Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wednesday Vignette - life force

Today's vignette is about the power of persistence. Bristlecone Pines are some of the earth's oldest living single organisms, so this craggy, blasted Bristlecone Pine has lived on the rim of Crater Lake likely for centuries. Although the tree is mostly dead, there are tufts of green needles still doggedly clinging to life at the ends of a few branches.

This image gives me hope for the future.

Wednesday vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum. Check out other comments there for some lovely images and a fresh perspective on life - and hope.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - November 2016

It's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. I've been a no-show for a few monthly rounds but I'm back and ready for the beauty of gardens to begin healing my soul after a week of despair and sad news.

So are you tired of seeing the lovely and fragrant Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance' yet? I don't think I ever will be.

Also softly pink, and earlier than ever, a few Arctostaphylos 'Austin Griffiths' flowers are beginning to open.

After cutting them back in September, the Mulch Man has a few re-blooming Penstemon in the Northwest Territory.

The darling, sputnik-style blooms of Fatsia japonica always look festive to me; I love that they seem to kick off the holiday season for the garden.

With a cultivar name like 'Yuletide', this Camellia has to bloom during the holidays, right?

I'm especially pleased to see a smaller C. 'Yuletide' we moved earlier this year starting to bloom in the front shade bed. It had suffered in a back garden bed where it got too much afternoon sun, but it looks much happier and healthier this fall.

A few little, mallow-like flowers remain on Sphearalcea 'Newleaze Coral'. I need to look into whether I should cut this back for winter, or just let it sprawl for now.

Abutilon megapotamicum has bloomed non-stop this year, and those little red and yellow blooms have brightened up many cloudy days for me this fall.

The deep maroon petals of Pelargonium sidoides are a sweet surprise this late in the year. This South African plant is apparently used to treat bronchitis as well as cough, sore throat and congestion. I'm using it to heal my sore heart this month.

I'll leave you with this Crape Myrtle leaf that fooled me from a distance, even though I know any bloom on this agave would look completely different. I just had to include this brilliant faux flower.

On this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, I'm very grateful to my garden (and my gardening friends) for providing the beginnings of healing for my bruised soul.

Thank you Carol of May Dreams Gardens, for hosting. Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day to you all, wherever you are.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - July 2016

Here we are, halfway through summer, but it's hard to believe with the relatively cool days and intermittent showers we've had so far. It's easier on the watering chores, but I confess I'm ready for some heat about now.
Each month on Bloom Day, I look around my garden and think I don't have much blooming, but when I get down to photographing what IS blooming, I find I have quite a few flowers to catalog. Let's take a look in a color survey, starting with blue.

This is a promiscuous Eryngium, probably E. planum that started off as 'Jade Frost' but has since crossed over to the "Dark Side" - as in plain green foliage.
Catmint, Nepeta 'Walker's Low' delights the bees - and the occasional neighborhood cat.

I love all the phases of Echinops ritro flowers, from the closed spiky balls like these, to the bright blue opening florets around each head.

Erigeron glaucus, Beach Daisy, is a summer stalwart. You saw it last month, you're seeing it now, and you'll probably see it next month - because, hey... this is as much about documentation as entertainment, right?

Delicate Limonium speciosum 'Blue Diamond' is a far cry from the big, papery blooms of the Statice I remember in bouquets as a child.

A lone Ceanothus 'Victoria' blossom. We had to remove about a third of the plant, but most of what remains is still looking fine.
Moving into purple I have Acanthus spinosa, rearing its spiny bracts.

Are these Eucomus comosa 'Sparkling Burgundy' blooms purple or pink - or both?
 A pinky-white froth of bloom on an unknown sedum, courtesy of Patricia of plant lust fame.

Rosa 'Sally Holmes' is having a good summer. Cooler days have prolonged her blooms.

Cistus x obtusifolius blooming happily.

Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance' - yet again.

Trachelospermum jasminoides.
Now for some hot color! Geranium cinereum 'Subcaulescens'.

Abutilon megapotamicum 'Red'.

Abutilon megapotamicum. 

