Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chillin on a 92 degree day

I am a firm believer in not working on your birthday. Everyone deserves to spend the day relaxing and doing whatever you want to do. Somehow I managed to stretch this year’s birthday into a 2½ week event, starting with plant shopping at Cistus July 7th and wrapping up Monday, my actual birthday. I enjoyed the day relaxing on the patio and in the garden, with a little shopping thrown in, just because I could.

The Manfreda maculosa from the Cistus trip started blooming Monday, so that was an extra birthday surprise! That’s it above and below. It smells like a tuberose, wonderful! The blooms open white/green and then changes to a pink tone. After looking at the picture of the gorgeous Cotinus in my post on the Sunday Parkways event, I decided it was time to purchase one of these plants; I have been coveting several at Garden Fever. So I schemed a bit and formulated a plan that emptied a large sturdy pot, it would be perfectly happy there for awhile, until I came up with a better place for it. Off to Garden Fever…

Naturally since I was ready to buy, they didn’t have a single Cotinus left. What to do? I've got an empty pot at home just begging for a plant!

I’ve been drawn to the Chocolate Albizia since I first saw them, and they have several fine specimens, but at $79 I managed to walk away (but I can still hear it calling out to me…).

Nest maker’s post that morning on her Sambucus was fresh in my mind and Garden Fever had a beautiful Black Lace Elderberry Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’ for under $25. Uhm….that will do nicely!

I love the black against the chartreuse foliage of the Northern Sea Oats, Chasmanthium latifolium, and the bright green of the Japanese Forest Grass, Hakonechloa.
While I was there I also picked up a pot for my Datura (from the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon sale last spring). Planted where it was it had become lost, buried by its big leaf neighbors. I needed to pull it out and give it a chance to thrive; before it’s too late (I grow it as an annual here in Portland).
The Leptinella squalida 'Platt's Black' makes a nice base for the green plant in the green pot, something to tie-in the spots on the pot and break up the sea of green.
Ok – shopping and planting done, time to pour a glass of wine and get back to the chillin on the patio with my plant friends!


  1. I'm a big believer in stretching out your birthday celebration and it sounds as though you did it in perfect style. Cool stamens on the Manfreda maculosa! That's a lovely sambucus and nicely located with its backdrop partners. Will you get those amazing flowers on your datura growing it as an annual?

    Maybe you need to stretch your birthday out a little bit longer - at least long enought to locate that cotinus.

  2. I've been thinking that I need one of those black sambacus shrubs as well. It's been hot here in Spokane, upper 90's. Thank goodness for AC.

  3. Hey, happy birthday, glad you have a good (long) one! Really love what you do with containers, I wish I would learn how to deal with them. Seems like it's a special skill - where to get the pots (and find cool ones that aren't too spendy), what soil to use, how to water and fertilize properly with each plant, when to repot, how to deal with winter... see how much you know?! I have been coveting a sambucus nigra since I saw one this spring, I'm glad you got one and it looks great!

  4. The plants in the last photos look so beautiful together. A little red here and there... leaves are in different shapes... different shades of green. Excellent combination!

    Happy Birthday to you!

  5. I like the way you think Jane! (about the cotinus)...good call! Last year I had an amazing wealth of Datura flowers, although I started the plant in a pot and didn't allow it to get shaded by its neighbors. I swear I can see the beginnings of buds on this one so I have hope. Of course I couldn't have picked a worse time to transplant it...on a hot day in the midst of a heat wave. It's going through a little shock and I'm babying it along keeping my fingers crossed.

    Hey VW, I was in Spokane last weekend visiting family, it was HOT...thank goodness my parents have AC. Of course we spent most of the time outside so it didn't really help, other than for sleeping. You do need one of those black Sambacus!

    Karen, thank you! You know how to make a girl feel good. Really though I think you give me more credit than I deserve. For example it seems that a 92 degree day wasn't the smartest time to buy and pot a Sambacus, it's wilting and not responding to water. I'm hoping it will pull through but with all these 100 degree days looming in our future I wonder.

    Stephanie, thank you! Those plants were making me so happy just staring at them, and the way the light was hitting them, I had to share.

  6. Happy Birthday !
    Love the combo of the sambucus, sea oats and the variegated J-grass.
    Will have to try that one !


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