Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Drat! Scat!

I was working in the front garden yesterday and found what looked at first like dried black beans scattered across the path. I wondered briefly what plant was nearby that might have dropped seeds that looked like beans, when closer inspection revealed the truth.

It's almost undoubtedly deer poop.

Looks very much like the images I found on a Google Image search

I've been seeing, but trying to ignore, their tracks in the front garden all winter, usually embedded in frost-frozen soil. This morning I found a hoofprint that looks like the cloven devil print of those dratted ruminants.

Does that look to you like a cloven hoofprint?

As soon as I saw the poop, I looked around to see if they might have eaten some of my plants, and my very first thought was the nearby Sedum 'Autumn Joy.' Sure enough, they've been chomped.

I saw deer down the street many months ago, and hoped that they wouldn't discover my garden.

Maybe they won't be back.

Yeah, maybe Santa and the Tooth Fairy are real too. Got any favorite deer resistant plants?

Monday, March 19, 2018

In A Vase/Bowl On Monday

Nigel and I eat out at restaurants more often than we should, and occasionally, when we are checking out a new place and the waitress asks us what we want, we sometimes answer, "One of each," if everything looks good.

I figured the principle "one of each" worked just as well for my presentation today -- one of each Hellebore in my garden, floating in a bowl. It's a good way to present the flowers, since they are for the most part nodding flowers low to the ground that are hard to see, so it's not exactly an original idea. You could probably find hundreds of images with a Google Image search for "Hellebores in a bowl" but it's the best I could come up with today quickly. I didn't have any time yesterday to make the rounds of my garden to choose a bouquet because I spent the day in Portland, OR at Little Prince of Oregon headquarters, getting a tour of their growing facilities, which is pretty fabulous (watch for a future post).

Anyway, here's my one of each Hellebore.

Here's a few closeups.

Some are a bit ragged

Some are still pristine

The cut glass bowl is maybe a bit deep, but it was all I had

Last week's Queen's Tears had to be tossed, it didn't actually last in the vase. The bowl was given pride of place in the window behind the kitchen sink.

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden hosts In a Vase on Monday. She's celebrating 6 years of blogging today. Check out her post to congratulate her and see what she's sharing today, as well as all the other bloggers who participate.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Foliage Followup -- March 2018

It's been a few months since I've posted for Foliage Followup. There hasn't been anything particularly spectacular in the way of leafy goodness happening out in my garden that I felt like celebrating.

But now there is! Lots of wonderful emerging foliage popping out of the ground, so wonderful to see!

Beesia calthifolia emerges a mahogany color and ages to green

I think this ethereal being is Jeffersonia dihpylla

Trillium still folded up

Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty' in a pot

Eremurus has multiplied

Rheum palmatum always looks like an alien creature

Spring seems to be springing.

Pam at Digging hosts Foliage Followup, always on the day after Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Check out her post here.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- March 2018

It's hard to believe it's the middle of the month already. Time just seems to fly so quickly lately. The Spring equinox (the first day of astronomical Spring) is right around the corner, and if you follow meteorological seasons, Spring is already here. The middle of the month means it's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, so it's time to show some flowers. There's more than last month, but still not a lot. That blast of snow and cold weather a couple of weeks ago might have set us back a bit.

Iris reticulata by the stream (the wires are from the electric fence)

I don't remember the name, I could look it up, but...where's the fun in that? I do remember picking one that would be a nice, deep color, although this shows it as more blue than it is


Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) is in full flower, and from across the garden, even on gray days, this small tree full of hanging flowers seems to sparkle


Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

Two nodding Hellebores from outside

And the same from inside (or down under)

One very dark red Hellebore

Speckled pink with a collarette

Ribes speciosum


Cyclamen coum

Euphorbia rigida

Euphorbia rigida

Pieris japonica 'Shy' -- a recent purchase flowering profusely in the pot ghetto

And in the greenhouse...

Red-headed Irishman -- a tiny Cactus with tiny flowers

That's about it. My Camellia and Forsythia are budded up, but not flowering yet, and all the Primroses are pretty ragged-looking.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of every month. Check out her post here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wednesday Vignette

Here in the PNW moss grows pretty much everywhere. If you aren't resigned to it growing in the garden, you have an uphill battle on your hands. Personally I love moss. I do pay to have someone treat my roof, because I don't want it growing there. I don't mind it growing in the lawn, or in the garden beds, and I'd love to have lots more of it on all the rocks and stones and boulders in my garden. You may have heard the term "mossback" to refer to a PNWer who prefers drizzly, gray weather rather than sunny days.

I shouldn't have been surprised to find it growing on the cushions of my chaise. Lazy gardener/home-owner that I am, I leave them out all winter. They seem to be made of a fabric that dries out rather quickly once the sun comes out.


Anna at Flutter & Hum hosts Wednesday Vignette. Check out her post here.

