Thursday, November 17, 2016

Horticultural Therapy, a walk in the sun

Rather than attempting to get actual work done on the morning of November 9th I instead gave myself over to the New York Times, and the fear and bewilderment in my Facebook feed. I read and read and cried some too. Why fight it when I knew I wouldn't be able to focus anyway? Truth be told I was jealous when Andrew left for work — and the distraction of the workplace — that morning.

After a few hours I needed a nice hot shower to wash away all the ickiness, it's about then the dark, heavy, clouds disappeared and a bright blue sky replaced them. I knew it was time to step away from the internet and seek some horticultural therapy in the form of a walk around the Kennedy School grounds.

This perfectly gorgeous (in the moment) pampas grass was on the way. If you follow Sean Hogan (@_sean_hogan) of Cistus Nursery on Instagram (and you really should) he recently shared an eye-opening video of this plant in the "Santa Lucias above the Big Sur coast" of California. Give it a watch...

Moving on to the KS grounds I was surprised to see this little Allium Agapanthus (duh! I knew that...thanks Rod Lutes for catching error) my blooming, in November.

Brachyglottis greyi (Senecio greyi) has a delightful shimmer in the sunlight.

I can't stress enough how medicinal the sun was that afternoon. If it had stayed dark and stormy I would have sunk lower into despair. Everyone seemed to be feeling the need to get out and soak it up. I encountered many more people out walking about than usual for a Wednesday afternoon. They were all sure to make eye contact and smile too, I think we needed to feel connected in a moment of uncertainty.

Looks like maybe this is Santolina virens 'Lemon Fizz' is doing that "revert to green" thing I've heard it does.

A little out of focus but it adds to the softness.

I love this trio of Agave parryi surrounded by Sempervivum and (maybe?) a trailing ice-plant?

An over-all shot of the Lardizabala biternata I was stalking a few weeks back.

These were gorgeous, one of those plants I never notice until a moment like this. I have no idea what it is but suspect everyone else probably does. (*update it's a Cuphea, probably C. micropetala, thanks AA*)

And I keep threatening to add these to my garden but never remember to buy them. I also know what they are, I really do, but can't think of the name right now...(*update Schizostylis coccinea, thanks Peter*)

Gorgeous Lagerstroemia foliage, all colored up.

Cunninghamia lanceolata 'Glauca' — I need to remember this tree is here, so whenever I yearn for one in my garden I can come visit it instead.

Monkey puzzle! Araucaria araucana.

Turning back to look at the huge clump of Tetrapanax.

I first spotted these Agave desmettiana back in October and wondered if they'd leave them outside to perish. So far there's no signs of a move, but then again we've not gotten much colder than 40℉ so no need to worry, other than the copious rain that is.

Summer-like in it's intensity.

This photo proves I'm not crazy, or at the very least that others are just as crazy. On the far left and far right are Loquat trees (Eriobotrya japonica). I get strange looks when people realize I've got two in my (small) garden...and yes I realize that's not going to work long term.

The Yucca and Eucalyptus combo is a good one.

Oakleaf Hydrangea, showing off that beautiful fall color they're (sometimes) known for.

Their Dryopteris sieboldii are getting quite large! I finally planted one in my garden, I hope I chose a good place.

They've also got a great collection of Mahonia gracilipes, which I can never get a great photo of because the colors get all wonky on the north side of the building, in the shade.

Hmmm, no color here.

Now we're moving into my favorite part of the garden...

You probably can guess why.

The Kalanchoe is definitely not hardy here.

Nor is that big leaf thing in the bottom middle with the dark spots.

The Agaves though, they'll power through. I love having another Agave-test garden just blocks away from my own.

*sigh*... the subtle variegation on this Agave parryi is just as beautiful as the first time I saw it.

And the pups are still there...(a disclaimer, lest anyone think I covet to the point of theft).

I should be frightened by the size of that  Nolina 'La Siberica'...(at the back), since I have three...

Still watching that Echium and wondering what winter will do to it.

Seeing the seed capsules on this Callistemon reminded me just how fortunate I am. I remember first discovering we could grow them here in Portland and lusting after a plant mature enough to bloom and develop these. Now I've got several.

Still no pods on my Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’ though, which is just fine with me, although they are awfully cute. I hope my therapeutic walk in the sun did you some good too.

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

37 comments:

  1. One last gorgeous day here so I am off to garden. The good weather and sun has helped tremendously. The other day I wore a bright yellow beret to boost my spirits when I met friends for coffee. I also added a button on the hat - bright yellow, too - that said "Democratic Warrior Women." He's won. I will accept that. But what happens now is about morality not politics.

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    1. Indeed. All those people saying "get over the fact your candidate didn't win"...okay, yes, as upsetting as that was I get it. Your pick doesn't always win (even if they really do). But it's not just that the other party won, it's that an unqualified, racist, misogynist, xenophobic, VERY DANGEROUS person won. That's all. Sorry. I just got all worked up again.

