Friday, February 27, 2015

The favorite’s wrap-up for February

This unassuming shrub get's the nod as a favorite plant in my garden for February. What is it? Grevillea australis...

It's grown fantastically since going in the ground last spring, and it's currently covered in tiny buds.

They'll open into thin white blooms (a couple of photos here) which are rumored to be intensely fragrant, I couldn't smell anything when it bloomed last spring.

The Xera Plants description notes "Neglect is its friend" can you not love that?

Maybe this year I'll catch a bit of that "honey-scented" fragrance? The stats:
  • Evergreen and hardy in USDA Zones 7a-10b
  • Eventual size 5ft tall and wide
  • Likes sun, drought tolerant
  • No fertilizer or soil amendments

While I was photographing the grevillea I noticed how wonderful the Cryptomeria japonica 'Rasen' is looking.

This poor plant was stuck in a spot where it's rarely noticed and doesn't allow for a great photograph.

Why would I do that? Because this is what it looks like when it grows up and it will be perfect in that spot, then. This photo was taken at Youngblood Nursery, where my plant came from...

Kinda gangly, but intensely cool.

And yes, planted close (some would say too close) to a loquat.

Twisty! Quoting Specialty Ornamentals: "The needles twist around the stem, the stems twist out from the trunk, the trunk itself twists"
  • Evergreen and hardy in USDA Zones 6a-9b
  • Eventual size 20-40ft tall and 10ft wide
  • Likes sun to part shade, even moisture to drought tolerant
  • Said to be "vigorous and develops into an openly branched tree"

In addition to these two garden stars I also featured an opuntia, O. polyacantha as a favorite this month. What's looking good in your garden this February? Is your garden covered in snow, or, like mine, bursting into early spring with a vengeance? Please share in the comments!

* A note to those of you who are bloggers and kindly have a link to my blog in your blog roll. Due to my updating to a different domain address that link is broken and it looks like I've stopped updating my blog. I would be thrilled if you could take a moment and update the link to: - thank you so much!

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Change is good, right?

After paying for a custom domain for more years than I'd like to admit (5!) I'm finally using it. What do you care? Will depending on how you get to my blog you might see this warning message as Google redirects: "You're about to be redirected. The blog that used to be here is now at Do you wish to be redirected? This blog is not hosted by Blogger and has not been checked for spam, viruses and other forms of malware."

Sounds kind of scary right? Well I just wanted you to know it's all legit. Please do be redirected. Also please do change whatever link you're using to get here to this: I'm not a fan of the "the" but oh well (somebody else owns the domain without the "the" I suspect it might be the band, danger garden).

Also - word is even though we think of the internet as being immediate it's not. So you might see an under construction page for a bit, until all the stars align and my world is once again a happy place. If that happens to you then you're hopefully still finding me at (do you get the feeling I want to shout I'M STILL HERE!...I do, I really do).

Here's a pretty picture from my trip to the Huntington Gardens last December. It's my way of saying I'm sorry for all the confusion!

From the streets of the East Bay...

They'll make an interesting couple, don't you think?

So this is it, my final post from our September trip to the Bay Area. It's a collection of things I saw driving, and walking, around the East Bay.

This is so fabulous, I wanted to see what the garden on the other side looked like, but the fence gaps just weren't big enough.

Had to be pretty cool though, right?

Aloe craziness!

I wonder how long it took to get this big? Do they have to prune it?

I can't remember if it was the fence or the burnt out agave spike that caught my eye,

Definitely on the downward spiral.

But look at all the tiny babies!

Some had fallen to the ground, and yes - I picked them up. Wouldn't you?

Just down the street...I believe it's a Xanthorrhoea?

It looks like they do appreciate it.

Wowsa! So much for the front yard!

I'm sure it's a pain in the ass for them, but I couldn't help but think it's fabulous.

That's a skirt!

This was one of my major plant crushes from this trip, Eriobotrya deflexa...

The Bronze Loquat...

In the same hellstrip was this Leptospermum scoparium, which I was gaga over, yes, even the pink.

All in all it was a very good vacation, the Bay Area holds many plant treasures and interesting discoveries. Now I get to focus on writing about our Christmastime trip to San Diego and Los Angeles! So many good things ahead...

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Robert what did you do to that agave?

Yesterday’s post was long and dense, today’s is just a single scanned image accompanied by the question, WWTT? Or maybe that should be RWWYT? (Robert, what were you thinking?)

