Thursday, July 15, 2021

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - July 2021. Now, with pollinators!

After incinerating us in late June, Portland weather has settled down to pleasant 70-80 degree highs for a few weeks. It makes for nice gardening, but there are multiple plants in my garden that would like more than cloudy mornings and gently warming days. Some like it hot - me among them! But since we're already halfway through summer (nooooo!) I do have some summer flowers, and a few of their pollinator friends, to share today.

Here's Echinacea 'Sombrero Salsa Red'.

These Echinacea, from around a 'Rainbow Marcella" plant, attract major numbers of Bombus to their blooms.


Another pollinator attractor is Helenium puberulum, with its odd little button flowers. To the left of it are the fading flowers of Salvia desoleana.

Once the individual florets on Echinops ritro open, they'll be covered with bees.


Eryngium agavifolium seems to attract flies. I can't detect any kind of foul odor but there must be something there...  The flower heads are cool, regardless.

The flowers in the top image, a newer Hesperaloe parviflora plant, are a softer pink and paler on the inside than the ones on my five-year-old plant. This one came from our spring bloggers swap, and I'm delighted it settled in happily enough to bloom this summer. The older plant is below, with a happy bee explorer.

Cypella herbertii keeps pumping out blooms.

Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy', a reliable summer bloomer.

While looking out for pollinators today, I noticed the tiny blooms of Origanum vulgarum.


Catananche caerulea is a nice hit of blue to lead into all my orange flowers coming up.

Agastache 'Acapulco Orange' finally doing it's thing. It wants more sun, but I love it right here near the patio.

Agastache rupestris.

Agastache aurantiaca 'Tango', I believe.

A late-blooming milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa. The earlier blooming plants had their flowers cooked, so there were no milkweed pods. I hope this one will make seed after it opens.


Lastly, Crocosmia 'Corona'. I grow just a few crocosmia these days, due to their thuggish ways. This one may not last much longer in the garden (I say that every year) but until I evict it, I'll enjoy its pretty, bi-colored flowers.


I'm joining Carol, of May Dreams Gardens, to celebrate the flowers blooming in our gardens on the 15th of each month.

Happy Bloom Day, all!


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - June 2021 - Astoria Edition

Welcome to my very first Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post from Astoria! No, we haven't moved here permanently, but the garden (at least the south slope I have been slowly converting) is finally flowering enough that I can put together a post for Bloom Day. It's been an arduous process with many lessons learned about deer-resistance, weather surprises, and an infuriating, entrenched population of new-to-me weed species. There's still so much left to do, but let's get to the successes!

Some of the first plants I put into the Astoria garden were multiple rosemary and lavender. I knew herbs would grow fast and be more tolerant of not getting watered regularly, and that they were deer-resistant. I love the unassuming straight species (Lavandula angustifolia and Rosemarinus officinalis) and they have rewarded me by growing robustly.

Here's another simple, happy and deer-resistant small shrub that grows in multiple places in this garden. Santolina chamaecyparissus, or Lavender-Cotton, sports these cheerful yellow button flowers in early summer. They came from Skyler of Tangly Cottage Garden and I learned from her that they should be sheared hard in late winter to keep their shape and prevent sprawl.

I added several Verbena bonariensis this spring after seeing how well one did last year. So far the deer are leaving them mostly alone.

Three Penstemon heterophyllis 'Electric Blue' planted in spring of 2020 came out of winter happier than they went in. They hung on last year after being cropped by deer but so far are avoiding that fate this year. It's great to finally have those intense blue flowers! The hover fly thinks so too.

Penstemon 'Margarita BOP' fared slightly better last year and is coming back with even more flowers this year.

Many of the plants I try in Astoria are courtesy of our twice-yearly Oregon Garden Bloggers plant swap. This Salvia 'Skyscraper Orange' came from Lance of GardenRiots this spring, and the color is fantastic. I hope it likes life in Astoria.

I visited Mary DeNoyer's beautiful open garden last weekend, via my membership in the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (it’s such a deal, people!) After admiring Digitalis parviflora 'Milk Chocolate' in her garden, I was delighted to check my records and confirm I had the very same cultivar in my Astoria garden.

Cistus obtusifolius is in its third spring here in the garden. Sometimes the deer eat the flowers, and sometimes they don't.

I brought several Libertia peregrinans 'Bronze Sword' out from my Portland garden. They grow well and color up nicely, and the deer seem completely uninterested in them. Win!!


I brought all my Kniphofia 'Timothy' plants out to Astoria last spring, because they needed more sun than they were getting in my increasingly shady garden. I guess they like Astoria!

Digitalis purpurea 'Alba', another Blogger plant swap selection, has a nice view of the bay to help it flower.

This Grevillea 'Poorinda Leane' was one of the earliest shrubs I put in. Despite some "pruning" by local deer, it has outpaced their ability to eat it and has been flowering non-stop since November. Such a rewarding addition to the garden!

