Friday, April 16, 2021

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - April 2021

I'm celebrating Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day a day late, but with all the color and excitement of a lush spring. After weeks of really cold (for Portland) nights and barely warmer days, we are now into multiple days of warm, dry, sunny weather - not a moment too soon for me. (Permit me to apologize for the burned-out exposures in today's post: it's that very welcome sunshine, but almost impossible to avoid this week. Oh, too bad!)

First, Loropetalum chinense var rubrum 'Sizzling Pink' is taking up the slack from the recently removed Eucalyptus (RIP, E. pauciflora ssp debeuzevilli.)

At the feet of the Loropetalum is this little Rhododendron williamsianum. I bought it for its distinctive leaf shape, but this time of year, it blooms with a few simple pale pink flowers.

Ribes sanguineum is in full flower in the Northwest Territory, delighting us, the bees and the hummingbirds.

Dodecatheon hendersonii is the most welcome spring ephemeral. It's great to see it returning amongst the grand upheavals that have transformed the NW Territory this spring. But that's another post.

Another sweet spring flower is Ipheon uniflorum 'Alberto Castillo'. Compared to a neighbor's vast bank of Ipheon, my one little bloom is underwhelming, but I hope it settles in and reproduces.

Three compact Pieris japonica 'Prelude' are in full pure-white flower.

Tricyrtis is a plant I have never had good luck growing. This picture documents my excitement at the first bloom on one little flower head. I hope it's another success this year.

It's Grevillea australis time! You need smell-o-vision for this shrub. I have even had passersby ask me what the scent is, it's so pervasive and lovely. The blossoms are small, but powerful.

Near the Grevillea on my hell strip, poor little Ceanothus 'Valley Violet' struggles on and sports about four blossom heads this year. I love this poor little mite, but I wonder if I shouldn't start over with a new one in a more protected spot; dog and foot traffic have not been kind to it.

Also in the hell strip, my favorite small manzanita hybrid, Arctostaphylos x media 'Martha Ewan', with her surprisingly late-blooming flowers.

 Stop - in the name of Rosemary!

And now the primulas: this is P. seboldii 'Late Snow'.

 Primula 'Hose-in-Hose Yellow'.

And a happy mix of Primula veris and cultivars, mostly courtesy of garden blogger friends.

 In the same shady garden bed, Beesia deltophylla sports its fun, frothy flower stalks.

 Camellia 'April Kiss' is nearly finished, but has been a delight this spring.

One of many impossible-to-photograph Epimedium.

Last, the huckleberries (Vaccinium ovatum) in the front garden enjoyed the late, cool spring. I see huckleberry pancakes in my future later this year.

And that completes the sun-washed survey of blooms for this month. Check out May Dreams Gardens for lots more April flowers from all over.

A belated happy Bloom Day all!


Monday, March 15, 2021

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - March 2021

It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at Longview Ranch in my zone 8b, Portland, Oregon garden. Let's see what's out there on this chilly, early spring morning.

My mostly fair-weather garden has had so few blooms recently that I didn't post in January or February. But amazingly, three months after I featured Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' in December, it is still blooming - a lot!


I have grown a few Hellebores for years, but I finally got smart and planted some seedlings from a Garden Bloggers Swap in a place where I could readily enjoy them from my breakfast room. In this, their third spring, they are coming into beautiful maturity.

We took out a big vine maple (Acer circinatum) a year ago, and I moved Camellia transnokoensis just a few feet into its place. It was still young, and seems to have responded well to the move. I love its airy form and small, delicate blossoms.


The grand effort to establish Vinca minor around three big trees in the front garden is at an end. I admit defeat 12 years after I originally planted starts, then 4" and gallon pots over the years. They proved impossible to keep happy or moist enough in summer, and the hundreds of dogs walking past leave their pee-mail all over them on the sidewalk side. I'm just letting it go back to the weedy grass that survives around the trees. Everything can just get mowed and they can duke it out among themselves. This time of year, there's a lovely flush of Vinca bloom on the street side, but it's considered invasive here in Portland (my garden didn't get the memo) and I am done worrying about it. So there!

A NOID Epimedium just coming into bloom in the dust dry shade near my foundation.

Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis is almost done blooming. It's one of multiple varieties of teeny blossoms at this time of year.

Azara microphylla is another tiny early spring flower. I can barely smell its slight vanilla scent, but the Mulch Man finds it very strong and says it's like smelling vanilla dryer sheets!

My young Acacia pravissima made it through our short arctic event in late February. It's not growing as fast as the last one I lost a few years back, but at least it's trying to bloom.

Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance' is back with blooms this month. She did take a breather in January and February.

Here are a few "almost" blooms in the Northwest Territory. First,  Ozmanthus x. burkwoodii.


And Ribes sanguineum is covered in pink buds that will be magnificent in about two weeks.

Euphorbia myrsinites is juicing up the hell strip.

A couple of recent purchases are brightening up the garden as well. Here's Erisimum 'Winter Orchid' - I hope it re-seeds prolifically.

And yes, another Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Strain'. I just cannot get enough of this beautiful Northwest native cultivar that features on my blog header. It comes in shades of violet, pink, apricot, salmon, and apparently this wonderfully intense red-orange.

I'll leave you with a super indoor bloom: Clivia miniata 'Belgian Hybrid Orange' is fabulous on a dark early spring day.

Bloom Day is sponsored monthly by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Pop over there for a little spring pick-me-up!

Happy Bloom Day, all!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - December 2020

I've been MIA blog-wise lately, but I couldn't let this bizarre year end without just one more post. So here I am for a spare, wet Bloom Day, with just a few flowers to show.

First up, Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' is celebrating the holidays and has been for at least a month. It's as ready for some glitzy, festive distraction as I am.

A NOID Cuphea is celebrating the season with firecracker blossoms. It stopped flowering in September, but came right back into bloom with the autumn rains.

Vaccinium ovatum, our native huckleberry, is just beginning to bloom. We haven't had a real frost yet here at Longview Ranch, so I think it may be lulled into a false sense of spring.

Here's an out-of-season eyeful: Rhododendron 'Ahna Krushke' keeps pumping out multiples of these intensely fuchsia-colored flowers. It's nice to see her flowering now, because some planned garden renovations this winter will probably necessitate her removal.

It wouldn't be December without Rosemary blooms. In Astoria, I see the hummingbirds enjoying them, too.

This simple white hellebore (I've lost track of the name) is another plant that's been out of whack and blooming since at least August. It's finally getting to be the right time for it!

It's underwhelming in this photo, but the last flowering tips of Mahonia 'Soft Caress' provide a great hit of yellow I can see across the patio from my kitchen window.

Last, but hardly least, the fun, Sputnik flowers of Fatsia japonica.

That's it for my brief Bloom Day post, but there's lots more to see at May Dreams Gardens.

Happy Bloom Day, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2020

It's an apocalyptic Bloom Day in Oregon and most of the west coast today. Ongoing coronavirus pandemic concerns are trumped by unprecedented wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington, and the resulting smoke is creating unhealthy to hazardous air up and down the coast. Thousands upon thousands are evacuated, hundreds have lost everything they own, and at least 27 people have died. My heart goes out to all the people who will mourn dear family members, friends, pets, homes and whole communities. Some have have lost their way of life forever.

My short post today is dedicated to the people—firefighters, volunteers, community leaders, teachers, and just everyday folks who care—who are doing their best to provide help and a little normalcy wherever they can. Their positive actions help me feel there is still much good in this sad world of ours. And as much as I'd like to see it happen more often, they give me renewed hope that we can all come together when it really matters. 

So here are a few September blooms to honor our unsung heroes, beginning with Cyclamen hederifolium 'Xera Sterling'. It's so good to see these naked little flowers emerge from the parched ground each September.

A third flush of bloom brightens up Rosa 'Perle d'Or'. This sweet small rose has grown happily in a container for years, and never fails to bloom well.

The last few flowers on Heterotheca villosa, or Hairy goldaster, in the Northwest Territory. Like many of the natives we grow, this one attracts lots of little wild bees.

Lapagaria rosea on its last blooms as well.

You can see here Echinacea 'Sombrero Salsa Red' is fading into fall, but there are still a few smaller blooms coming off the main flower stems.

Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy Red' is surprising me (and pleasing our resident hummers) with a late-season second flush of blooms.

Punica granatum 'True Dwarf' (AKA P. granatum 'Nana') got a slow start this year, but it's making up for lost time.

Last, a few delicate flowers appearing on Beesia deltophylla. I think my diligent watering over the last hot, dry month has encouraged the flowers, since I have never had them after spring in the past. Of course, the foliage is beautiful year round.

And that's it for my brief Bloom Day post. Despite everything 2020 is throwing at us, we have a beautiful planet full of wonder. Let's each do our part to keep it that way. 

Bloom Day is hosted each month by the lovely Carol, at May Dreams Gardens.
Happy Bloom Day! Stay safe and well.

(Note: this is my first time using the new Blogger interface, so I apologize for any weirdness that has crept in, particularly in layout and spacing.)