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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

What I Stuck In Mickey's Shorts

Last year when we went to Disney World, I bought a couple of footed, EPCOT themed mugs to plant cactus in. I saw Mickey mugs that were basically the lower half of Mickey, just his shorts and legs and one arm, but thought that might be a lot to try to get back home in our luggage. So, this January, while we were at Disneyland I bought a couple of Mickey and Minnie mugs to plant in.

I've been to Watson's and Windmill nurseries looking for a couple of succulents to plant in them. Here's what I came up with.

I actually bought this blue cactus from the Dig Nursery booth at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

I don't know for sure but I think the blue cactus is some kind of Pilocereus.

Minnie got a Madagascar Palm aka Pachypodium -- I thought her top ring of leaves looked kind of like hair

They're living for now in the upstairs guest bathroom. There's no room out in the greenhouse.

The blue cactus was planted kind of low in the pot, I thought, so I planted it up a bit higher. I hope that works out, even if it does look a bit gross. I was afraid of it rotting, planted so low.

The top of the cactus also looks kind of hairy

Minnie is prickly too

Through a series of mishaps and miscommunication we actually ended up with a second set of Mickey and Minnie Mouse mugs (for free, courtesy of The Walt Disney Corp.) So I planted them up too.

Mickey and Minnie II

The tag on this just said "Cactus." I like the striations on it.

This is Aloe imalotensis. It has some nice stress coloring on it.

They keep me company behind the kitchen sink.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Vignettes

There's a mutant in my garden.

Not my living room, but there is a plant in the background.

No, it's not Logan/Wolverine. I wish. Wouldn't it be nice to have that lovely hunk of muscled mutant manliness in your garden? I bet he can wield a mean shovel.

It's several fasciated branches on my Forsythia 'Fiesta.'

Fasciation is a relatively rare condition of abnormal growth in plants that results in flattened, ribbonlike, crested or elaborately distorted stems. It has several causes besides genetic mutation, it can also be caused by bacterial, fungal or viral infection. Apparently Forsythia is particularly prone to it.

Fasciation -- like fascination without the "N."

Total weirdness

Kind of looks like a gaping mouth with green teeth

What's with the purple color?

I've had these fasciated branches on my Forsythia 'Fiesta' for a few years now. I haven't known what to do with them. I vacillate between being intrigued and then repelled by them but don't really want to prune them off.

What would you do with them? For the most part the shrub looks normal. The fasciated branches are hidden at the back, and once the whole thing leafs out, it's not all that noticeable. It's kind of cool to have a freak of nature growing in my garden.

Keeping the weirdness hidden -- I know a few people like that. I might be one of them.

I could cope with having this mutant in my garden too. I bet he's a barrel of laughs.

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

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.