Friday, May 31, 2013

Schefflera-land, all planted up…

When last I posted about Schefflera-land it had just earned the name after having been planted up with both S. delavayi and S. taiwaniana. Since then I’ve been busy adding to the plantings and I’m happy to say things are filling in nicely…

My only frustration is the plants on either end are so much larger than those in the middle, having been in place long before the hydrangea was removed. Hopefully the new hostas and ferns will catch up (maybe next season?) and the prized Schefflera delavayi will attain its rightful status as king of the border sooner rather than later. The S. taiwaniana has a couple of years on it though...

You might remember when the hydrangea was first removed I was unhappy with the fact I could see all the way to the patio from the backdoor and entrance to the garden. It's not quite so bad anymore…

Of course the fact that Clifford (the Magnolia macrophylla) has leafed out helps too.

Here’s a close up look at the entire planting border starting at the east side as you enter the garden and walking towards the patio. I’ll try to name as many plants as possible. (L-R) Fatsia polycarpa ‘Needhams’s Lace,’ Solomon’s Seal working its way through Disporum cantoniense 'Night Heron,' a couple of hostas whose names I don't know, and up against the garage and rusted metal trellis is the Schefflera delavayi (S. taiwaniana peeking through on the far right).

I love the blue hostas! Unfortuantely so do the slugs and other critters.

The S. delavayi has pushed out several new leaves…

Notice the leaf stems of the older growth have turned red. I love the way this looks and it never occurred to me that it could be a problem until just now when I tried to find the proper plant term for the leaf stems. I found several cannabis forums addressing red leaf stems and evidently it’s a sign of nutrient deficiency. Anyone care to share their thoughts on the red stems, should I be concerned??

I’m very happy with the placement of the Impatiens omeiana peeking out from under the Schefflera.

There are also a few Alchemilla mollis tucked in here and there. These were divisions from my mom’s plant. I wonder did the small hosta come from her garden or somehow from mine?

Here’s the middle, where the smaller plants start; Rodgersia ‘Bronze Peacock,' next to it a painted fern (Athyrium niponicum, not sure which one), planted at the base of the trellis and just starting to grow up is a 'Cardinal Climber' Ipomoea multifida, and Epimedium wushanense in the lower center of the photo.

That same area but with the camera pulled back a bit.

I repeated the Rodgersia (here it’s R. podophylla ‘Bronze Form’) and painted fern combo a few times.

I moved my (long abused) Metapanax delavayi here where it can finally get a little more light and be better appreciated, lots of new bright green growth!

At its feet another Rodgersia ‘Bronze Peacock’ with Pyrrosia hastata (on the left).

In the middle between the two trellis are a Disporopsis pernyi fronted by Ligularia 'Osiris Cafe Noir.'

Paris polyphylla (Heronswood form), which was a gift from a garden visitor last summer (thank you Sutter!), it's come back even bigger this year...

The far west side of this border is made up of established plants, with the exception of a few hosta and a couple painted ferns…

...and this Peltoboykinia watanabei which is tucked in at the base of one of the trellis.

I hope I don’t fall out of love with painted ferns anytime soon. As you can see I included quite a few of them.

I also found room for a few more Adiantum venustum (Himalayan Maidenhair Fern).

Established hostas (I don’t know why but I’ve never managed to hang onto their tags and learn their names), Podophyllum peltatum, and Syneilesis aconitifolia.

And finally a shot of the Clematis tibetana var. vernayi on one of the trellis.