Lastly, two more lovely bloomers courtesy of Tangly Cottage Garden. Libertia grandiflora is happily thriving and defying the deer.

And Allium christophii provides a big pink punch of color and form near the front door. I need many more of these in Astoria.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted monthly by the lovely Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Happy Bloom Day from Astoria, all!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - May 2021

Dry, dry, dry - that's what most of April and the first half of May has been at Longview Ranch. Never have I had to irrigate as much or as early as this year. And I think the garden is showing the drought already; blooms are fading earlier than usual, too.

But we still have some bright and springlike flowers for this May Bloom Day, starting with the hardest to photograph, Podophyllum ssp. Form A. (the spotted leaves drifting through are actually on Aspidistra lurida 'Ginga'.)


Rosa 'Sally Holmes' is in her first, beautiful flush of bloom.


Ceanothus 'Victoria' will probably put on more growth now, after removal of the eucalypt that partially shaded her. She's delighting visiting bumblebees.


Scilla peruviana is at the apex of bloom.

Luzula nivea is having a very good year. My earliest plants lived in a hotter, drier location and didn't bloom much. These, planted in a shadier spot, are much happier.

Persicaria 'Purple Fantasy'. Who knew it had these cute little flowers?

Eschscholzia californica with the surprise of a particularly nice deep orange version (possibly 'Mikado' from Botanical Interests.)

Loropetalum chinense 'Fire Dance' is coming out of its shell after removal of some cedars that shaded it.

The blooms of Trachycarpus fortunei make a mess every year, but I still love the way they look.

Lewisia columbiana var rupicola (with a few spent dogwood petals as a reality check.)

Iris tenax in the Northwest Territory.

Iris x pacifica 'Simply Wild', with a side of Iris x pacifica 'Meadow Pastels' in a rare white form.

Lastly, Rosa 'Perle d'Or' in all stages of bloom.

As usual, I'm joining the Bloom Day celebration of flowers hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. You can check out lots more May flowers by visiting her there.

Happy Bloom Day, all!

Friday, April 16, 2021

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - April 2021

I'm celebrating Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day a day late, but with all the color and excitement of a lush spring. After weeks of really cold (for Portland) nights and barely warmer days, we are now into multiple days of warm, dry, sunny weather - not a moment too soon for me. (Permit me to apologize for the burned-out exposures in today's post: it's that very welcome sunshine, but almost impossible to avoid this week. Oh, too bad!)

First, Loropetalum chinense var rubrum 'Sizzling Pink' is taking up the slack from the recently removed Eucalyptus (RIP, E. pauciflora ssp debeuzevilli.)

At the feet of the Loropetalum is this little Rhododendron williamsianum. I bought it for its distinctive leaf shape, but this time of year, it blooms with a few simple pale pink flowers.

Ribes sanguineum is in full flower in the Northwest Territory, delighting us, the bees and the hummingbirds.

Dodecatheon hendersonii is the most welcome spring ephemeral. It's great to see it returning amongst the grand upheavals that have transformed the NW Territory this spring. But that's another post.

Another sweet spring flower is Ipheon uniflorum 'Alberto Castillo'. Compared to a neighbor's vast bank of Ipheon, my one little bloom is underwhelming, but I hope it settles in and reproduces.

Three compact Pieris japonica 'Prelude' are in full pure-white flower.

Tricyrtis is a plant I have never had good luck growing. This picture documents my excitement at the first bloom on one little flower head. I hope it's another success this year.

It's Grevillea australis time! You need smell-o-vision for this shrub. I have even had passersby ask me what the scent is, it's so pervasive and lovely. The blossoms are small, but powerful.

Near the Grevillea on my hell strip, poor little Ceanothus 'Valley Violet' struggles on and sports about four blossom heads this year. I love this poor little mite, but I wonder if I shouldn't start over with a new one in a more protected spot; dog and foot traffic have not been kind to it.

Also in the hell strip, my favorite small manzanita hybrid, Arctostaphylos x media 'Martha Ewan', with her surprisingly late-blooming flowers.

 Stop - in the name of Rosemary!

And now the primulas: this is P. seboldii 'Late Snow'.

 Primula 'Hose-in-Hose Yellow'.

And a happy mix of Primula veris and cultivars, mostly courtesy of garden blogger friends.

 In the same shady garden bed, Beesia deltophylla sports its fun, frothy flower stalks.

 Camellia 'April Kiss' is nearly finished, but has been a delight this spring.

One of many impossible-to-photograph Epimedium.

Last, the huckleberries (Vaccinium ovatum) in the front garden enjoyed the late, cool spring. I see huckleberry pancakes in my future later this year.

And that completes the sun-washed survey of blooms for this month. Check out May Dreams Gardens for lots more April flowers from all over.

A belated happy Bloom Day all!