Friday, February 24, 2017

Five Favorites for February (friday)

Yep, it's the last Friday of the month, which means favorites! Five of them, and no...I didn't plan it like that, alliteration be damned, it just happened that way.

First up is Phormium 'Yelow Wave' at least that's what I think it is. I've had it for years now and thinking it would be a short term garden resident I didn't bother to track exactly what it called itself. Pardon me? What was that you said? Something about  PKW?

Yes. This was most definitely a PKW (Phormium Killing Winter), there are Phormium all around town that are melting. However just like in the winter of 2013/14 (our last PKW) this one has survived! What's my secret? Well it's planted incredibly close to the foundation, on the west side of the house. Plus during that last PKW, I, on a whim, tossed a couple of old down pillows around its base, before wrapping up the foliage in silver insulating wrap and topping it with a burlap coffee bag. Since it worked last time I tried it again this time. Success! One of my few.

Oddly another of this month's favs is nestled at the feet of the Phormium, Arachnoides simplicior 'Variegata'...

Honestly I thought I'd featured this fern as a favorite just a couple of months ago, but looking for it I came up empty. Here's the remarkable thing about this plant. I did nothing, absolutely nothing, to protect it over the winter. It was covered in ice and snow and couldn't have cared less.

Didn't miss a beat! How amazing would this thing look in a normal winter? I can't begin to dream.

Naturally I did what any sane gardener would do, I recently purchased two more. Yep. And I talked a couple other people at the nursery that day into doing the same. They'll thank me later.

Now, because it's still winter and I'm really trying to avoid the garden, and all of it's deathly ugliness, let's look at the potted plants hunkered down in the basement. This Gasteria glomerata — a gift from Mr. Hogan — is amazing me with all the growth it's put on over the winter.

He gifted it to me last July when it was in fabulous orange bloom. I wish I could find a photo, I know I took a couple. Click here and you can see photos others have taken. What I'm really loving about this guy is it's multiplication. What was just a couple of babies has become many...

And more! It will be a Gasteria mound soon, I can't wait!

Next up, Passiflora 'Purple Tiger' This photo, one of those last minute snaps of heaven, was taken on December 6th, before winter happened. Honestly I was a little perturbed that those buds hadn't managed to open. What's the point of a Passiflora with no flora?

Because I do love the foliage I took a handful of cuttings, before the freeze, and stuck them in water.

Whadda ya know? Looks like there will be another chance to see those amazing flowers.

Finally, many of you have, no doubt, followed along with my past digging to overwinter Passiflora 'Sunburst'. I seriously had no intention of doing it again this winter. Yet when the time came I was out there with a trowel and dug up the base of the plant and stuffed it in a pot. Not much care taken. All the leaves withered and fell and I thought our relationship was over. But now there is this...

And maybe that means there will be more of these...

Ain't gardening fun? What plants are you feeling good about as February draws to a close?

Weather Diary, February 23: Hi 44, Low 33/ Precip trace

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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

See you in DC?

As I write this the Northwest Flower & Garden Show is just a week away. I can't wait! Oh sure, I'll probably roll my eyes at a few of the display gardens, and no doubt I'll complain about the lack of actual plant vendors...but those small gripes aren't enough to dampen my enthusiasm. What I'm most excited about is seeing my people again. My PNW garden blogger friends, garden writer friends from around the U.S., and frankly even the strangers...the folks who show up at the show itching for spring, other gardeners.

Looking out beyond the show my calendar is dotted with special dates, ones that might as well have a big green heart on them. Next up is Hortlandia, the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon's big spring plant sale (April 15 and 16). The EXPO Center filled with specialty nurseries from around the PNW, and people in town to shop, buy plants, and see friends. It's a party!