Monday, March 12, 2018

In A Vase On Monday

Today's vase arrangement, if you can call it that, is both minimalist and in a way opulent. I could have cut more Cyclamen or more Hellebores (that's about all that's flowering in the garden right now), but those would have just been repeats of earlier vases, and it's too soon in my participation in this meme for that.

So I cut a stem of my flowering Billbergia nutans (Queen's tears) from out in the greenhouse, one single stem, for my Monday vase. It flowers out there every year at this time, often overlooked by me, because this is a busy time for gardeners here in the PNW. Now I can admire it every time I wash the dishes. I put it with the now-fading-to-yellow Arum foliage from last week's Cyclamen arrangement and one stabby, sword-shaped Cordyline leaf. I threw it together in haste late last night in near-dark, hoping it wouldn't all clash. Perhaps simple green leaves would have worked better with that crazy flower, but for now, it's staying as is.

There are few flowers more colorful or exotic-looking -- it's like a child's crayon drawing

Cathy at Rambling in the Garden hosts In a Vase on Monday, go here and check out her arrangement for today. And check out the many other bloggers who post links to their own.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The NHS Spring Ephemeral Plant Sale (And What I Bought)

I mentioned in my post about Ravenna Gardens that Nigel and I went into town last weekend to the NHS plant sale at the Center for Urban Horticulture in the University District. The CUH is a small complex of buildings that are part of the University of Washington (aka UDub), and has an interesting history. In 2001, Merrill Hall, one of the CUH buildings, was the site of a firebombing by eco-terrorists. It was subsequently rebuilt and became the first LEED-certified building at the university.

For a little more historical background on the firebombing at the Center for Urban Horticulture, go here. And there's some information on the rebuilding process here and here. You can find information about LEED certification here.

There is also a lovely garden in front of the Center, currently in winter mode.

Entrance to the garden, with the CUH behind

The sale was spread out between two areas inside the building complex.

This room was really packed with people, making movement difficult -- amazingly, people were actually maneuvering baby carriages through here

Cyclamen hederifolium

Bellis perennis

Gorgeous lush stripey Crocuses

Little baby Helleborus argutifolius (Corsican Hellebore)

Saxafraga stolonifera 'Maroon Beauty'

The other vendors were ensconced, not technically in another room of the building, but in a solarium in the courtyard of the complex, with some plants for sale spilling out beyond the door.

Lee Farm always has lots of great four-inch pots of staples

Saxifraga dentata (I tried this once several years ago and instead of spreading like most saxifrages, it disappeared rather too quickly)

Celestial Dream Gardens had some choice plants

A different Saxifraga stolonifera called 'Hsitou Silver'

And my favorite hardy Geranium -- G. phaeum 'Samobor'

It's always fun to chat with Judith Jones from Fancy Fronds, she had great ferns and an unlimited wealth of fabulous advice on growing them

Once I had chosen and paid for my plants, I headed back to the car, with a quick stop for a look around the garden.

Most of the soil was pretty bare but this central fountain was making a pleasant sound

Winter-stressed Sedum Angelina is so brightly colored!

It makes a nice contrast against the ferniness of this fern

Here's my box of goodies in the back of the car

I thought I'd give each of them their own beauty shot.

Saxifraga stolonifera 'Maroon Beauty' -- which I've wanted ever since I saw it in the ground at Heronswood

Cyclamen hederifolium

Great leaf patterns

And bright color underneath too

Two Corsican Hellebores -- I have lots of the fancy colorful ones, I thought it was time to try something different

I was smitten with that jagged edge on the leaves

I couldn't resist two of those 'Hsitou Silver' Saxifrages from Celestial Dream Gardens

The new foliage is cute

About 'Hsitou Silver," from the Far Reaches Farm catalog -- "A superb collection of this Strawberry Saxifrage by the Wynn-Jones of Crug Farm who found this in the Hsitou area of Taiwan. Fantastic green leaves variegated in silver-white and while it could be our imagination taking wing after being bowled over by the foliage, the white flowers seem larger than usual on their 18"-24" stems."

Two Iris foetidissima -- I've been wanting to try this plant for a while now, finally found some (please ignore the ugly backdrop of my untrimmed winter garden)

Beesia calthifolia, which I probably could have found at Watson's, but they were right there in front of me, so....

Polypodium glychoriza grandiceps 'Diane' -- a crested form of our native licorice fern from Fancy Fronds

From the Fancy Fronds catalog -- "A stunningly crested version of the Pacific Northwest native licorice fern!  Like other licorice ferns, 'Grandiceps Diane' is wintergreen, holding its fronds through the fall, winter and spring and then taking a brief rest during the dryest periods of the summer.  They are capable of growing vertically in thick patches of moss (typically found on big-leaf maples), and can also be cultivated on the ground or in shallow containers or hanging baskets.  This showy version of the licorice fern also makes an excellent container specimen, as they do not mind irregular watering and are capable of going dormant during periods of drought."

I think this licorice fern might be a good candidate for a fern table. Wouldn't it look appropriate looking like it was growing out of a branch encircling the mound of soil?