I'm not a fan of our inherited garden roses, but this yellow blossom was looking too perfect to ignore.
And here are all the orange blossoms: Abutilon 'Tangerine'.
Agastache 'Apricot Sprite'.

Agastache 'Acapulco Orange'.

Punica granatum 'Nana'.
Cuphea 'Tiny Mice'.
An unknown Crocosmia.

Dicliptera sericea, from Uruguay, is supposed to be a hummingbird favorite.
Sphearalcea 'Newleaze Coral' backed by more Catmint.

Lastly, Kniphofia 'Timothy' is just the best shade of soft tomato-orange.

Our monthly host for Bloom Day is Carol at May Dreams Gardens. Check out what else is going on over there.

Happy Bloom Day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - June 2016

For the first time in many years, I missed posting for last month's Bloom Day. Surprisingly (at least to me) there were more May flowers in my garden than there are now in June. Let's see what's still happening out there this month in a color survey of Longview Ranch, starting with white.

Yucca filamentosa 'Bright Edge' has two lovely flower stalks. Usually, these bloom out very quickly, but with our cooler weather, they have lasted for weeks and look good to continue for a while.

Yesterday, I was astounded to see that Lagerstroemia 'Natchez' has begun to flower. I hope it saves a little excitement for the rest of summer.

 In other white-flowered news, Daphne transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance' continues its non-stop bloom. I don't understand it, but I'm not complaining.
The first flowers on a pure white Salvia, Heatwave Series 'Glimmer' from Heather at Just a Girl with a Hammer. Thank you, Heather - I'm loving it!
Digitalis volunteered in the garden years ago, and looks great in the "Northwest Territory" of Longview Ranch. Digitalis isn't native to the PNW, but it's been naturalized here for so long, many people assume it is.

I grow this Syneilesis hybrid for its fascinating "shredded' leaves, but I don't have the heart to cut off the odd blooms when I have so little else yet in the new bed it occupies.
Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Confederate Cream' creates privacy for our back garden and looks pretty nice doing it, too.

Libertia peregrinans 'Bronze Sword'. These little flowers are a sweet, crisp contrast to the gold-tinged blades.
After almost dying out, some small clumps of pale yellow Sisyrinchium striatum are now thriving in the garden. 

Moving into bright yellow, all the Sedum rupestre are getting into the blooming act.
Helichrysum angustifolium has such tidy little button flowers.
Anigozanthos 'Amber Velvet' is an annual, but the color is perfect.
Punica granatum 'True Dwarf'' hasn't quite hit its stride yet. I expect this and many more of its orange flowers to open as summer heats up.
Abutilon megapotamicum lounges comfortably in the back of a bed.
Abutilon 'Tangerine' survived last winter planted out in the garden. That tells you how mild it was.

My neighbor's Bignonia creates a delightful borrowed view.

Sphearalcea 'Newleaze Coral' is blissful in a south-facing bed. The blossoms open wide in the sun, but not so much today.
Because I favor orangy-red, Callistemon 'Woodlanders Hardy Red' is the bluest red I grow. Those happy bottlebrush flowers have just kept on blooming this year.

Moving into the pink range, Hesperaloe parviflora loves life on the edge - my parking strip, to be exact.

Agastache 'Acapulco Orange' is this year's replacement plant for the ones I have loved and lost over the years. They may not be long lived, but I keep putting them in because I adore the color.

Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Series' is putting on a second bloom. What a nice surprise!
More NW Territory Digitalis, now in pinky-purple.
The lilac coloring of Erigeron glaucus, Beach Daisy, leads us into purple.

 Acanthus spinosus dominates this bed.

The bees and hummingbirds have been enjoying this native Penstemon (possibly P. subserratus).

I love the deep, rich blue of Triteleia laxa 'Corinna'.
The foliage of Eryngium planum 'Jade Frost' has long since reverted from its varied coloration, but it blooms reliably each year with metallic blue flowers. For now, it's still green and it rounds out our color exploration.
Bloom Day is hosted monthly at May Dreams Gardens, where you can see flowers from all over.

Happy Bloom Day!