Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The danger garden annex

I fear you all are getting tired of my talking about McMenamin’s Kennedy School; after all I’ve posted about it at least six times. But I continue to visit and see amazing things and I want to share these visits with you. So I’ve decided from now on it’s the danger garden annex, after all I feel like it’s my off-site garden that I visit it weekly (and have no responsibility for the upkeep of!). So today’s topic is my latest walk around the “dg annex”….

The first thing I saw that I had to share with you was this huge Rhododendron tree. Not a mere shrub! When I see a large specimen like this I remember my mother’s struggles to keep the Rhody’s alive around the house I grew up in. The climate in that part of Eastern Washington was not very Rhododendron friendly. Yikes! Maybe my tendencies toward zonal denial were born of exposure at an early age!

There are a couple of large Melianthus major in containers near the front entry to the building.
I wonder if these are the same plants that I watched grow bigger and bigger last fall? They were planted on the south side of the building and I hoped to watch them over the winter to see how they responded to the cold weather. Unfortunately that didn’t happen since my spying activities were curtailed with the broken ankle in December. Melianthus major continues to move higher and higher on my lust list, zonal denial rears its head again.
And speaking of the lust list meet Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fern Cottage’ (name confirmed via the Asst. Corporate Gardener at McMenamin’s) which I have been admiring for a couple of years now.
Why oh why can’t I find this Euphorbia in a nursery?It is so so so orange and sexy!And speaking of sexy…look at this Ceanothus and lime leaf combo!
Seeing this I’m so happy that I’ve finally found a place to include Ceanothus in the danger garden.
What amazing color! Now I need to work on getting a little lime color up close and personal to those electric blue blooms.
And I can’t wait until I have Callistemon branches like these left behind after the blooms fade…
A happy mass of fern fiddle heads…
And back in the spiky plant area I was excited to see a few new plants meeting up with and softening the spiky art. Isn’t the rusted metal more interesting with these peachy flowers next to it? I can’t believe I’m saying it but I really like the combo.
And another cement cylinder has added interest here; combined with the chartreuse Euphorbia blooms this area is coming alive!
The always sexy Agave parryi…
And another picture of the mystery thorn-in-my-side plants, what are these? Soon I hope to have a name (the power of email) and I’ll share it as soon as I do! **update** the mystery plants are Echium boissieri from Spain!
And look! A new Manfreda macho mocha has taken the place of the sad specimen that melted last winter.
Just between you and me I’ve learned that the freak cold of last winter isn’t going to modify the future plant choices of the gardening powers at McMenamin’s (or rather I mean the dg annex) too much, and I was very glad to hear it, I love the fact that they embrace a little danger gardening!

Another visit to the “dg annex” leaves me wishing some of these plants would follow me home.


  1. That euphorbia looks similar in some ways to Fire Glow, which I got several years ago at Joy Creek. I wrote and have photos of it here: http://www.lelonopo.com/2009/04/window-into-el-jardin.html

    I always love the McMenamins gardens: such great interest year round, and a sense of humor, which I always appreciate.

  2. Please DO keep posting about McMenamins, er, the danger garden annex. I have always enjoyed their various gardens and you have a really good one in your neighborhood there.
    Happy to see you embracing that cute peachy little Lewisia or whatever it is, and I can tell you've been visiting the Germinatrix: she's all about sexy in the garden these days - I agree!

  3. p.s. That's a really GOOD ceanothus: love the tiny leaves and deep blue flowers!

  4. LeLo, I thought the same thing about the Euphorbia, but the official word is Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fern Cottage’...straight from the mouth of the one who planted it. He says it's a better behaved variety. As for Joy Creek funny you should mention them. I was there last week and chose to wander through the display garden before the nursery. I was very excited when I saw they had one of these Euphorbia (Fire Glow or Fern Cottage) growing...surely they would have it for sale too right? None. Not a single one. Sad me.

    Jane, you must be right about the Germinatrix and her sexy influences, I hadn't realized it! What until tomorrow's post...I was so in love with the Lewisia (?) that I bought one! (copy cat). And speaking of Ceanothus would you believe I now have 3 waiting to go into the garden? Zero to 3 in a month and a half. Two are for the front and one for the back. I just pray mine looks as good as this one someday. Do you have any advice on ones to avoid?

  5. Thanks for taking us to the DG annex, I think it's great. What a fantastic rhodie! Gasp!
    Great, great, looking garden.

  6. NAh, keep posting about it. They have cool stuff growing. You might just try to take the Euphorbia griffithii where a new branch comes out of the stem...pull it off, and plop it in your garden. Maybe it is an easier herbaceous cutting plant?

  7. not at all tired of this garden yet! keep the pics coming! It's really interesting to me personally to see the progress of gardens and plants. I get really annoyed at only finding pictures of a plant or garden at it's height in a catalog or article and zero info on how they are the rest of the year.

  8. Though I love it here in West Virginia, at times I am a bit jealous of your climate. I enjoy your pictures and will bravely face the dangers again.

  9. Been to a couple of Cracked Pots sales at McMin's Edgefield, and they always had plants for sale. S'pose they might have the Euphorbia?

  10. Melianthus major went nuts for me after one mild year to settle in.

  11. That orange-flowered euphorbia looks a lot like 'Fireglow,' which I believe is hardy, spreads a lot, and is very striking. I started to see it show up in a lot of gardens around here last year. Would it do the trick if the other one is not available? Love that you consider that garden your "annex." You guys do have the same taste! That ceanothus and lime-foliage combo is a knock-out. I will have to try that!

  12. Oh Loree, I am SO tired of reading about McMenamins. And I am such a liar! dgAnnex sounds perfect. More, more.

    It looks like there is plenty of Euphorbia g. 'Fern Cottage' there to dig up a sprig or two. Are you making friendly with the curator? :)

    I'm still waiting on my Melianthus. I haven't checked for a few days... I can't let myself think about the worst case scenario.

    I've got a burgeoning ceanothus situated in a full sun desert situation and it's thriving. I'm going to have to do serious pruning on it after the blooms finish. The bees just go ape over them and I don't want to deprive them by pruning too early.

    I suppose I'll have to visit the Germinatrix because describing these plants as sexy just isn't working for me. Especially that Agave. Ouch! :)

  13. K&V, it's a hotel too, so if you ever find yourself in Portland you should stay there!

    faroutflora, thanks for the hint!

    Mary C, great point! Who wants to only see the best possible image of a plant or garden? That is such a fleeting moment!

    Beyond the Garden, thank you for the reminder that I do live in a pretty wonderful climate. Looking at California blogs I can get all caught up in the zonal envy thing and forget about how lucky I am.

    ricki, this is very good information! I've never been to one but perhaps this is the year! So do you still have the Melianthus and it made it through last winter?

    Karen, I witnessed the spreading nature of 'Fireglow' first hand yesterday....I think I'm a little freaked out by it!

    Grace, but agaves are the original sexy! I hope your Melianthus pulls through. If not will you replace it? I think I'm going to take the plunge as soon as I see a nice one at a good price. Maybe next weekends Hardy Plant Society sale!

  14. Love that I found your Blog! West Coast gardening, what a dream of mine. But I'm afraid I'd miss the east too much!


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