Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Orange Garden, The Chocolate Garden


Earlier this summer I highlighted the blue border with a promise of showing more color themes here at Chickadee Gardens. Let's have a look at two more of these tiny borders this week: 
 The chocolate garden and the orange garden. 

It sounds like I'm gardening with food on the mind. Whether or not that is the case (ahem...yes), those are some of the colors of my very small borders in the back garden that have somehow taken on these themes. I really do enjoy foliage color and I rely on it more than blooms to hold interest through the seasons. Most of the "chocolate" and "orange" comes from foliage. A few blossoms do add some sparkle because, after all, I am a flower floozy from my earliest gardening days. Gratefully, there are a few of those sprinkled throughout. 

Both borders -- chocolate and orange -- are in back and both receive a fair amount of sun although the orange border has a north-facing side and partial shade for some of the day. Here, Geum 'Totally Tangerine' is paired with Heuchera 'Marmalade', both among my favorite perennials. I have three of each plant.


 Abutilon 'Smoked Salmon' from Xera Plants.


 I believe this is Abutilon 'Tangerine Scream', also from Xera Plants, although I have lost track of the Abutilons in the garden. They are all orange varieties, all from Xera.


 Abutilon 'Smoked Salmon' again. I just love the Abutilons, they perform very well here.



 The orange border earlier this summer with Heucheras, Carex, borders of Sedum oreganum, Mimulus aurantiacus and Uncinia rubra 'Belinda's Find' grasses.


 Native Mimulus aurantiacus, a woody sub-shrub that hummingbirds and pollinators adore.


Closeup of them all.





Around the corner in the orange border, a bit of silvery foliage of Olearia lineata 'Dartonii', native to New Zealand, Cunninghamia lancelota 'Glauca' and Rodgersia. 


 Penstemon pinifolius in the foreground center (I have several, it's such a valuable evergreen plant with long tubular flowers that hummingbirds adore), Libertia ixiodes 'Goldfinger' on the left, orange sedge on right.


 Chilean glory vine or Eccremocarpus scaber vine wandering all about the orange garden. Here shown with Heuchera 'Marmalade' in the background.


Uncinia rubra 'Belinda's Find' in the foreground. It would look better except The Furry Ones also love this grass.


Rosa 'Sunrise at Heirloom' from Heirloom Roses in St. Paul, Oregon.


 Here is the majority of the border. There are a few other little treasures tucked in such as a dwarf pomegranate, lots of sedums, begonias and plants that haven't bloomed yet.


 Here the Chilean glory vine climbs up a support. Bee preservers from Glass Gardens Northwest float in the birdbath.


 Geum 'Totally Tangerine'. This seems to be finished blooming and, frankly, I may take them out as all three have scorched terribly this year from the record-breaking heat. I don't think they are meant to handle the intense temperatures, which is too bad as I really like these plants.


 Moving on to the tiny chocolate garden.


 This is the extent of it. Long ago it was simply mud, then it was peonies. While the peonies were nice, they didn't pull their weight year-round. Now I have a Callistemon sieberi, Sedum 'Matrona', Aquilegia formosa 'Black Barlow' (just to the left of the Cordyline), chocolate cosmos, Rumex sanguineus or sorrel, sedum, what was supposed to be Nicotiana 'Hot Chocolate', but is more likely Nicotiana mutablilis. Lots of sedums in pots on the deck. Since this photo was taken I have removed some of the sedum in the foreground to mix it up with this:


Sedum pluricaule 'Isle of Sakhalin' from Little Prince of Oregon.


 This is Nicotiana 'Hot Chocolate'. At least I have one plant!


 Cordyline australis Atropurpurea.


 Chocolate cosmos.




 Rumex sanguineus or sorrel. A little chewed up but still an interesting pattern on the foliage.


 Nicotiana mix-up. I have seen more hummingbirds visiting this plant this year than ever. Its continuous bloom is very appreciated, as is its easy-going nature. It really fills in nicely as a backdrop.





In the white pot Astelia 'Red Gem' and Sedum spathulifolium 'Purpureum'. In the terra cotta pot on the right Echiveria 'Black Prince', which doesn't get much sun so is quite green. In the pot on the bottom is Jovibarba hirta 'Bulgaria' from Little Prince of Oregon, mixed succulents in the other.


And last but not least, the chocolate kitty, Hobbes. Not a plant but of the sweet purr-suasion (ok, the husband added that last line...he's a sucker for the kittehs).

