Monday, April 27, 2020

A walk around my garden at the end of April

Walking through the garden it occurred to me how little spring beauty I've shared here on the blog, most of my "wow,'s spring!" photos have ended up on Instagram. Here's an attempt to spread the love around a bit better...

This Itoh peony 'Misaka' came to me last summer via Monrovia. It was pretty much bloomed out at that time so I am very excited to see its dozen or so blooms open this year. This one is in the lead.

It was a rainy afternoon when I took this photos, obviously. This was the first rain we've had in weeks. While the sunny days have been a mood-booster and upped my garden productivity we could definitely use the moisture. Walking into the back garden...

Schefflera brevipedunculata

Metapanax delavayi

Cornus sanguinea 'Compressa'

Soon the bromeliads will be liberated from the basement and this area will be even better than it is now.

Sensitive fern, Onoclea sensibilis.

The brown edges eventually disappear, but while they last they're my favorite feature.

A little foliage chaos under Clifford (the big-leaf magnolia).

The chartreuse circle planter is hanging from the chocolate mimosa—Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’—which hasn't yet leafed out. The Echium wildpretti at it's base chose not to bloom this year, which means another year of that fabulous silver foliage.

Just around the corner from the echium is a small project I hope to tackle soon. The brick border is going to be moved up a couple feet (shown by the mocked up grey line, which is subject to change based on the discovery of tree roots). As you can see the lawn is really sparse right here and that way I get to plant more ferns. The variegated aspidistra is currently auditioning to see if it wants to live here too.

Lonicera x brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet' also hangs from (on) the chocolate mimosa.

I happened to catch the unfurling of this volunteer fern at just the right moment.

Turning to look west...

The Magnolia laevifolia is absolutely covered in flowers this year.

They're simple perfection.

Last summer I got bored with my Pseudopanax x 'Sabre' in a container and put it in the ground, sink or swim style, as it's not reliably hardy here. It made it through last winter no problem!

Wall-o-foliage! The patio and stock tank pond are directly behind all that. Clockwise from the far left: Trachycarpus wagneriensis, Stachyurus salicifolius, Eriobotrya japonica, Podocarpus macrophyllus 'Miu', and Dasylirion wheeleri.

Sophora prostrata 'Little Baby' blooms.

And the Stachyurus salicifolius from the patio side (you saw the other side in the "wall-o-foliage photo above).

A close-up of its flowers.

Here's one of the Echium wildpretii that decided to bloom, backed by the Ceanothus 'Dark Star'.

The next three images are of my daphniphyllum. This one shows the solid green plant on the left, and the variegated on the right.

Daphniphyllum himalaense ssp macropodum 'Variegated' with a Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ for added color.

Daphniphyllum macropodum v. humile, this new foliage/bloom stage always blows me away, so gorgeous!

After taking the daphniphyllum photos I turned around to this view. The roof belongs to our house, the white framed window is our garage. Sammy (the tall Yucca rostrata) looks quite fetching!

Those jagged leaves belong to Acanthus syriacus, I keep meaning to try and move this plant as it's been sort of buried. That's a Nolina ‘La Siberica’ behind it.

Another foliage vignette, Aspidistra elatior and Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress'. Funny story; that mahonia is in a square metal container, I plopped it there one year and just never moved it. Earlier this spring I figured I should finally free the poor thing and put it in the ground. Nope. The bottom of the pot must have rusted out because it is firmly rooted in place.

This is such a busy photo! The striped sticks belong to a bamboo, Sasa palmata f. nebulosa. The fern bowl has been kicking around the garden all winter, it will soon be back under the shade pavilion for the summer months. What I really wanted to get a photo of though is the Scadoxus puniceus and its three emerging stalks, two of which have developing flowers.

Okay looking along the side of the garage, towards the entrance to the back garden (between the house and garage), it's time to take a quick look out front.

Pacific Coast Iris 'Wildberry Shortcake'

Grevillea 'rivularis', which is absolutely covered in flowers.

