Thursday, October 15, 2015

Plant Addict

My name is Tamara and I am a plant addict. The issue is that I literally have no more room at Chickadee Gardens to plant just one more thing, no matter how wafer-thin it is. Thus, I have nearly stopped buying plants. What then, would possess me to do this?


Just about everything here is in black pots, i.e., that is to say new acquisitions. They come from nurseries and from friends. I have been on a plant bender.


Here, a row of Spiraea betulifolia 'Tor', Coninus x 'Grace' and Fothergilla x intermedia 'Blue Shadow' (and Hoobius cattius 'Hoobington') line a path in the garden.


Euupatorim capilliforum 'Elegant Feather' takes center stage. A hefty Phormium tenax 'Rubra' on the bench sits next to Rosa rugosa and Arbutus unedo 'Compacta'. There are several areas grouped like this all over the garden. So what's up?

Chickadee Gardens is moving. We have purchased two acres outside of Portland to stretch our wings, breathe the fresh air and garden like there are no boundaries. Everything is in motion now and it's very exciting. However, I must admit it will be bittersweet to leave this sweet home and garden. I plan to document every step of the new garden adventures (it will still be Chickadee Gardens) and share it here. There is a lot of anxiety involved with moving a garden as I am sure many of you can attest to. This is all new for me but I'm willing to take as much as I can along for the ride while leaving a good garden behind for the new caretakers of the former Chickadee Gardens. I am open to suggestions, advice and ideas - this is a huge move. For now, let's enjoy photos of the several dozen plants I just purchased at Drake's, the nursery I work at, which is having a 40% off sale for two weeks. There are also goodies from Xera Plants and from friends at the Garden Blogger's Fall Plant Swap held a couple of weekends ago here in Portland. Such awesome people who gave up some amazing plants--thank you.


Olive trees on the left Olea europaea 'Arbequina', four total. I can't wait to get these hardy trees in the ground. Once established, they are drought tolerant.


Miscanthus sinensis 'Cabaret'. Two of them, they will be giants.


Polystichum setiferum 'Bevis', an evergreen fern I read about somewhere and had to purchase. I can't recall why, but there you go. Indications of an addict - buy now, ask questions later. At 40% off, it was easy.



Salix elaeagnos 'Angustifolia' or rosemary willow. Margaret Roach from A Way to Garden turned me on to this fabulous shrub/tree. Here's a link to the post that made me fall in love.



Since I plan on leaving my beloved Hydrangea quercifolia behind for the new owners, I bought two to ease my pain.


Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'. So gorgeous! I bought several from Drake's.


Geranium 'Rozanne', a new love of mine.


Many goodies in there.


The lovely smokebush Cotinus x 'Grace'. This is my new favorite plant.


Spiraea betulifolia 'Tor', a relative of the native straight Spiraea betulifolia. Just a little smaller, perhaps. Gorgeous fall color - I bought five little plants to form a swath somewhere at the new property.


Fothergilla x intermedia 'Blue Shadow'...what a gorgeous color this summer foliage is and it will take on fall colors, too. A lovely shrub that I can't wait to make a centerpiece of some new garden bed or another.


Amsonia hubrichtii or blue star. Look at that color...which leads me to point out that most of these purchases have fall color or interest. When spring rolls around I'll be sure to add plants that have spring interest - I tend to buy this way so I can get a good idea of what a plant will do.



Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow' for a slightly shadier locale.


Oh, Vaccinium I love you so. This is an ornamental blueberry - a variety called 'Native Blue'.


So we're going to have a huge veggie bed and also some raspberries, fig, cherry and apple trees. I know nothing (yet) about growing berries, but look forward to learning. What do you think of this variety? It was an impulse buy as we'll be doing the real cane fruit shopping and planting next year.


Feijoa sellowiana or pineapple guava, a shrub hardy in my zone. Purchased at Xera Plants.


Cornus alba 'Elegantissima', variegated red-twig dogwood turning shades of pink and red. 


Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea' to climb away at the new garden.


Chaste tree or Vitex agnus-castus. Apparently the bumble bees love this plant above all else, so I have to plant one.


Cotinus coggyria 'Pink Champagne' from my friends at Xera Plants. What a looker.


I will finally have room for a Rosa rugosa - this is a white variety.


Artemesia 'Powis Castle' just because. Actually I bought it as a nice foil against what will certainly be lots of greens.


Hey - the olive tree is already producing! What do you know....!


Begonia grandis ssp. evansiana 'Alba'. A hardy begonia that happily seeds around the garden. I love that with two acres to fill.

These are just a few of the plants purchased, not to mention the fabulous plants given by fellow garden bloggers. I got two good-sized blueberries and a large Hebe from Just a Girl with a Hammer, grasses galore from Rhone St. Gardens, oh and many other goodies. Since the sale a Drake's is going on through the 25th, I have a stash going there (fourth round??) too. I have my work cut out for me but it's the best kind of work I can imagine -- creating a new home and garden with the love of my life. We are both so incredibly excited, lucky and blessed and look forward to sharing our adventures with you all.


Moving on to a few goodies blooming this week, since it is Bloom Day, after all!
The overly happy Brugmansia (no idea which variety) - did virtually nothing all summer then whammo, I counted 96 blossoms. 


Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherokee Sunset'. That's what the tag has it listed as, perhaps there is a range of colors within this variety. I really like this color.


My Woodwardia orientalis in a hanging pot will get replanted in the ground at the new property. For now its starting to take on some great color.


Oh, and this little succulent has made a total rebound from last year when it was attacked by a flock of house finches. I'm not joking - here's what it looked like:


Caught in the act.


This is not even the worst of it. I guess they found a food source. I simply moved it to the back garden where it has since thrived beak-free.



A final shot of a few plantings in the silver purple garden, turned warm by a Penstemon 'Husker Red'. Great color this year for them.

So that's the big news. I am mulling around ideas for the landscape - and making a list of what I want it to be and what my priorities are. At the top of the list is an organic garden for the birds and insects, still. I want peace and quiet and also continuity - big drifts of plants in a naturalistic style. Drought tolerance is also super high on the list and native plants and a sustainable landscape are too. I have learned so much from Chickadee Gardens on this tiny piece of land, my challenge now is to think big and incorporate plants into the existing landscape to harmonize - no longer are we a tiny jewel island unto ourselves.

As mentioned earlier, I am open to suggestions, ideas and plant selections. I have a lot of room to fill as most of it is dried up grass and a few large trees. That's your homework assignment if you choose to accept the challenge. I will post photos of the property after we close - I do not want to jinx it.

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

28 comments :

  1. How exciting about the move! Can't tell you how thrilled I am for you, and how glad I am that you'll be documenting the garden-moving process. Two acres...! On a totally unrelated-to-the-move note, finches here nearly killed a few of my succulents, and even attacked a couple young agaves, yikes. Congrats again on the move (and of course I suggest lots of natives)! Peace... quiet... gardening among big drifts of plants... sounds like heaven!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you Luisa! I appreciate the warm sentiment. That's also interesting about finches - I wonder why they are attracted to them? Very curious. Oh, and yes, I plan on having tons of natives. I have another order into a native plant sale that has yet to be picked up....oh my, yes, more plants!

      Delete
  2. Hi Tamera and welcome to Plantaholics anonymous! I'm so excited for you and can't imagine how great it would be to have the chance to start again on a larger property. Also a bit daunting and scary perhaps. Great plant haul!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Peter, I am in good company! Yes, daunting and scary it is. But...one day at a time, right? I just know there's a logical order of operations when starting from scratch but I can't wait to start digging right away.

      Delete
  3. So exciting to move to a new home with 2 acres. Enough space to fulfill all your gardenwishes. I scrolled down and up again to admire all wonderful plants you bought. I can imagine your are eagerly looking forward to start with the new garden.
    Wish you a lot of success and happy gardening!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Janneke! I appreciate it!

