Monday, August 31, 2015

Oh what a mess!

This scene greeted me when I returned home from the Farwest Show on Saturday afternoon.

The Weather Gurus had been predicting big rain for the weekend –  over an inch more rain than we'd seen in months (since March to be exact). However as the weekend drew closer they were backing off on the rain totals and starting to talk about wind. Big winds. Damaging winds, considering the deciduous trees still have their leaves. Winds like we'd never seen in August.

Sure enough, we set a new record for high wind gusts, 43 mph here in Portland.

I took these photos around 3:30 on Saturday. The wind continued into the night and rain fell intermittently over the next 24-hrs (a little over half an inch of precipitation was recorded here in my garden).

In other words things were even more messy than this when I finally started a little clean-up on Sunday afternoon.

My heart goes out to the fine people who were opening their gardens on Saturday for the Conservancy Tour, what unlucky timing for them. Even if they escaped having their gardens thrashed, the wind and rain was such that it probably kept the turnout low. After all the hard work that went into prepping their gardens they should have had adoring masses there to appreciate it all.

I feel like I'd somehow won the tour-lottery, since the Green on Green Tour (and my open garden) could have just as easily been this Saturday, rather than on the 13th.

I've got a lot of clean-up to do.

But thankfully no serious damage was done. Unlike others who had branches or entire trees land in their garden.

And let's not forget those dealing with damage, or loss, or health issues, due to the horrible fires raging nearby.

My garden is a mess due to the unprecedented storm, but a mess (while being demoralizing) is just a short term situation.

And heck, my garden work-load had been a little light the last week or so.

Let's end on a more positive note though, shall we? Between leaving the Farwest Show and coming home to document the mess I made a stop at Xera Plants.

Polystichum setiferum 'Divisilobum'

A sweet little fern, and evergreen!

Oenothera macrocarpa ssp. incana

Those leaves! They're silvery and lush.

Schizachyrium scoparium 'The Blues'

I so excited about this one! I've been crushing on it for over a year, glad to finally be adding it to my (messy) garden...

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

Friday, August 28, 2015

My favorites feature, for August 2015

Last week, when I wrote a fav post about Correa backhouseana, I was tempted to include the Teucridium parvifolium, a New Zealand shrub, growing right next to it...

Tiny leaves...

On wiry orange stems, what's not to love? Plus it's got that "weave in and out" - while not taking up much space - quality that I need in plants I'm squeezing in where there is really no room.

I bought it last spring at Xera Plants, here's what they have to say about it: "Teucridium parviflorum Zn8a (10º to 15ºF) A great textural plant that performs well as a seasonal plant in containers or as a sub-shrub in the ground. Thin, wiry stems with small spoon-shaped leaves and in late spring through summer small white flowers. Semi-evergreen to deciduous. To 30" tall  and as wide in a single season if frozen to the ground.  Regrows in spring, otherwise a small shrub. Full sun to light shade, rich soil and occasional irrigation."

It is nearly impossible to get a good photo of...

Speaking of wiry, may I present Muehlenbeckia astonii, another odd looking plant that I simply adore.

All summer long I've been admiring how well it works with the Sedum palmeri, even when seen through a photo bombing Yucca schottii.

From Cistus Nursery: "This is one of the most unusual of the wire vines -- and it's not even really a vine! Another archetypically New Zealand plant with its wonderful divaricating, beak-proof adaptation. M. astonii forms a 3', very dense mound of black, wiry stems adorned with tiny round leaves and minute flowers pollinated by who-knows what, but something really, really small. Has the same architecture as the genus Corokia but tighter and smaller. Prefers moist, well-drained soil and bright light for best form. Frost hardy in USDA zone 8."

And about the Sedum palmeri Xera says: "A wonderful evergreen Sedum that is an excellent garden performer in the PNW. This form was found at 10,000' elevation in Mexico and has been reliably hardy down to 0 °F. Lovely gray/blue rosettes at the end of trailing stems. Yellow flowers in late winter. Full sun to light shade in well drained soil. Performs with or without water in summer. Cut back in spring to tighten up the new rosette. 10" x 10". Great container plant."

They both look great with the Dasylirion wheeleri too, but I've already "fav'd" that one (read it here).

Sedum palmeri really is a great plant for tucking in just about anywhere...and it looks like a less-hardy succulent than it actually is.

A new variegated version? No...this is what happens when you bring it home from the nursery and put it in too much sun.

Finally, my last featured plant Pyrrosia lingua 'Variegata'...

I am a fan of the regular Pyrrosia lingua so you throw in a striking dark green on chartreuse variegation and yes please, I'll take several! (current count is two)

This is an older leaf...

