Sunday, April 16, 2023

Bloom Day - April 2023

Well, hello there! I've been absent for months, but April's Bloom Day celebration of flowers is giving me the perfect excuse to check back in. I'm delighted to finally have some VERY welcome spring blooms after a long, cold, wet winter and spring (that's not over yet.)

But as for the flowers, a case in point: this robust show from Ribes sanguinea, finally unfurling after a month of teasing us with her magenta-colored buds.

Next up, another robust bloomer: Ozmanthus x burkwoodii. It's finally starting to give us some screening from our lovely (but very close) neighbors.



Camellia 'April Kiss' is in its downward flowering phase but there are still some intact, pretty blooms to cheer us.

A gifted pulmonaria from Skyler at Tangly Cottage Gardens has survived in my garden! I have had several over the years and they never made it through their first year. This one's a winner, and a lovely hit of blue to boot.

Just in front of the Pulmonaria, Primula Hose in Hose yellow from a swap a few years ago is the first Primrose to bloom this year.

Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance' is back after a tough winter.

The small, fleeting flowers of Jeffersonia diphylla are fun to spot nestled inside the plant. Its common name is twinleaf, for the two large lobes that make up each leaf.

Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Shades'. I can't have enough of this pretty PNW native in my garden and buy this cultivar compulsively.

A NOID species tulip that is having a good year. These may be the only plants in my garden that appreciated our harsh winter!

This is my entire NOID Hellebore collection. I have been given all but one, so I've never known names on them. I love the tall, dark one at the back, but I'm pretty happy with the way each one brightens up the winter garden, whatever their names.

Lastly, here's my favorite small-flowered camellia: C. transnokoensis. Its delicate shape and tiny blooms seem like the essence of spring to me.

Bloom Day is celebrated on the 15th of each month and hosted by writer Carol Michel, at May Dreams Gardens. Check out lots of other April flowers in the posts there.

Happy Bloom Day, and Happy Spring!

Monday, August 15, 2022

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - August 2022

We're back in the Portland, Oregon, garden for Bloom Day this month. It's been hot and dry for a a good bit of the month, so things are looking a little played-out. But there are flowers out there for the observant. 

Eucomis comosa 'Sparkling Burgundy' has long ago lost most of her purple coloring, but at least she's upright. I understand many people have trouble with eucomis flopping; my "secret" is absolutely no supplemental water in summer. Works for me!

This is Bougainvillea 'Orange King'. If it lived in the ground in California, it might be more orange. In a pot in my Northwest garden it's trying hard, but it's mostly pink. I still love it.

This Echinacea came from seedlings found around E. 'Rainbow Marcella', but it doesn't seem to have inherited her changing colors. Still it's pretty, and it's satisfying some pollinators.

Here's more pink: Lapageria rosea is stingy with her blooms. She has to compete with a Trachycarpus, and the roots of bamboo, so I treasure every blossom.

And yet more pink: Hesperaloe parviflora adores life in my hell strip. I have several plants, but this one was a gift from The Practical Plant Geek at a swap a couple of years ago. It's definitely  the most robust of all my hesperaloes.

It's Agastache time! Here's A. rupestris, brightening up the front garden.

And A. 'Acapulco Orange'. Both make our resident hummers happy this time of year.

Cuphea (possibly 'Vermillionaire') is also feeding the hummers. This one dies down every winter, but comes back each summer in time to put out at least a few blooms.

A dormant rudbeckia that got surprise-moved into more sun in February along with the Podocarpus salignus is signaling its gratitude with bright golden blooms.

Speaking of that Podocarpus, look at the funny little flower buds it makes. I never see them looking "flower-like", but something is happening there.

Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Confederate Cream' is past its big bloom period, but it keeps putting out a steady smattering of blossoms. And they still smell great!

The statuesque bloom stalk of my Texas sotol, Dasylirion texanum, is as fluffy as ever, but the current lack of bees tells me it's getting past its prime. I love seeing it out my dining room window, and it attracts some attention from passersby.

I tend to overlook the flowers of grassy plants, but these seedheads on Cyperus alternifolius are hard to ignore.

Of course Erigeron glaucus in the Northwest Territory is feeding all kinds of bees non-stop.

A new addition to the NW Territory is this white wood aster, Eurbia divaricata. It's great to have something in there that doesn't peak in June.

I thought Verbascum bombiciferum 'Arctic Summer' was finished a month ago, but it just keeps pumping out a few lemon-yellow blossoms at a time.

A swap-gifted Veronica is blooming daintily under the crape myrtle.

My new crush is Agapanthus; this NOID plant was a swap acquisition, and I'm in love! I need LOTS of these in my garden next year.

