Sunday, April 16, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - April 2017

Another month has gone by and a few days of sunshine (finally!) have buoyed my spirits amazingly. Although there aren't lots of blooms at Longview Ranch, new growth is showing on almost everything that didn't die in the miserable winter of 2016-2017. But let's have a look at the few flowers we do have.

Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Series' is beginning to flower. But it hasn't reached the splendor of the one in my header yet, and wait - where are all those cute stripes this year? I love Lewisias so much that I bought yet another yesterday at Hortlandia - the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon's spring plant sale. (And that sale is the reason this post is a day late.)
Since last month, Camellia 'April Kiss' has bloomed and is now on its last few flowers.

Mahonia repens was tightly budded last month. This month it's in full, glorious flower in the Northwest Territory.

A seriously-needed chop to Mahonia aquifolium means there are only a couple of blooms this spring. They're doing their best to carry the torch.

Ribes sanguineum has been feeding the resident and migratory hummers all month.


After some winter damage from snow, Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Sizzling Pink' is recovering and beginning to bloom.

Beesia deltophylla is sending up delicate white spikes. It's a handsome evergreen plant and one of those I'd grow even if it had no flowers.

Other tiny white flowers are on these Primula sieboldii 'Late Snow', making a welcome comeback.

Another white surprise is the flower puff on this ground cover Cardamine trifolia. I hope it will take off his year.

Daphne x transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance' looks good and smells divine. I am so impressed with this shrub.

Oxalis oregana is bent on world domination. Some reigning in is needed here, but it is a lovely, native, evergreen ground cover.

Speaking of reining in, none needed here. Yes, I know Vinca minor is considered an invasive in Oregon (and with good reason near natural areas) but the conditions are so poor under our three thirsty, urban trees that we constantly have to encourage it to grow. I guess I can kiss any Wildlife Certified garden designation goodbye.

Osmanthus x burkwoodii, waiting in a pot to be planted in the Northwest Territory, smells heavenly.

The tiny species tulips are showing here and there in the garden. This one popped up in between some Libertia peregrinans.
More little white flowers. This is Mukdenia rossii 'Karasuba', but what happened to its red leaves?
Lastly, a little green taste of Cornus 'Eddie's White Wonder', just beginning to flower. This tree will probably be bloomed-and-leafed out by May's Bloom Day.
 Thank you, Carol, for hosting Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens each month.

Happy Belated Bloom Day and Happy Easter!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - March 2017

Holy smokes - it's mid-March and the rain just keeps coming down here in the Pacific Northwest! Let's dash outside for a quick look at the sodden blossoms finally emerging this month.

It's not in full bloom yet, but drippy Ribes sanguineum is making its presence known in the Northwest Territory.

Mahonia repens is SO ready to bloom but is only showing a bit of color so far.

My tiny Galathus nivalus 'Pewsey Vale' has sent up one lonely flower. I'm especially happy to see it since I thought I killed it over several moves. Maybe it will bulk up and give me two flowers next spring.

Camellia transnokoensis has pretty bi-color buds that open into little pure white flowers (except when they get bruised by the rain.).

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' extends the holiday season into spring.

A NOID Hellebore did well this year, in spite of being buried in snow in January.

Soggy Daphne transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance' bloomed most of last year,. It's on pace for a repeat this year, but it's too cold (or wet?) to smell any scent so far.

In contrast, Sarcococca hookeriana var humilis has been covering the front yard in perfume for weeks.
Culinary Rosemary blossoms brighten up the driveway planters.

The blossoms on Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffiths' have been feeding the hummingbirds (and my hopes for spring) for two months now.

But the driest flowers are indoors. Here's Clivia miniata 'Belgian Hybrid Orange' making the living room sunny.
A tip of the hat to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for gathering the monthly show of blooms from gardener bloggers all over.

Happy Bloom Day!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bring out your dead*

The December 14th snow started off looking so seasonal and pretty...

Then it turned into freezing rain and coated everything with ice. A second snowstorm in early January brought deep, heavy snow.

And it accumulated so fast. This shot was taken at 9 pm, after the snow had started about 6 pm.

That snow, along with the deep freeze that followed it for a week, packed one hell of a wallop. Never mind that we're only halfway through winter; this morning's tour around my post-Snowpocalypse garden has me sure the recent nasty weather has taken its toll.  I have my dead and wounded, and lots of plants that I'm not yet sure whether they're done for. Thank goodness there are a few bright survivors to cheer me on - as of January 20, anyway.
Instead of watching the inauguration, let's take a look, starting with the Definitely Dead:
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Victoria' suffered last spring and summer with the sudden demise of two of its three main limbs. The remaining limb survived the December ice storm, but then it bowed down under the January snow load.
I can see now that rot was the culprit, allowing the snow weight to rip that last limb near the ground.

A Pinus contorta was bent down by the freezing rain in December and never recovered. It looks as though it must have broken branches, but we can't get underneath it enough to figure out what's happening yet.

It's blocking the path to the corner of the garden.

It's no surprise, but this hybrid Abutilon is gone. I'll miss its tangerine flowers and spotted leaves.

The Acacia pravissima doesn't look too bad, but its coloring has changed to a darker gray and I can only say it somehow feels dead when I touch it. I don't hold out much hope that it will survive.

Dymondia magaretae is as dead as a doornail. This one was a surprise, because somehow I thought it was a Zone 8 plant. Looking it up, I see it's 9b. Dang.

Here's a look at the wounded.
Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Sizzling Pink' sustained several ripped and broken branches. This will be a sad setback for a shrub that was reaching some size and presence. I'll wait to prune it until later this winter. when the danger of more ice or snow is largely past.




As the snow melted, many plants recovered their height. The two Trachycarpus fortunei didn't bounce back quite as well. Although the newest fans look fine, the oldest ones are drooping down quite far.

Some fan removal will need to happen here to uncover a Callistemon viridiflorus and clear the pathways.

I'm not sure if Phormium 'Pink Stripe' has sustained mortal injury due to cold. It looks kind of deflated, but much better than a few other phormiums in the garden that are definitely on their way out. This nice-sized specimen will be missed if it doesn't make it, but for now I'm hopeful it will.

Mahonia fortunei 'Dan Hinckley' is doing the laying down thing, despite the support I had around it since summer. It's flattened, but perfectly healthy, so I'll do some pruning on it later this winter.

Luckily, 'Dan Hinkley' missed crushing a young Camellia transnokoensis near it. The camellia and its bright little buds look like they did a month ago in the 4th picture from the top in this post.

Also unfazed by the snow and cold are Agave bracteosa, and its little brother A. bracteosa 'Monterrey Frost'. I covered 'Monterrey Frost' before the snow hit, but the straight species was completely exposed, and covered with snow.



Arctostaphylos (hookeri 'Buxifolia'?) is similarly unfazed.

It's a happy denizen of the south hell strip along with several other xeric plants I thought would fare far worse. They all look fine, like this Grevillea australis and Halimium ocymoides 'Sarah' below.


I want to say I learned some lessons from this year's ice and snow storms, but the reality is I will probably keep on planting my favorite evergreen, leafy plants and taking the chance they will sustain damage when the winter weight of snow or ice is too great. That's just me!

* Channeling my inner Monty Python.