Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wednesday Vignette; it's Halloween...

A vignette from the Lowry Eckerdt garden (part of the Salem Study Weekend tours of 2016)...

Even though this photo was taken on a sunny June day it had a  spooky quality to it, the skull of course, but the quality of light too...then I noticed the winged statue (?) in the background...

Hope you have a thrilling Halloween!

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Weather Diary, Oct 30: Hi 55, Low 46/ Precip .08"

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, October 30, 2018

Gardening under lights

The weekend before last I spent with my friends Erin and Matt up in Seattle. I've known these two since, oh 1994? Good lord, that's almost 25 years!? I must be figuring wrong (quick math and I realize no, I'm not figuring wrong, I'm just old). Anyway...since I had last visited (Nov 2017) Matt has become a little obsessed with succulents. I'd gotten email updates from Erin but this was my first chance to actually see the collection in person, they did not disappoint...

Mangave 'Bloodspot'

Since the wet season in the PNW was fast approaching these all had returned to the house, I understand many of them summered outdoors, on the patio (sounds familiar).

Mangave 'Lavender Lady'

Echeveria subrigida

Echeveria 'Autumn Flame'

Matt has bought a few of these plants in person, but many of them have been mail-ordered. I'm in awe of how good they look. I asked if he has any recommendations, a vendor he really likes, Leaf & Clay fits that bill. He's had mixed results with plants from Esty and Ebay, but Leaf & Clay ships quality plants well. Of course I should also share that he said some best purchases he's made came from Etsy and Ebay so you never know.

Agave 'Blue Ember'
This one was bought as Aloe striata, but Matt says he wonders if that's actually correct. I don't currently have A. striata but I remember when I did the small (immature) plants didn't look quite like this. Whatever this is though, it's beautiful.

Prior to becoming a succulent-lover Matt raised and bred reptiles. Their exacting needs prepped him well for taking care of plants. I'm in awe of how well tended everything is. My poor plants only wish they might be treated this well.

Haworthia venosa tessellata, in the front there. Look at those reptile-like scales and that color! (I did find this one on Leaf & Clay, but it's green, not that fabulously stressed color)

Here's where I should admit the title of this post was unintentionally borrowed from a Timber Press book Gardening Under Lights: The Complete Guide for Indoor Growers, by Leslie F. Halleck. I haven't read it — I don't think my brain has the room to absorb the details — but Matt has obviously researched lighting and made some beautiful choices.

There were a few plants I briefly considered packing up in my bag before I headed for home...

Echeveria 'Blue Heron' (variegated) was one of!

This little guy had a similar "wow" factor going on, but then I wondered if what I initially thought was variegation might actually be sunburn? I didn't ask...but lord knows it's happened to my plants more often than I care to admit.

This, like so many of the plants, perfection!

Echeveria 'Afterglow' (I have a horrible memory of friends who'd had a little too much to drink rubbing the powdery glow off my 'Afterglow'...)

This small table and light combo is where it all started, just a year ago. How the collection has grown...(I wonder what the next year will bring?).

One more cutie before we leave the plant room, Canis domesticus 'Lucy'...

A few of the early plants have gotten kicked out from under the lights and made a home on window sills around the house.

Crassula "Moonglow"

These stylish matching pots were traded in for the terracotta you saw earlier.

Glazed pots keep the soil so much wetter, I often wonder how much happier my plants would be if I'd never said "au revoir" to terracotta?

Since we're here I wanted to share a couple of phone-photos from Erin's garden. My basement green-wall was still forefront in my mind when I saw this bamboo screen and the Cotoneaster growing through it. Doesn't it look like a few really green Tillandsia were mounted on the screen? And check out that monster huge Eucomis flower...

Out in the front garden the Eupatorium capillifolium 'Elegant Feather' is looking elegant indeed, and the Yucca aloifolia 'Purpurea' brings out the purple tones in the Eupatorium's blooms.

And check this out! PKW's be damned (*), those are some fabulous Halloween-esque seed pods from what must have been spectacular summer Phormium flowers...

*PKW = Phormium Killing Winter, the years 2008/09 and 2009/10 when virtually every Phormium in the PNW melted into a rotting clump. The years 2013/14 and 2016/17 were similar. Phrase coined by The Outlaw Gardener and not yet copyrighted.

