Friday, December 29, 2017

It's Vignette week! Day four: autumn

My autumn photo for Vignette Week is from the Kuzma garden, taken last September when my friends Mark and Gaz from England, as well as Gerhard from California were visiting. Friends and garden visits. Here's to more of both in 2018!

(Oh and I have a lot more photos of this garden visit yet to share, coming up soon!)

Weather Diary, Dec 28: Hi 52, Low 37/ Precip .66” (the ice is gone!)

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

Thursday, December 28, 2017

It's Vignette week! Day three: summer

I cheat with this photo, as it wasn't taken last year. However I love how it illustrates summer in the garden. All that is good in my world. Sigh...come back soon summer!

Weather Diary, Dec 27: Hi 37, Low 31/ Precip .03"

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

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

It's Vignette week! Day two: spring

In case you missed yesterday's post, this is Vignette Week here at danger garden, each day's photo depicting a season from last year. Spring is represented by my Poncirus trifoliata in flower, the neighbor's Dogwood is also in bloom and the sky is stormy — a typical springtime occurrence in Portland.

Weather Diary, Dec 26: Hi 35, Low 23/ Precip: trace — yes, most everything (plantwise) is still frozen. I am not happy about that.

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, December 26, 2017

It's Vignette week! Day one: winter

I briefly considered taking the week off, people tend to do other things this week, besides read garden blogs. Plus I've been blogging Monday thru Friday since March 13, 2009 — without missing a day — that's 2,344 posts (thank you very much) a vacation wouldn't be out of line. Then I decided maybe I'd simply have a vignette week.

So I found four images to share, each of them representing a season of the year gone by. Winter is represented by a shot I took with my phone while stuck in traffic, looking across the Willamette River towards downtown Portland. The blue sky, fog, and sunshine combined to make a magical moment.

Weather Diary, Dec 25: Hi 33, Low 28/ Precip .15" of ice — the ground and plants are covered with ice, a little snow, and more ice...and have been since Sunday afternoon..

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

Monday, December 25, 2017

Happiest of Holidays....

And if you aren't a celebrator of Christmas then I wish you a wonderful day and the best of whatever holiday you do celebrate. Cheers!

Weather Diary, Dec 24: Hi 35, Low 28/ Precip .25" (a mix of snow and ice)

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

Friday, December 22, 2017

December 22, it's officially winter now

It rarely happens like this here in Portland, Oregon. Winter holding off until it's officially winter. In my experience (13 years here), winter usually comes to Portland in late November, or sometime earlier in December. Even now, when it's officially winter, the forecast is a toss-up. Some say we'll be experiencing our coldest temps (snow! ice! maybe!) this weekend, others say it will be more of what we experienced a week or so ago, upper 20's with sunshine.

Such is winter forecasting in Portland. There are many variables at play and it's not a guarantee until you can see it with your own eyes, and feel it with your own toes. Since this has been an incredibly mild season up until now I took a walk with the camera around the garden, snapping a few highlights like this trio of Mangave 'Inkblot'. They're lovin life. I hope mother nature doesn't give them reason to feel otherwise.

Salvia apiana. I'd heard this might not be hardy through our winters, but I have a smaller one that did just fine through last winter, and it was an ugly season. Maybe this lovely plant will still be here come spring. I hope so.

Eryngium proteiflorum. Oh what a history I have with this plant. Loved it, and lost it x 2. Searched and searched for it, with no success. Then whadda ya know, I found it late in the season at Xera. Bought it and stuck it in the ground, fingers crossed. Found another at Garden Fever (40% off out of season perennials) and have it in a container as insurance. Why so determined? Check out the bloom Anna has in her garden here (page down).

Echium wildpretii, one of three in the ground. You can see it's already been singed by our cold, yet not really cold, temperatures.

I have a few others in containers that I can protect. Still I need to be ready to throw a little frost cloth over these if temps drop below about 26F. Why bother? Because this.

Oh you poor Pachystegia insignis. You were tortured in a container and so, last spring, I finally set you free in the soil. Will you be alive come next spring? Annie's says Zone 8 but I hear it might really be Zone 9.

Grevillea x gaudichaudii. Andrew finally noticed one this last weekend when we were cleaning the gutters. "What's that?"...a special Grevillea. "How long has it been there?"...a couple of years, it lived through last winter when I was concerned it wouldn't. "Well it shouldn't be so close to the sidewalk"...

And I thought he was asking because it's beautiful.

I've got a complicated relationship with Yucca aloifolia ‘Purpurea’. The plants I plant in a great (to my way of thinking) spot rot, ones I plant where they might be shaded out do okay. We'll see how these look come spring.