While it may seem silly to garden this way, it just kind of happened. Once I get going on a theme I do like to continue through and try to make it look cohesive. I have changed many aspects of both of these borders throughout the past few years, they will likely continue to evolve.  For now as the temperatures reach the 100 degree mark I will leave them be and just continue to water and keep everybody alive. 

That concludes this week from Chickadee Gardens. I hope you've enjoyed a brief look at a couple more borders here at the gardens. Thank you for reading and until next time, happy gardening!

19 comments :

  1. Ahww Hobbes is gorgeous! And so is the garden! The orange and chocolate borders do complement each other nicely too.

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    1. Hobbes says "Shucks, Thank you! Purrrs out to you both!"

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  2. Everything is looking so nice, and I respect your restraint and planning on making themed beds. I could never plant a "chocolate" bed as I'd get a craving whenever I told anybody what it was. :) (Getting one now... must be lunch time)

    BTW the first image of the chocolate garden is just perfect! Love it!

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    1. Thank you Alan....well, the chocolate does make me crave a bit of something sweet..hee hee...thanks for your sweet words, Alan!

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  3. Hobbes is a sweetheart! How good of him to provide just the right accent for your chocolate garden. I love all the succulents. I have problems with Geum here too. I gave up on them once but tried them again in another area this year but they're still not carrying their weight.

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    1. Aaw, thanks Kris. Hobbes is a love bug, as is his sister, Lucy. They are both lovers of the garden and good helpers, too. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one having Geum issues...not that I want others to experience it but I thought they were supposed to be super hardy and love the sun. Not so! Good to know. They burn, scorch every year. Out they go for something a little more worthy. Thanks for the push I needed, Kris!

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  4. Love it all! I fear my Totally Tangerine is in too much sun. I haven't grown a heuch in years, but if I ever see Marmalade around, I'm going for it. So nice of Hobbes to lounge on the hardscape and not the garden!

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    1. Marmalade is one of my favorites, it really does hold its weight in my garden while Totally Tangerine is now on its way out...just can't handle the sun and won't bloom in even partial shade so what's the point when foliage isn't so exciting? So it's out for me, too....Thanks for the comments, Denise~!

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  5. That Hobbs, what a beautiful boy! I want to reach into my computer screen and nuzzle him. I'm curious if you've counted your pots, Tamara. I bet you're right up there with the best of us. Your gardening style always inspires me. Someday I'd love to see your garden in person. Stay cool!

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    1. Hoooobes! That's his nickname....the Hobbes, well - he's our big love bug. His sister Lucy is, too. I have never counted my pots, interesting thought...maybe I will, Grace! You are so very kind and ALWAYS have an open invitation to my home and garden, Grace. Always. :)

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  6. I love all your plant groupings ! I'm a bit of a Geum -a -holic , even though I have to water them like crazy to keep them happy.

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    1. So water is the key? I thought I watered them a lot already, they just get that leaf scorch and it spoils it for me....they've done that the past two years and haven't bloomed a lot, either. Hmm...I love them, otherwise!

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  7. Hobbs steals the show! But we won't hold that against him, will we? I love Mimulus aurantiacus. Must add a few to the garden this fall. I like your themes. I usually use two or three main colors, with more incidental colors here and there, but until recently I was so desperate to find anything that the deer wouldn't eat I basically gave up any attempt at sticking to a color theme. I'm happy to be returning to that and making my garden look more cohesive.

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    1. He does, doesn't he, Evan? Hee hee...
      Well, Mimulus is a great plant. I love it. I kind of do the same thing, main colors with a few accents. I am lucky to not have to deal with deer...glad you are able to make your garden as you wish, as it should be :)

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  8. Could we call it the caramel garden? That's what it looks like to me. Whatever the name, it's simply scrumptious!

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    1. Oooh, caramel garden would be a great theme. There are more choco colors which I didn't photograph such as Sedum 'Matrona' with its chocolate stems and Echeveria nodulosa....I guess I'm hungry. Chocolate AND caramel..mmmm....

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  9. i love all the textures and colors! Thanks for the post, T. Always very inspiring.

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  10. Don't take out the geums!! They just need a lot of extra water. They do well in our heat/humidity as long as they stay moistish. If I had a garden that reminded me of chocolate, I'd spend all day eating. ;o)

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  11. I love that Heuchera, and the Geum looks great with it. I agree with the water comment. I have a red one in my parking strip that is a super thirsty little boy.
    I think I need that Mimulus in my life! Great photos. I'm smitten with the idea of color themed spaces!

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