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

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday Vignette -- Frost

We finally got our first real killing frost on Monday night, so I went out into the garden with my camera on Tuesday morning and took some photos, before the sun had a chance to touch some of the frosty spots, and burn it off.

Eryngium 'Blue Glitter'

Purple Coneflower that has been devoured down to the nub by birds

Sedum 'Angelina' and Black Mondo grass

Sedum 'Angelina' and oak leaf

Mahonia gracilipes

I am looking forward to the temps warming up later this week, into the 50s during the day. I still have bulbs to get in the ground -- a handful of Alliums, some Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus and some Fritillaria meleagris. I was out there on Monday when it was in the high 30s and planted 50 Anemone blanda, the tiny little wind flowers that pop up early in the spring. It's late to be planting bulbs, but November went by so quickly.

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

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Brave Nursery Dares to Put Christmas Ornaments Front and Center

No mealy-mouthed "Happy Holidays" for Molbak's during a recent visit. Their "Merry Christmas" wishes were everywhere.

There's that forbidden word. Don't they know there's a war on Christmas?

There it is again. Scandalous.

Nothing says Christmas like greed and commercialism.

Bah. Humbug.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- November 2017

It's already the middle of November, which means it's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, when garden  bloggers around the world show off the flowers in their gardens. There's truly very little still flowering in my garden, but there are a couple of things, which I ran around like a mad thing photographing last night around dusk, braving a cold wind.

One of the fancy leaf Begonias in my greenhouse is flowering. They're pretty unremarkable flowers.

The last tuberous Begonia flower -- single rather than double, which I think from my reading means it's a female flower

Cyclamen hederifolium

Mahonia 'Soft Caress' in the pot ghetto

Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' -- this is the most heavily laden with flowers I've ever seen it. The hummingbirds have been all over it recently

And it sports both flowers and berries at the same time
And that's it!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Check out her post here.

Monday, November 6, 2017

First Snow!

We got our first snow over the weekend here, just a dusting really, but it counts. It started on Friday as slushy rain, and on Saturday and Sunday we got spotty on and off snow that stuck to the grass and garden but didn't affect the streets, at least around here. On Monday morning, it was still hanging around out there, a perfect photo opportunity, so I took my camera out there to see what might make an interesting picture.

Snow on the grass in the back garden

Can you see the path through the grass at the very top of the picture above? I didn't make that path after the snow fell, by walking through it. I made it last week, before the snow fell. I've been working on a project in the far back corner of the garden and walking back and forth over the grass, flattening it somewhat. Interestingly, this difference in the texture of the grass caused the snow not to stick in that area, creating what Nigel called "a fairy path."

Here you can see the "fairy path" much better

This was early for such cold weather around here. According to the National Weather Service, this past weekend was the coldest weather for this time period in 44 years. The coldest day on record for the first week of November was 38 degrees on Nov. 6, 1945. The snow, while not record-breaking, was unusual. The Seattle area’s earliest measurable snowfall on record was Oct. 27, 1971.

Snow on oakleaf Hydrangea

Water droplets and snow crystals on oakleaf Hydrangea

The snow pancaked the Panicum

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' with a snow cap

Snow-laden Tetrapanax looking like a multi-headed dinosaur reaching its heads down to eat

Snow melting on Tetrapanax

Snow and water droplets glinting on pine

Crystallized snow on Horstmann's Silberlocke Korean fir

Strangely, we still haven't gotten a frost. The temperatures overnight, and while it was snowing, never actually went below freezing. All my frost-tender foliage like Dahlias and tuberous Begonias is still strong, lush and green. We might get a frost tonight, we'll see.

Now the snow is gone, completely melted, and the temperatures should go up to the 50s again by Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Wednesday Vignette

Hope everyone had a spirited Samhain.

For my Wednesday Vignette, I'm sharing a couple of shots of spider webs, one of them occupied. Two Cross Spiders have been living in this bed just outside my window for the last month or so, moving occasionally when their web gets damaged, or maybe when the mood strikes them. One recent misty morning the webs stood out because they were dew-covered.

How can November be here already?

Anna at Flutter & Hum hosts Wednesday Vignette. You can check out her post here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Be careful with those spiky plants!

You could poke an eye out.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Who Wants Some Lily Bulbs?

