Thursday, August 31, 2017

That's a combo you don't see everyday...

Zipping up an always busy Division Street — en-route to Portland Nursery — something caught my eye. Could it be? Really? I had to park and take a closer look. Yes indeed. All signs point to an Agave that has bloomed. A rare thing indeed, here in Portland. But then my eyes adjusted and took in the rest of the scene, oh my...

This is not a residential garden, but rather one lovingly tended in front of a restaurant.

And the plant combinations are head-scratchingly "eclectic"...


And Agave...(which I wish I'd seen while it was still flowering).

Joined by a very happy Opuntia.

And rounded out with a blue conifer (I am not going to hazard a guess since I know zilch about conifers)...

And ferns. What look to be (correct me please) sword ferns in full blazing sun, planted in gravel, next to a sidewalk and a 4-lane street (hot, hot, hot).

Oy vey!

So taking the focus back to what caught my eye in the first place, which Agave does this look to be? All I can think of is 'Blue Glow' but I doubt that would have lived through our last winter. ‘Burnt Burgundy’ came to mind too, but that's not really any hardier...(help!?)...

No bulbils, just seeds.

Weather Diary, Aug 30: Hi 80, Low 60/ Precip 0

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wednesday Vignette, blue sky foliage mash-up

An August evening and a garden party, what's not to love? Walking around the garden of Sean Hogan, taking photos before the sun went down,  I stopped to look up and admire this scene. Eucalyptus, Tetrapanax and Bamboo...all glowing against a blue sky. Summer why can't you last longer???

Weather Diary, August 29: Hi 88, Low 62/ Precip 0

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, August 29, 2017

The Farwest Show — 2017-style

Last week was the annual Farwest nursery industry trade show put on by the Oregon Association of Nurseries. For the uninitiated it's not really a garden show in the usual sense. There are no display gardens, and you don't buy plants, gloves, or other garden accessories — that is unless you're a business placing orders for the following year. I enjoy going to catch up with familiar faces and see if I can spot any exciting new plants or coming trends...

However that said, if you're in the right place and the right time, persistent, and come back at closing on Friday you might be able to pick up a few plants on the cheap, if the business that brought them isn't interested in hauling them back home again. Last year I was offered a killer deal on this ornamental peach (Prunus persica, 'Bonfire') from Bountiful Farms.

It was hard to pass it up, but I did. Seeing it again this year I swooned — but knew I'd made the right decision.

Oh! Here's a new trend. Ipomoea Christmas trees! I like it! (and kid, I don't think they were really suggesting these as holiday decor)

The Little Prince of Oregon booth is always an award winner. This year they knocked it out of the park...

Ha! Sometimes I crack myself up...

Tillandsia filled baseball mitts...

And baseball Kokedama completed the scene, oh plus there were cracker jacks and peanuts to snack on if you were getting hangry.

Chilopsis linearis 'Bubba'

Had I realized this is hardy here in Portland I would have definitely tried to make this one mine...

Over at the Walla Walla Nursery Co booth...

Were these succulent Christmas trees.

I'm not typically a fan of crazy succulent creations...

But I thought their use of Aloes as stars was quite inspired.

This. Well I just don't know how to feel. It's marketed as Kiwi Gem™ Shrub Panax by Monrovia (it's a Pseudopanax laetus). A great plant! But...

They're saying it's hardy to Zone 7, which would mean it's good to 0F...ZERO DEGREES people. I know folks in Zone 8 that have lost it over winter. Where did you get that Zone 7 rating? Send me one and I'll happily trial it in my Zone 8 garden and let you know how it does! (I do have one, but have kept it in a container, afraid to lose it in a bad winter).

Also at Monrovia is this Aralia cordata 'Gotemba' — as I was admiring it I was told it was not 'Sun King'.

The difference being that 'Gotemba' can take some sun. On the left is one that had been exposed to the rays, on the right is one that had been more shaded.

Moving on....Anna (Flutter & Hum) mentioned the show lights in her Farwest review, I've both loved and hated them over the years but really enjoyed how they helped illuminate the tall bamboo in the Bamboo Garden Nursery booth.

The Sunset WesternGarden Collection booth was a highlight for me — again for the mix of plants and people.

I first met Sunset's Janet Sluis at the SF Garden Bloggers Fling in 2013, when we visited the Sunset Headquarters in Menlo Park. It was great to reconnect with her here in Portland, where she was manning the booth. She recently sent me a Mahonia 'Marvel' (Mahonia x media 'Marvel' PP27425) to trial (that's it on the left — and there will be more photos from my garden, soon). The gorgeous plant on the right is Platinum Beauty™ Lomandra (Lomandra longifolia ‘Roma13’ PP25962), and the way it moved in the slightest breeze was magic.

