Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 15th, bloomday…it’s almost Spring!

Almost, but not quite. It’s been cold and wet here in Portland, Oregon. Not exactly spring fever inducing weather, for us, or our blooms. My garden is a little behind the calendar this year. In fact I am quite disappointed in this bloomday showing. I should have had plenty of crazy big Grevillea juniperina 'Low Red' flowers to share. Instead I’ve got the one petal (?) above and lots of others almost ready to open. Since ‘Low Red,’ my first ever Grevillea, sailed through last winter I’ve already bought another. This one G. juniperina ‘Molonglo’ it will have deep gold flowers… When all these buds finally feel like opening that is. Another flower I thought I would be able to proudly share this bloomday…the Clematis armandii snowdrift refused to open! My Aeonium ‘salad bowl’ has been blooming for a couple of weeks now. The Euphorbia characias wulfenii are slowly making progress. I see others around town much further along than mine. Euphorbia amygdaloides var. Robbiae. Aucuba japonica ‘longifolia’ Helleborus x ballardiae Pink Frost. This one was a gift…it’s a little too pink for me to have purchased for myself, but I am loving the cheerful flowers. Now for the repeat performers still going strong from last Bloomday….Helleborus foetidus. A double shot of the Pieris japonica and Camellia. More of the Pieris (perhaps the most hated shrub in Portland? Haha….I’m talking to you Jane and Ryan! *update...Jane doesn't hate it, and neither does Ryan see their disclaimers below in comments*) And a Camellia close-up. Grape Hyacinth, or Muscari if you prefer. Arctostaphylos ‘Austin Griffiths’ (still definitely white, when it “should be” pink). And lastly Euphorbia rigida… And a close-up of the fabulous subtle coloring! Happy bloomday to you! Visit our lovely host Carol at May Dreams Gardens for a wrap up of everything blooming this March 15th.


  1. Well if it's any consolation my Muscari are no where near where yours are. Meaning your garden is ahead on somethings...or right on time and mine is behind...:) My Grevillea looks worse for wear. I'm going to make a note and buy the species you have. They seem to be much winter tolerant. Guess what. I also loathe Pieris. :) But your photos are nice. I love 'Pink Frost' duh! :)

  2. I think your spring is not that shabby at all - more than us so far! Gloomy today, but bone dry and in the low 60's again. Your spiky place is going to explode soon, it looks.

  3. I'm getting an undeserved rep here: I don't "hate" pieris, I just wouldn't be willing to give it the precious space in my garden that you're willing to grant. I find it fascinating how varied your "Candy Cane" camellia's blossoms seem to be. Some are very distinctly striped, and others more softly and finely marked. Your hellebores look great! As for your euphorbia wulfenii and grevillea 'Low Red', I think our strange winter has thrown lots of plants off schedule. Summer bloom times should be interesting...

  4. Why are the Pieris disliked? Can't be because of the blooms (those are quite stunning). Your Grape Hyacinths are looking good too.

  5. Your garden is looking good! Ready for spring.

    People try to grow Pireus here, but it's too dry--or something. I love the pink Hellebore, too.

  6. I am not much of a pink person either, but that Helleborus is beautiful, and perhaps it will look very good with Espresso Bean.

  7. I like the pieris. That red flushed spring growth, the lily of the valley type flowers...

    But we didn't see much of them in Michigan. Maybe it's an overuse thing?

  8. I have seen a few pieris in catalogs with neat leaf color and/or flower color, however, I haven't seen any of those in suburban yards. It seems like EVERY yard has one and they look okay right now and completely boring the rest of the year. The best description I can come up with for the ones I see around Portland are "washed out". I don't hate any plant, that would be silly! But I really dislike Pieris.

  9. Such charming blossoms on the Helleborus foetidus.
    Gosh, and I was going to do a whole post on Pieris...perhaps I'd best reconsider?

  10. ricki,

    If you have some noteworthy pieris to post about, please do! I want to like Pieris, I just see really plain ones everywhere. blow my mind please!

  11. Can't wait to see your Grevillea blooms go off! I've successfully killed at least four of them over the last year. Your E. wulfenii & rigida are WAY ahead of ours, and they live the warm good life. You're not that behind in the bloom department :)

  12. Yours may be my favorite garden.

    Danger and beauty. a potent combo.


  13. I love your image of the Aucuba blossoms. It's so easy to forget about the smaller, weirder flowers when sniffing around the garden for the more striking blooms.

  14. Grace, I'm a Muscari cheater pants! I bought the bulbs already in bloom last month at Fred Meyer. I thought of you when I was taking a pic of the 'Pink Frost'...and see what an effect you are having all across the NW? Everyone's turning pink!

    DD, yesterday was gloomy here too, but not dry! Wicked rainfall. I'd love a few bone dry days into the 60's!

    MulchMaid, my mom would get very upset with us whenever we used the word "hate" as kids. She explained to us that it is such a drastic label that you should never use it lightly. Evidently I didn't learn the lesson and here I am tossing that word around again. I am sorry to give you (and Ryan) a rep you didn't deserve! The Camellia! You are so right. There are some blooms that are almost completely pink and then others that are violently striped. I expected to see more images of your Grevillea in bloom...has it stopped or you just didn't want to repeat yourself?

    RBell, I should let the others answer your question (see Ryan's comment). I know they are everywhere in part of town, and familiarity breeds a certain amount of contempt. They are also often badly neglected and look rather shabby. When not in bloom the old blooms hang on and tend to make the shrub look a little dead too.

    Hoover Boo, ah...dry. Not a problem we are currently experiencing!

    Les, you've got a great memory! And I think you're right. I'll have to keep that in mind when I plant it in the ground (currently in a container...I wanted the Hosta to make an appearance before I just started digging and perhaps mutilated one).

    Jenn, you aren't back in Michigan are you? You know mine don't get that pretty red new growth. I remember being stopped in my tracks the first time I saw it on someone else's plant. Not fair!

    Ryan, my apology to Jane also goes to you. I do understand the "washed out" label, and lord knows they are everywhere around down (even in the city...not just the suburbs). I too hope to read ricki's post.

    ricki, as I said on your blog...I hope you will do the post. I'd love to read what you have to say!

    Megan, ouch. Sorry to hear about the Grevillea deaths! I'm praying that my new purchase is as hardy as the old one.

    flwrjane, thank you, that's a nice compliment...thanks for visiting!

    kate, so true! But there is no way I was going to miss those little flowers...the bright chartreuse around them just calls out "looky over here!"

  15. How I cant wait to see that Grevillea in bloom! I really want to get some Aussie plants.

  16. Sounds like a La Nina year you're having up there, plenty of rain (which I wish I had, but never mind).

    Still very pretty blossoms, though! Happy Bloom Day!


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