Friday, September 22, 2017

GBFling 2017 — The Smithsonian Gardens: the end

I didn't take enough photos of the landscape at the National Museum of the American Indian or the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden to warrant their own posts, so they'll be sharing my final coverage of the Smithsonian Gardens on the National Mall — as seen during the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling.

First up the gardens surrounding the National Museum of the American Indian...


The building itself was a beauty.

Sumac and sculpture...

"We Were Always Here" by Oregon's Rick Bartow.

Yucca rostrata and friends, including a couple of Agaves.

To be admired from afar though, as there was no way to actually get out in that space, even from inside the museum (had I opened the door an alarm would sound).

It certainly looks like you're supposed to be able to get out there and lounge though, doesn't it?

Moving on....there was a large swampy pond with cattails and aquatic plants. Had I not been overheated (so humid), and tired, I would have been better about recording names. Instead I just snapped a few photos.

I wonder if mosquitoes are a problem?

Now over to the sculpture garden. This piece "Sphere No. 6" by Arnaldo Pomodoro was my favorite.

"Arnaldo Pomodoro says that the inner ball represents the Earth and outer ball represents Christianity. The design of the internal layers which look like the gears or cogwheels of a complex machine symbolizes the fragility and complexity of the world." (source)

The placement, on the small cement pedestal, in the middle of bed of Liriope (?) was simple perfection.

There was more...

And plants too of course!

This piece cracks me up. Andrew and I recently saw a short documentary on the lady behind this work, Yayoi Kusama.

She's interesting. Here's a piece on her show at the Seattle Art Museum (organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution), if you're curious.

But this is a gardening blog...so let's look at a few plants!

Nicely done succulent mash-up.

Repetition baby!

Cordyline fruticosa 'Singapore Twist'...love their use of exotics!

I still have the The U.S. Botanic Garden to visit before my coverage of the gardens on The Mall is complete...

Weather Diary, Sept 21: Hi 63, Low 48/ Precip .02"

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I fear I'm gonna regret this...

There's a thin green line between lush, and overgrown. I try to stay right on that line, employing a few judicious cuts whenever overgrown seems to be taking hold. Sometime earlier this month (or maybe even last month) my calendar denial gene kicked in and I stopped cutting. Let the crazy garden take over! After all autumn (and then winter) is coming...

The Clematis tibetana var. vernayi has gone a little mad this season and jumped from its trellis to the surrounding plants...

It's hard to tell the Metapanax delavayi leaves from the Clematis leaves. Of course the Clematis will die back in the winter, leaving ugly stems I'll have to carefully remove from the evergreen Metapanax. Lazy in August means more work in October.

It's also trying to stage a take over of the Schefflera delavayi...

The view from our bedroom window is a glorious foliage mash-up.

With a few small Clematis blooms starting to appear.

Over on the right side of the path a bit of Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) that hitchhiked to this garden from my last (in Spokane) is taking advantage of the sun (and space) that appeared with the passing of my Grevillea victoriae 'Murray Queen'.

It loves climbing the Callistemon viridiflorus...

It too is going to have to be cut back, eventually.

Probably sooner than later judging by how happy it is.

Until then I'm enjoying the decadence...

Weather Diary, Sept 20: Hi 61, Low 49/ Precip 1.20"

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Vignettes, summer redemption

A trio of Agave vignettes to illustrate just how redemptive a hot summer can be.

When I visited Blooming Junction Nursery last April I quickly filed report on the Agave destruction (here). While it was sad to see, I was still thrilled they'd pushed the envelope and experimented. How else do we learn?

While most of the mushy Agaves had been already pulled when I visited that April day they'd left the A. ovatifolia in place, and amazingly they've all grown out of it — with lots of glorious healthy new foliage. These photos were taken last Saturday, September 16th, and the smoke from our wildfires had returned, hence the hazy air and off coloration.

Agave ovatifolia, for the win!

Weather Diary, Sept 19: Hi 65, Low 51/ Precip .39"

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Bean Acres is the place to be...

I'm afraid my friend Evan Bean (The Practical Plant Geek) is gonna kill me over that title, however once I thought of it I couldn't not use it — and I smile every time I read it!! Of course the alternative is that he'll claim to not get the reference, but seriously...

