Thursday, March 21, 2019

Sprouty!

I am loving the amazing spring weather we have enjoyed for the past week. Everything in the garden is hurtling headlong into leaf and flower and making me very happy as I watch my garden emerge from winter.

I know the fluff of new growth above is Dodecatheon dentatum, and the one below is D. hendersonii. But I'm occasionally confused as I see a new living thing emerging from the ground that my memory won't dredge up.



For example, this one will remain a mystery until it opens enough for me to identify. It looks like a good one!
Here's what was billed as an annual and it's coming back: Plantago major 'Rubrifolium'.  I expect my lax deadheading of it last summer will result in a few volunteers, as well.
I asked for Facebook help IDing the first image below last week, without success. Thank you to those of you who tried hard to suggest a name: the second image shows leaves open enough today to remind me that it's Jeffersonia diphylla.
It's time to get out the Sluggo, as Dianthus 'Green Ball is making a comeback. This is another plant I expected to be an annual only.
Athyrium niponicum pictum, showing just one fiddlehead so far.

Here's a cute one I'm happy to see again: an orange Eremuris .
Chasmanthium latifolium blades emerging in the spring sunlight.
The fresh, burgundy-colored new foliage of Beesia deltophylla.
And finally, here are the very best sprouts around. These shaggy-headed little stalks are a Syneilesis hybrid, probably S. aconitifolium x palmata.
Here's to delightful Spring sproutiness all over the garden!






Friday, March 15, 2019

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - March 2019

After a cold February and early March, it finally feels like spring has arrived. The garden is slowly waking up and looking happier.

I have been happier, too. I enjoyed the most recent three days in the garden raking bushels and bushels of leaves out of the beds. And I have about four times as many leaves to go yet. I wish they were compostable for leaf mulch, but the majority are pin oak leaves. They are like leather.
But on to Bloom Day!

A few spring harbingers are flowering at Longview Ranch this month, like these Tete a Tete daffodils, that stubbornly refuse to face the path.

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' has the holidays all wrong this year. It seems to want to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

The barrels of rosemary have been quietly flowering for several weeks, and I even saw our resident Anna's hummingbird sample them a few days ago.


Our hummingbird is also feeding from Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffith' as it continues happily blooming this month.

Camellia transnokoensis has begun blooming with its little white flowers. I think the colder weather, or maybe rain, is responsible for the browned edges; the flowers are usually pure white.

Azara microphylla has blossoms so tiny that my phone camera can hardly capture them. The flowers are supposed to have a scent, but I can't detect it.
Now these flowers I can smell! Sarccocca hookeriana var. humilis is late this year, but it seems determined to make up for lost time.

Bloom Day is hosted monthly on the 15th by Carol, at May Dreams Gardens. Check out her post and the links, to see what else is blooming all over.

Happy Bloom Day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wildflower Wednesday - Lupinus sericatus

I'd like to share a fun and lovely wildflower from California with you today for Wildflower Wednesday, Lupinus sericatus. In 2016, I was fortunate to receive a young plant grown by my friend Evan Bean, the Practical Plant Geek, and it has continued to brighten the Northwest Territory of our garden since then.

Lupinus sericatus is a species of lupine known by the common name Cobb Mountain lupine. This lupine isn't native to the Pacific Northwest, but at least it's on the same coast and tolerates my similar garden conditions. According to Calscape (California Native Plant Society), this plant is endemic to the North Coast Ranges of California north of the San Francisco Bay Area, where it grows in the forest, woodlands, and chaparral of the slopes and canyons. It easily colonizes disturbed habitat as well.



Calscape describes Lupinus sericatus as a perennial herb growing up to half a meter tall. Luckily for me, it tolerates a variety of soils as long as adequate drainage is provided. This pretty native is actually rare; in its native habitat, it is threatened by geothermal development, habitat alteration, logging, road maintenance, road widening and herbicides.

I chose this native for today because, although it's not blooming right now, it has great winter interest. The leaves of the Cobb Mountain lupine are the loveliest downy-silver color, even through the winter months; I took the picture below just two days ago. And in summer sunshine, the leaves practically light up.

Similarly to Alchemilla mollis, our winter rains bead up on the wet leaves like little round jewels. At Annie's Annuals, they suggest cutting back the plant in fall to keep it looking good, but I can't bring myself to do away with those silvery leaves.

