Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Vignette

Here's a sight I haven't seen for months. Even if you didn't know this photo was taken this morning, you could probably guess we are no longer in high summer here in Portland. Yesterday afternoon I dumped an two-day accumulation of .7 inches of rain out of my rain gauge. Then this morning I emptied just over an inch! 
Do you see how the dirt (ash, dust, pollen, whatever) has coalesced under each drop of water below? That shows you that things were getting a bit grimy over summer, and how welcome the rain is for cleansing the air and the plants.
But as much as my garden needs it, I hope the rains will not be constant from now until June; I need a little transition time to make my peace with autumn and winter. And I have plants that, after waiting seemingly for months, I can finally put in the ground.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - September 2017

Each month when I wander in the garden looking for Bloom Day flowers, I'm reminded yet again that I don't really have a "flower garden".  In fact, I just reviewed a Bloom Day post from two years ago to discover that I have almost the same set of flowers - hmmm.

But there are the August stalwarts, so here's a brief recap of what's blooming at Longview Ranch on this 15th of September, starting with the late-summer flowers of Helianthus maximiliani. I have to wait all summer for these bright faces.

California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) self-seed each year. This year they have lots of room where the big Ceanothus used to be.

The tiny flowers of Berberis verruculosa are almost unnoticeable, unless, like me, you are searching for blooms.

In nice timing for the overwintering humming birds, Mahonia fortunei 'Dan Hinkley' is beginning its flush of flowers.
With more room to grow, Solidago 'Lemon Baby' has exploded this year.

After dying to the ground over winter, Sphearalcea 'Newleaze Coral' has bounced back this summer.
A new Punica granatum 'Nana' has put on lots of growth, and flowers, since I bought it a few months ago.

My neighbor's Campsis radicans is still going strong and delighting me.
Abutilon megapotamicum.

Lagerstroemia 'Natchez' is on its last few flower trusses.
 A surprise white Foxglove popped up in the Northwest Territory.

I figured it out: this cultivar of Daphne x transatlantica is called 'Eternal Fragrance' because it never stops blooming.
 Hardy Cyclamen emerge from the dusty dry rocks. I don't know how they do it.
Tricyrtis formosana var grandiflora 'Wa-ho-ping Toad'. Not really "whopping" but very welcome in the shady bed.
They're almost over, but the little, papery blue blossoms of Limonium speciosum 'Blue Diamond' make me happy.

The sweet blue blossoms of a prostrate Rosemary. Rosemary usually blooms in early winter around here, but it's been an odd year.

Surprise fall blooms on Loropetalum chinense 'Sizzling Pink', as well.
Silene dioica 'Ray's Golden' is pumping out more flowers this month.
Lastly, Erigeron glaucus won't say goodbye to summer yet. And neither will I.

See all the flowers from all over today courtesy of Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Happy Bloom Day!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Fall Plant Fest is coming right up!

The Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (you do know them, right?) has that well-know and loved Spring plant sale dubbed Hortlandia. Yes, you went, you bought incredible plants from specialty vendors, you got the t-shirt...

But wait - there's a fabulous Fall version happening on September 16th, called Fall PlantFest! And it's not just about getting cool plants into your grubby little hands.
Because for Fall PlantFest, HPSO sponsors a world-class speaker to kind of prep you for the upcoming Fall planting season (you know, when it actually rains and you can dig your soil?)

This year's speaker is none other than Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery, who will present "Sean's Top 40" (he's talking plants, not music, of course.) Sean has a passion for plants and you'll hear about plants from the West coast to Mediterranean settings to woodlands to lush tropical areas.
Photo by Sean Hogan

Multiple specialty vendors will be on hand, with many plants that can only be seen and purchased in the fall, including fall and winter bulbs, perennials, shrubs, plants for winter interest, and varieties that will perform well in our gardens next year.

There's also a botanical display and book sales, and Sean has promised to bring lots of door prizes!

Photo by Sean Hogan

The whole shebang happens on Saturday, September 16, with the lecture beginning at 10am,  followed by the plant sale from 11am to 2pm. It's at the PCC Rock Creek Campus, 17705 NW Springville Rd, Portland, OR. Admission to the lecture is $10 for HPSO members and $20 for non-members. The plant sale is free to the public.

Photo by Sean Hogan

Remember, Sean says, "Fall is the best time to plant." And if you have any questions, there's lots more info right here to entice you.

Happy plant shopping - right after Sean reveals what you can't live without in your garden!