That wraps it up for August Bloom Day at Longview Ranch. I'm joining with Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who hosts our monthly show-and-tell of all things floriferous.

Happy Bloom Day, all!

Friday, July 15, 2022

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - July 2022 - from Astoria

Bloom Day greetings from the far west U.S. outpost of Astoria, Oregon! Here, and in my Portland, Oregon garden, the weather has finally turned from cool, cloudy and wet to dry, warm and generally sunny. I and my gardens are very happy about the change! 

So what's blooming in Astoria, you ask? Let me show you. 

I moved three plants of Kniphofia 'Timothy' to Astoria several years ago, and they have rewarded me with beautiful salmon-colored blooms every year since. They had stopped performing in my increasingly shady Portland garden.

Several Santolina chamaecyparissus from Skyler at Tangly Cottage Garden are being the perfect, easy-care survivors of my limited ability to attend to them. I love their  bright yellow button flowers and their silver-gray foliage.


Campanula punctata punctata was in the garden when we bought the house, but it has responded to our wet spring with lots of blooms this year.

Verbascum bombiciferum is drawing to a close, bloom-wise. It responded well to life in Astoria, and I want to get multiples next year.

Verbena bonariensis is such a great punctuation mark in the garden. This year I have some that are very short and I'm wondering how that works; do they get tall in their second year? They're happy, whatever.

Will you grow up next year?

The brilliant color of Penstemon heterophyllus 'Electric Blue'.


Digitalis parviflora 'Milk Chocolate'. I'm hoping the little seedlings to its northeast are its babies. I love this unusual foxglove.


Baby digitalis parviflora seedlings?
 A common and very welcome Escallonia hedge gives us privacy and pretty pink blooms in summer.


Grevillea 'Poorinda Leane' is one of my best Astoria plants. It has out-competed the deer and blooms nearly year round. It's a total winner in its exposed spot on the south side of the house.


Berkheya purpurea hitchhiked in with another plant from Alan at Mardi Gras Gardener. I couldn't be happier to have this odd, thistle-y plant in the garden. The deer certainly have no interest in it.

Lavender figures prominently in the Astoria garden, and July is its month. It's another deer-resistant, drought-tolerant, easy-to-grow plant that looks good a lot of the year and really lovely in bloom.

Last, but hardly least because of its steadfastness, is Grevillea juniperina 'Low Red'. It's another of my almost ever-blooming grevilleas and has at least a few flowers almost every month. Those green seed pods give you an indication of its past flowers.

Bloom Day is hosted monthly by the lovely Carol of May Dreams Gardens. Skip over there to see what's blooming in gardens all over creation.

Happy Bloom Day, all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - June 2022

Here we are, halfway through June and almost halfway through the year. The skies in most of the Pacific Northwest have been cloudy, cool and wet for too long, and continue as I write this. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of days I haven't needed an extra layer. I am cold! Although most of the plants continue to grow and bloom, they are all behind by at least two weeks from last year. I guess I should be grateful we haven't had a repeat of last year's heat dome, but really, does it have to be feast or famine?

Okay, I'll stop whining and show you what's blooming this month at Longview Ranch, with a couple of Astoria flowers at the end for fun.

Erigeron glaucus is just beginning, but the bumblebees instantly gravitated to it.

Brugmansia sangunea surprised me with a lush trumpet bloom about a week ago. It's holding nicely and another is forming to follow it.

I have been nursing this Echium wildprettii along for two and a half years. This year, it finally decided to spit out some blooms, but it's apparent that the center was stunted or damaged this past winter. At this point, however, I'll take whatever it cares to give.

This is my first time growing Dactylorhiza.  D. fuchsii 'Bressingham Bonus' has the coolest patterned florets that easily show why it's in the orchid family.


Lewisia continue to bloom this month, probably because of our cooler weather. Here are two L. cotyledon 'Sunset Shades'. They are one of my favorite natives!

Ceanothus 'Victoria' has been glorious outside our dining room window. Because I suffer from a complete inability to understand mature plant sizes, you can spot two Eremuris coming up through its structure.

Nicotiana alata 'Lime Green' adds the perfect acid note to the shade garden. I don't know whether it will self-seed, but I hope it does that, or comes back from the base next year.

And here are a couple of happy Astoria dwellers. Cistus obtusifolius is in its third year and blooming like mad - much to the delight of my local bees.

Lastly, several Penstemon 'Electric Blue' have weathered deer predation and extreme weather for two years. I can't say they are the best examples of their cultivar, but I'm happy to see a few intense blue flowers bravely blooming.

Bloom Day is brought to you by the lovely Carol, of May Dreams Gardens, where you can see all sorts of flowering plants on the 15th of each month.

Happy Bloom Day, all!