Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Fabaceae garden at Chelsea

Oh Chelsea, you're a flower show that a whole country stops to notice, can us Americans imagine what that means? I don't think so. Prime time television coverage, of a garden show? Ha! Not in this county. However the stories do trickle in, and the first to grab my attention this year is the Seedlip Garden. From the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea page:

"The Seedlip Garden celebrates the humble garden pea, Pisum sativum...
The planting, forms, colours and multi-sensory elements within this conceptual installation are all relevant to the pea, producing a contemporary and educational compendium in praise of one of the nation’s favourite vegetables. A garden path, formed of circular elements, representing the form of the pea, leads to the elevated Peavilion, a ‘shrine’ housing a collection of articles relevant to the pea. All species of plant used in the garden are from the pea family Fabaceae. Peas & Love!"
The Seedlip Garden, photo borrowed from the RHS Chelsea page

  • Unusual varieties of sugar snaps and snow peas feature in the garden, an homage to the late American pea breeder, Dr Calvin Lamborn
  • Mirrored silver stepping stones, featuring a pea pod design, are embedded into the path alongside split pea shingle and pea mulch
  • Edible pea shoots adorn the roof of the pea green 'Peavillion' and miniature willow wigwams highlight the vibrant yellow and red pea pods 
The Seedlip Garden, photo borrowed from the RHS Chelsea page
Gardenista explains what "Seedlip" is:  "Seedlip is a young business, having launched in 2015 as the world’s first nonalcoholic spirit. Its founder is the irrepressible Ben Branson, whose enthusiasm for the core ingredient of Seedlip spirits is evident when he mixes a drink, the legend PEAS tattooed across his fingers."
Pea fancier and Seedlip founder Ben Branson, with garden designer Catherine Macdonald, Ph.D.
photo borrowed from Gardenista
More, from Gardenista: "Branson descends from a long line of Lincolnshire farmers and, along with an increasing number of his peers, does not drink alcohol. Bored by the sugar-laden alternatives (besides water), Ben began to experiment with a small copper still, encouraged by the writings of mainly forgotten alchemists. One book was particularly intriguing: The Art of Distillation by John French, published in 1651. Branson found that it was possible to make a spirit by distilling a vegetable and removing the alcohol at the end of the process. The chosen vegetable in this case was a pea."

Describing the garden: "There’s something about peas, and it’s perfectly described in the design of this garden, which features only one plant family: Fabaceae, family of peas. There is scope within this plant group for considerable variety, from crimson clover to an acacia tree, with sweet peas, broad beans, and six different kinds of lupines along the way. Lupines are rather ubiquitous at this year’s show, but this is one garden where they absolutely belong."

Think about it, everything from a ground cover to a tree, all within the same plant family, wouldn't that be a fun garden to visit?

Of course to really understand Seedlip as a brand you should also visit their webiste (here). I must admit I am very curious. "A floral blend of hand-picked Peas & homegrown Hay from Ben’s Farm with traditional garden herb distillates in celebration of the English countryside."....what does that taste like?

Weather Diary, May 30: Hi 69, Low 45/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wednesday Vignette, that fleeting moment when...

Lord knows this vignette gets plenty of screen time. The area in front of our living room window might be one of the most photographed parts of the garden, but I don't think I've ever featured this....

I'm speaking of that fleeting moment when the blue of the Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue'...

Meet's the blue flowers of Amsonia hubrichtii, aka threadleaf bluestar. It's almost as if I planned it. Which of course I did not. It just happened...

Weather Diary, May 29: Hi 68, Low 50/ Precip 0

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

East Austin Succulents and Tillery Street Plant Co — a combo nursery visit

You know I love to visit nurseries; at home, when I'm traveling, it's all good! I was thrilled to stop at East Austin Succulents while Pam had us out and about the Monday after the Fling. E.A.S. was a sponsor of the Austin Fling, so I had to buy something right? (like that was a problem)

I did't realize that it was a two-for-one stop though. Turns out Tillery Street Plant Co. is right next door. As I wandered I wasn't sure where one stopped and the other began, thus I'm not drawing a line here, as I said before, it's all good!

Right away I knew there was going to be a lot to choose from. So many plants!!!
Oreocereus trollii aka the Old Man of the Andes
Agave americana 'Striata'

Variegated Agave victoriae-reginae

I honestly can't remember ever having been at a nursery that has a selection of vintage pottery, how very fabulous!
They had a wide selection of new pots as well. I would have seriously considered those tall metal ones with the green accents, had I not been flying home.

Ya gotta love a cactus that blooms while it's bare root and tied to the fence.


There was a wide variety of planted up things to get inspiration from...

And a whole greenhouse/shadehouse of potted treasures to discover...

Did you know there ain’t no Saguaro in Texas? Even though they seem pretty attached to it as a symbol.

