Tuesday, April 16, 2019

My garden, mid-April

It has been way too long since I did a general "looking at my garden" post. Heck it's been way to long since I just strolled around the garden looking at things! Today I remedy that.

Stepping out the back door I must say I'm thrilled with the blueberries this year. It looks like they might finally amount to something. Oh and these were plants supposedly bred for life in a container, so I'm not crazy to think they should be performing there.

I'm also thrilled the Arthropodium candidum 'Maculatum' is coming back, I love this strange little plant with its dark speckled blades.

The new growth on Adiantum venustum is pretty wonderful.

Here with Podophyllum peltatum...

There are all sorts of good things happening at the base of Clifford's trunk (Clifford is our Magnolia macrophylla). See that Podophyllum pleianthum just to the left of the lower middle? It was not planted by me and just showed up this spring. Do podophyllum send out runners or is that a seedling from the group on the upper right?

Left to right we have Podophyllum delavayi, P. 'Red Panda" and P. pleianthum.

A different view. The fuzzy little umbrellas are Syneilesis aconitifolia.

Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty' is hanging out in a container.

Ligularia dentata 'Othello'

Before I left for California I emptied out the shade pavilion greenhouse so Andrew could perfect a few details he wasn't happy with from last autumn's build, and start to tear it down. That means there are containers plopped here and there on the patio, but it's definitely not patio season quite yet. The white structures are protection for a couple of containerized agaves that spend winter in place. The covers keep them dry, and after I had them off for a month or so they went back on because it's been so wet.

Looking back at the house...the white flecks on the patio are blossoms from a neighbor's tree.

Clifford is starting to push out a new season of leaves.

New growth on Aucuba japonica 'Longifolia'.

Both flowers and new growth developing on the Daphniphyllum macropodum.

Ditto for the variegated version.

And look, baby ginkgo leaves! They're variegated too, but that doesn't show up until they're a little larger.

It looks like my Passiflora 'Amethyst Jewel'  lived through the winter.

The leaf filaments of Yucca faxoniana.

Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ is so cute now, but by the end of summer it will be a 10ft tall thug weaving through all the surrounding plants.

Persicaria runcinata 'Purple Majesty' is much better behaved.

I cut back the black Sambucus about a month ago, the new growth is pushing out fast.

Tiny fig leaves! (Ficus afghanistanica 'Silver Lyre')

The fern table has held up amazingly well. It's entering its third season.

I feared the Arisaema sikokianum ‘Silver Leaf Form’ I stuffed into the fern table last spring hadn't made it through the hot and dry summer, or maybe our sudden February winter. But look! It lives after all.

The gigantic Podophyllum pleianthum in the stock-tank never disappoint.

I really love these dish planters I put together last fall, but it's going to be time to bring out the succulent version soon. I need to come up with something to do with these.

Brachyglottis greyi aka Senecio greyi hugs the trunk of this palm (Trachycarpus fortunei 'Wagnerianus') so gracefully.

For the most part the lilies I planted around the garden have disappeared, but not this one. He's bulking up every year, but not multiplying.

I was sure the six Echium wildpretii I babied through our cold February (covers on over night and through freezing days, off when it warmed) would be skyrocketing upwards fixing to bloom by now, but so far that's not the case.

Still, I love the foliage and it was worth the effort to not have them all look like this, one of the smaller ones I didn't bother to protect...

These next couple of images upset me greatly.

Something caused this damage on both of my large Agave ovatifolia in the front garden.

It looks like something attacked them with a sharp object. I have no idea what it was.

Isn't this a great combo? Pittosporum divaricatum and Yucca rostrata.

Unfortunately they're a bit too close and I'm afraid the Pittosporum (which was a tiny stick when I planted it) is going to loose the coin toss.

Ha! This is at least the third walnut I've pulled from a Yucca rostrata this spring, silly squirrels.

All four of my in-ground Aloe aristata sailed through winter.

The moon carrot (Seseli gummiferum) is back! I hope it blooms this year.

Speaking of blooming, everyone knows Verbascum olympicum are biennial, right? No, not always. This guy has taken at least 5 years to attain this size. I think he might finally bloom this year, but I'm not counting on it.

Oh yes, and it's Tetrapanax hunting season. So far I've found two popping up where they most certainly cannot be allowed to grow, they were quickly dispatched.

Finally I end this long series of photos which the prehisptic looking new growth of Mahonia x media 'Marvel'...

Isn't it fabulous?

Weather Diary, April 15: Hi 54, Low 40/ Precip .11"

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I enjoyed this look around at your garden. Podophyllum definitely do produce seeds, I've found seedlings in my garden usually a few feet away from the mother plant. I also love the new growth on Mahonia, your closeup shots are great!

    1. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I too have seedlings under my Podophyllum, for some reason this just seemed like such a distance away.

  2. Wow! Looks great so early in the season. I'm going to have to look for some of these.

    1. Naturally there are plenty of "not so great early in the season" spots too, I just chose not to share them.

  3. Your garden is always amazing but is especially exciting now with all the new growth and plants out of the shade pavillion promising great things for the summer ahead. Sorry about your agave damage - What could have caused that?

    1. I wish I knew, then I could cause reciprocal damage.

  4. Your land looks like spring, but the sky looks like winter. So exciting, especially all the fat, glossy umbrella-y leaves! Maybe a branch fell on the Agave? Or a bird pecked at something too vigorously?

    1. There are still plenty of winter skies to be had in a Pacific Northwest spring. There are no branches nearby to fall on the agave, and even if one managed to get in there nobody but me would have pulled it out, and I would remember doing so. Your bird theory has legs though...

    2. I have had both mocking bird and cardinal attackers of succulents and cactus. They seemed to choose specific favorites & were capable of amazing damage. I think they liked the plant's watery pulp inside, because they had a traditional water source nearby. I've also had cardinals totally decimate sedums.

    3. Yikes! Thanks for the info Sandy.

  5. Stunning! Stunning! Stunning! Your Podophylums have me in a tizzy. I am assuming my Dotty will return but I am not sure about the two I planted last fall. And what a pairing with the Himalayan maidenhair fern. Just starting to see things here but not too much to photograph. My Hepaticas are fabulous but they don't photograph well in sun and they close when it gets shady. You have me all excited for action in my garden.

    1. Here's hoping you'll have plenty of spring action in your garden soon!

  6. A thrilling start to a new season. Sorry about your agave - could it have been squirrels that damaged it? Will it recover?

    1. I can't imagine a squirrel getting in there, but anything is possible. In my experience once the skin (cuticle) is broken like this rot can take over. So while the plant may be fine those leaves will continue to look worse and worse. Here's hoping for good summer and lots of new growth to cover these leaves up.

  7. Your 'Red Dragon' gets 10 feet tall?! I'm just happy that mine comes back each year. Your garden looks great despite the few items of concern. The curled Echium wildpretii is attractive, at least if you didn't know what it's supposed to look like. Your potted blueberries look far better than mine, which never recovered from our 110F scorcher last July. I have to look into that Mahonia...

    1. Ten feet is a guess but seems about right. It becomes almost vine like as it just keeps growing up and up and up.

  8. A living catalog of uncommon plants! I must get a Pittosporum divaricatum. I wonder f Cistus still grows it?


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!