I first spotted this plant at Cistus Nursery but foolishly waited to long to make the purchase and lost out on them. Later in the season they turned up at Xera and that's where I grabbed mine: "A striking form of the vigorous and handsome leather fern. New growth is irregularly marked with yellow before settling down to a rich army green. The 1' elongated leaves rise from a spreading clump that will slowly-but eventually stretch 2' wide. To 2' tall. Spread by stolons on the surface of the ground. Excellent in shady containers and well as in the ground in shade. Regular summer water in well drained soil. Evergreen - handsome year round."

So that's my "too lazy to type so I just copy/pasted nursery descriptions" favorites wrap-up for the month of August (ugh! it's the end of August!!!)...what's looking in good in your garden this month? Tell us in the comments! (please)

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Evergreen Brick Works...

Let’s go back to June’s Garden Bloggers Fling in Toronto...

Our Sunday lunch stop was at Evergreen Brick Works, thankfully the planners worked in lots of extra time for us to wander, as there was a lot to see.

From the Evergreen website: "Transformed from a collection of deteriorating heritage buildings into a global showcase for green design and urban sustainability, Evergreen Brick Works is both a stage and incubator for Evergreen’s programs. A dynamic public space in the heart of Toronto’s Don Valley, the site engages visitors through interactive workshops and community festivals, and offers a full suite of programs combining ecology, design, technology and the arts in a hands-on, multi-sensory educational experience. In 2010, Evergreen Brick Works was named one of the top 10 geotourism destinations in the world by National Geographic."

The first thing that catches your eye is this massive artwork by Ferruccio Sardella titled Watershed Consciousness.

Taken from his website: "Considering the size of the work, information about the urban grid is minimal. Presented as copper and brass rods that lace across the work, only the major road and rail arteries are depicted along with the vertical-horizontal axis of Yonge st. and Bloor st. Instead of the repetitive criss crossing of city streets, the piece depicts ghostly homages to the lost rivers of Toronto etched into the rusted steel. To consider this work as a map is to confront Toronto’s ecological essence. “Where is your watershed address?” is the question the installation asks the occupants of the region."

"At the top of the sculpture, there is a large water troft [sic], below which suspends perforated steel that is shaped to reflect the Oak Ridge Moraine, which is where the watershed begins. With a century old industrial building behaving as a receded backdrop, sculpted stainless steel pipes depict with accuracy the current route of the tributaries that stretch high above Toronto. The pipes hover in open space to extenuate the delicacy of the water table in an ever changing landscape."

"In growing seasons, water flows through the installation – traversing down the various steel surfaces and irrigating the plants before being collected in a tray at the base and recirculated back into the sculpture. In this way, the installation is a living work that looks and behaves differently in each season – growing and hibernating, rusting and cleansing, at it responds to the changing conditions of its environment."

Its meaning gives it depth but it stands as a thing of beauty even for those that don't know what it represents.

This open, yet covered, space is home to the largest farmer's market in Toronto, it runs year round - though sadly not when we were visiting.

There were photogenic details everywhere you looked...

In/on the buildings...

As well as those supplied by nature.

The couple on the far, lower, right is getting their picture taken.

The building is covered with photos detailing the historic nature of the site. From the Evergreen website: "From 1889 to 1984, the Don Valley Brick Works was one of Canada’s pre-eminent brickyards. Many of Toronto’s heritage buildings and Canada’s national landmarks—including Winnipeg’s T. Eaton Building, Toronto’s Massey Hall and Casa Loma Stables, Montreal’s Acadia Apartments and Moncton’s T. Eaton Building—were constructed of bricks from this factory."

By 1984 the brick kilns were no longer producing and the buildings sat empty. As happens they became a destination for those wanting to explore, party and express their inner (graffiti) artist.

The buildings are now a mix of the old and new...

There is signage everywhere, pulling even the casual observer in...

The old brick kilns remain, and you can walk through the area.

Located adjacent to the kilns, I was told this open space is flooded in the winter and becomes a skating rink.

It must be magical.

The photos I've shared thus far are of areas we toured before lunch, and now - after enjoying a tasty box lunch - we still had a little more time to explore on our own.

There was a gift shop and nursery on the premises...

It was fun to look at things I could buy, however I was soon back outside exploring.

I can't shake the idea this was a temporary installation, a summertime project where kids to learn about growing veggies. Although I may have just made that up since I can't find any documentation to support it. (update 8/28 read more about this project here)

Professional photographers must have so much fun here!

In the distance, under that row of trees, you can barely see the edge of the old quarry. I wanted to walk out there, but looking at the time I knew I'd be cutting it close, so I did not. Dead center, on the pole, is a bird condo.

With at least one resident home.

I think we need a big ol'metal flower on our house. Or wait, an agave hanging off the roof! Yes please.

This was in the kid's area, there was a big auger with a tube attached they were using to fill water buckets, the bamboo had "water me" signs...I can imagine they do not want for water...

Clever seats.

This section sponsored by the Home Depot?

Lots of fun for the kids...

And the adults too!

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