Friday, January 31, 2014

One stop leads to another…

It was high time to admit I’d done something to my back (again). If I wanted to be in shape to tackle serious winter clean-up and the start of gardening season it was time to visit the chiropractor. Yep, looks like I chose a good one...

You know I love to support businesses that have great landscaping, and take care of it. Well this one is in a strip-mall, devoid of plants other than the required street trees and a few flopped over phormium. So to walk in the front door and see the wall display above was a welcome sight. I especially love the mix of live (planted) plants with tillandsia and dried Craspedia (Billy Balls).

My eyes processed the wreath as the standard thick willow wreath, because really I was focused on the big Tillandsia xerographica. It was until editing the photos I realized it was made from individual wood pieces.

I asked the receptionist if she was responsible for the beautiful, the installation was the work of Solabee Flowers & Botanicals. Turns out they have a shop in the Kenton neighborhood where I was headed next. Sounds like I needed to visit, right?


She'd mentioned Solabee shared space with Salvage Works, a place I'd read about and meant to visit but just hadn't gotten around to. Bonus!

We've got one of those old wash basins in our basement. I've fantasized about getting rid of it. Perhaps it has a future use? Let's see what else they've got...

Oh but wait! First I must mention the tallest resident of the Kenton neighborhood, who hangs-out just down the street from Salvage Works, yes it's Paul Bunyan. Why is there a huge (31 ft) statue of Paul Bunyan in Kenton you ask? It was built in 1959 to commemorate the centennial of Oregon's statehood during the Centennial Exposition and International Trade Fair, which was held in the Kenton area. The sculpture was originally prominently placed at the intersection of North Interstate Avenue (then U.S. Route 99) and North Argyle Street, and now stands at the corner of North Interstate and North Denver. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in January 2009. (source)

There's an outside area next to the shop, full of great old stuff.

I don't know what this was in its former life but it makes a great wall planter.

And speaking of great wall planters! Now I'm envisioning a section like this in our new (yet to be built) fence.

What fun...

I love old wheelbarrows. It's a good thing I don't have acreage because I might just start to collect them.

And if I were the type, this old refrigerator drawer would make a great planter.

I finally wandered inside, only to discover the Solabee shop has moved out! Thankfully they left several wonderful things on display...

Looks familiar...

They've still got a shop downtown, I suppose I'll need to visit someday soon.

I was so enthralled with the items on, and under, the table I didn't even notice the baby hanging above!

Love this vignette.

Yep, this was a fun little excursion...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ajuga black scallop, is my favorite plant in the garden this week…

I can’t remember what I said that had her volunteering starts, maybe as a response to one of my blog tirades about needing more dark evergreen foliage? However they came to be I have a handful of Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’ plants thanks to Alison of the blog Bonny Lassie.

I’ve never planted ajuga and was unsure about these, there’s something vaguely “chard-like” about them. Not that chard is a bad thing, it’s just a vegetable garden thing. However these powered through being frozen solid (they stayed in a stock tank during our week long deep freeze, thus experiencing 12F - above ground) and largely being in the shade, yet they still look gorgeously glossy and dark…

Yes please, I’d call them winners! Plus they’re starting to push out new foliage. These will be planted out in the garden just as soon as I start my spring planting (March? If I can wait that long)...

I’m not so excited about the flowers, which I wish wouldn’t ever happen…but I can’t stop that…at least they’re not pink. Alison says this plant will quickly spread and fill in wherever I decide to plant it. How thrilling! Here’s a photo I borrowed from and Karl Gercens III (used with permission, all rights reserved) that shows how lovely they look when they’re allowed to spread.

The stats…
  • perennial, hardy in USDA zones 5a – 10b
  • eventual size 4-6” tall x 24-36” wide
  • likes well drained soil in sun to part sun – best color is said to be achieved in full sun
  • flowers are blue and appear in the late spring

Were you wondering about the beautiful spotted leaves cozied up to the ajuga? It’s Geranium phaeum 'Samobor', also from Alison. She posted about it being a favorite in July of last year and I commented saying perhaps I needed to beg for a start at our next garden bloggers plant swap. And I got one! Thank you Alison...

Do you have a favorite plant in your garden this week? One that's looking extra good? Please tell us about it in the comments, better yet leave a link to your blog...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How about some good news from the garden?

Last week, when I posted pictures of some of my cold-weather-caused plant death and damage, Gerhard asked if I had any positive surprises. Actually I do, although I guess I wouldn't label all of these surprises. More like good news...

I've got three Callistemon ‘Woodlander's Hardy Red’ - this is the best looking of the bunch, no damage!

Both of my Callistemon viridiflorus look good, this one especially (as do the arctostaphylos, one here in the background).

But both Callistemon viridiflorus 'Xera Compact' look a little iffy. The upper foliage is happy, the lower foliage is a bit crispy.

All the dasylirion (7 of them) look good, as to the cylindropuntia (also 7)...

I was worried about both Feijoa sellowiana, but this one especially. Being in a container it's bound to be a little less hardy than the one in the ground. They're both okay.

However there is a little leaf burn on the one in the ground, especially odd since both were wrapped when things were really bad.

This qualifies as a surprise. Based on previous winters, and the many Yucca aloifolia ‘Purpurea’ I've lost, I am very happy with how good this pair looks.

Silly little things but I do love them.

Okay I know this is supposed to be a good-news post but I've got to record it all! Eryngium proteiflorum, two of them, planted last fall, and they both look like this. So sad.

The new-growth tips on the Nolina nelsonii got nipped, but the rest looks okay.

A serious case of Yucca acne on the Yucca gloriosa 'variegata'...

Another surprise! Grevillea rivularis looks good, a little dead foliage towards the bottom.

And this! Whadda ya know? An Echium wildpretii...alive! Three are goners but this little guy hangs on.

The containerized tree fern (Dicksonia Antarctica) looks good, but then it should since it spent the cold days in the warm basement.

So did the Bocconia frutescens, but an unexpected night at 26F fried the leaves. I cut it back and hope it will respond kindly in the spring.

Look! I'm ready to declare this phormium as survivor. Especially since every other one in the garden has flopped. It was wrapped during the cold...

Because the foliage is just so gorgeous!

The Schefflera delavayi (also wrapped) looks good. Not really a surprise but I am thankful.

Ditto for the S. taiwaniana...

And this little one two.

Pyrrosia hastata (right) is looking a little wilted but P. sheareri (left) powers on.

This is a huge surprise, the Embothrium coccineum I planted last spring at about 12" tall and which is now over 8' tall is still alive. I did not expect this.

Rhododendron sinogrande looks a little goofy, but is still alive.

Yucca aloifolia ‘Blue Boy' also looks good. Although it's a little green...

The final surprise is this Aloe striatula. I've lost a couple in less cold conditions, and the one next door (which I blogged about here) died a quick death. But as crazy as it is this one is still alive. I'll take it! Of course I didn't talk about the agaves and their survival rate. I'm saving that for next week, an official agave post coming up! (oh and next week is now predicted to get cold...hopefully not too cold...)

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.