Thursday, June 28, 2012

Orange you glad it's finally summer?

You wouldn't know it by the weather, but summer has arrived at Longview Ranch.

A volunteer Eschscholzia californica.
Abutilon 'Tangerine'.

Rosa NOID.

Rosa 'Perle d'Or'.

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire'.

Agastache 'Acapulco Orange'.

Kniphofia 'Timothy'. I planted the rhizomes in fall of 2010 and they snoozed through last summer.  Now that the blooms have put in an appearance, they were worth waiting for.

Kniphofia porphyrantha.

Acer palmatum seedling rescue.

Phygelius x rectus 'Passionate'.

Potentilla fruticosa 'Sunset Red'.

Clivia miniata 'Belgian Hybrid Orange' (yes, it really is that intense.)

Even the dying leaves of the Eucalyptus are a beautiful bronzy-orange.
 What's the color story in your garden this summer?

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's the beginning of the end for the backyard grass

The longer term plan for this grassy space is a patio.  For the short term, though, I planted a tomato - right in the middle of the remaining lawn.

We ran out of garden space, and we must have our summer fix.

Okay, it looks a little strange and lonely out there, but it will get lots of sun. And it's just for this summer.

Anyway, there's no turning back now.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, June 2012

In my zone 8b garden here in Portland, Oregon, lots of perennials have had a slow start this spring, due to cool and record-setting wet weather. In contrast, today is beautiful, sunny and warm, which makes for challenging photography, but is incredibly welcome!

Making up for lost time, the parking-strip-roses are flowering nicely and, much as I'm uncommitted to these inherited plants, they deserve a little shout out in June. Though they're over their first spring flush of bloom, there are still lovely colors for the neighbors to enjoy as they stroll along my south-facing sidewalk.

Since these hybrid teas were here when we moved in, I don't have IDs for them.

I do know the name of this rose: I added 'Darlow's Enigma' to screen part of our back garden from the street in summer. It performs the task nicely, and thrives in spite of some shade from a large deciduous magnolia. Kate Bryant wrote more about this rose in her latest Plantwise blog post.

Also shining this month is the semi-climbing rose, 'Sally Holmes'.  I added her in front of our wide chimney where her big trusses of simple, pink-tinged ivory flowers continue through summer.

Keeping with the simple white flower theme, here is Cistus obtusifolius,

Potentilla 'McKay's White',

and some of the callas that spring up everywhere.

More white flowers are these small, rare (in my garden) bloom clusters on Pyracantha 'Mohave'.  'Mojave' is supposed to be fireblight resistant, but my four along the fence struggle every spring with the disease: the plants look burned, the flowers mostly die as buds, and berry formation is practically non-existent as a result. I'm not willing to start over with something else, so I prune out the worst of the damage and put up with the rest. In spite of the yearly setback, they are slowly growing larger and doing the job they were assigned.
Up next are some native bloomers:  Sisyrinchium 'Rocky Point'. Sorry for the burned-out image, but these only open in sun so they're hard to capture.

Ceanothus 'Victoria', still blooming from last month's post.


Now to more exotic blooms: Kniphofia NOID.

Abutilon 'Tangerine'. This one wintered over, but I lost A. 'Temple Bells'.

Acanthus spinosa (thank you, Ricki!)

Acanthus mollis.

The blooms will open any day now on Clivia minata 'Belgian Hybrid Orange'.

Oxalis valdiviensis (I love this plant! Will the kind giver from our Portland Plant Exchange please remind me who you were?)

Eryngium variifolium.

Indoors there are a few flowering plants, too. An orchid from Trader Joe's that has re-bloomed many times.

And a Streptocarpus I have had for dozens of years. But oh, that blue!

Thank you Carol, for hosting Bloom Day each month at May Dreams Gardens.
Happy Bloom Day, all!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wet, wetter, wettest

It's Rose Festival time in Portland. That invariably means rain, and often lots of it. I've been doing a few garden things between showers, but today we are having solid, drenching rain. And I'm a fair-weather gardener, so I prefer to stay dry if I can. Hence today's post on my wet garden (okay, I did briefly venture out to soak the camera.)

It's wet. As usual, the Northwest Territory looks terrific in the rain.

Even the mulch under the dense cedars is staying wet.

Water is pooling on the patio table.
The Mountain Hemlock's response to the continued moisture is to fluff out nicely. If we have a bad tomato year, this tree stays happy. It's solace of a sort.

More natives bask in the liquid sunshine.

The effect of all this rain is a lush and verdant green on many of Longview Ranch's residents.

Although it looks like I need to improve the drainage here....

There's a little more color variation here, and it's wet...


 ...wettest?  Let's just say the Agave family and their friends are beginning to wonder if they should be packing for a move to the Southwest.

 How are you and your garden coping with Northwest rain?