Saturday, November 28, 2009

The fungus among us

This weekend's walk took us out of town, just west of Linnton, to the Newton Trail. It gains about 900 feet of elevation as you climb into the Tuality hills. Most of the deciduous leaves are off the trees and we saw only a few blossoms of vetch. The licorice ferns (Polypodium glycyrrhiza) were lovely and bountiful.

Aside from the view at the top, what was most impressive was the multitude of fungi we saw. I'm no mycologist, so I won't try to identify them. But whether you know mushrooms or not, I'm sure you'll enjoy the following array of shapes and colors as much as I did.

This was a pretty amazing display on a cool November Saturday morning, and an unexpected bonus to our walk.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Season's greetings

I ride Max home several days a week. As I approached the station yesterday, I saw several trees, still trussed, but clearly waiting to become part of a holiday display for Big Pink (the US Bank Tower at 5th & Burnside.)

As I got closer, I saw that someone had embellished the bottoms of the trunks with appropriate holiday inscriptions.

A little early, but in perfect style for the season!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A warm, California walk

Early this month I spent a long weekend in Pasadena where we celebrated my mother-in-law's 80th birthday. We had lots of fun and family time and spent hours outside in several family gardens (more about that in another post.) I had hoped there might be time to visit the Huntington Garden, but that didn't work out. However, I did get to take a nice walk close to her home on a warm, sunny afternoon (my favorite kind.)
Above, this tree has amazing spikes on its trunk. Can you believe the soft pretty pink blossoms it has on its canopy, below? What a contrast!

Lots of aloes and agaves grow like weeds there. They just don't know how good they have it!

Hibiscus blooms seemingly year-round.

There was a street nearby called Boulder Something (Way, Street, Drive, I can't quite remember.) It's easy to see how it got its name, though. I loved the grasses nestled next to the big rocks, and prostrate rosemary tumbling over them.

Jade trees grow as big as...trees. And they're lush and full.

I was happy to recognize Agave attenuata. These were beautiful big specimens along a side road.

They were holding their own against ivy. Just look at the size of the trunks.

There was a street of lovely Spanish-style houses near where I was staying. The homes were obviously developed and built at the same time, but each one was different. La Solana was filled with appropriate plantings of mostly drough-tolerant species.

Of course, everyone has a lawn, as well.

A nice big agave (a. scabra or maybe a. americana?) This one had beautiful leaf impressions on it.

A stand of low-growing cactus. This crop was functioning nicely as a groundcover.

This is either Trachycarpus fortunei (Chusan Palm), or Washingtonia filifera (Mexican Fan Palm), but the dead fronds have been cleaned up so I can't tell for sure. I love the way the fresh, green fronds shine in the sun.

A baby trachycarpus or Washingtonia. There were saplings sprouting out of the most inhospitable ground around two mature specimens. I wanted to dig some up and give them a happy home in Oregon!

The size of some opuntia plants in SoCal is staggering.

A beautiful palm and cactus grouping on La Solana.

An olive tree. Can't wait for mine to get that large.

Strelitzia reginae. The Bird of Paradise Flower is perfectly named.
You've probably figured it out by now...the MulchMaid is a not-so-secret wannabe Southern Californian!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bloomday, November 2009

Bloomday is the 15th of each month - the day garden bloggers share what is blooming in their gardens. This delightful idea was started by Carol, of May Dreams Gardens.

Here's what's blooming in the Mulchmaid's garden on November 15, 2009, in alphabetical order.

Above, achillea "Paprika JC Select.'

Below, agastache hybrida 'Acapulco Orange.'

I was excited to see the camellia x 'Winter's Snowman' in bloom already.

The last of the coreopsis 'Zagreb.'

Fatsia Japonica, still going strong.

Fuchsia magellanica macrocarpa.

Mahonia nervosa.
Technically not a bloom, but these beautiful berries are hanging on the malus 'Prairiefire.'

Nasturtium volunteer in the tomato barrels.

An unknown rose.

Rudbeckia, blooming on through the rain in Portland.

Happy Bloomday, all!