Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Eckerdt Garden, a highly anticipated stop on the Salem Study Weekend Tour...

Last weekend marked a year since I toured the gardens of the Salem Hardy Plant Society Study Weekend. After this post I still have over a half dozen gardens to write about. And people wonder why I write 5 times a week...so much material to share!!!

I can't remember exactly why I knew this garden would be fabulous I must have heard about it somewhere?

The description does make the garden sound enticing but my interest was not based on it alone: "Deerly Missed is the 2+acre garden surrounding our 1891 home. The garden is 25-years old and like your own, is ever changing. This past year an infestation of lacebug caused us to remove over 80 rhododendrons; consequently, we are in the throes of hunting for new treasures to fill in the gaps. We have integrated art with plants throughout the garden. Also featured is a large pond and a small seasonal creek. The garden is on flat ground with easily accessible pathways. Most of our plants are labeled. You can view images of our garden at: www.deerlymissed.smugmug.com. The Eckerdt’s garden is frequently included on major garden tours: Deerly Missed is a plant-collector’s paradise."

Anyway, let's have a look around....

Hmm, variegated Aralia...

Much love...

Arisaema of some sort?

I think I may have shared photos of this trellis in a previous post. While I wouldn't copy it exactly I find it extremely inspiring.

I've heard Rhododendrons with indumentum and tomentum are less susceptible to lacebug infestation. Perhaps that's why this beauty was allowed to stick around.

Blechnum chilense, I believe this was the first time I really "saw" this plant. Now I have one in my garden.

Mahonia eurybracteata

I overheard a group of ladies talking about this Clematis before I laid eyes on it. Their conversation included statements like "rare"..."hard to find"..."nobody can keep it alive"..."so striking"...so of course when I rounded the corner and saw what they were talking about I was suitably impressed.

And knew I had to find one and try my luck.

I'm already on my second plant and not willing to give up.

I have to admit in my memory the plant was so much more "substantial"...I was surprised when I started editing these photos just how small it was.

This bit of border wall runs perpendicular to the bits shown in the first two images, such a great old wall.

That's the house visible over the trees.

The walled garden was so much fun to explore.

The poppies were absolutely covered in bees. I stared at them for quite sometime, not realizing someone had walked up near me and was watching me watch the bees. "You're not afraid" she said when I turned to acknowledge her.

I suppose if I were allergic to bee stings I might have been. But thankfully that's not an issue.

The walls around this section of the garden not only utilized brick but also laser cut metal.

All kinds of fabulous!

This couple was wonderful. I started to take a photo of the covered pathway and they hesitated to continue, not wanting to "ruin" my photo. I encouraged them to continue and asked if it was okay to shoot them. "He" hammed it up a bit pretending to discover some plant gem.

I fear most people didn't look up and notice they were being watched.

The path around the "pond" (which really seemed more like a small lake)...

Cornus sanguinea 'Compressa'

Eryngium some something

Poppy seed heads and Peony foliage (?)

Back at the front of the property and the "exit" gate. We saw the "entrance" gate at the top of this long post.

Just a few plant close-ups and then we're done...Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida'

Daphne x houtteana

And Daphne x burkwoodii 'Briggs Moonlight'... such a wonderful garden!

Weather Diary, June 26: Hi 78, Low 59 / Precip 0

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Potting up an Agave — a rant and a recommendation

I went a little crazy earlier this spring and bought three qty 2-gallon Agave utahensis v. eborispina. After thinking long on what I wanted to do with them it was finally time to put one in a container, and so I popped it out of its nursery can. Imagine my surprise when the soil fell away and I was left with a 4" root ball. Yes that plant on the right came from the same exact container that you see on the left.

This...

Became this...

And once I worked all the soil away from the base of the plant there was even less mass.

What's the story? I really want to imagine a scenario where the grower has the plant's best interest in mind. But honestly it seems less about that and more about potting up the plant so the price tag can be inflated. I bought two Agave bracteosa from the same (California) grower from a different (local) seller earlier this spring. They were in a 1-gallon can. Upon popping them out to plant I was shocked to end up with a root-bound mass that filled the top half of the can, and compacted soil of a different consistency filling the bottom half. Obviously neither one of these instances affected the health of the plant, but as the customer I couldn't help but feel I was paying for a inflated pot size. Not cool!

Okay, that was the rant. Now for the recommendation. Awhile back I wrote about a pair of pruners from Corona Tools, they were labeled as grape snips but I found them to be extremely useful for pruning out a dead or decaying Agave leaf growing in the middle of the plant, like this...

The curved blades of the grape snips were perfect for the Agave cutting task. Sadly snipping grapes and cutting out Agave leaves require vastly different tools and I quickly broke my originals. Amazon to the rescue! Andrew spotted these Sure Cut grape snips online and ordered them for my birthday, which isn't until next month but the package was accidentally opened the day it showed up (oops!)

I love the packaging

And the snips themselves are the real deal. I predict many happy years of use.

I highly recommend the purchase should you find yourself in need of a tool that can get in between good Agave leaves to remove the bad. It's a delicate job!

Weather Diary, June 25: Hi 101, Low 64/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.