Here were are again, it's the last Friday of the month, and that means a chance to look at a few of my favorite plants in the garden. This month I'm not focusing on things because they're looking especially good, in fact many of those featured are just hanging on, but they're survivors. Each of them made it through a winter that, by all accounts, should have done them in, and certainly did take away several of their neighbors.
Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine Form' — I've lost this plant in lesser winters, so I was thrilled to see those sticks pushing out new growth. While this plant does send up small purple flowers that's not why I love it, instead it's the "powerfully fragrant" leaves. On a sunny morning brushing up against them releases scent that sends me to warmer climates...
Another plant I grow for the fragrant leaves, Salvia apiana. In close-quarters (think a car on a warm day) this can be too much of a good thing, but in the garden it's heavenly. The big white leaves are dramatic, and if it blooms it's rumored to be quiet the bee attractor. It is also very picky about drainage, so the fact it's pushing on despite our record breaking rains is quite amazing.
While worrying about my Agaves this winter I didn't even stop to thing about the Echinocereus triglochidiatus v. gonacanthus hybrid. Amazingly it's still solid. It's not the most beautiful Cactus ever, well...
...until it does this...(bloom from last summer)...dare I hope for more this summer?
Having lost one of these in the winter of 2013/14 I never would have believed my Banksia marginata would make it through.
Especially since this one is in front of the house, where the cold east wind whips through and completely defoliated my Pineapple Guava (Acca sellowiana, which by the way are showing signs of new growth)...
Grevillea rivularis, why isn't this plant more popular?
It's proven itself in my garden. Through heat and lack of water, and now cold and too much water.
There are buds forming too!
Another Grevillea, G. x gaudichaudii. This is one of those plants that seasoned local gardeners have all grown and lost. I thought for sure my plants were doomed. Yet all three are still alive, this one in the front garden...
And this and another in the back.
Hopefully those great leaves will be joined by bright magenta and purple tooth-brush shaped flowers this summer.
Rounding up the Grevillea surprises is G. juniperina ‘Molonglo’...
I thought for sure this one was a gonner, I lost multiple plants the last time we had a cold winter. Nope. Didn't even phase it. Right plant right place? It's more protected here, than the ones I previously grew in the front garden.
A pretty picture this is not. The upper stems of my Correa backhouseana were fried, but the foliage remains on the lower parts. I am hopeful this means there will be new sprouts as our weather warms.
Lupinus albifrons lives on!
Well one of them does anyway. This one broke off during one of the ice storms, and hasn't sprouted any new growth. Another lost most of it's leaves from the ice and was bent at an awkward angle, I cut it back too, and that seems to have been the end of it.
But at least one of them is still happy.
With lots of new growth.
Back in 2015, when I excitedly announced my first plant purchase of the year was Ceanothus griseus horizontalis 'Diamond Heights', it seemed every Portland gardener on Facebook piped up to let me know they'd lost it after a bad winter. So imagine my surprise when I saw not one...
But both of my plants pushing out new leaves. I love that green on green (or gold, to some) foliage...
That bit of happiness was just the push I needed to yank out my (disliked and deformed) Ceanothus impressus ‘Victoria’ and replace it with Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Zanzibar'. Hopefully it has years of happy-bee blooms ahead of it!
So those are my month-end favorites, a few happy surprises after a lot of garden sadness. What's making you happy in your garden at the end of April?
Weather Diary, April 27: Hi 56, Low 42/ Precip .08"
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