Then comes the biggest reunion of them all, the annual Garden Blogger's Fling, this year held in the Capitol Region (Maryland, DC and Virginia - June 22-25). I realize when I say "reunion" it sounds rather exclusive, like if you haven't been to a previous Fling then you're not welcome. Ha! Nothing could be further from the truth. The Fling is open to all garden bloggers with an active blog, and the warm welcome new faces receive should have them feeling right at home in no time at all.
Fling attendees relaxed and enjoying a catered dinner at Bella Madrona, the last stop on the 2014 Portland Garden Bloggers Fling. Oh and that lady in the middle front, with the orange scarf? That's TL, the lead organizer for this year's Fling!
I missed last year's event, and as a result I'm extra excited for this year's. If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I've recently posted several photos from previous Flings. The gardens I've visited in the Fling host cities really stick with me, and I find myself pulling those posts up ever so often for inspiration. In addition to co-hosting the Fling right here in Portland in 2014, I've "Flung" in a climate very similar to mine (Seattle, WA) one I dream of gardening in (San Francisco, CA) and one colder than mine (Toronto, Canada). With the extreme winter we endured here in Portland this year I'm actually quite thrilled to be visiting gardens in another colder region (winter cold mind you...I am well aware of their summer heat and humidity), maybe there's a whole new group of cold-hardy plants waiting for me to discover them!
A big take away for me from the Toronto Fling were the Ligularia, virtually every garden grew it least one beautiful patch!
So, why all this reminiscing? Because there are still a few spots left to fill for the upcoming Fling and I want to encourage anyone who might be considering it to take the plunge and do it! You won't be disappointed.
The Matt Gil Sculpture Garden, one of my favorite stops on the 2013 SF Garden Bloggers Fling.
Here's what to expect...

It's like a cruise, only better. After you register, book your hotel (Hyatt Regency Reston is the offical hotel, with special rates for us!) and get yourself to DC then your work is over. Luxury coaches (some might call them buses) show up in front of the hotel each morning and whisk us away for a day of garden touring.

We tour public and private gardens, and lunch is provided. After your eyes (and camera) are exhausted from looking at beautiful plants and gardens, the coaches will take us back to the hotel where (depending on the specific itinerary) you'll either be free to enjoy dinner with friends, or there might be another Fling event later that evening.

You'll also get some fabulous (free) swag, meet people who's blogs you've been reading for years — as well as learn about new-to-you blogs. Curious about who else is attending? Here's a list of those who've registered thus far. Have I convinced you? Well then get to registering (here) because there are less than a dozen spots left!

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday Vignette, when you least expect it...

This was too good to let get buried in the full post on her garden (here)...

Weather Diary, February 21: Hi 48, Low 36/ Precip .52 — which brings our monthly total to 10.04" and thus the wettest February on record in Portland. Average for the month is 3".

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Prehistoric Gardens

Browsing an antique shop with my parents I happened to catch sight of this brochure and of course I picked it up, wouldn't you?

And once I saw that it was for a "garden" in Oregon, well I had to buy it. Here's the front and back unfolded to show the Tyrannosaurus.

Reading through the pamphlet I couldn't really get a good sense of when it was printed. It certainly exudes a certain sense of pride..."There have been, of course, other reconstructions of dinosaurs in the world, such as those at Rapid City, South Dakota and Calgary, Canada, but the PREHISTORIC GARDENS is the only place where they are presented in their natural setting so that the visitor may see them just as they appeared when alive; for here in the rain forests of the Southern Oregon Coast can be found the type of ground cover that grew during the age of dinosaurs, particularly the many types of ferns that grow so profusely in this area, and it is this primitive ground cover that makes it literally a prehistoric garden."

Under the subheading Plant Life Of The Area..."Another type of living fossil found in this area is the Horsetail or Scouring Rush (Equisetum) which is another spore-bearing plant related to the Calamites of the Carboniferous era. Neither the ferns nor the Horsetail Rushes ever "learned" to grow seeds but spread from microscopic spores that are carried by the wind, just as their ancestors did over 250 million years ago; and although they are the most primitive of plans they must also be considered to be one the most successful." And in case you were concerned there is "Adequate parking for the convenience of motorists"...

The drawings are charming.

And a map! In case you're thinking about visiting yes, The Prehistoric Gardens has a website, and they claim to be "A Famous Roadside Attraction along Oregon’s Highway 101 Coastal Route since 1955." Be sure to let me know if you visit!

Weather Diary, February 20: Hi 50, Low 40/ Precip .81

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

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fallen Schefflera leaves, almost in a Vase on Monday

I'm feeling a little disconnected from my garden. I thought about making a new vase, for Monday, but then couldn't think of a single thing I was excited to work with. Going out and searching for something to cut just sounded like an exercise in frustration and sadness. As I mentioned last week there are many things that lost their battle with our extreme winter and are just now starting to show the signs.