Growing information for Lupinus sericatus
Common Name: Cobb Mountain lupine
Family: Fabaceae
Type: perennial herb
Native Range:
North Coast Ranges of California north of the San Francisco Bay Area, in forest, woodlands, and chaparral of the slopes and canyons
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 20"
Spread: 36"
Bloom Time: Spring, March through June (in my garden it usually blooms in May.)
Bloom Description: Violet-purple spikes
Sun: Full sun
Water: Low; drought tolerant
Soil: A variety, as long as adequate drainage is provided

Maintenance: Low, looks best if cut back in fall
Leaf: Silvery-gray pinwheel
Flower:
12" raceme of several whorls of purple flowers
Uses: Deer resistant, bird gardens, bee gardens, attracts hummingbirds
Tolerates: a variety of soils if drainage is adequate
Propagation by seed: Fresh seeds need no treatment. Stored seeds need scarification or hot water.

I'm joining in (for the first time!) with Gail Eichelberger of Clay and Limestone, where she hosts Wildflower Wednesday on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Click over there to see what wildflowers others are sharing this month!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - November 2018

All my flowers for November are blooms that looked better in my October Bloom Day post, so it's the trifecta of BD posts today: short, repetitive and late.  I'm very glad to still have some blooms in the garden, though, and this will be a good reference for December when even less will be blooming!

In the Northwest Territory, Erigeron glaucus is really on its last flowers of the year. Soon it will be time to cut it back for winter.

This big-box aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii) has just a few little blooms left. I'm leaving the faded flowers in hopes they will morph into those pretty aster seedheads, but so far they just look like brown blobs. I blame the rain.

Salal (Gaultheria shallon) is beginning to make those bright little urn-shaped flowers.

In the south back garden, Abutilon megapotamicum blooms on.


Since we haven't had a frost in my protected little neighborhood near the river, the bougainvillea continues to flower its in-your-face color.

And still, Agastache 'Acapulco Orange' is modestly flowering in the south front garden.

Pelargonium sidoides made it through last winter in the ground. Its slim little flowers are hard to appreciate until you get close up. I love the velvety, deep burgundy of the petals.

Anigozanthos 'Bush Ranger. I hope to winter over this pot of them, but if they don't make it, I'll go right out and get more in spring.

Echinacea 'Sombrero Red' is another plant I hope will winter over in the ground, but I have heard these fancy-pants hybrids don't reliably make it through the cold weather. It's another that I'll search out next year if I lose these.

Streptocarpus parviflorus was banished to the patio from inside the house this summer because of scale. Yes, the blooms are that intense.

It wouldn't be winter without some Rosemary blooms somewhere in the garden.

And last, no, these are not blooms. But I couldn't stop myself from sharing the gorgeous fall color of Lagerstroemia 'Natchez'. What a joy this tree has been for over a month!
Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of the month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Happy (belated) Bloom Day!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - October 2018

Was it really as long ago as June that I last blogged?! Yikes! Well I'm back this month for Bloom Day, with a report on my flowers for October.

First up, in the Northwest Territory, is the Beach Daisy,  Erigeron glaucus, still pushing out some blooms.
Keeping it company, color-wise, is a big-box aster,  Symphyotrichum novi-belgii, I picked up last year. It got tall and flopped over while I was away for three weeks but it's still a wonderful fluff of purple in the garden. Next year I'll stake it.
I'm not sure if this is Cyclamen coum or C. hederifolium. Whichever it is, the foliage is as charming as the blooms.

My summer splurge on a bougainvillea has rewarded me for months. It just keeps blooming!
After a haircut in late August, the Catmint, Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low', paid me (and the pollinators) back by having a second flush of bloom.

I bought two Kangaroo Paws, Anigozanthos 'Bush Ranger' early in summer; they have bloomed non-stop and they show no signs of quitting anytime soon.

These Pyracantha 'Mohave' berries are as exciting to me as any flowers; every year since we planted them in 2008, they have suffered from fireblight and formed no berries. I'm guessing our drier spring made the difference this year, since moisture is a factor in the spread of fireblight.

The last fiery flowers of Echinacea 'Sombrero Red'.

Monardella macrantha 'Marian Sampson' hanging in with some last blooms.

Agastache 'Acapulco Orange' is past its prime, but still flowering. Since I never water this plant, it's hard to be too critical of its looks.

Of course this is not a flower, but the turning leaves of Fothergilla 'Mt. Airy' are a fabulous color in the garden.

Abutilon megapotamicum keeps on keeping on.

Every year, it's a race between Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Steroidal Giant' blooms and a cold snap. Is this the year we'll have blossoms?

Just beginning: Fatsia japonica flowers.

Mahonia 'Soft Caress' is brightening up the space under a Trachycarpus palm.

And last, they don't look like much from here, but the fading blooms on Lagerstroemia 'Natchez' are still peppering the deck with tiny florets and making me happy.
Bloom Day is hosted on the 15th of each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Click over to see more blooms from all over.

Happy Bloom Day!