      Delete
  4. That's wonderful! It must be equal parts thrilling and intimidating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, right now it feels equal but I think in a few weeks intimidating will be the word of the day :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Delete
  5. Looking forward to following along on your blog as you develop your new garden. I think I'll have some strawberry plants for you in the spring, if you want them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I'll take them if you're offering! You bet, thank you Alison.

      Delete
  6. Great stockpile there, Tamara! The new garden is off to a great start, already. I'm looking forward to seeing your new place come together. It will probably be further along than my glacially-paced garden in no time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Evan! I will likely have it well on its way sooner than later, that's just my style and I wish it weren't so...I would like to slow it down, but I just can't seem to do that...**sigh**

      That also means I'll probably move everything a dozen times....that's also my style. D'OH!

      Delete
  7. Do you know what your soil is like? You brought a shovel to the showing, right??? Congrats and enjoy. Let me know when you want to start trucking stuff over and I'll give you a hand. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha...I should have brought a shovel. I did kind of pay attention, but we haven't been able to get back out there to dig and send it in for testing. Seems to be ok, awfully dry right now, though. You are a friend indeed, Amy to help me! I'll let you know...thank you thank you!

      Delete
  8. Wow, that's an impressive stockpile, I would expect nothing less.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When one works at a nursery one buys many things. I'd get fired if I didn't. It's the law.

      Delete
  9. I can't imagine giving up my garden – and I know I'd obsess about the the planning of a new one (mostly in the form of planning while I'm supposed to be sleeping). I cannot imagine a canvas as large as two acres either. I'm going to be following your exploits closely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha...that's exactly what I'm doing, Jim. I have a stack of books on my nightstand that is about three feet high...I try to tackle something in it every night. Thanks for reading and commenting! Love your garden shed, by the way!! :)

      Delete
  10. What Amy said - I've seen your stashes build up, be taken home, and replaced with the next stash at work. Let me know when you're ready - little Poppy truck and I are prepped to help you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaaw, thanks Anna Bean. You are the best! Yes, I took home stash number four last night from work...at 40% off it eased the blow.

      Delete
  11. Ha ha: "Indications of a (plant) addict - buy now, ask questions later." So true! You've got a great stockpile there, Tamara, and if I know anything, you'll have even more by the time you move. So glad for all of us that Chickadee Gardens is traveling with you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mulch Maid! I know...I will have more by the time I move, it's true. What's wrong with me? I have no more room to store them now. We have a good month before the first load can even go over there! D'OH!

      Delete
  12. Not to add any more pressure on the move, but you'll be breaking ground on my new vicarious garden. I know you won't disappoint!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh boy, that's a tall order, Denise! OK, here I go! With some gentle guidance from fellow bloggers, please :) I LOVE your garden and have a lot to learn as this is also pretty dry and hot (so far as I can tell)

      Delete
  13. i am so so excited to see your vision and garden style "scaled-up", big time! Yay, Go, T!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee...thanks, Fifi! Well, it will be different, for sure. I'm excited too! :) I can't wait to have you out!

      Delete
  14. How exciting - and nerve-wracking! My husband and I moved almost 5 years ago and I still remember the whirlwind of activity. I took lots of cuttings from my old garden but didn't dig up any of my prize plants, something I subsequently regretted, especially as the new owners (who had 2 small children) almost certainly dug up a good portion of the garden to lay grass. If I were to move again (which I have no plans to do), I think I might request notice and the right to remove any plant the new owner decides is dispensable (for a limited period of course).

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your excitement makes me excited for you! I'm so glad you're going to chronicle your move with us. It'll be a lot of hard work, but so worth it. ... The 'Heritage' raspberry is a good one. I'll be getting a bunch of them bare root in February since my old plants really suffered from the heat this past summer. You're smart to be moving this time of year when everything will be going dormant. Enjoy the journey!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments! I love hearing them, I will approve comments as soon as I can. Yay!