Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Wednesday Vignette; wooden ranunculus

Andrew came back from a recent walk and handed me these wooden ranunculus blooms.

Well, that's what they look like, right? He warned me they were on the verge of falling apart, another he picked up disintegrated in his hands.

A little online sleuthing and I discovered they're the top portion of cedar cones.

Turning them over I see it. Pretty cool aren't they?

Weather Diary, June 2: Hi 79, Low 50/ Precip 0

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Tragedy on Ainsworth...

That was the title of an email I received from a friend over the weekend, "Tragedy on Ainsworth." Of course with the state of the world right now I had no idea exactly what he was referring to, it could have been any number of things. As it was the email arrived after the first night of local protests—one that started in a park on Ainsworth—it wasn't directly tied to what my friend was alerting me too however. As with most things I write about here the email was plant related, not people related.

I've been struggling with what (if anything, this is only a garden blog after all) to write about the horrific police brutality that killed another black human being, and the resulting protests and violence. There are so many layers I am trying to work through and understand. I guess this is what I will share for now:

First...if you are an American citizen please vote. Come November, we need to get rid of the ignorant, hate and violence spurring fool that currently occupies the highest office in the land.

Second... read this: How Long…A Grandmother’s Nightmare written by Teresa Speight, a fellow garden blogger who I first met during the WA DC area Fling in 2017 (her blog is Cottage in the Court).

Third... plan to listen to Jennifer Jewell interview Jamaica Kincaid as a guest on her Cultivating Place podcast on July 2nd. The photo you see below is Jamaica Kincaid's biography photo, taken in 2019 for “The Earth in Her Hands.” The words on her shirt a testament to the brutal death of Eric Garner in 2014.

Okay, now I will resume talk of the plant tragedy on Ainsworth...

The incident was a cholla tragedy, captured in this photo...

Here's what this same plant looked like last June...

And now...

Then, again...
The base had gotten quite woody.

Prior to it's "reduction" this had to have been one of the most impressive cholla in Portland.

The tips of the piece that remains has new growth, so the plant is still happy.

I got in touch with another friend whom I thought might know the back story. It turns out someone pushed it over—plant vandalism—and in order to get it back up, straight, the owner had to heavily trim it—very heavily trim it. Can you imagine how much that thing must have weighed?

I was glad to see the opuntia were still looking magical.

Even starting to bloom.

Those spikes are so good...

Please love your fellow humans like you love your plants.

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Weather Diary, June 1: Hi 79, Low 49/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, June 1, 2020

The Earth in Her Hands; 75 Extraordinary Woman Working in the World of Plants (you'll want to read this)

It's a sad thing that it's taken me so long to write about the outstanding book, The Earth in Her Hands, written by my friend Jennifer Jewell.

Back on January 26th—which honestly feels like another lifetime—Jennifer spoke to the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon about her book. To say her talk was inspiring is an understatement. The audience was in awe. There were times I had both goosebumps and tears in my eyes, and I wasn't the only one.

The book wasn't officially released until March 3rd, kicking-off of Woman's History Month but the HPSO managed to have books available for purchase at the talk—signed by Jennifer in person—you should have seen the line!

Here Jennifer is with Portland's Françoise Weeks, one of the talented woman profiled in the book. These black and white photos were taken by Laura Heldreth, who generously shared them with me for this blog post (and who is another amazing woman working in the world of plants).

Jennifer's talk for the HPSO was just the beginning, she was then off on a coast to coast publicity tour for the book, I met up with her her again in Seattle, at the end of February, at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival. Here she is on stage, moderating a panel discussion "Women at Work: Making a Living While Following Your Plant Passion" between (left to right) Lorene Edwards ForkerChristin Geall, and Debra Prinzing.

But then everything stopped.

Can you imagine? Riding high, out talking with people about your absolutely glorious book. A project that took a big chunk of your life to write, and edit, and then BAM! A pandemic hits. Go home. Stop talking. Put everything thing on hold.

Can you imagine? Of course you can. we're all living it to some degree. But the thing is...Jennifer is still talking! On her podcast, Cultivating Place. Which I faithfully listen to if not weekly then I binge on monthly. And her book is out there, for you to buy and read, and I really recommend that you do...

Seventy-five woman and their stories. Some you will know, some you will not. But reading about each of them and their approach to the world of plants—their knowledge and experience and dreams— will inspire you. There are artists, florists, entrepreneurs, photographers, botanists, and on and on...

Two other bloggers I know wrote marvelous reviews of The Earth in Her Hands. Blog posts I think you'll also want to read. First Pam Penick of Digging: Read This: The Earth in Her Hands and then Matt Mattus wrote: Book Giveaway - Jennifer Jewell's 'The Earth is in Her Hands' (Matt got the title wrong, but still wrote a great review).

One other thing I must say about this book, you don't have to read it exclusively to feel the power. I love a book that you can read in short bursts, or while you're reading something else, and not feel like you're giving anything up. One night you can read about the amazing Leslie Bennett, the next night, talented Janet Sluis of the Sunset Western Garden Collection. Then you get busy and don't pick up the book for a couple of days but turn to the chapter on Australian garden photographer Claire Takacs... no problem, you'll be pulled right back in again.

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Weather Diary, May 31: Hi 66, Low 53/ Precip 0 (which was very welcome after .31" on Sat)

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Visiting McMenamins Anderson School (Part Two)

Yesterday I started a tour of McMenamins Anderson School up in Bothell, WA, but I got all caught up in the—completely amazing—desert garden and didn't venture any further. Today we'll see the rest of the garden, or at least the parts I stopped to photograph...

Look at that mangave color!

Definitely a Eucomis, maybe E. pole-evansii (?)

Crocosmia on fire!

In my experience loquats, Eriobotrya japonica, are still pretty rare up in the Seattle area, hopefully plantings like this will help to change that.

Heading into the meadow garden...

I loved this indication that a hotel guest was out enjoying the garden.

No tidying up! Magical seed heads left to be enjoyed.


OMG....I was transported back to a 2013 visit to Celestial Dream Gardens where I fell head over heels for this plant, Microcachrys tetragona. I tried it twice (purchased from The Desert Northwest) and it died both times. Here it is looking lush and beautiful (and yes, memory triggered I immediately started a search for places to buy this plant and try it a third time)...

Moving on to the edible garden, which does supply some food for the hotel restaurants.

Symphytum × uplandicum 'Axminster Gold'

Fatsia japonica 'Variegata'

Pseudopanax ferox

The much desired variegated daphniphyllum.


Just a regular old hotel right? Nope. What a paradise this is.

Eryngium giganteum is a gardeners paradise...thank you Riz for the time you generously spent with me talking about this amazing garden you've helped to create and maintain...

Weather Diary, May 28: Hi 91, Low 56/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.