Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday Vignette, sedum table!

Last week — when I posted photos of my fern table — several friends who live in sunnier, dryer, climes lamented they wouldn't be able to enjoy such a thing in their gardens. So I couldn't help but think of you all when I spotted this sunny Sedum table over the weekend ...

Now granted it is a little underwhelming...but maybe it will give you a jumping off point with which to start? Oh and I think that "not a sedum" may be a Lewisia?

Weather Diary, May 30: Hi 60, Low 54/ Precip heavy mist/drizzle for 16 hours that resulted in just a trace, officially.

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Oh my! This is gonna be fun...

I knew there was a shipment from a friend in Denver on it's way to me, but I had no idea what exactly was coming my way. The box was so light as I carried it inside...


Oh my! A box full of Tillandsia!? How did I get so lucky?

My friend Shelia in Denver (Shelia Schultz aka one of the Denver Dirty Girls) is moving, a big move, and out of the country move. I knew she sold off her amazing plant collection, but I had no idea she had this many Tillandsia.

She decided rather than to sell them, she'd buy them airfare to other gardens...and this is just 1/3 of her collection. Two other lucky people also had a shipment show up at their door.

Thank you Shelia! I've been scheming on exactly what I'm going to do with my riches... I can't wait to make it happen! Maybe someday you can come visit them...

Weather Diary, May 29: Hi 72, Low 54/ Precip 0"

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, May 29, 2017

In a Container on Monday...PINK!

It's not a vase and those aren't cut flowers, although now that I type those words I do wonder how Bougainvillea respond to cutting...I'm thinking not well, but hopefully my plant will thrive and I'll be able to find out. This is the new view from our living room window, easier to see with your eyes, it gets blurry when I shove my camera lens in between the horizontal blinds...

I'm the proud owner of this big, PINK, Bougainvillea × buttiana 'Barbara Karst' — a gift from my very generous friend the Outlaw Gardener, Peter Herpst.

He'd called me one Sunday morning, having spotted the much sought after orangey/pink Bougainvillea at a nursery in Bellevue, Wa. It was a little expensive for my budget so I passed. Somewhere along the line in our conversation I mentioned I'd be happy with the straight pink version and then whadda ya know? He showed up with one.

Most of you know I'm not a fan of pink, but I love all Bougainvillea, and since I've made my peace with pink flowers in the front garden I figured I could plant it in the big concrete, pebble covered, planter I got from a neighbor...

After all I needed a little color splash in front of the house.

LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!! I also added a trio of Mangave 'Inkblot' — they've colored up so well since I first wrote about them...

And they've grown too. Amazing to think what they'll look like in a month or two...

But back to that Bougainvillea, since it's the star of this show...

It's using the Callistemon ‘Woodlander's Hardy Red’ for support. The mixing of their blooms would be interesting but sadly I don't think this particular "bottle brush" will be blooming this year. Winter did it no favors.

What do you think? Is the jolt of color a good thing? Or out of place? I suppose I should also mention there are pink-blooming Echium russicum, a Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Hindwarf' and assorted pink Lewisia just out of frame, so it's not completely crazy. Oh and that hanging Opuntia will be blooming pink soon too.

When Andrew noticed I was going to plant this screaming pink plant in the front garden he asked why? "It's such an old lady plant...why would you want that in the front garden?"...ha! You're married to an old lady buddy...and I'll plant my loud pink plants where ever I think they look good...

Just for the sake of remaining true to Cathy's Monday Vase meme here is my only real vase offering. My inherited pink Peony started to open it's three flowers and quickly I chopped them to enjoy inside. Speaking of old lady flowers Andrew is quite enamored with them, stopping to bury his nose every time he walks by...

Weather Diary, May 28: Hi 85, Low 55/ Precip 0"

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, May 26, 2017

But I can't wait until July! Building my fern table...(it's my month end favorite)...

You may have noticed I've fallen hard for ferns. My purchases at the spring plant sales, and outings with friends, have fallen into two distinct groups, spikes and ferns. Extremes, with little in between. I'm featuring this project as my month end favorites post...

The fern tables I'd spotted at Joy Creek Nursery in Scappoose, and Swansons Nursery in Seattle really captured my attention. I'd seen them all in the depths of winter, and yet they still held my interest, so I'd been toying with the idea of making one of my own. On my recent trip to Joy Creek I was curious to see what their tables were looking like, now that spring has sprung...

They've certainly woken up!

The Saxifraga blooms annoy me just as much here as they do in my own garden.

I guess it's a personality defect.

Love that they've tucked the plant tags out of sight, but available, for curious customers.

Speaking of curious customers... (slug!)...