Ha! I wonder when this happened. That's Dianella prunina 'Rainbow Twist' — which I guess I never dug out after it died last winter — turns out it's root hardy here. Good to know.

Cheilanthes tomentosa, fingers crossed it's still this nice come spring (it's a xeric/desert fern).

Moving into the back garden I'm amazed the Musa Basjoo is still looking this good, just a couple of toasted spots.

And the Canna NOID's in front of it are surprising intact as well. Not beautiful, but not yet mush.

Cobaea scandens, Zone 9...still looks great too. I wonder for how much longer?

In a nod to the gardening season ahead, there are even a few Hellebore blooms forming around the garden.

Hopefully they won't mind a little ice, should it fall from the sky.

The tallest leaves of Begonia 'Little Brother Montgomery'  got zapped last week. The lower ones still look fine. The plant itself is very heavily mulched, fingers crossed.

Melianthus major 'Purple Haze' — as someone pointed out when I shared a similar photo on Instagram — that looks like spring growth!

The Bomarea sp., still blooming.

Still climbing.

And there are even buds! (so hopeful), those are seeds from the Trachycarpus fortunei, if you're wondering.

More plants in the "I hope they'll make it but realize they might not" club: Euphorbia stygiana

Grevillea 'Ivanhoe' (pay no attention to the dead Macleaya cordata (plume poppy) leaves behind it, I haven't done much garden clean up).

Euphorbia atropurpurea

Such a silly looking plant, that I'd really love to have stick around to bloom (see here).

Melianthus villosus will be fine, although it may be cut back to the ground.

This will be my first winter with Akebia longeracemosa 'Victor's Secret', it's said to be evergreen.

Podocarpus matudae, this one will be fine no matter what weather might come our way, even if it looks a little less than hardy.

Maytenus boaria 'Green Showers' was completely defoliated last winter. You'd never know now.

Silly witch hazel. Hamamelis x intermedia 'Rochester' refusing to drop its leaves, even as the blooms emerge.

Schefflera brevipedunculata was the only Schefflera bothered by last winter's cold/ ice/ snow/ wet (mix and match, pick one, or two, or three!). It's made a triumphant return.

Lupinus albifrons. Lost two, one survived. Planted one new one this year.

Ceanothus griseus horizontalis 'Diamond Heights' leafed out after appearing dead. No flowers, but who cares? (not me)

Just a couple more, I promise. This Anigozanthos flavidus from Xera is reportedly one of the hardiest of the Kangaroo Paws. I've got one (protected) in a container, this one is living life on the wild side. Exposed to the elements. We shall see...

Finally my champion "PKW-defying" Phormium. Lived through our memorable winter 2013-14, and lived through winter 2016-17.

You'll be around for spring 2018, no problem...

Weather Diary, Dec 21: Hi 37, Low 26/ Precip trace

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

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Visiting the United States Botanic Garden

The US Botanic Garden was my last stop on The National Mall, after a long, hot, humid day spent touring gardens in Washington DC last June. Even though I was low on energy and high on cantankerous (can't think of a better word) I still couldn't help but find some joy in this image. Our Capitol Building with a lovely garden just mere feet away. I wonder if any of those uptight politicians ever take a moment and walk around the garden? I know, chances are slim, very slim...

But enough about them, let's look at the plants...

There's a map of the garden here, if you want to see how it's laid out. I tried to walk some discernible path but ended up bouncing around.

Comptonia peregrina, aka sweet fern.

Wish I could ID the Magnolia and the Coneflower...they look unexpectedly great together.

Cercis canadensis 'The Rising Sun'

The new growth quite colorful.

Sedum ternatum

Anemone virginiana

Opuntia humifusa

I believe that's the National Museum of the American Indian peeking up over the foliage.

And that's part of the National Botanic Garden Conservatory.

These cement planters were huge.

There are a couple of people for scale. Huge!

Let's go inside the conservatory...

Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus)

Carica papaya


Vachellia cornigera, aka Bullhorn Acacia

Glad I was there for the spectacle (read the sign)...

Looking up...

Graptopetalum paraguayense with Cleistocactus winteri

Aloe marlothii

Agave parryi

There were so many amazing Cycads!

Huperzia squarrosa

I'm not sure if this is Encephalartos longifolius

Or this is.

Or maybe both?

Datura metel.

That's a wrap on the US Botanic Garden (wrap, get it?...)

Weather Diary, Dec 20: Hi 46, Low 30/ Precip .03"

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