Make that two shots, that last one was kind of hard to see.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to Schefflera-land! (which I probably should be calling Araliaceae-land with the Metapanax delavayi and Fatsia polycarpa in there too but that just doesn’t have the same ring does it?) I can honestly say I don’t miss that hydrangea one bit…

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wingthorn Rose; my favorite plant in the garden this week…

Most of last week was a complete washout, it was cold (record cold high temp of 50F) and very wet (record rainfall of 1.19” both occurring on Wed the 22nd). The week saw more rain than we typically get the entire month (normal for the month is 2.47” and as of the now we’re at 4.71”). So much for the glorious warm and dry beginning to May! Because of the weather I spent too much time inside, which no doubt is why I’m featuring the Wingthorn Rose (Rosa sericea ssp. omeiensis f. pteracantha) as my favorite plant in the garden this week; it’s right outside our front door…

I usually keep the wooden door open during the day, so I can enjoy the extra light and garden views allowed by the glass security door.

I love this entire combination of plants and colors…

But it’s the bright red thorns, glowing as if on fire even on the darkest days, which steal the show.

I keep my plant small and colorful by cutting it back hard in the early spring; I have no room for something that can get 10ft high and 8ft wide. Besides the bright red new growth is why I have this plant in my garden. The thorns turn brown over the winter and I’m happy to see them go. This year I was a little concerned I’d cut it back too hard as it took forever for the new growth to get started, but thankfully that wasn’t the case.

The flowers are simple, small, and lightly fragrant. Usually by now it’s blooming but there isn't even a bud (due to the extreme cutting back perhaps?), this photo is from last year.

Plant lust lists the Wingthorn Rose at 9 nurseries, 6 of which do mail order so you too can have this beauty in your garden! Here are a couple excerpts from my favorite descriptions:

Normally thorns are not such a good deal but the new thorns on this rose are broadly winged and bright red and absolutely glow liked stained glass with the sun shining through them. Same effect as going to church. Single white flowers.” – Far Reaches Farm

when backlit, the ostentatious thorns glow blood red the whole length of the stem” – Annie’s Annuals & Perennials

The stats:
  • Deciduous shrub
  • Full sun, average soil, regular water
  • Hardy in USDA zones 5b – 9b
  • Left to it's own devices it can reach 8-10 ft tall, 7-8 ft wide
  • White flowers in the spring, said to get red hips but I have yet to see any

Those two straight red stems, in case you're wondering, are coming up from the Hesperaloe parviflora next to the rose. Since three of my five hesperaloe are going to bloom this year I have a feeling I'll be talking about them in the near future...

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Evidence of a past gardener…

I grew up in a house my parents had built for us, the newness and sense of possibility were very exciting. No one had ever lived there before, it was all ours! However as an adult I've become quite sentimental about connections to past residents of my homes. To mark the purchase of my house in Spokane, I had the privilege of sharing a toast of "Uncle Shorty's scotch" with the executor of the estate. It came complete with heartfelt reminiscing about the time he and his siblings spent visiting their favorite aunt and uncle in the home that was now mine.

Our home here in Portland has had at least five owners, we met the most recent residents during the process of buying the home, but it's the ones that came before that have me curious, because I've found things they've left behind. The first was this little Bakelite box...

Digging out some ugly over-grown ferns my shovel unearthed it, wrapped in foil. Something was inside; we were going to be rich!! No such luck, it was an old house key which no longer worked in any of the locks.

Cleaning out the drawers of a huge old cabinet in the garage Andrew found these fabulous seedling pots. Could these have actually come with a nursery purchase? They're beautiful.

I haven’t allowed myself to use them, I'm afraid of accidentally breaking one.

In the rafters of the garage we found these marvelous wooden crates.

Still filled with their wooden inserts! The seed label was also a garage find.

Red Fescue, 1957…98.53 per cent pure!

These brass nozzles with their beautiful patina were unearthed a year apart.

The first one in the front garden during last year’s Bishops Weed dig. And the second this spring as I dug sod to enlarge the planting borders (photos coming soon, I promise). They were buried several feet away from the hose bibb and under a lot of soil. How did they get there? I don’t use them but I treasure them just the same. Have you found any treasures left behind by a past gardener?

