Saturday, April 16, 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - April 2016

April is an amazing month. Plants that have shown only the slightest signs of growth suddenly pop, almost before our eyes. Along with all the luxuriant and welcome new foliage come the blooms of spring; Let's take a look at what's flowering at Longview Ranch this month.

Cornus 'Eddies White Wonder' has exploded into bloom. It lights up the Northwest Territory.


There's a reason Lewisia cotyledon figures prominently in my blog head - it's one of my favorite native cultivars. The 'Sunset Series' blooms are proliferate and gorgeous.

C. longipetala is more diminutive.

This group of Tulipa batalinii looks a bit plonked down, but last fall I needed to fill this new bed with something bright for spring. I'll integrate other plants around them better this year.

An unknown Arctostaphylos that looks a lot like 'Martha Ewan'.

The first blooms of Helianthemum 'Henfield Brilliant'.

Berberis verruculosa has these small yellow blooms in spring.

Another northwest native, Camassia quamash, blooms in the Northwest Territory. I love their starry flowers.

The little urn-like flowers of Salal, Gautheria shallon, are profuse and perfect this month.

Loropetalum chinense 'Sizzling Pink' has been a show of pink flowers and beautiful, bronzy-purple foliage.

My older Trachycarpus fortunei is getting ready to bloom. It apparently takes another palm to pollinate, so I've never had fruit.

But this year the younger T. fortunei is showing blooms, so maybe I'll get some of those cool black berries this year.

I think my Fothergilla gardenii 'My Airy' is not getting the sun it needs for good blooms; I only had six this year. I'll leave it for another spring and make a decision about moving it next year.

Tiny, fragrant Convallaria majalis.

Ceanothus 'Joan Mirov' is getting ready to pop.

Abutilon megapotamica has hardly missed a beat in the past year, helped by our mild winter.

Lastly, Cistus obtusifolius is beginning what I hope will be a summer-long show of simple white blooms.
Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted monthly at May Dreams Gardens. Thank you, Carol!

Happy Bloom Day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday Vignette - Buena Vista Ponds

My image today isn't really a vignette - it's more like a panorama. But it holds a special place in my heart. This shot was taken at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge a couple of years ago in September. There's a field station at the base of a large rock outcropping, and you can drive up to the top for this beautiful overview of the ponds.
The ponds and their plant life support waterfowl, meadow birds and lots of other wildlife. It's one of my favorite places in Oregon. While there's a chance this view may have been compromised by recent events at the refuge, I have faith in nature's ability to recover and I look forward to enjoying this lovely prospect again in future years.

Wednesday Vignette is hosted over at Flutter and Hum. Check the comments for other vignettes today!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday Vignette - mulch!

I love the look of a freshly mulched bed. And in spring, it doesn't get any better than that tidy, dark sea of mulch around all of the fresh, green growth in my garden. Perfection!

It will only be better when I have the entirety of my mulch pile distributed on every bed in my garden, so I'd better get schlepping.

As always, thanks to Anna at Flutter and Hum for hosting Wednesday Vignettes each week.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - March 2016

This is the month flowers really get going here at Longview Ranch, and it's a pink- yellow- and blue-flowered March outside this week. The three together isn't my most favorite of color combos, but is undeniably spring-like. Let's take a look:

Acacia pravissima is blooming in tiny, brilliant yellow puffs.



It lights up one whole corner of the garden, and looks great backed by a neighboring magnolia in bloom.

The Mahonia are having a banner year. This is Mahonia repens.
 And here is Mahonia aquifolium with Ribes sanguineum in the foreground.

A little bit closer, so you can see the drooping pink flower trusses of the Ribes better.

Camellia 'April Kiss' continues its contribution of pink from last month.

Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Sizzling Pink'.
And, new last fall,  L. chinense var. rubrum 'Fire Dance' is practically magenta.
The big feed is over, but a few flowers remain on Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffiths' to tantalize the visiting hummers.
Minute curly white flowers have appeared on Grevillea australis.

Daphne transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance' has been such a performer all winter. It shows no sign of stopping.

Their foliage is looking a little the worse for wear, but the flowers on several dwarf Pieris japonica 'Prelude' are a delight.
 A common Rosemary is covered in blue flowers.
And Vinca minor is loving all our rain.


Ceanothus maritimus 'Valley Violet' is still in a pot. It came home with us in early February from the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, so I hope it can adapt to the winter wet of Portland.

But indoors, it's orange this month!
 This Schlumbergera surprises us with blooms at odd times.

Clivia miniata is forcing a bloom out from between its leaves. I recently read that they should be kept drier after December to encourage the bloom stalk to extend upward before the flowers open. I'll try that next year.

Bloom Day is hosted faithfully on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens, where she happily shares what's blooming with the world.

Happy Bloom Day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday Vignette - black and white for spring

I spent last week in Seattle and finally visited the Chihuly Gardens and Glass Museum in Seattle Center. It was so worth the hefty admission fee. I soaked up all the exuberant color and movement of the glass, and the sheer scale of the installations was astounding.

I love strong color. Perhaps it was because there was so much incredible, saturated color everywhere in the museum and gardens that I found this quieter arrangement out in the garden beautifully compelling.
There was something about the metallic sheen of the Black Mondo grass and the huge glass spheres subtly opposing the striped spears and black flutes that attracted me. Or maybe it was that lovely Mahonia x media hybrid, blooming alongside in green and yellow contrast.

Okay, Spring: it seems I'm officially ready for you - in any color.

See what other vignettes are attracting garden bloggers today by visiting our host Anna, at Flutter and Hum.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - February 2016

Before I head north today for the plant excitement of the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, It's time to take stock of my own modest bloomers for this month.

Like last month, Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffiths' takes first prize for a beautiful sight. Huge bumble bees and Anna's Hummingbirds are making good use of its nectar.

Also hanging in there from last month, Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' keeps up the show.

All the Mahonia repens blossoms are coloring up nicely, though not yet very far open.

In contrast to the many floriferous Loropetalum chinense I saw in Southern California two weeks ago, mine here in the Pacific Northwest manages only the occasional bloom this time of year.

Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance' is slowly but surely becoming "Daphne Eternal Bloom". It just goes on and on.


New this month are several NOID Hellebores. I finally cleared away an accumulation of leaves and discovered them in flower.



At this past weekend's Yard Garden and Patio Show I saw lots of Hellebores, and some newer hybrids with more upright flowers. Mine are the older, shyer varieties.

I was amazed to see a tiny Galathus nivalis 'Pewsey Vale' poking up from the middle of a bed that sustained major trauma during last summer's path project. I'm sorry this picture's not clearer, because it's a little darling.

Lastly, we arrived home from two weeks away to find the house wrapped in the intense fragrance of Sarcoccoca hookeriana var. humilis. What a wonderful greeting!

Check out the flowers of February over at May Dreams Gardens, where Carol faithfully celebrates Bloom Day each month.

Happy Bloom Day!