Resigned that I wouldn't be participating this week, I went out to take care of something unrelated and noticed a broken Schefflrea leaf, and another, and of course I picked them up.

Walking back into the house I was thinking about this Fatshedera leaf that's been in a vase since last summer.

I finally pulled it out one day and was surprised to find roots. Roots growing out of the leaf axil (yikes, I hope I'm using the right know, that "collar" where the leaf attaches to the stem?). I wonder if I might get one of the Schefflera leaves to do the same?

My leaf bounty...

I think most of these fell because of the ice, or a combination of the wind and ice. The plants themselves look fine. This one is Schefflera taiwaniana...

Schefflera brevipedunculata

And another S. brevipedunculata, these are always a combination of larger upper leaves with a secondary row at the bottom, the numbers in each position are highly variable.

Schefflera delavayi

I admired them all laid out on the floor and knew putting them in a vase would cause them to become a jumble of green. Impossible to appreciate their unique, yet similar, shapes. Ah...what if the vase joined them on the floor?

I went looking and couldn't believe I still had this metal "vase"...

It hails from my retail days, a purchase from a shop I worked at years ago. Once loved, it became relegated to a storage shelf in the basement. Andrew thought it hideous, and yet I wasn't ready to give it up. Oh the compromises we make when cohabitation occurs!

I did eventually put these all in another vase, with water. The possibility of roots (and a new baby Schefflera?) was just to intriguing to pass up.

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Click on over to enjoy the creations of other bloggers more inspired than I...

Weather Diary, February 19: Hi 51, Low 40/ Precip .28

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

Friday, February 17, 2017

Visiting her Piece of Eden

Once I'd committed to accompanying Andrew on his work trip to Los Angeles then my brain started working overtime...what else could I see!? Hmmm...maybe I could visit Hoov's garden, you know...Piece of Eden? It's kind of nervy to just contact someone out of the blue and ask to stop by, but heck, I'd done it before and it worked out wonderfully (here, here and here...just to name three), so I did it again, and thankfully she was up for it. Further scheming ensued and it was planned that Denise and Kris would join us and it would be an official Blogger Meet-up! Sadly Denise wasn't able to make it after all, but Kris was there, yes it's true...I got to meet the elusive Kris behind Late to the Garden Party!

So to the garden. Wow. It's as impressive as you think it might be, and even more. Settle in kids — this is gonna be a long one...

One of the benefits of visiting a garden you know only from it's online depiction, is that you finally get to see, and understand, how it all fits together. I could not for the life of me figure out how this garden was laid out. Now I know! I tried to take a few photos that would help you all to understand too, but who knows if I succeeded. To take this photo I was standing at the extreme west of the property, looking (roughly) east.

We know this area, to the left of the driveway, as one of the recent project areas, Fall Project 2015 to be exact. That Dymondia margaretae carpet is even better in person. So lush and flat, perfection really. Well, and speaking of perfection, the Aloe 'Hercules' is just that.

Grevillea 'Superb', I believe...

Agave gypsophila 'Ivory Curls' (swoon!)...

Unknown Aloe (blooming even!) Aloe 'Roikoppie' with a super sexy Agave desmettiana 'Joe Hoak', at the street's edge.

Echeveria subrigida (I think)...isn't it just drop-dead beautiful?

I'm no good at simplifying things. I wanted to take a close up of every single one of these plants and share them with you. It took amazing restraint to only post 61 (you've been warned) images!

Kalanchoe orgyalis

Truth be told the next two images confuse me. I'm not sure if we're still on the left of the driveway or on the right. Sorry...

Agave 'Sun Glow' (!!!)...

Okay now I know we're to the right of the driveway and looking at the famous front slope, which has since became known as Winter Project 2017, or at least part of it has. I believe that big green number is Leucospermum 'High Gold' Leucospermum 'Yellow Bird'. The Agave at the rear is A. ovatifolia.

Leucospermum buds.

Aloe erinacea

On the left Agave titanota and the silvery, cloudy, mass is Leucophylum 'Thunder Cloud'. Behind it are Leucadendron linifolium and Calothamnus villosus, or rather were. If you follow Piece of Eden then you know they've been removed.