We moved into this house in June of 2005, so come this June we will have lived here for 10 years. Yet we still receive the Sundance catalogue addressed to the previous owner. Ten years! Sometimes it goes right into the recycling, sometimes I thumb through it. This time I found myself staring at that poor agave and wondering…

Did they just dig it up and plop it in the bowl for the photo shoot?
Did they get any roots?
Did they replant it afterwards?
Does anyone really think it’s growing there, with no soil?
Does anyone care?
Does Robert Redford like agaves?

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Display Gardens at the 2015 NWFG Show

I briefly considered posting a photo overview of each and every display garden at the 2015 Northwest Flower and Garden Show, but decided against it. There’s been plenty of detailed coverage of the display gardens. Instead I’ll share with you my personal highlights and yes, a few of my WWTT (what were they thinking) moments. The theme (cuz we’ve got to have one, evidently) for the show was “Romance Blossoms,” it was held over Valentine’s Day weekend. As you’d guess this theme translated to plenty of forced bulbs and flowers. Hearts and tables set for two. Blah blah blah blah. Not my cup of tea.

Above is a photo I pulled from the small space garden: "Penthouse Passion." While I'm not 100% on board with the execution I loved seeing the croton planted in an orange container. It's a better photo of the idea than the one below, of a garden called “Love the space you’re in.” I wanted to share a close up of the orange container at (almost) dead center. It was planted up with several things, including a couple of crotons. I have a love/hate relationship this plant, but here, in the orange container I loved it. I might just work a couple of those into my garden this summer.

The “Love the space you’re in" garden was also the inspiration for another favorite overheard quote. It was an older couple, maybe in their late 60’s, and at least she was very taken with this garden. She had stars in her eyes as she cooed “This is very pretty, isn’t it? See how it looks like it’s all just meant to be? This is what we need.” So you see the show gardens really do speak to their intended, even if they don't always speak to me, and that's a good thing.

This was the garden I liked best “Step by step, side by side”...

Why? Because it was different with a capitol D. I heard complaints about those gabion walls. How would you change the lights?

What about watering the sedum? It’s just not realistic! They’re right, it’s not, but what’s realistic about a garden inside a Convention Center? Have some fun, be a little odd!

I thought the chunky stone entry steps were a bit off, an element not in keeping with the rest of the garden.

And the metal pathway to the “bed” was a bit austere.

But I couldn’t help but think of Cornerstone while looking at this creation and that was enough for me to give it high marks.

I wanted to like this garden “The root of true romance” after all it was a bit experimental. But something just didn’t click for me.

Okay, before I share smaller design elements that caught my eye how about we look at a real WWTT garden (what were they thinking)? I just don’t understand this, I give you “Giovanni’s grotto”…

So many clashing elements/colors/plants…The palms and cannas Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar' (thanks for i.d. Mr. Subjective) under-planted with candy colored bulbs, the glass bits stuck in here and there.

It was just too much and didn't work for me.

Let's talk about some plants! There was an entire garden given over to orchids (Lettre D’Amorchid). I didn't care for the overall effect, but these Anguloa ruckeri were so bizarre that I had to stop and stare.

And since my Ludisia discolor is going to bloom I found this interesting.

I’ve been on a long standing mission to integrate more ever-black (dark leaved plants that don’t die back or lose their leaves over the winter) plants into my garden. Perhaps I was looking at it all wrong and I should be pulling in plants that turn dark when the weather cools? Rhododendron P.J.M. fits that description.

I was told Leucothoe fontanesiana ‘Nana’ does too. It was wonderful to ask a question of the person staffing this garden “Rekindled Rendezvous” and find they actually knew about the plants!

One more that caught my eye, Ilex crenata 'Dwarf Pagoda' pretty darn cute…

Rust. Let’s talk about rust, there was a lot of it. Rusty stump…

Rusty trunk as gate…

Rusty cylinders with fancy cut-outs lit from within….

And my favorite rust, a retaining wall made from different sized/shaped containers.

Bored yet? We’re almost done. The final category I want to look at are a couple of interesting things that had me thinking “hey I could do that.” First from the garden “Birds do it…bees do it…” I loved these bug hotels.

I'm thinking about making a few and hanging them on the big blank back wall of our garage.

These planted pipes tipped on their side were in the “Romance of Steampunk” garden. My pipes would be metal but I like the idea.

Finally I’m not sure how I would integrate this into my garden but I really liked the different elements combined to form a wall in the “Rekindled Rendezvous” garden.

If you live in the Portland area a reminder: this coming weekend (Feb 27-Mar 1) is our version, the Yard, Garden & Patio Show. See you there!

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.