That's a bit of the grevillia next to the opuntia pads at the top of this photo. This area is along our driveway, right where I park my car.

Smooshed in with the regular "garden variety" (pass-along plants) sempervivum are these Sempervivum 'Oddity', with their crazy tube-like leaves. These came from my friend Amy Campion (so I guess that means they're passs-alongs too!).

Another of the soon to bloom echium...

Rhododendron linearifolium

The Juniperus conferta 'Blue Pacific' are pollen making machines right now. Touch the plant and a cloud of yellow rises off those tiny blooms. Ugh.

If this image looks familiar it's because I shared a very similar one last week when I wrote about pruning the arctostaphylos in the center. This time I look the frame out far enough to get the third manzanita on the far right...

This one, Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony’. If you stand in just the right spot you can see it's sexy legs...

Step to the right though and it becomes a HUGE blob. I've got my work cut out for me here.

Just one more plant to feature, Corokia cotoneaster.

It's covered in tiny yellow stars. April is a very fine month in a Pacific Northwest garden...

Weather Diary, Apr 26: Hi 68, Low 43/ Precip .03

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Envious of all that greenery. Things are just starting to wake up here. In a garden full of treasures the two that stole the show for me are the Iris and variegated Daphnephyllum (and maybe the Corokia too). Only a true plant lover would name her plants. Awesome!

    1. Spring is so different from location to location, I am lucky to live somewhere it shows up fairly early.

  2. Thanks for a lovely walk around your garden. Sensitive fern is fantastic, and it reminds me of my Jewel fern, which makes me weak in the knee whenever it sends out more giant leafs. I love all emerging fern leafs at any stage of the unfurling. My next online purchase will be a variegated aspidistra. I had my finger on the trigger for a while now, maybe since last year when you posted a photo of it. Planting it against the black mondo grass will be superb. Waiting for the Echium bloom to open...I can hardly wait.

    1. That variegated aspidistra came from Flower World up in Maltby. Maybe you can pick one out in person soon?

  3. Some of your shots make me go weak at the knees!

    Your Daphniphyllum look superb and the new growth is rather special :)

    Great job on crown lifting the manzanita. When you have legs that are as good looking as that you really do need to show them off.

  4. I can't believe I saw all this (well, some of it anyway) in person A YEAR AGO! It seems like yesterday, and it seems like 10 years agao, all at the same time.

    As always, your garden is a like a book that deserves closer study. So many cool plants!

    1. "It seems like yesterday, and it seems like 10 years agao, all at the same time." true!

  5. Your garden is so "squared" away it makes me run for the broom. Beautiful plant choices, immaculate upkeep -- for me the ultimate PNW garden!

    1. Ha, that's the great thing about the camera, you can avoid the messes! Notice I didn't share any sweeping patio shots, or the area around the shade pavilion...

  6. All your Araliaceae remind me: You might get a lot out of the new book by/about Irish plantsman Jimi Blake and his garden (written by Joel Kingsbury). Nice review here:

    1. Thanks Neil, I keep meaning to order it!

  7. April is fine indeed in the PNW. I coveted just plants in at least half your photos. Monrovia says Stachyurus salicifolius will grow in zone 10 but Sunset limits it to zone 17, which presumably explains why I've never seen it for sale here. (I'm hardiness zone 10b/11a, Sunset zone 23/24.) At least the Pacific Irises like it here and I'm aiming to collect more of those.

    1. We all covet that which we cannot grow...

  8. I am just swooney at all that incredible foliage and then raindrops! I need to go check on my sensitive ferns to see if they are doing anything yet. Most of mine are just making their appearance after a warm Sunday and a rainy Monday. We are all excited here at our gardens suddenly starting to pop.

    1. Yay for gardens on the verge of popping. Enjoy it.

  9. So much variety with lots of unusual specimens - April is definitely a wonderful month in your garden, Loree.

  10. Looks lush and thriving. Love the blue Ceanothus.


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