Anyway, couple weeks ago Evan held an open garden for his blogging and gardening friends. Evan gardens on family land just north of Portland, near Castle Rock, WA, aka "the gateway to Mt. St. Helens." His garden is quite large by urban standards, about 2.5 acres of gardenable land inside the deer fence. The size and the location ("out in the country") had me a little worried about how it would resonate with me personally. Sometimes gardens on large, rural, parcels of land suffer from too much space — the empty space can be overwhelming and so the gardener spaces everything waaay out, in an attempt to fill it up. Thankfully Evan seems to like his plants touching. Exhibit A...

How beautiful is this? I've never seen Euphorbia Blackbird grown so well.

The rest of this island planting is just as lovely...

Seseli libanotis, aka moon carrot.

This raised, circular planting was originally completed as a senior project in high school. In the years that followed Evan has lived in many places around the country, and done time at well known public gardens and nurseries. He's since moved home and had the opportunity to rework the original (see some early drawings on his blog, here).

Isn't this just the perfect place for Stipa gigantea?

Up against the house is a seed grown Melianthus villosus (I know this because I am lucky enough to have one of my own, a gift from Evan).

And now moving out to the shady planting area to the left, as you turn down the driveway.

I'm insanely jealous of these glossy Farfugium leaves. Evan picked up a handful of plants recently on clearance at a great price.

Now crossing the drive we're starting into the meaty part of the garden, which due to its size — and the fabulous plants within — felt a little like a botanical garden. I believe that fabulous twisty grass is Carex comans.

I think this is Clethra barbinervis, but don't quote me on that.

Rubus lineatus, which I adore and used to grow...until suddenly I didn't any longer.

And my new Magnolia obsession, M. obovata M. globosa (thanks for the correction Evan, the warning still stands though). Big leaves, fuzzy buds, and flowers like that of M. sieboldii. Evan if this plant disappears someday it was probably the deer. Yep, the deer... someone must have left the gate open...

Athyrium some something (love this fern)

And a gorgeous Woodwardia unigemmata...

Next to it is a petite bamboo that I instantly recognized, or at least I thought I did. I thought it was Sasa tsuboiana, which would have been a pass along from Alan in the St. Louis area — who blogs at It's Not Work It's Gardening — to me, to Anna (Flutter & Hum), to Evan. That would have been a well traveled plant! Instead it's Sasa veitchii forma minor, from Anna.

Also from Anna (who kindly gave me some years ago, but mine is now dead), Iris confusa.

Such stunning foliage.

This beauty is a Rhododendron, cut back (you can see the older branches) and putting out new foliage.

Mahonia eurybracteata 'Indianola Silver'

Every once and awhile I remembered to look up and take in the big picture...

But then of course was drawn right back down to marvel at the individual plants.

Mahonia confusa (?)

I may need to add an Alstroemeria or two.

I think Evan said his Tetrapanax are completing their second year in the ground? I love my tall plants but there's something very special about being able to look down at the leaves too.

Gentiana asclepiadea

Apart I'm not fond of either of these leaves, but together I really like them.

Calceolaria arachnoidea

Close-up

Oh ya! I was happy to see Araucaria araucana, aka monkey puzzle tree. Another cool tree I wish I had space for.

Evan is not a fan of spiky plants, but thankfully he's included two Agave bracteosa — the kind and gentle Agave —  in the garden.

And a spineless Opuntia as well!

Being a genius at propagation Even brought a dozen or so of these seed-grown Lupinus sericatus to our last Blogger's plant swap, I came home with three. Two are dead and one is struggling. I am not allowed to try this plant again.

I was mildly infatuated with the dry stream bed and path around the house. Odd, because I usually don't like elements like this — it was done really well...

Heading around the opposite side of the house I spied a deck with what must be houseplants summering outside.

This tree-ferny thing caught my eye very quick like.

What a beauty!

And on a second pass, back at the beginning of the garden, Comptonia peregrina

Another pass-along plant I've received from Evan. I hope mine is this fabulous someday.

A different view of the "stream-bed"...

Grevillea x gaudichaudii

Kniphofia caulescens

If you'd like to see more, Evan just did a comprehensive look at the garden over on his blog — complete with lots of "before and after" shots — see that here. Thanks for opening your garden to us all Evan, I am in awe of the plants and the artful way you've put them together, and in such a huge space! It all felt very cohesive and welcoming.



Weather Diary, Sept 18: Hi 61, Low 53/ Precip .5"

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