Finally -- finally! -- I am getting some work done out in the garden. I injured my shoulder way, way back at the beginning of September and have been taking a long break from doing any real work out there. An extreme state of frustration over lack of progress and a huge pot ghetto looming on the patio every time I went outside, and a long list of undone chores and unfinished, half-started projects that went through my mind over and over every morning at 5 when I woke and couldn't get back to sleep, and the unwelcome sense of an onrushing winter heading toward me like a bull toward a red flag made me get outside yesterday and dig up some lily bulbs that I've wanted to transplant for a while now.

Lily 'Matrix' flowering its first year, in 2014

Although the colors of 'Matrix' suit my front bed, I've never been happy that the flower stalk itself is only about a foot to a foot and a half tall. All the other lilies in that front bed are 3 - 4 feet tall, in similar colors. For me, the shortness of 'Matrix' just doesn't fit. So I wanted to move it, into a bed in the back garden. I don't remember exactly how many bulbs I planted originally, it might have been 5, it might have been as few as 3. But yesterday I dug up and transplanted 25, and had some left over.

After reproducing, in 2017

'Matrix' is an Asiatic lily, which you can buy in the spring from Brent and Becky's. I think I might have originally bought mine from B&D Lilies at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, but it isn't in their current catalog. Lilies on B&D Lilies website range in price from about $5.00 to $13.00. I'll send you some for free!

There are 11 smaller bulbs ready to be planted

This gives you some idea of the size

There are also many, many, much smaller bulblets that in a few years will be flowering size

I'd really like to pass along the extra bulbs and bulblets to a gardener (or more than one) who can use them. Please take my extra lily bulbs! They probably should get back into the ground as soon as possible. Leave a comment with a way to get in touch, and I'll contact you to get a mailing address. I don't mind paying for postage. If I get a lot of interest I'll divide them up as reasonably as I can.

Basically I am just incapable of simply throwing away any plant matter that can become a viable plant, whether it's a seedling, an offset, or a division. Are you familiar with the musical number "Every Sperm Is Sacred" from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life? As Michael Palin sings and dances along with hundreds of children, I know how he feels. That's me and my plants.

Every Sperm Is Sacred

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- October 2017

Once again, it's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. It's hard to believe that we are halfway through October already. Where does the time go? I still have so much I need and want to get done this fall, but I am rapidly running out of time.

Unfortunately, I started September by pulling my shoulder, and once the muscles finally stopped screaming, I realized I also had a pinched nerve, which left my right arm and neck in pain and my fingers tingling, which gets worse if I sit at the computer for any length of time. The doctor gave me a prescription NSAID, but the only real help for a pinched nerve is time. I have lots of pictures and posts in the pipeline, but really need to take it easy on the shoulder.

Something for you to look forward to over the winter!

This tall purple aster is the biggest and brightest thing in my garden right now

The pollinators, like this cutie-pie hoverfly, love it

I managed to follow him from one flower...

...To the next.

My overflowing pot ghetto has plenty of flowers in it too.

I bought two Mahonia 'Soft caress' at the Heronswood Sale.

Still unplanted pink flower whose name I can't remember

Three gallon pots of Agastache, bought at discount because they were past it, have rebloomed after being cut back severely

The tuberous Begonias are still flowering well. Now I just have to figure out how to overwinter them.

Hummingbird favorite Fuchsia magellanica


Chocolate Eupatorium (which isn't called Eupatorium any more, but I don't care)

Yellow Corydalis pops up everywhere, here it is amongst Geranium phaeum foliage

A little fall rebloom on native bleeding heart Dicentra formosa

Calamagrostis brachytricha

Golden Hakone grass beside the waterfall

Sheffield Pink Mums are just starting to open

This huge cluster of buds on Tetrapanax will never open before frost, but its flower look like every other Araliaceae family plant, clusters of white puffballs.

I moved almost all my tender plants off the front porch and into the greenhouse a couple of weeks ago. We've had some pretty cold nights lately, and I've even turned on the heater out there.

Begonia 'Little Brother Montgomery' flowers look like just about every other Begonia grown for its foliage


Pelargonium sidoides

'Old Lady' cactus looks very much like I might if I decided to wear flowers in my hair

That's most of what's blooming in my garden right now. I managed to finish this post without too much pain, so things might be looking up.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Check out her post here, and all the other posts by bloggers around the world celebrating their blooms.