Friday, June 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - June 2018

It's Bloom Day, that time of the month when we celebrate the flowers in our gardens. It's been a bit "Junuary" around these parts (though we are predicted to get temps in the low 90s next week) so most of the flowers haven't been stressed by sun. But they haven't come on as quickly as in some past years, either. Here's what's blooming at Longview Ranch today:

The dark coral blooms of Sphearalcea 'Newleaze Coral' look huge in this image but they are each only about the size of a dime.

In other red news, Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy Red' is putting on a show and feeding our local Anna's hummer.

Nepeta 'Walkers Low' is charming the bumble bees.

Eremuris struggle in my garden, because I'm stingy with water. Only this yellow one reliably returns to bloom.

I'm trying Allium caeruleum this year. The flower heads are quite small, but I like the color. Many are needed for a good effect so I guess I'll be buying more this fall - and planting them closer together.

Cypella herbertii looks like Tigridia but I think it's even more elegant. It also blooms in late spring rather than late summer.

Dianthus barbatus 'Green Ball' is exactly that. Crazy!

The NOID olive seems to be blooming happily.

It lost some limbs after a boring beetle attack earlier this month (detail pic below), but time will tell whether that will result in its demise. So far, I'm cautiously optimistic, and it doesn't look SO bad, despite fewer branches. If it makes it to next spring, I'll need to watch carefully for the next generation of beetles to emerge.

Daphne x transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance' is softly scented.

Our native Lilium columbianum brightens up the shade below a Trachycarpus.

I draped a branch of Abutilon megapotamicum across the aforementioned Trachycarpus trunk to dress it up a little.
Nearby, Callistemon viridifloris is halfway through blooming.
Halimium ocymoides ('Sarah'? 'Sally'? 'Susan?' of those ladies.)
Acanthus spinosa. This plant is probably getting evicted at the end of the season. It flops when it gets big, and just looks messy, but I value the summer screening it's giving to the shade-lovers in the bed to its north, so something sizeable will need to take its place next year.

Here are the flowers of the Northwest Territory. The foxgloves are still flowering but are nearing the end of their main flush of bloom
Lewisia columbiana var. rupicola.

Erigeron glauca, another fine native.

Penstemon speciosus (or possibly P. subserratus.)  I'm fuzzy on most of the bigger penstemons.

Sidalcea oregana.

Back in the front garden, here's a penstemon I do know for sure, P. pinifolius.

Monardella macrantha
'Marian Sampson' is just getting started.

Hesperaloe parviflora. Mine can't hold a candle to the wonderful examples I saw in Austin during the Fling, but I love it anyway.

We can't overlook the bright yellow flowers of Sedum rupestre.

And last, some tomato flowers that promise such good eating later this summer. That payoff can't come too soon for me!

I'm joining with Carol of May Dreams Gardens where she hosts Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.

Happy Bloom Day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wildflower Wednesday Vignette - Elephant Heads

I'm rolling Wildflower Wednesday and Wednesday Vignette into one big ball today!

This is looking north at Long Prairie, on the south side of the Strawberrry Mountain Wilderness. It was SO quiet there, and we were the only people around except one guy who was mending fences a distance away. The meadows were full of flowers, and at the time, I mistakenly thought the beautiful swaths of purple you see here were a species of Blazing Star (Liatris sp.) I didn't get a closeup view, because they were back in the field and I wasn't dressed to go squelching through the wet meadow that day (I'll be better prepared next time!)
But I later learned that Liatris doesn't occur naturally in the west, so I spent some time trying to identify the flowers; I'm pretty sure they are Elephant Heads, Pedicularis groenlandica, so if you think I'm wrong, please let me know in a comment. Take a look at this detail photo of the individual flower I borrowed from Paul Slichter's highly useful site on NW hikes and wildflowers, to see the genesis of the common name.

Pink elephants, even!

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna, at Flutter and Hum, and Wildflower Wednesday is hosted by Gail, at Clay and Limestone. Click on over to see what all the participants have going on for a Wednesday.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Weekend walking to open gardens

I'm training for a nine-day walking vacation I'll be taking in September, so it helps to have a destination to motivate me on longer practice walks. This past weekend, the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (HPSO) helped me get going with two open gardens that were an excellent distance from my home.

On Saturday, I walked southward along the Willamette River. Destination: almost Sellwood. It was a good opportunity for a full dress rehearsal of my rain gear since rain was predicted nearly all weekend.

On Interstate Avenue, I always admire this commercial planting of privet(?), cistus and lavender; it looks great most of the year. Cistus could be used so much more all over the city, IMHO.
Passing the Rose Quarter, I enjoyed some Rose Festival parade floats and riders queueing for their big moment.

On the Esplanade, the Rose Festival fleet is docked along the waterfront.

Along the way, a man blew enormous, iridescent bubbles, much to the delight of the children -  and a good number of the adults.

Further along, Dragon Boats were practicing for their races.

Portland Opera Company showed their support for Pride Week with a wonderful display of rainbow flags on two sides of the upper terrace.

Finally, I reached Lucy Davenport's Bonsai Akira Nursery and garden. Lucy practices, sells and teaches bonsai using an eclectic group of Northwest nursery stock.

Many of the bonsai were for sale.

The kokedama were lovely.
This bonsai Callistemon nearly came home with me.

Many of the bonsai were in specially made pots by Sherri, a local potter who also had her wares for sale there. I couldn't afford a bonsai, but I did buy a lovely small pot.
On Sunday, I set out in an easterly direction for my second open garden. This walk through Boise, Irvington, Alameda and Roseway was a nice look at some established east-side neighborhoods and gardens. This combo of a flowering Cornus kousa and the Cotinus stopped me in my tracks (apologies for the overexposed image.)

I love it when people "get" the style of their house, and plant accordingly.

This front garden held a collection of curious art made of wood and metal.
A Billy Collins poem. I passed at least four poetry posts on my walk Sunday.

Creative and wonderful stair risers. Someone really had fun here.

Another right-house, right-plants example. I love this simple tropical mix of Tetrapanax, Trachycarpus, Fatsia japonica and black Mondo grass at this mediterranean-style house along Alameda.

I reached Mary DeNoyer's garden after a few hours of walking to discover this delightful welcome as I entered the back garden. I confess I was pretty tired and I didn't explore or photograph the front garden as much as I have on previous visits; I just wanted to sit for a spell.
But I did see these in the front garden as I came through: I have Eremuris envy.

Mary's back garden has gradually become lightly shady, and she has embraced the opportunities beautifully.

Specimen plants are featured nicely, like this intensely-colored dactyhoriza. I took this shot while relaxing in a comfortable chair under Mary's patio cover; I always enjoy sitting and experiencing gardens from the gardener's regular point of view. 

I do love a before-and-after so I went right to Mary's display of early garden pictures. So much has changed.

Multiple container plantings allow her to feature succulents and other small specimens, as well as plants that may need winter protection.

I didn't ask, but I think this small rock garden area at the end of the driveway is newer.
Shade-lovers and a few roses along the driveway.

My Mukdenia rossii is obviously in too much shade because it's not turning this fabulous red along its margins.

 One last shot of the foliage contrasts surrounding the deck. The brugmansia already has a bloom!

I'm so appreciative of the HPSO Open Garden program (just one of many benefits of membership) and I want to thank all the gardeners who open their gardens to members each year. Thank you particularly, Lucy and Mary, for this past weekend's motivational (and inspirational!) walk to, and around, your gardens.