Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - April 2015

Here it is, the Ides of April. Since I've already (just barely) filed my taxes, I'm free to indulge myself in the blooms of April at Longview Ranch. Here's what's looking flowery.

Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Series. They're not as full yet as in my header picture, but they're still a great hit of pink and orange.

I have other Lewisias, but the L. cotyledon 'Sunset Series' are the first to flower in my garden.
 I'm not sure whether I like the flowers or the foliage better on Loropetalum chinense 'Sizzling Pink'.

It lights up a shady corner of the back garden beautifully.
Inherited Camellia japonica still making blooms. Our cool spring is helping keep it that way.

Primula sieboldii 'Lacy Lady', looking a little dissonant beneath the Camellia pictured above. Just don't look at them together!

Armeria maritima 'Victor Reiter' is a tiny attention-getter.

Helianthemum 'Henfield Brilliant' looks a little droopy here because I shot this at the end of the day, when the flowers were closing for the night. It's actually having a good, flowery year.
One of my favorite blooms, Halmiocistus wintonensis 'Merrist Woods Cream', is just breaking out. With the predicted dry and sunny days coming up, this shrub will soon be covered with these dreamy, creamy flowers.

Abutilon megapotamicum is so much earlier this year, probably due to our mild winter.

This is the second bloom on this yellow rose - the first opened about a week ago. My lack of affection for the inherited roses is well documented, but I offer this image in the spirit of proper recordkeeping.

Corydalis flexuosa 'O'Byrne Blue' is a gorgeous azure against a carpet of Lysimachia nummilaria 'Aurea'.

My Olea europea 'Arbequina' has its usual buds galore, but we'll see if they get any better pollination this year: last year resulted in just five olives. I'm ready to get out the paintbrush this year.

One of two Pieris japonica 'Prelude' from Roger Gossler's visit to the Xera Shop a couple of weekends ago. I always kind of took Pieris for granted in the past, but both plants of this very small, low cultivar are covered with blooms and perfect for our expanded shady bed in the front garden.
Fothergilla gardenii 'Mt Airy' is unfazed by the regular rain we've had over the past few weeks, and continues to bloom. I guess I should be glad it's been relatively cool and wet, so I can enjoy the blooms that much longer.
Last, I can't stop admiring the showy bracts of Cornus 'Eddie's White Wonder'. They're lovely during the day, but even better at dusk when the flowers are suffused with an unearthly and beautiful glow you just have to see to believe.
And that's it for my Bloom Day. This monthly look at what's blooming is hosted by Carol Michel at May Dreams Gardens. She has lots more to see if you click over there.

Happy Bloom Day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

South Waterfront Spring Walk

About a month ago, I took a Sunday morning urban hike that included newly-developed public walking areas along Portland's South Waterfront renewal area.

Although the paths were open, the planted areas were newly completed and were still fenced off.

Vaults were sunken into the waterline to hold shrubs and stabilize the shoreline.



A wide path ran all the way down to the river.


I guess you could portage your canoe down and launch it here.
There's very little of the industry left, but this part of the riverfront was formerly a significant ship-building area. I liked the reference to ship hulls in the steel used to retain the grassy slope.





I'm not so sure about the message in this sculptural assemblage: The drifting nature of humankind? Man-made forms ensnare the natural world?

There was no name or artist plaque to help with interpretation. I liked the loose cabled ties holding it all together.

We're getting used to seeing gabions used in atypical situations. Here they're completely functional and fit right in with the industrial feel of the waterfront.

This good-sized Arbutus menzesii looked to be in good health.
But a few of the trees looked like they might have died after being planted. Fingers crossed it was transplant shock and they'll come back as spring progresses.
Most of the plantings appeared to be natives and riverfront species.

Right now, there's a lot of rock and a lot of paving, but the plantings will green up and gradually fill in.

And as much as Portlanders love their Willamette riverfront, I'm sure by the time summer comes, this fresh expanse of grass will be covered with people, kids and dogs, and strollers, runners and bicyclists will be filling the paved areas.



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - March 2015

It's Bloom Day, hosted monthly by the lovely Carol at May Dreams Gardens.
Despite today's wind and rain, this has been a superbly warm and mostly dry month in Portland and the PNW, so there's lots in bloom to show.

First up, it's native Mahonia time at Longview Ranch. After teasing us with tight buds for several months, Mahonia nervosa repens is opening in full glorious yellow.

The wall of Mahonia aquifolium follows suite.
Already blooming last month, Vaccinium ovatum is now providing welcome food for local pollinators.


Loropetalum chinense 'Sizzling Pink', with a NOID Hellebore.


A Rosemary I planted to disguise a stop sign pole is covered with bloom.

A small Ribes sanguineum added last fall is surprising us by showing two blossoms. There's no keeping these natives down.
I have to laugh: every year after they bloom, I dig out these daffodils that are in the wrong spot. And every year in spring, they show me who's in charge by coming back stronger than ever.
Even the Arbequina Olive is getting into the early act by starting to form tiny flower buds already.

The first species tulip to open, Tulipa hageri x aucheriana 'Little Princess'.
I'll leave you with Camellia 'April Kiss', still blooming prolifically on this wet and windy March Bloom Day.

Check out the link to May Dreams Gardens at the top of the post for more March beauties.

Happy Bloom Day!