Weather Diary, Oct 29: Hi 58, Low 46/ Precip .05"

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

Monday, October 29, 2018

In a Vase on Monday; autumn bounty with a Halloween kick

Our shockingly beautiful October came to a crashing end last Friday with the return of the rain. I want to complain, but I know I should not. It is SO VERY DRY out there! And we've had such a run of blue sky and sunshine, I fell lucky. However, since the time I am able to spend outdoors is rapidly decreasing, I decided to bring some autumn bounty indoors to enjoy...

Canna 'Durban' leaves, bloom tassels from an unknown grass that grows on our neighbor's property next to our garage, and Clifford's leaves (Magnolia macrophylla)...

are joined by dried up blooms from the Sarracenia.

Pieces of the Clematis tibetana var. vernayi vine were also cut and tucked in.

It's at the silky seed head stage...

The unopened seeds/berries of Schefflera brevipedunculata were also added to the mix.

As well as a few stems of Amsonia hubrichtii, in all its golden glory.

I photographed this flowerless arrangement in the basement "studio" — since it was destined for a spot in front of the living room window, where decent photography is next to impossible.

But let's take a look at what else is going on up there, in the loving room...

I've had a Tetrapanax leaf on the mantle for five and a half weeks now. Not the same leaf of course, I think this is #4. The chartreuse turning to yellow stage is my favorite.

For those of you who've never seen a Tetrapanax leaf in-person, here's the back. It's so sturdy it reminds me a bit of tropical waterlily leaves.

Over on the dining table we've got a vase full of Solanum integrifolium from Trader Joe's, along with some fuzzy, lichen covered, sticks I picked up on a walk and...

...Canna stems, sans leaves. I thought they looked a little Halloween-ish with their black seeds bursting out.

The seed-theme continues with a seed-filled cone from the Magnolia.

A few Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) stems and more pumpkins on a stick are in a wine bottle vase (Carnivor, gotta stay on theme) over by the fireplace.

The jack-lantern candy bucket is sporting a Tillandsia wig.

And our vintage Mr. Scaredy-Cat is on the mantle.

The front door features my (very faded) reindeer moss wreath, with dried flower ornamentation. The wreath is providing a perch for the Halloween owl.

Yesterday I cut back some broken and yellowing stalks/pitchers of the Sarracenia and added those to the vase, they really improved it! Turns out vase arrangements, like the garden itself, are never static.

Weather Diary, Oct 28: Hi 63, Low 52/ Precip .26" (three day total for Fri - Sun: 1.87")

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

Friday, October 26, 2018

Container change-up, for the season

While these three dish planters make me very happy, our winter temperatures will make these plants very unhappy...

Thus I recently pulled them inside and used another trio of "dishes" to plant up something more seasonally appropriate. Left to right the plants are: Sedum spathulifolium 'Carnea', Calluna vulgaris 'Stockholm', and Hebe ochracea 'James Stirling'.

In hindsight I wish I would have flipped one of the Hebe to the left side, but I guess I was feeling rather rigid when I did the planting.

And there's enough chaos around the rest of the garden that a little order isn't a bad thing.

Did you catch the flash of chartreuse in the photo above?

The pair of Calluna vulgaris 'Skyline Sydney' I picked up recently at Cornell Farm went in the ground underneath the planters.

There are also several Astelia nivicola 'Red Devil' below and around too.

I think the colors all play nicely together.

I almost didn't include this image but thought it was interesting the way everything behind what I was photographing was lit rather dramatically, but the subject was in the shade. The light patterns across the back garden change so quickly this time of year.

Not to worry, these to get morning and early afternoon sun.

The other planters in need of changing-up are on the front of the garage. The plants here also aren't winter-hardy, and I learned a few years ago that planters like these don't withstand winter freeze-thaw cycles.

So I rehang the planters I put together for this spot last year (written about here)...

But spiffed them up with the pair of Aloe aristata from my Potted Elephant visit.

Fingers crossed they do okay here — the drainage is fantastic, but of course they'll be more exposed to cold than if they were in the ground.

The spiky Opuntia came from the Kuzma/Halme garden and the Agave weberi came from a friend's garden in Scottsdale, AZ.

The segmented Opuntia is O. pusilla, from Cistus.

Happy in the sun.

And if your curious where the point pot with Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire' ended up? There it is, peeking out of the window on the right. It and I are both eagerly anticipating it's return to the garden next spring...

Weather Diary, Oct 25: Hi 60, Low 54/ Precip .34"

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