Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - December 2020

I've been MIA blog-wise lately, but I couldn't let this bizarre year end without just one more post. So here I am for a spare, wet Bloom Day, with just a few flowers to show.

First up, Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' is celebrating the holidays and has been for at least a month. It's as ready for some glitzy, festive distraction as I am.

A NOID Cuphea is celebrating the season with firecracker blossoms. It stopped flowering in September, but came right back into bloom with the autumn rains.

Vaccinium ovatum, our native huckleberry, is just beginning to bloom. We haven't had a real frost yet here at Longview Ranch, so I think it may be lulled into a false sense of spring.

Here's an out-of-season eyeful: Rhododendron 'Ahna Krushke' keeps pumping out multiples of these intensely fuchsia-colored flowers. It's nice to see her flowering now, because some planned garden renovations this winter will probably necessitate her removal.

It wouldn't be December without Rosemary blooms. In Astoria, I see the hummingbirds enjoying them, too.

This simple white hellebore (I've lost track of the name) is another plant that's been out of whack and blooming since at least August. It's finally getting to be the right time for it!

It's underwhelming in this photo, but the last flowering tips of Mahonia 'Soft Caress' provide a great hit of yellow I can see across the patio from my kitchen window.

Last, but hardly least, the fun, Sputnik flowers of Fatsia japonica.

That's it for my brief Bloom Day post, but there's lots more to see at May Dreams Gardens.

Happy Bloom Day, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2020

It's an apocalyptic Bloom Day in Oregon and most of the west coast today. Ongoing coronavirus pandemic concerns are trumped by unprecedented wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington, and the resulting smoke is creating unhealthy to hazardous air up and down the coast. Thousands upon thousands are evacuated, hundreds have lost everything they own, and at least 27 people have died. My heart goes out to all the people who will mourn dear family members, friends, pets, homes and whole communities. Some have have lost their way of life forever.

My short post today is dedicated to the people—firefighters, volunteers, community leaders, teachers, and just everyday folks who care—who are doing their best to provide help and a little normalcy wherever they can. Their positive actions help me feel there is still much good in this sad world of ours. And as much as I'd like to see it happen more often, they give me renewed hope that we can all come together when it really matters. 

So here are a few September blooms to honor our unsung heroes, beginning with Cyclamen hederifolium 'Xera Sterling'. It's so good to see these naked little flowers emerge from the parched ground each September.

A third flush of bloom brightens up Rosa 'Perle d'Or'. This sweet small rose has grown happily in a container for years, and never fails to bloom well.

The last few flowers on Heterotheca villosa, or Hairy goldaster, in the Northwest Territory. Like many of the natives we grow, this one attracts lots of little wild bees.

Lapagaria rosea on its last blooms as well.

You can see here Echinacea 'Sombrero Salsa Red' is fading into fall, but there are still a few smaller blooms coming off the main flower stems.

Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy Red' is surprising me (and pleasing our resident hummers) with a late-season second flush of blooms.

Punica granatum 'True Dwarf' (AKA P. granatum 'Nana') got a slow start this year, but it's making up for lost time.

Last, a few delicate flowers appearing on Beesia deltophylla. I think my diligent watering over the last hot, dry month has encouraged the flowers, since I have never had them after spring in the past. Of course, the foliage is beautiful year round.

And that's it for my brief Bloom Day post. Despite everything 2020 is throwing at us, we have a beautiful planet full of wonder. Let's each do our part to keep it that way. 

Bloom Day is hosted each month by the lovely Carol, at May Dreams Gardens.
Happy Bloom Day! Stay safe and well.

(Note: this is my first time using the new Blogger interface, so I apologize for any weirdness that has crept in, particularly in layout and spacing.)

Monday, July 27, 2020

A visit to Tangly Cottage Gardens

I first met Skyler during the Portland Garden Bloggers' Fling, held in the summer of 2014. I started following her blog, Tangly Cottage Garden Journal after that, and I have been entranced by her easy writing style, self-made gardening career, and her serious gardening and propagation chops ever since. 