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    2. It's certainly easy to get worked up again. Although there are politics afoot that are upsetting, it seems very difficult to communicate to people that the shock, protests and horror going around is not political: it is moral, ethical and the repeating of history that stupefies.

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  2. You said you were surprised to see the Allium in bloom, but I think it is actually an Agapanthus. Also, the long orangey/red flower is Cuphea or Cigar Plant.

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    1. Ugh! I knew that (Agapanthus)...what was I thinking? Thank you for catching m ridiculous error.

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  3. The plant with tubular flowers you couldn't id is, I think, Cuphea micropetala.

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  4. A walk in the sun is always a good idea and walking throught the garden at the Kennedy School is an added bonus! Cuphea & Schizostylis coccinea.

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    1. Thanks for the ID, and yes...I am so lucky this is just blocks away!

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  5. A walk in the sun is always nice and even better if there's a great garden involved. Do you know the gardener at Kennedy School? Maybe they can spare a pup of 'Lime Streak' or at least that's what it looks like.

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    1. I do, I emailed him when I first spotted it and got an odd reply. I still have hope!

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  6. I've been using my own garden to distract myself, so much work to do. Thanks for sharing the photos you took from your sunny day at Kennedy School. Do you remember that photo I took last year of the Agave with the little skull beads on the tips? I didn't realize when I bought it, but that is a similarly variegated Agave parryi, in a pot with lots of babies. I recently finally unpotted it and separated them. I'll bring a couple to the spring swap for you if you want.

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    1. YES PLEASE!!! Both Peter and Gerhard have gifted me similarly variegated A. parryi, which I love, but I am still in awe of this one.

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  7. Thanks for the vicarious walk. I really need to visit Kennedy School myself one of these days. My oakleaf hydrangea looks like the second one in your photos, unfortunately. The one I planted last year, at least. The ones I put in this year turned red and dropped their leaves in September, stressed as they were in their nursery pots. Maybe that's the key, finding a spot where they get stressed enough to get good color but not too horrible to prevent them from growing well.

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    1. Yes you do! Maybe we can meet up there and have lunch.

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  8. You don't want pods to appear, trust me. Everything else in this post: fabulous!

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    1. Ya, I dread the day seedlings become an issue.

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  9. Such a wonderful, beautiful post of a very therapeutic (I imagine) afternoon. Still loving the variegated Agave, as you are. I love the shot with the seed head and soft focus. Quite beautiful and calming. I don't feel like there are many places near me that I know of that have such great plantings, hardiness zone notwithstanding!

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    1. This place is such a gift to the neighborhood. Every time we dine there I like to think I'm thanking them for it.

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  10. The Cuphea is C. X 'David Verity'; the spotted, large-leafed succulent is Bryophyllum gastonis-bonnieri

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    1. Ryan Miller is that you? (thank you whomever you are...)

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  11. I have fond memories of the Kennedy School. The plant palette look much more colorful now than in the summer.

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  12. These are dark times. I'm glad you found some sunshine and gardens to lift your mood. We're all going to need more gardening to get through this.

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    1. Indeed we are, and each other. Stronger together!

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  13. Sunshine and plants...what better therapy?

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    1. Honestly I don't think there is!

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  14. Horticultural therapy is the best medicine for the heartsickness engendered by this election and I thank you for sharing it. Just about everyone I know is feeling more than a little brittle right now - working out in the garden, even in the half-dark, is my way of avoiding shattering from excess exposure to cabinet selection decisions.

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    1. I'm trying to find the fine line between staying informed and staying away to keep my sanity. It's hard!

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  15. I'm heartsick for so many reasons now, but I want you to know that I treasure your posts. Keep them coming.

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    1. Thank you Sheila, I appreciate the encouragement. You've had to deal with a lot this last couple of weeks.

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  16. Hug a dog and walk among the plants - definitely the best therapy! Thanks for taking us along, Loree! And glad to see other people sticking too many, too big, but just gorgeous plants in together... Just starting to get a bit of color on my lagerstroemia :) Here it goes through a spell of looking half-dead just before it actually colors up! Maybe I need to check my watering schedule...

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    1. Crammit-style gardening is the wave of the future!

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  17. Sobering to think that impressive pampas grass is the invasive scourge of the coastline up near Big Sur, but maybe it's fine for you guys in Portland. How's your variegated parryi coming along? Mine became disfigured by discoloration -- probably light issues? I'm still nursing it along tho. I'd be visiting the Kennedy school so often they'd think I was camping there somewhere in the shrubbery ;)

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  18. The Kennedy School - I remember that place from the fling in Portland. What an excellent place to find solace. I especially like the brave little Agapanthus flower and the Oakleaf Hydrangea leaves.

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  19. Great tour, Loree! I'm embarrassed to say I've never seen that garden and I could bike there in 7 minutes. The only time I've ever been to KS was at nighttime.
    Guess I'd better get my act together.

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