Zoom In, Zoom Out

While going with the flow, camera in hand this weekend, it seems I took either detail-photos of the garden or wide-shots with little in between. Therefore, this week's theme is zoom in, zoom out - the best of the close-ups and the most revealing wide shots at Chickadee Gardens. Here we go!

Apple blossoms on a columnar apple tree in the orchard. 

My mother recently gave me her little water feature, which I love, complete with plant.

In the shade garden, Saxifraga x geum 'Dentata' and Hosta 'Wolverine'

Sempervivum 'Pekinense' in a pot I bought off of Danger Garden several years ago (we had a garden blogger's garage sale - what fun!). It's still a favorite.

Lewisia (unknown species) just opened this past weekend.  

 I have a lot of Sedum spurium cultivars in pots, because they do this. And they are easy. I tend to be a "no fuss" container gardener - one plant per pot generally speaking and things that don't have to be brought indoors over winter. Boring? Yes. Practical? Yes yes.

 Lysimachia paridiformis var. stenophylla, given to me at a blogger's swap a few years ago from Patricia of Plant Lust.

Hesperaloe parviflora 'Straight Up Red' from High Country Gardens (mail order) a couple of years ago.

Sedums in pots in my little red Radio Flyer.

 Ceanothus cuneatus 'Adair Village'

 Sidalcea campestris - native checker mallow in the meadow garden. This early bloomer is so good. It blooms over several weeks and looks great for months after that. I've noticed many seedlings around it this spring, but it's taken a few years for volunteers. For some it may be too weedy.

Vancouveria chrysantha from Xera Plants. From their website:

 Siskiyou Inside-out-Flower is a much more drought tolerant version of our locally native Vancouveria hexandra. This yellow flowered form tolerates extreme dry shade and colonizes even compacted dry soils to create a handsome ground cover. The delicate looking interestingly shaped leaves create a soft mound of leaves, belying its tough disposition. Mostly evergreen if temperatures stay above about 15ºF. In late spring wiry winding tall stems support small nodding yellow flowers. Basically this is our version of Epimedium but with more tolerance for summer drought. To 8″ tall and spreading to several feet wide in richer, moisture retentive soil. Light summer water increases growth. Part shade to full shade. Oregon native plant.

Maidenhair fern, Adiantum pedatum just beginning to unfurl its fronds. 

Astilbe on the left, Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens', black mondo grass on the right, both in one of the wettest areas of the garden. 

A sweet geum, G. rivale. It's a bit of a spreader and appreciates moist soil. It is listed in the USDA database as native across much of the northern U.S. and Washington state included, but not Oregon. Bumble bees especially go for this one.

Hebe 'Quicksilver' - I pruned one a little last year and stuck the pruned bits into the ground on a whim and lo and behold, they all took. Crazy. This is one of the new cuttings. It's a low spreader, like a wave cascading over the soil. Pretty cool.

 Papaver orientale 'Pizzicato' being camera shy.

A few rocks found in California earlier this year adorn the area by the new turquoise water feature which is just outside of our bedroom window so we can hear it at night. The Namaste piece is from Muddy River Clay, purchased at the Canby Spring Fair a few years ago.

A wide shot looking from our deck to the native dogwood, Cornus nuttallii, in full bloom. 

 The same path as in the above photo, but this shot was taken from down in the middle of the gravel garden. Armeria maritima 'Victor Reiter' in full bloom.

 At the top of the driveway looking towards our front porch area. Hobbes was out with me taking photos.

View from the edge of a Ceanothus gloriosus circle underneath an old Oregon white oak tree, looking west.

 The edge of the same bed seen in the above photo on the left.

At the bottom of the labyrinth garden looking northwest, past the Himalayan mounds. Berberis darwinii steals the show here.

Phlomis russeliana with its seed heads inact, Berberis darwiniiCeanothus cuneatus 'Adair Village', Arctostaphylos pumila on the far right, and Ceanothus gloriosus, the blue flowering groundcover on the left. I would like to mention that this whole area is basically a low-water garden, it gets really no supplemental irrigation, so technically it's a dry garden. 

 The berm garden looking west, the front porch area on the left. You can just see the redbuds in full bloom on the left, the pink fluffy tree.

At the edge of the meadow garden looking west. 

 Near my blue shed (Casa Azul), looking past a sea of ornamental grasses.

 The view from the deck, top of the steps, looking down and towards the west. The white fence in the background is my neighbor's.

The berm garden again, with the shade garden in the background past the grassy area. This photo illustrates the slope of our land quite well.

Finally, one of the two large, tilled areas for growing veggies. We planted our cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower this weekend - oh, and about 200 onions. Hooray! Let the veggie-growing shift into high gear. But don't plant tomatoes yet, too early!

It's still incredibly busy at the nursery where I work right now. It would be on a normal April day, but add in the stay-at-home orders and you've got a recipe for Victory Gardens for the 21st century (including perennials, not just veggies). We don't know how long it will last, but we're doing our best to keep up. In the meantime, it is a truly wonderful silver lining to know people are spending this extra time in the garden. It's the healthiest place to be. And gardeners rock. We're all sharing and keeping in touch; for example, my neighbors and I just swapped seedlings we've grown - they gave us some heirloom tomato starts (that look fantastic) and we gave them broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower starts. We each claim we can't grow the other worth beans, so it worked out nicely. Another neighbor received veggie starts and she gave us home-sewn face masks . . . one for each of us. Thank you to all my amazing neighbors.

That's a wrap for this week, we truly hope you are all hanging in there, gaining inspiration from this time spent at home and hopefully doing a bit of gardening. I wonder how many new gardeners this pandemic has created?

Happy gardening one and all.


  1. Your garden is really bursting into growth and bloom. The berm garden especially seems to really maturing nicely. Seeing the Spring flush really helps bring a positivity into weird times. Thanks for the great tour. Our season is just starting so looking forward to a speedy development.

    1. Those spring leaves and the spring sunshine together make magic. At least the seasons are on schedule, bringing a sense of normality to these yes, very weird times. How lovely to have the beginning of the season in front of you, so much to look forward to!

  2. I feel like I say this a lot, but it's true! Your garden is filling in beautifully, Tamara! The labyrinth garden, especially, is getting some wonderful structure as the shrubs mature. I know the mature trees were there when you moved in, but I caught myself admiring the dogwood, bigleaf maple, and others. It's been on my mind recently that I wish I'd planted more native deciduous trees early on.

    1. Aw, thank you Evan! You can say it all you want, I eat it all up ;)

      I am very pleased with the labyrinth - you appreciate shrubberies more than anyone I know. It is filling in nicely - kind of the next phase of the garden. Well, I got lucky with the mature trees we already had here, for sure. What native trees have you planted?

  3. Zooming in and zooming out, each tells a lovely, if different, story. Thanks for the item about propagating Hebe 'Quicksilver' - I'm going to try that with mine!

    1. Ah, yes, try the propagation - I stripped off the bottom few inches of leaves, by the way. Let me know how it goes!

  4. Perfection. This was a wonderful virtual visit, I almost feel like was there, almost. Funny that you showed that container, I was thinking of it just the other day. I'm glad it went to a great home.

    1. Oh, thank you Loree, I don't know about perfection (y'all can't see the weeds!) but your sentiment is very welcome.

      I think of you every time I see that container - it's such a cool one, thanks again!

  5. Your garden is looking smashing - as always! Thanks again for the veggie starts. I'm excited to try my hand at making them grow! And so cool to learn about the Quicksilver hebe propagation trick. Like you, I wonder how many new gardeners are the result of this pandemic. I hope they get hooked, and stick with it when it's over. :)


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