You've got to admire a gardener who decides it's time to move on, and just does it. Right?


If you're a follow of POE you also know this little creature has already broke free and flown away.

That's the mama plant of the small growing Agave titanota that I scored a pup of.

*sigh*...the beautiful slope we all know so well.

Multiple Agave lopantha 'Quadricolor', Agave Parryi, Yucca 'Bright Star' and a blooming Aloe to back them all up (Aloe cameronii).

Can you even imagine having these as a "ground-cover" in your garden? Id be in heaven...

Not to mention multiple Yucca 'Bright Star' with no blemishes.

I could get lost for hours just staring at this plant.

I believe that big guy is the one Hoov refers to as the "Proven Winners version of Agave marmorata."

Bloomed out Dasylirion flower stalk? (help me Hoov, I'm blanking on this one) *update* yes, Dasylirion longissimum.

Be still my heart! Agave 'Blue Glow' at the back, a super twisty brown glochid covered opuntia (Opuntia microdasys montrose?), and Drimia maritima (Giant White Squill) as seen through a pair of Agave desmettiana 'Joe Hoak'.

We're now at the end of Hoov's front slope and at the place here her property abuts the neighbors, at a rather drastic drop of too, I might add. That's Aloe vanbalenii, I believe.

I got kind of hung up here snapping photos, because there were just so many fabulous plants!

Hoov and Kris ventured a little further back along the edge of the property.

Sweet varigated Aloe, whose name I do not know. (*update it's Variegated Aloe noblis*)

Agave guiengola

And a couple of spotless Agave parryi.

One last look at the front slope...

As we head back around to the front of the house and the area behind the wall. Note the roses have been cut back, ready for their new growth. I'm sure this scene looks completely different when they're all leafed out.

Echeveria 'Ruby Slippers'

Seriously! (wow)

Echeveria 'Imbricata' (maybe?)

A little bird's nest which was allowed to stay in place as the roses were cut back.

I'd forgotten about the little nooks on each side of the front door, but when I caught sight of them out of the corner of my eye I had to go check them out. Even better in person!

Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' (?)

Oh the Koi! We've now walked all the way around the front of the house and up the east side. This area is right off the house and visible through huge windows, all the better for keeping an eye on these little personalities.

Food tossed their way kept them interested in us.

These two! Earlier in our visit I got to share some treats with Boris and Natasha (I snuck a few of Lila's favorites in my suitcase when she wasn't looking...what she doesn't know won't hurt her!) and give them a little love, up close and personal. I stupidly wasn't thinking about my camera then, so this is the best photo you get. So sad. They were so soft, and very well behaved.

Bismarckia nobilis

Is't this Aeonium amazing?

Yay! It wouldn't have been a proper Piece of Eden visit without getting to see, and smell, at least one rose.

Agave attenuata, variegated and flawless.

I don't remember the name of this little cactus...but really, the most important thing is how well the plant and pot were matched!

Part of the potted plant collection next to the Koi "pond" (my pictures have gotten a little disorganized here, we are still on the east side of the house).

I have admired and coveted this hanging vase. I'm so glad I got to see it during my visit.

Okay, now we're behind the home, the side opposite the street. We're in a raised area that borders the hardscape in front of the garage (too big to call a driveway, you can see just a small bit of it)...

This row of blooming Agave desmetiana borders the west side of the property, across from the garage.

Extreme variegation! One of the pups from a first A. desmetiana to bloom (the ones above are it's siblings...if I've got that right).

Beautiful variegation with enough green that growth isn't too stunted.

Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream' (I believe)

So beautiful!

Protea some something 'Pink Ice'...(Yes, I am overwhelmed by the beautiful plant possibilities).

Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass', with orange friend tucked away for a snack later.

Agave x pumila

And finally, Phylica pubescens with a backer of Leucadendron 'Ebony'.

Thank you Hoov for letting me crash your gorgeous garden! Thank you Kris for making the journey so we could meet up. It was an amazing day, I enjoyed every minute of it. This (and many other visits like it) is part of what makes garden blogging so rewarding. I am a lucky lady.

Weather Diary, February 16: Hi 49, Low 41/ Precip 1.82"

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