Friday, May 22, 2015

Put this on your calendar - the Garden Bloggers Bazaar!

Summer fills up fast for a gardener. There are garden tours to go on, nurseries to shop at and plant sales to attend, not to mention working in one's own garden with the renewed energy that comes from the warmer, drier days.

Well, with all the things already on your garden calender, here's one more event I'd like to urge you to consider: the Portland-area Garden Bloggers Bazaar!

The Garden Bloggers Bazaar is the brainchild of our own Danger Garden, mistress of all things pointy, so chances are good there will be a few spiky plants for sale. Seedlings and plant divisions from other Portland-area garden bloggers will entice you to try something different in your garden.

And if you need a pot for your new plants, gently used containers will be available, too. For example, these dark brown pots are great, but they have never been quite the right look for the front porch of my mid-century ranch: off to a new home with them!

Also included will be pre-owned garden accessories, tools and even furniture. Word on the street is there will even be hand-crafted, leaf and nature-themed jewelry from Cascadia Studios, the Etsy shop of  Jenni, The Rainy Day Gardener.

Here's the date: Saturday, June 13, from 9AM to 2PM (you know - gardener's hours!)
Here's the place: the Union Bank parking lot at the corner of NE Fremont and 24th, right across the street from Garden Fever.

I'm looking forward to the fun, and hope to see some of you there - there will be garden bargains galore at the Garden Bloggers Bazaar!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - May 2015

It's a very floriferous Bloom Day at Longview Ranch. After repeatedly telling myself I'm in it for the foliage, I find I am thrilled with all the blooms showing themselves this month. In fact, May may even be vying with September as one of my favorite garden months, at least this year.

So let's explore the sources of my pleasure!
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Victoria' shines this month.
That perfect periwinkle blue!
Ceanothus 'Joan Mirov' graces the hell strip, backed by the tiny flowers of Thymus praecox.

A very different blue is offered by Corydalis flexuosa 'O'Byrne Blue', still going strong from last month.

The wispy magenta blossoms of Lewisia cotyledon var. howellii start off this month's Lewisia parade.

My several L. cotyledon 'Sunset Series' are heavy bloomers.
Typically there has been a nice selection of Lewisias for sale at the annual Rare Plant Research Open House. It's happening this weekend, May 16-17, so if you want some, you can buy them in bloom.

I bought a flowering L. longipetala 'Little Peach' in March from Little Prince, and after settling into the garden it's coming back with a few blossoms for May.

The last of the Cammassia quamash to bloom are these white ones.

I grow Astelia nervosa for its bullet-proof, shade-loving foliage, but then these cute white blooms show up each year in May. They're kind of a nice bonus.

More white: Cistus x obtusifolius.

Rosa 'Sally Holmes' is blooming her way up the chimney bricks. If you want a semi-climbing, soft pink-to-white rose that's pest resistant, easy care and even has a light fragrance, she's your girl.

The small flowers of Abutilon megapotamicum brighten up a shady area. 

Trachycarpus fortunei is in full flower. Too bad my other Trachy isn't old enough to flower yet, or I might get fruit from them - time will tell if they're different sexes.
Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy Red' is still green, but will soon sport its characteristic red bottlebrush flowers.

Closer to actual opening is Callistemon viridiflorus. It's apparently trying to make up for not flowering at all last year.

Acanthus spinosa asserts itself with these prickly flower spikes.

I tend to take the flowers of Gaultheria shallon for granted, since they bloom a lot of the year and we have a number of them in the Northwest Territory. But every now and again, a flower branch arranges itself so charmingly that I have to recognize and feature it.

In the hot, sunny bed, it's a challenge to photograph the flowers: either it's cloudy and the sun-lovers close up, or it's sunny and the exposure is burned out.

Here, the sun came out with predictable exposure issues for Helianthemum 'Henfield Brilliant', H. 'Cheviot', and Halmiocistus wintonensis 'Merrist Woods Cream'.

My mother would have dubbed this one "cheap and cheerful."

A closeup of the luscious flowers on H. wintonensis 'Merrist Woods Cream'.
Here's a literal cheap and cheerful finale to my Bloom Day post. Every year I get the perfect number of volunteers of this Escholzia californica to brighten up and fill in the holes in my garden without overwhelming it.

Bloom Day is sponsored monthly by Carol of May Dreams Gardens. This is her month, so check out the link for more May flowers from all over.

Happy Bloom Day!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day in the Northwest Territory

I remember the first Earth Day. I guess that dates me, but I feel privileged to have witnessed the formalization of the embrionic environmental movement on April 22, 1970.

Each of the following years has brought both veneration and abuse to the earth in seeming equal amounts.
Although I've had my share of "movement" experiences, these days it feels more important, environmentally, to focus on my own personal practices, like how I garden.

The Mulch Man does the same, and what we refer to as the Northwest Territory is his homage to the green, native environment he loved the minute he arrived in Oregon.
I love pushing the zonal envelope, but I do try to grow plants that need less water. Sometimes I bring those drought-tolerant plants home for the Northwest Territory, too.

It's been 45 years since that first Earth Day.
Have we learned the lessons we should have?
Are we staying open to the new environmental lessons?

I know we are enjoying the beauty our earth and our garden can show us.
Our regional natives are happy and flowering.

The Northwest Territory rewards us with little signs that we are on the right track, like these volunteer sword ferns.

New growth on the Mountain Hemlock is tiny but positive.

A volunteer Lewisia columbiana var. rupicola still thrives after appearing last summer.

On this Earth Day in 2015, I feel a kind of peace in the quiet Northwest Territory of Longview Ranch.

I hope your Earth Day is equally rewarding.

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!