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Visiting Wind Dancer with the grass guy…

One of the many things I love about the garden blogging community is that we all have our own distinctive passions, and yet we enjoy them all because they stem from a love of gardening and PLANTS! While it’s great fun to hang out with like-minded people (like visiting Rare Plant Research with my co-plant-lust’ers) it’s also wonderful to visit nurseries with people whose tastes and knowledge are vastly different from your own (bonus: you don’t have to trip them to get the plants you want before they do!).

Why am I rambling on about this? Because a couple weekends back Scott (Rhone Street Gardens), whom everyone knows loves ornamental grasses, organized a little outing to one of his favorite places, Wind Dancer Garden. For those of you who missed it Scott put together a lovely tribute to Carolyn (the owner) and Wind Dancer last fall when it was announced they were closing the nursery, you can see that epic post here. Even though they’re now closed Scott (and friends) were invited to tour the garden and perhaps purchase a few plants. I jumped at the chance to join Scott, Heather, Jenni and Linda (plus her slightly bored husband Philip)…

I’d heard Carolyn was a wonderful lady and that couldn’t be truer. She toured us around the garden answering questions and pointing out favorite plants.

Her garden was impeccable!

I liked this vignette so much I had to include it twice.

However my regard for Carolyn's taste and talents went way up when I spotted this…

She loves spikes too! And there is definitely a design idea here to steal; the raised bed stair-stepped up and visible from all sides is a magnificent way to display prized plants like these in containers.

I was in awe of the beauty of her specimens…

Of course I was still taking pictures of all the succulents when everyone else discovered the grasses for sale and started shopping.

This was another favorite moment of the day, listening to Scott and Heather talk grass! I’m standing there looking at a couple of plants which to me look exactly the same and yet they’re discussing which is which and the merits of both. I was impressed.

This beauty caught my eye, Scott and Heather reminded me where I'd seen it before, on Denise's blog A Growing Obsession.

Above the spikes was a favorite tree, Robinia Pseudoacacia ‘Twisty Baby’

There was also a nearby vegetable garden.

I didn't need to buy bricks to edge my garden, I could have used my empty wine bottles!

Is this not the most beautiful hosta? I should have asked Carolyn it's name.

I really hope my libertia blooms this year, mainly because I want these little orange seed pods!...

This is a renewed love, Rhamnus frangula 'Ron Williams.' I first incountered Fine Line Buckthorn at the garden of Lauren Hall-Behrens but seeing them here I'm reminded how beautiful they are...

Here the Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate' is just starting to leaf out too.

Before we left I had to sneak over and check out the monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) up close.

Which also gave me a chance to discover this interesting tree...

Based on an ID from my friend Peter's blog post on Heronswood I think this is an Acer pseudoplatanus 'Esk Sunset.'

Thankfully Heather's guy Greg had furnished his truck for our adventure, as the group purchases wouldn't have fit in a car...

Are you wondering if I bought anything? I did, although since was just the day after I spent a pretty penny at Rare Plant Research I was on my best behavior. On the left is my Wind Dancer purchase, Stipa arundinacea 'Sirocco' and on the right a Pennisetum purpureum 'Vertigo' picked up at Portland Nursery on my way home. I'd admired it last year in Scott's garden and he'd mentioned they were available there.

I hope my fellow shoppers won't mind me sharing this group photo Carolyn took of us that afternoon before we left. It's a perfect illustration of the benefits of I am with three people I never would have met had it not been for our garden blogs...

This seems like the perfect time to mention an upcoming workshop at Joy Creek Nursery. Titled "How to Form a Garden Community Through Blogging:  A Workshop with Scott Webber and friends." This will be an opportunity for us ("us" being Scott along with Heather, Jane (MulchMaid), Ann (Amateur Bot-ann-ist) and myself) to talk about how we got started, why we blog and most importantly answer questions and encourage you to start a garden blog. It will be held Saturday, June 8th at Joy Creek Nursery at 1pm, free and no pre-registration required. If your're in the area I hope to see you there!

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.