous door-prize, a Hover Dish planter from Pot, Inc. Yup, the coveted dish was mine - I could hardly believe it! It's what I drooled over the most in the fabulous lineup of gifts donated to the Fling. My version of its life-story is that it was lonely and needed plants right away.

So, all of that explained, let's review some of my purchases, look a few plants currently blooming in the garden and become fuzzy and warm about the cats. Yes, the cats, too. Why not?

 First up is the Hover Dish planter from Pot, Inc., a company out of Canada. This thing is powder-coated steel with a drain hole and a swivel hook. In other words, WELL-THOUGHT OUT and just beautiful. The orange, after all, was meant to be!

There it is on the shed; a great match.

 My plant selection is courtesy of my friends at Xera Plants. A couple Muehlenbeckia astonii, a Passiflora biflora vine as an annual accent, some Sedum palmeri and album "Murale'. Nice....and I am so fortunate to have had help from the fab Xera folks!

 It took the place of the above planter that was moved to the other side of the shed to fill in an area desperately in need of some greening up.

 Moving on, while at Cistus nursery, I found this Yucca pallida, one I have been looking for. I especially went for the wavy glaucous leaves.

 While at the Lan Su Chinese Garden I spied this jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Tricolor') and lo and behold, they had it at Cistus. Happy! Shade area so it likely won't be covered in blooms. That's ok with me, I like it for the evergreen, variegated foliage to eventually soften the edges of the fence.

  Although difficult to see, there is a new plant in there, a Verbena officinalis ssp. Grandiflora 'Bampton' also from Cistus. It has dark foliage and the little blooms seem to float in the air.

I found all three of these at Westwind Farm Studio's plant sale, all of them for $8. This made me very happy. I bought a few things from Seabright Gardens, Pomerius and others, but have not photographed them yet. As they settle in, they will surely show up in future posts.

 Now for a few more plants blooming or otherwise interesting in the gardens right now....and of course, the promised cat photos. It's a veritable grab-bag this week! Grab-bag!!
 I did not buy the 7-Up plant or Stachys albotomentosa on the Fling, but right before it. I chose the pot from some of my late Grandmother's garden possessions, so it needed something festive and fun. It really does smell like 7-Up. Really.

 Close up of its bloom.

 Bloom of an Echeveria nodulosa. Quite charming.

 Blooms on the Chilean glory vine.

 Not the showiest things in the world, but interesting. Heuchera 'Marmalade' blossoms with the Cunninghamia lanceolata 'Glauca' and others in the background.

 A cat's view of the garden.

Speaking of cats, here's Lucy watching bugs.



 If you see the curl, you know it's Hobbes. His tail is always curled like this, unless he's sleeping. Crazy, lovable Hobbes. It may be upside-down but it's appropriate for him. Trust me.

 I do enjoy the oranges.

 Some eco-roof action!

 Lucy on the go. The red drooping flowers to the right are Gloxina or Sinningia sellovii, purchased at the Canby Spring Garden Fair from Secret Garden Growers. Pretty cool plant, I have to say.

 The Asclepias speciosa is done blooming and its seeds are coming. If you want any, let me know in the comments below and I'll gladly mail what I (will) have later this fall. Of course, we might place them in your house late at night so they take over your body when you go to sleep . . . and so the Invasion of the Body Snatchers continues! This is according to my husband, the movie-watcher!

 Like sparkling jewels, Sempervivum arachnoideum, also from Xera. They are really filling in nicely.

 Front walkway with Callistemon pityoides 'Mt. Kosciuszko' from Xera in the foreground.

 The front walkway.

 Some of my favorites for foliage color.

 More orange fun.

 I leave you with an image of the Podophyllum pleianthum in the shade garden.

Whew! That was a tour of a lot of plants. Just wait until we get into the gardens I visited on the Fling. There were images I would not have believed had I not seen them for myself. I will share them in the coming posts, savoring each photo as I re-live the tour that was an honor and a treat.

Thank you for reading and until next week, happy gardening!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Neighborhood Gardens of Portland Part II

Shall we tour a few more? There are so many . . . perhaps I should make this a regular posting, the gardens around Portland and my neighborhood.

First up, is a lovely corner garden facing south up near Mt. Tabor. It has a wildflower hell-strip, lots of pollinator plants, a mini- vineyard and a lot of style.

So you can probably tell this is autumn - such colors on the maple in back, the Eutrochium purpureum (Joe Pye Weed) and David's sweater. Wow. He usually wears orange, which would have made him disappear but thankfully it's red this day.

 The corner of the property facing south.

 Same shot, a couple of months later.

 The mini-vineyard.

Moving down the street; the neighbor has a great hell-strip.

Same block - I particularly like this shot due to the contrast in the dark Douglass fir trees behind with the golden foliage in the foreground.

  Moving farther up the hill is a favorite garden we regularly pass on our weekend walks. Lots of hot colors, berries and flowers, bugs and birds.

I do like this trellis. Apologies for the bad photo.

I also really like the Japanese blood grass or Imperata cylindrdica. So lovely when light shines through it.

Now we're north from our home near the local Fred Meyer store. We call this Fred Meyer Flats. I spied a street with many mature arctostaphylos - we don't have any mature ones yet, ours are only a year or two old at the most. In fact, we lost something like seven plants this past horrific winter as they were not established yet. Therefore, I have a case of Established Arctostaphylos Envy or EAE.

Love dahlias, but we don't grow them. I don't have patience to dig up tubers. I can hardly remember where I planted things I DON'T have to dig up. This game of hide-and-seek I do not favor.

More Japanese blood grass. Lovely en-masse like this.

This interesting trunk caught my eye. I wonder if it was trained like that. Of course it was. Maybe.

I apologize for the blurriness, it's just so charming I had to share it.

How about this for maintenance? Wow. It's a little out of this world. I literally stopped in my tracks with my jaw hanging open when we encountered this sculptural wonder.

I just don't know what to say. Feel free to chime in.

Closer to our home, a local bar has this cool planting. I don't think the phormium survived the winter.

A neighbor's hell-strip.

More gorgeous flower color on the dahlias.

This is literally a block away, one of David's favorites. This planting is only a few years old, a tasteful landscaping job and already filled in. 

A sunny man with his sunny flower.

A typical Mt. Tabor neighborhood garden. Nothing specific to point out. Just nice.

Maybe I should have titled this the Japanese blood grass post? Here it is again, backlit and in a different area, another Mt. Tabor garden. 

Lovely sumac in the sun.

Nice cotinus...hadn't bloomed yet in this post (from around May).

This concludes this tour around our neighborhood gardens with more to come. There are some really wonderful ones I'll photograph later this summer so we can have some sunshine memories when the weather turns. We are very fortunate to live in a climate where we can grow so many different plants and equally as fortunate to have so many world-class nurseries nearby to support my plant mention a few, Cistus, Xera Plants, Joy Creek, Bosky Dell Natives, Echo Valley Natives, Wild Ginger FarmGarden Fever, Thicket, Portland Nursery, Gossler Farms, Seabright Gardens, Cornell Farms....the list goes on. You see why I have a plant addiction?

Thank you for reading and until next week, happy gardening!!