In late May, I had the pleasure of a real visit to Tangly Cottage Garden just prior to Skyler's spring plant sale. Everything was as tidy as possible, and Skyler's partner, Allan Fritz was just finishing up mowing the grassy paths when we arrived.

The first plant I set eyes on blew me away; Fremontodendron (californicum?) or flannelbush, has been on my lust list since I saw it at McMenamin's Edgefield property. This one was in perfect flower and showed the gorgeous range of warm color that makes it uniquely appealing.

We were trading plants via the garage, so I somehow missed going inside the front garden. As a result, I have just a few pics of the driveway area and side garden.  I loved this juxtaposition of the foxglove with the Agave americana variegata.

A Grevillea I have forgotten the name of. So pinky-red, with such bright green foliage!
Skyler loves a container, and can cleverly integrate almost anything that holds soil (and even a few things that don't) into her planting groups.

Here she is doing some last minute weeding behind one of her largest containers, a decommissioned canoe that's being used as a pond.

The canoe floats up a stream of Allium christophii, punctuated by Rosa sericea f. pteracantha and geraniums.

The freshly mowed paths lead me throughout the sizeable back garden beds.

With a garden this size, Skler can grow the really big plants my modest urban garden can only dream of, like the Gunnera manicata, above, the Fremontodendron at the beginning of this post, or Calycanthus ('Hartlage Wine'?), below.
This green and purple portal is about halfway down the garden, and seems to mark the change from more intensively cultivated beds to beds of bigger shrubs and trees.

There's lots to discover and enjoy as you head deeper into the garden

Cistus x hybridus 'Mickie'


Turning back and approaching the house, you see Skyler's love of strong color come into play again.

It was a delight to to actually tour the garden Skyler blogs about almost daily, as she chronicles her work and home gardens, what she's reading, and her philosophies and musings, in the small Washington coastal town of Ilwaco. If you give it a read, I bet you'll be as hooked as I was.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - July 2020

Like many of the gardeners I know, I have been spending even more time in my garden this month. So you'd think I'd have even more flowers to show for my efforts on this July Bloom Day. Not so much. The flowers in my garden typically peak in June, so there's generally more foliage and fewer blooms as summer moves along. But I still have flowers, so here come the stars of my July garden.

Aesclepias tuberosa is winding down but still happily attracting pollinators.

Catananche caerulea is hitting its mid-summer stride.

The odd but pretty flowers on a Syneilesis aconitifolia hybrid. I like the dark and light contrast.

Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy Red' has pushed out a few last blooms.

I know it's Bloom Day, but I think the foliage of Eryngium pandanifolium var lasseauxii rivals its blooms. Let's enjoy them both!

And here are the bigger, fatter blossoms on Eryngium agavifolium.

A surprise, late-blooming Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Shades'.

It's Agastache time. My all-time favorite, below, is Agastache 'Acapulco Orange'. 

And here are A. 'Apricot Sprite' in back, and A. rupestris in front.

Keeping it red hot (with apologies for the equally hot exposure) is Echinacea 'Sombrero Salsa Red'.

And heating up the shade, Clivia miniata 'Belgian Hybrid Orange'.

An unknown heather, putting on the pink.

Eucomis comosa 'Sparkling Burgundy'.

Helenium puberulum had a rough go of establishing itself, but it has stabilized and is blooming with lots of goofy round flower-balls.
Dianthus barbatus 'Green Ball' was a novelty impulse purchase a few years ago. I never expected it to winter over for multiple years, but it's better than new. (ummm, kindly ignore that tuft of oxalis I missed weeding out.)

I love the waxy look and the peachy-pink color of Hesperaloe parviflora flowers.

Let's conclude with the vine and flowers whose scent epitomizes summer to me, Trachelospermum jasminoides.

And that's it for blooms at Longview Ranch, where I'm joining Carol, of May Dreams Gardens, to celebrate the flowers of July.

Happy Bloom Day!