Thursday, October 29, 2015

Happy Halloween 2015!

A weekend neighborhood walk turned into a hunt for pumpkins to photograph and an appreciation for fall foliage. I invite you to rest and enjoy some color of the season, Chickadee Gardens style!

Our own pumpkins, uncarved, poised near the front door. The "Fairytale" pumpkin on the left is my new favorite.

Here is "Fairytale" pumpkin number two.

This neighbor has some creativity.

Our smokebush has some incredible color, and it just keeps getting better.

These guys look as if they were carved a looong time ago, but they still have a lot of life and personality. Them's some thick whiskers!

Rose hips, such a lovely thing. They really do signal that the seasons have shifted.

This crow signals nothing but messages from the collective!!! OOoooooooooO!

More neighborly pumpkins.

Hmm, somethin' be wrong with the neckbone on this fella!

This kitty was sound asleep in the grass. She had a great nest going on...although not black, what's a Halloween walk without a kitty?

Smokebush or Cotinus x 'Grace' looking smashing in her Halloween best.

A giant inflatable neon-green skull. I need one of these.

Save Frodo from the She-Spider!

Not real but in the spirit.

Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Heatherbun' putting on some great seasonal color.

Some random vine maple glowing in the evening light.

Middle Pumpkin says, "I lean this way, you lean that way. La dee dah!"

Fothergilla gardenii 'Blue Mist' has turned an amazing shade of pink after the smoky blues of its summer foliage.

Penstemon 'Husker Red'. An unexpected source of fall color.

I love it when people make these. They are, in my opinion, waaaay better than most other store-bought decorations. These have a Charlie Brown quality that can't be beat.

We saw a lot of gourds and other kinds of squash this year...not just the ubiquitous orange guys. Is this a trend? I've seen awesome fancy pumpkins at our local Fred Meyer store. Maybe people are growing their own, too.

Homemade combined with strings of lights. Nice.

Cotinus 'Pink Champagne' continues to morph into unexpected colors.

More of our front porch.

 May you all have a frighteningly fabulous Halloween!

That's it for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you for reading and until next time, happy gardening!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fall Color at Drake's

I work at Drake's Nursery in Portland and I would love to show you around. We're having a huge sale right now, but even still there's plenty of wonderful fall color to share. I invite you to sit back, relax and enjoy the tour of what I get to see daily at the nursery.

First up, Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'. That's its real color. See the buds coming on? It will be one of the earliest bloomers with fragrant red flowers.

Viburnum 'Summer Snowflake'. This has been a brilliant red for quite some time, now.

Pumpkins! So many cool ones to choose from - the new "fairytale" ones are my favorite. We also want to move these out, so if you buy one you get two free. Crazy! I'll likely end up taking even more home soon.

Then there are these hideous things.

Great sale, eh? Yes, just about everything is included. You could buy 11 individual bulbs and it would count. Trees, shrubs, perennials, statuary, pots, bird feeders, bird baths, soil, garden books from Timber Press, garden art, fountains, fertilizer, garden furniture, you name it. Houseplants and fall annuals are excluded. We've been busy getting ready to start up with the holiday season. It's a great joy to match the right plant with the right person.

More fall color: Next Generation Pistachio Hydrangea. 

Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem' - false spiraea showing its fall colors.

Morning fog at the nursery and our Plant Pick of the Week: Beesia - an evergreen groundcover for shade. It's a great plant. Yes, it's on sale.

William bought a bunch of bottles in a rainbow of colors. You can use them for your bottle tree or in the kitchen as soap dispensers or oil and vinegar containers. 

William's genius...a Halloween tree.

Heucheras looking cheerful in the fog.

Ornamental kale.

Oh, how I'd love to have this arch for the new garden. 

Our stock tank fountain is always a hit, especially with the little birdies of the neighborhood.

Sedum table, how I love you so.

I recently potted up this container combination. Can you believe it, too, can be 40% off? I think I'm insulted. Well, not really. I hope someone buys it, though! 

Good ol' faithful Autumn Joy. Doesn't everyone need at least one of these?

Carex testaceae or orange sedge.

Fall colors of Hypericum x moserianum 'Tricolor'. I do love the coloration on these, even if some Hypericums are considered invasive in certain areas.

This container just gets better and better every month.

Aster 'Light Blue Double'. And dewdrops.

Hardy orchid Bletilla yokohama 'Kate' still blooming away.

Coreopsis 'Red Satin'

Euphorbia ascot 'Rainbow'. Not my favorite plant, Euphorbia, but the colors on this are undeniably stunning.

Geranium 'Rozanne' doing her thang.

Cornus alba 'Ivory Halo'.

Garden art from Atlilier d'Arte, a local artist. 

Aster 'Prince' - that was planted last year in a bed and it's in a lot of shade, maybe that explains the lighter color. It's a stunning plant in bloom, a bit of a sleeper during the summer.

A fabulous container by Anna Kullgren. 

Halloween fun using a dead topiary painted black.

You have to have mums, right?

This silly thing on our "half-off" table just keeps blooming and blooming. I kind of feel sorry for it, it needs a home but it's tender.

Morning mist collected on the leaves of ornamental kale.

Cool fountain and Phormium 'Jester'. Miscanthus 'Cabaret' in the pots in back. Yes, even the cool fountain is on sale. 

Fall color on a Lagerstroemia (was supposed to be Nachez but the blooms are, no) or crape myrtle.

The ferns are looking refreshing! We have a great variety.

Nice color combination of a hydrangea (right) and Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow'. 

More fall color from spent hydrangea blooms.

A sneak peek of these sweet ornaments. They hail from Elegant Garden Design; we just received our shipment today. They will be available next week and some are even holiday ornaments. So sweet.

Chick-a-DEE DEE DEE. Maybe I need this one.

These are also from Elegant Garden Design. They are stuffed with alpaca fluff for the birds to use for nest-making. I love these! I will buy one as soon as they are available.

A parting shot appropriate for the time of year.

I get to work around this every day and for that, I am eternally grateful. To breathe fresh air and work around plants is truly a blessing, and my colleagues Anna, William and Gina are the best people---we really are a great team. I am honored to be a part of it. If you're in the area, stop by and say hello! We'd love to have you. Oh, and did I mention we have a coffee shop now? A little cozy cafe, Antonio's, run by Gabe - a great guy who makes a mean espresso.

So that is what's happening this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always thank you for reading and until next time, happy gardening!