Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- March 2017


We don't got no stinkin' blooms!

All we got here is rain. Rain and mud.

A view of the garden through rain-streaked windows

Splish, splash

I am sick of this pluvial plenitude. When we do get the occasional hour or so reprieve from rain, I feel the need to rush out there ("Quick! Grab the secateurs!" yells my Inner Garden General) and mow down and clean up winter's old baggage. The result, after months of inactivity, is feeling for several days like I've been hit by a truck, with muscle aches where I didn't realize I had muscles. I swear, the only activity harder on the human body than gardening is professional sports.

But I do have some blooms, and I decided to risk getting the camera wet yesterday so I could capture some photos.

But first, the greenhouse:

Begonia 'Baby Dress' -- grown for its foliage, but its dainty flowers are cute too

Old lady cactus' tiny pink flowers

And out in the garden:



Too many others -- Snowdrops, Winter aconite, Cyclamen coum, Hellebores, etc. -- required becoming a contortionist in the rain on cold, very wet ground and I wasn't up for that.

I hope you have a lovely, dry, bloom-filled Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, wherever you are! GBBD is hosted by Carol at May Dream Gardens on the fifteenth of every month. Check out her post here.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday Vignette

For my Wednesday Vignette I'm sharing a picture that I took at the recent Northwest Flower and Garden Show, of a flower in the display garden of the Northwest Orchid Society. They always put on a wonderful display. I admire orchids, even though I've failed miserably at growing them. The shape reminds me of the one hardy lady's slipper that I grow in my garden.

Phragmipedium cardinale

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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Winter's Last Gasp?

When I woke up yesterday morning, there was snow on the ground. There were threats over the weekend that we would get some, but it didn't come till overnight on Sunday, just in time for the bleary-eyed Monday morning commute. Joy!

Over the course of the day the temps warmed up, and it melted, and then it snowed again, melted and snowed, melted and snowed, over and over, sometimes in big fluffy flakes under blue skies, sometimes in hard, hail-like pellets. I guess that's what they call snow showers.

During one of the snowy periods I went out and took some pictures.

Will I ever get around to cutting back my grasses? Or anything else, for that matter. I find once I stop gardening for the winter, it's difficult to get the energy and enthusiasm to start up again. We've had some cold but dry spells, all I have to do is dress somewhat warmly and I could be out there singing "The Marseillaise" and chopping their heads off like a French revolutionary.

The birds have been hungry

They left this guy with a Mohawk

Winter jasmine


I love how the snow reinforces the geometric patterns of certain foliage, like this Trachycarpus

Or the chevrons of Mahonia x media 'Charity'

I need more Cyclamen hederifolium

I bet I could fit a few more Hellebores in too

Captive oak leaf in the clutches of Sedum 'Angelina'

Buddha doesn't mind the snow, why should I?

What do you think? Is this winter's last gasp? It's March, for Pete's sake!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wednesday Vignette -- Two Men, One Cock

From last week's Northwest Flower and Garden Show comes this moment of serendipity.

I'm twisted, I know, but I couldn't help noticing that Judith Jones' and Vanca Lumsden's fun and colorful display garden, Bugs' Abode, with its enormous metal cock -- ahem, rooster -- had been built right outside the Men's Room at the show, and therefore had to contend with having TWO Men's Room signs hanging right over it.

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

Friday, February 17, 2017

One Last Disneyland Post -- What the Heck is It?

There were a few plants that I saw at Disneyland that I didn't recognize but that intrigued me. I'm hoping some Californian readers out there can identify them for me.

Sorry I didn't get a good shot of the entire tree or its foliage, but this fruit got my attention

I didn't recognize this, but its droopy flowers and heart-shaped leaves reminded me of a Hydrangea

I'm actually guessing this is a ponytail palm, but it was enormous -- I'm used to seeing ponytail palms in little pots

The caudex was the size of some prehistoric creature's foot

After our recent snow and a couple of days that teased spring-like temps, followed by more winter rain, I'm totally ready to go back to California. Who wants to come with me?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- February 2017

It's hard to believe February is already half done. Miraculously, there seems to be quite a lot blooming, in the garden, when you look closely enough.

Mahonia x media 'Charity

Garrya (could be elliptica, could be issaquahensis)

Ditto the above

Garrya will never win any awards for fabulous foliage, but those flowers at this time of year are the best. I have two in my garden, and I've lost track of which is which. One seems to be blooming a little further along than the other, but the other one has healthier foliage, and has grown much larger in the same amount of time.

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen coum

Sarcococca (sweetbox, smells so good)

Hamamelis (not Jelena)

Hamamelis (not Jelena)

I used to think my Hamamelis was 'Jelena' but it's not. I could look up the tag, but where's the fun in that?
Hellebore 'Penny's Pink (I think)


Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn' (also smells so good)

Black pussy willow

Black pussy willow

And there's a few flowers in the greenhouse, as well.

Bilbergia nutans (Queen's tears) featured in yesterday's Valentine's Day post

Iochroma 'Ashcott Red'

Alstroemeria 'Indian Summer'

Closeup, showing beelines

Begonia 'Baby Dress'

Pregnant onion

I noticed lots of swelling buds in the garden when I was wandering with my camera. Spring really is right around the corner here. I need to get out and start doing more cleanup. Things are a mushy, ugly mess after our snow, but I'm having a hard time getting enthusiastic. I'm counting on the Northwest Flower and Garden Show next week to rev my engine up.

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

Every year at this time the Bilbergia nutans, aka Queen's Tears, flowers, often unnoticed in an out-of-the-way spot in the greenhouse. When I see that flash of color I pull it out and put it in a more prominent spot for a while. I remember the first time I saw a photo of this flower (on danger garden's blog), I thought it couldn't possibly be natural, but it is. It's kind of effortless too. And I love the common name.

Bilbergia nutans

There's lots to love about this plant on Valentine's Day.