Unfortunately I did not spend enough to "spin the wheel"...
I was all kinds of in love with these Opuntia zebrina, but concerned the very markings I loved wouldn't last as the plant matured.

If you read last Friday's post you know I bought an Obregonia denegrii.

Love this variant on the dish planter.
So many Agaves! They were quite spendy though.
Agave isthmensis 'Rum Runner'
Back outside I was drawn to the Airtream/Cycad combo, what's not to love?

I reallly tried to rationalize hauling one (or two) of those tall ribbed cylindrical planters home.

Ditto for the short ones. But I left them behind...(I really don't need more containers).
Bromeliads always make my heart beat faster.

I have two of these same raspberry Cactus, only mine are grafted onto tall green bases. Odd things.
Well, our visit had to wrap up sometime, I guess this point is as good as any. What a fantastic nursery, or two.

Weather Diary, May 28: Hi 73, Low 54/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Visiting Gerhard's garden, 2018 style

I've visited, and written about, my friend Gerhard's garden in 2014 (here) and then again in 2016 (here). It would appear I'm on the "every two year" plan, as I was there again last month, April 2018...

I was in town for a 2-day Pacific Horticulture board meeting, at UC Davis, and Gerhard and Heather graciously invited me to stay at at their garden, or er, I mean house. Gerhard picked me up and when we got back to their place the light in the garden was fabulous. It was dinner time but we squeezed in a little garden tour before hand.

For my 2014 visit this area was all still lawn. In 2016 it fairly was newly planted up with a wonderful selection of some of my favorite "desert plants", to say they've grown is an understatement, it's almost jungley. The Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass' was positively glowing...

As was A. 'Blue Glow', of course...

If I had laid on the ground, and waited for just the right moment, I wonder if I could have gotten these red spines to glow too?

I think this is one of Plant Delights fancy new Agave introductions, maybe Agave obscura 'Red Skyline', but I could be wrong. I am probably wrong.

I guess I should warn you, this post is going to be light on specific plant names. I labeled what I was sure of, and pulled what I could from a recent post of Gerhard's, but sometimes it's okay to just soak up the beauty and not have to label everything...

That said, I think this is Aloe marlothii.

A Bromeliad planter wall! I like it, especially when backed by that gorgeous Cycad.

Mangaves, all lined up for their portrait.

Grevillea, perhaps 'Ned Kelly'

I swoon! I wish my cloudy cabbages (which Gerhard kindly sent me from Annie's Annuals) were still alive. Oh, it's real name is Bukiniczia cabulica.

Ditto for my Agave bovicornuta, Gerhard's plant was a vision of spiky perfection.

And I do mean spiky...

Agave victoriae-reginae

Agave 'Sun Glow' (I think?)

Those are some looonnnggg spikes...

I love the variety of colors and textures (all spiky!) in this bed, which borders the walkway to the front door. When I first visited Gerhard's garden there was huge Agave desmetiana 'Variegata' here, sending up its bloomspike.

These next 18 photos are of the area along the front sidewalk, public gardening space outside the fence that surrounds the front garden. It's a wonder there aren't accidents as people slow down to gawk at the plants. Phlomis fruticosa...

Agave weberi ‘Arizona Star’ with another Aloe marlothii to it's left.

Blooming (leaning) Echium wildpretii in the distance.

Banksia blechnifolia, I am so jealous and wish I could grow this plant.

Looking backwards and admiring the enormous Leucadendron.

Salvia discolor, I love this plant's tiny black flowers and should probably grow it again (it's an annual in my climate).

Oh the beauty of the Palo Verde...

Agave gentryi 'Jaws' and Yucca linearifolia with a little color from Calliandra californica.

Agave parrasana

Aloidendron 'Hercules' rules over it's diminuative subjects...

Aloe broomii (perfection!)

Agave macroacantha

Reaching out for the sun's last rays (Aloe ferox on the far left)...

There were so many flawless Agave americana var. medio-picta 'Alba' all around Davis.

Like the Agave ovatifolia seemed to reign in Austin this Agave says "Davis" to me, they were so perfectly grown.

Yucca baccata var. vespertina 'Hualampai Blue'

Aechmea recurvata 'Big Mama'

Now we've walked around and are admiring the plantings between Heather and Gerhad's driveway and the neighbor's.

And these last few shots were taken in the back garden the next morning. Hechtia...

A Bromeliad of some sort, I think....(hey, I'd only had a half cup of coffee...a girl can't be expected to remember what she's been told until she's on her second cup)...

And another Hechtia

I'll wrap up this quick tour of Gerhard's amazing garden with this. Can you guess what it is?

If you guessed the dried up bloom stalk from an Echium wildpretii you are correct! And if you want to see more of Gerhard's garden, and his spiky adventures, follow his blog Succulents and More.

Weather Diary, May 27: Hi tbd, Low 80/ Precip 53

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.