Janet sent me home with a Coolvista™ Dianella (Dianella revoluta ‘Allyn-Citation’ PP27348) to trial — sorry about the lousy photo. It' evergreen to Zone 9 but root hardy to Zone 8, I look forward to seeing what it can do.

And a gorgeous Clarity Blue™ Dianella (Dianella hybrid 'DP401' PPAF). How fabulous is that blue???

I also got to fondle this ‘Meerlo’ Lavender (Lavandula allardii 'Meerlo' PP25559), with it's AMAZINGLY fragrant foliage.

And swoon over this...(any guesses?)...

Podocrapus! It's Roman Candle™ Podocarpus (Podocarpus macrophyllus 'Miu' PPAF), sexy right?

The final segment of my Farwest experience was walking the show floor with Sean Hogan (Cistus Nursery) while he pointed out a few of his favorite things. Plants and people — always a great combination.

Weather Diary, Aug 28: Hi 98, Low 62/ Precip 0

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

Monday, August 28, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: cactus flower frog

The same visit when Peter (the Outlaw) brought the hot pink Bougainvillea, which I've absolutely loved this summer, he also brought this charming Saguaro...

It's intended purpose appears to be as a potpourri diffuser, but we've just been enjoying it as a decorative item, complete with those jaunty bumps and carved out holes like the desert birds do to real saguaros.

Then one day it hit me. It's true calling is to be used as a flower frog!!! The Saguaro could be placed in a shallow dish full of water (the bottom is open) and long stemmed-flowers pushed through the holes, are you with me?

Since I wanted to trim the flowers on the Ligularia (I don't care for them) I figured they'd make a suitable test.

What do you think?

Okay, it's a lot silly — but still — don't be surprised if it turns up again some Monday! Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for links to bloggers making real arrangements today...

Weather Diary, Aug 27: Hi 95, Low 58/ Precip 0

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

Friday, August 25, 2017

End of month favorites, there's no hiding from it now...

August really is coming to an end...September 1st is next Friday, then there's Labor Day...and then begins long march into Autumn. (Screech sound effect) WHAT!? No....Summer, it's still summer S.U.M.M.E.R. Do not give in to those evil temptresses trying seduce you with wool sweaters and hot cocoa by the fire. Fight back with your flip flops, open windows and iced beverages...please...I am depending on you!!!

Okay so, what was I saying? Oh yes, last Friday of August, time for a few favorites. My garden is still quite happy, lots of plants looking fabulous, here are just a few...

I potted up my chartreuse strawberry pots with an assortment of Agaves and Sempervivum this year.

This one has the inseparable Agave applanata 'Cream Spike' twins at the top...

With a few random Sempervivum around the base.

Of course the fact one of last year's Portulaca is making a return thrills me. I mean really? These are supposed to be annuals, right?

Moving around to the front of the house the Rhamnus frangula (Fine Line Buckthorn) at the corner just keeps getting better.

It's so easy to overlook, after all it's just a vertical green shape, but those leaves and that bark...

It's a good one.

This surprised me! I thought the Caesalpinia gilliesii was a gonner.

I didn't dig out the roots, just cut it back to the ground. Now look, it's fighting for space with a Tetrapanax shoot.

The NOID Stapelia was blooming for August's Bloomday, but it's not stopping there. No less than three blooms are fixing to open, two of them on a big piece of the plant that broke off last fall.

Glad to know it's forgiven me for that accident.

Oh Lupinus albifrons, you know I love you!

So much so I asked Gerhard to send a couple of replacements (for the ones I lost last winter), when he visited Annie's Annuals. Sadly only one of them made it, but it's looking good!

Passiflora lutea, climbing up the Trachycarpus fortunei trunk like that's what it was made to do.

Yes, that's what I planted it to do. Of course a few flowers would be nice. But I'm trying not to complain.

Like the Caesalpinia gilliesii, I thought the Sophora prostrata 'Little Baby' were also goners after the ugly winter. But, all three now have lots of those cute little leaves on their divaricated stems. Yay!

Okay, only one more. I picked up this Erica arborea var. alpina for $3 at the UW Arboretum back in 2015.

Look at it now! It's grown a lot. I think I need another one. Wait no, there's no doubt, I need another one, or two...

And that's a wrap on my random favorites for the month of August. What's looking great in your garden???
❖ ❖ ❖ ❖

There's one other bit of business to tend to, who's the winner of the year's subscription to Garden Design Magazine?.....Well the random number generator selected #5, and that's Cicely! Congrats to you and I'll be in touch to get your mailing address. Thanks to everyone who entered the give-away.

Weather Diary, Aug 24: Hi 75, Low 63/ Precip 0

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