Monday, March 1, 2010

Walking around the neighborhood

This is the time of year when walking the dog is a treat, not a chore (during the winter rains it’s definitely a chore). Every day brings something new and exciting. I love watching our neighbor’s Magnolia unfold. It’s simply gorgeous.And fuzzy!
The same neighbor has a huge old clump of Kniphofia in her parking strip, it had become a little ragged and a few weeks back she chopped it off about 8” above the ground. Doing so revealed the circle that the plants had formed; the original plant must have occupied the center? I want an established old clump of Kniphofia just like this!
Different neighbor, pruned shrubs. I remember walking past her house late last summer? right after the hack job had been done. She was distressed and I tried to assure her that they would grow back. Sort of.
This neighbor has me infected with a serious case of Manzanita envy. As a result I am on the Manzanita “call when in” list at Garden Fever. Evergreen, manageable size, amazing bark…what’s not to love?
The same neighbor also has a Ceanothus. I’ve been watching it through the seasons making sure I like it before I commit. I was staring at it for a good 3 minutes before I actually saw this nest.
This is my Flower Power neighbor. She’s always changing things up and always has hundreds of flowers in her garden. Do you suppose she intentionally chose Husky (Univ of Washington) colors? I’ll have to ask. And was the one red Anemone on purpose or a happy accident?
Another Magnolia. I wanted to share with you the view I normally have of this tree, but that would’ve required my standing in the middle of a busy street to take the picture. Not going to happen.
I love this fabulous moss garden on top of an old fence.
Back home I am thrilled with the first blooms on our Clematis armandii, since it failed to bloom last year…
As well as this surprise white Crocus. I didn’t plant this, at least not on purpose. I think it hitched a ride on the Sedum I traded for last year (Concordia Neighborhood plant exchange).
And I find it terribly sweet (a word I rarely use) that the first bloom to open on our Camellia is facing right into the kitchen window, the same window where I drink my morning coffee and read the paper. How did it know?


  1. I love blog posts like this: someone else who sees the world like I do.

    Yeah! OF COURSE that Camellia is facing you, showing off, saying "Look what I can do, wwweeeeeeee!" and I'm right there with you about Manzanita.

    As for Ceanothus: make sure you get the right size in the right place. We had two overly happy ones in the front of our house and they quickly dwarfed the house itself: they really like our climate and some will grow big. We had to eventually say goodbye to them.

    Great photos!

  2. I love the fuzzy casing around the magnolia flowers... so beautiful.

  3. At least someone is have spring.

  4. Manzanita envy, Loree. I like that. Hopefully you'll be getting the call soon. I was surprised to see my Magnolia stellata is in bloom also. She is a beaut. I'm glad your Clematis is blooming!! The Kniphofia: when perennials take on the doughnut looking crown, with the open center, it means they want to be divided. You could mention this to your neighbor. Tell her a REALLY SUPER knowledgeable blog friend told you this. And look really pathetic, bordering on begging and maybe have a small gift. Maybe it will work. What have you got to lose, besides your dignity?

    Lovely camellia to put a positive spin on the morning news.

  5. I'd love a walk around yr neighbourhood - so much to look at. I love the magnolia, and all the colourful blooms.

  6. Great sightings. What a fun time of year to be out looking for and discovering all the great things that are going on. Manzanitas - keep coming up, will have to investigate. Think of them as CA trees but are they hardy here? Really and truly? Not Loree-hardy, with winter care provided? :) My clematis armandii is blooming better than it ever has, must be the warm spring. It still has some kind of disease or problem, though, the leaves are blotchy. Funny about the Husky colors - I usually try to avoid that combo for that very reason!! Love her species tulips, though. The wine-striped foliage alone is amazing!

  7. OH, those neighborhood walks can just be the best, can't they?
    I noticed a little "lost" crocus in our back garden today. I'll have to get a pic of it.

  8. Your neighborhood is looking lovely!

    You knew I'd swoon over the manzanita - you put that pic in just for me, right? I'd say find out just which one it is: there are a lot, and some are even better than the others, but they are all good!

    How nice to hear someone's Clematis armandii didn't die - like mine did...enjoy! (sob)

  9. I saw a really good manzanita for sale, a pretty decent sized one, down at Gossler Farms. Big enough that you can really appreciate the bark. If you can't wait for the waiting list to come through.

  10. You blog is usually so agave-yucca-spiny I sometimes forget you live in the NW with all sorts of moss and crocuses and things! I'm currently looking at the window at the remaining foot of snow and trying VERY hard not to be jealous.

  11. Everything from soup to nuts in your neighborhood...what fun!

  12. LeLo, thanks! I've heard this about the Ceanothus and I think I've found the right one. The whole concept of it being too happy is fabulous since I'm thinking of using it to fill the gap where winter has killed my Cordylines, two years in a row.

    Dirty Girl, they remind me of caterpillars.

    Les, I'm sorry! I really am.

    Grace, I figured that was the case, but this particular gardening neighbor has a few years on me. She was a veteran gardener when I was still learning to walk. I think I'll just enjoy the blooms in her parking strip and keep my mouth shut.

    Evelyn, I'm lucky to have such a gardening neighborhood. Actually I think Portland is a pretty gardening oriented city!

    Karen, yes the Manzanita (at least some varieties) are really and truly hardy. Not Loree hardy (I love that) but ignore-me hardy!

    Kim and Victoria, I think I need to start getting Lila in the car and take her to new neighborhoods to walk her. So much out there to see!

    Jane, I need to catch this neighbor at home and ask him. I guess he is a landscape designer (another neighbor told me that) so he'd be a good one to get to know. He's just never home!

    Megan, as much as I would love to support Gossler Farms I just can't take the I-5 drive. But maybe if I don't get the call soon I could do it and turn it into a nursery adventure. Stopping at a few others too! Uhm....

    Greensparrow, I love what you said! But you're right...just wait until my rhody's bloom...then there will be no denying my PNW local.

    ricki, speaking of nuts....I wish I could share the image of the crows hanging out on the wires dropping nuts on the street to break them open. It's like there is a convention going on! I swear you have to look up when you cross the street to make sure you aren't going to be hit!

  13. Just found you on blotanical- your pictures are breathtaking, especially the magnolia. It's just what I needed to see this morning :)


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