I spent a week in late March up at my parents place in Spokane. It was lovely, but spring comes later there (USDA Zone 5/6 depending) so I was unable to share much of my parents garden then. However my brother and his family, from Arizona, were up visiting the parents during the weekend of June 10th - 12th so we made a return trip (the fact the Friends of Manito were having a plant sale that weekend was terribly convenient – more on that below). These containers are what greet you just through the back gate...
Is this the Geranium that deters mosquitoes? I know mom is a fan since the mosquitoes love her like a fine wine.
The Ligularia in the back is what drew me close, but then I caught site of those leaves in front, and the interesting container.
It's a Lophospermum erubescens, probably terribly common but I'd never heard of it.
In case you hadn't figured it out already, mom is a fan of the mixed container.
And there are a few artful artifacts peppering the garden. These old wagon wheels (or some just like them) were a feature at the edge of the property where I grew up, along with a healthy stand of Opuntia. Yes indeed!
The Syneilesis aconitifolia I gifted her a few years ago is starting to bulk up.
Variegated Iris look good in her garden.
The Yucca blooms were only a week or teo behind mine.
Oenothera macrocarpa, backed by a sedum.
The Oenothera are very happy here! Mom gave me a plant which grew like crazy but never did bloom.
On the right is Horseradish.
Mom and dad have dug it up repeatedly but it keeps coming back. Let that be a lesson to anyone thinking of planting it out in their garden.
Anytime I've written about my parents garden I've always been careful to exclude the chainsaw "art"...what the heck. Time to share it, maybe you already noticed it up above in the wagon wheel shot? They used to own a shop that catered to the chainsaw (and lawn and garden care) crowd, and thus own several.
Those lilies! I can't imagine the cutting opportunities.
Macleaya cordata (plume poppy) is another of my beloved plants that I've discovered are hardy in Spokane. Interestingly though these stay fairly short (3-4 ft) whereas mine are tall (6-8ft), even with little water – and my parents have luxurious irrigation.
Ha! Another of those fixtures from my youth. This guy has made the rounds, I am surprised he can still stand, he's so old.
So what about that plant sale? Here's my haul, back at our hotel...
And back at home...a huge Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), only $8!!!
I love it.
What you don't see here – but may have noticed above – is a pair of Salvia discolor. I'd been hunting for them locally but not managed to find them. Finally when we stopped at Judy's there they were! By the time I took this group photo I'd already planted them.
This was the thing I was really hoping to score at the Friend's of Manito sale: Ligularia dentata 'King Kong'. The FOM do a great job of organizing and publicizing the sale. Not only do they have a comprehensive list (in advance) of everything that will be available at the sale, but they also send out plant profile emails. These words had me drooling: "Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’ is a beloved and classic favorite. Imagine a plant with the same attributes but with leaves twice a large; a whopping 16” across! Ligularia ‘King Kong’ will not disappoint. It has the same dark chocolate, almost black emerging leaves changing to a purple burgundy later in summer. The huge, rounded, thick, leathery leaves have a satiny finish and wavy edges." I was a little disappointed at the small size of the plants available but bought one anyway and hope to see it through to promised size.
This was an unexpected score, Sansevieria 'Twisted'
Although when I went to plant it and it fell out of the pot looking like this, well, I was rather upset. Hopefully it will root and live on. Otherwise I threw away $8.
Finally a couple of cheap impulse purchases. Asparagus densiflorus 'Myers' / Foxtail Fern for $1 each! If you ever find yourself near Spokane in mid June be sure to look up the Friends of Manito, I'm sure you would love the plant sale as well as visiting the park. My parents garden though, that's strictly by invitation.
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