Once I decided I needed to build my own fern table I was excited to see none other than Richie Steffen (Curator at the Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle, and author of  The Plant Lover's Guide to Ferns) would be teaching a class at Joy Creek, "Ferns and How to Use Them to Create Fern Tables" a 2-hour workshop on Sunday, July 2, 2017 at 1 :00 p.m. (cost $10)...

"For those of you who have admired the fern tables in our retail area, come to this workshop to learn how to create your own! Joy Creek is happy to welcome Richie Steffen back to talk about the new book from Timber Press, The Plant Lover's Guide to Ferns, which he co-authored with Sue Olsen. As you will see during the first part of the afternoon, Richie is full of inventive ways for using ferns in the garden. He will show some of the best ferns for Northwest gardens and share tips on how to use them in the garden. During the second part of the afternoon, Richie will demonstrate how to create easy-to-assemble fern tables. These miniature landscapes are inspired by local Northwest Gardener George Schenk, author of Gardening on Pavement, Tables, & Hard Surfaces. Richie uses small plants, moss, rocks and weathered pieces of wood, to craft a distinctive focal point for your patio, deck, or entryway. He will also show how to care for the tables as they mature. They are irresistible! This is a two hour workshop with a 15 minute break. There is a $10 cost for this class.The proceeds for this fee help to defray costs for our speakers. Please call 503-543-7474 to RSVP and pay the day of the class in our retail area (the barn)."

Super! But once I decide I want to do something I am really bad about waiting. July 2nd is so far away!

So I bought the book referenced in the class description Gardening on Pavement, Tables, and Hard Surfaces, by George Schenk. And did a Google search to see what I could find online (this).

And decided to jump in!

Unfortunately the initial "jump" was not captured by the camera. I didn't think to break it out until the surface was prepared and the plants all gathered.

I wanted to have a galvanized metal base, after all galvanized metal plays a huge part in my garden and I knew it wouldn't look out of place. I found a short piece of ducting at the Rebuilding Center. I think it cost me a dollar. I was concerned it wouldn't be strong enough to hold the weight of the concrete slab, soil, and plants, so I drove three pieces of rebar into the ground inside the cylinder, placing them so they stood just a tiny bit higher than the metal.

Then I cut a piece of the rubber tubing I use with my dish-planters (I think it's what they use for ice maker/water line in refrigerators?) and worked it around the top of the metal. It helps create a grip, something better than just a thin piece of metal.

The concrete slab is from Mutual Materials, it's 18" square and matches the 24" sq pavers which we used to make up our pathway, patio and the loose checkerboard pattern under the shade pavilion.

The bits of wood I used to create the sides (which help to contain the soil until the roots can hold it all together) were ones I picked up along the beach last December, on our Christmas trip to the Oregon Coast. At the time I wasn't exactly sure what I would end up using them for, I had a few projects in mind...but not a fern table! I especially love this one...

Let's look at the plants...I tried to select hardy specimens, ones that could withstand wintering in-place, with no damage. However the siren song of this Arthropodium candidum 'Maculatum' (2 qty) was just too much for me to resist, it's a Zone 8 plant, which I've lost in the ground during a cold winter. They'll last as long as they do and that's that.

Saxifraga 'Primuloides' (2)...

Selaginella kraussiana 'Brownii' (2)

Athyrium filix-femina 'Limelight Lady' (2)

Thalictrum ichangense 'Evening Star' (1)

And Blechnum spicant (1)

Here I've placed two pieces of beach wood and a small chuck from an Arctostaphylos, which was later removed because it didn't seem to belong. Instead I used a length of mossy wood I found when scavenging for a couple pieces of basalt, one of which you see on the left. The author of Gardening on Pavement, Tables, and Hard Surfaces, Mr. George Schenk, was adamant that one should not use both wood and rocks when putting together a fern table. The clash of materials would be hard for the eye to understand, he wrote. While I disagree (and the examples from both nurseries mix up their materials) I did tend to hide my rocks, where as the wood plays a prominent role. Not a conscious decision, one that just happened.

I also fully intended to take lots of photos in-process, however once in engaged I forgot all about the camera (I think that's probably a good sign). Things were much further along when I remembered to pick it up again.

And here they were just about finished...

The final task was tucking in bits of moss to cover the soil.

Both Richie and Mr. Schenk warn that you should only collect moss from your own property, it stands the best chance of living (besides, you already own it!). However, since I don't have the moss riches to do that, I'll just be careful to water it well and hope for the best. If it dies at least it held things together for awhile.

Here's where I gush.

Because I am really pleased with how it turned out.

Of course I still plan to attend the class at Joy Creek in July.

I need to learn all about what I did wrong, so I can do it right next time!

Until then, I'll just be over here admiring it...and that's why it's my month-end favorite. What's your favorite in your garden this month?

Weather Diary, May 25: Hi 75, Low 49/ Precip 0"

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.