Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Wednesday Vignette, autumn decor...

Tis the season I guess, pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks and such. I happened to be near Blooming Junction nursery last week (full post tomorrow) so I stopped in. If I were the type who wants decorative "grasses" for fall these would have made me very happy. First up, jade princess millet, aka Pennisetum glaucum 'Jade Princess'.

Pink Zebra ornamental corn is a beauty.

As is purple baron millet, Pennisetum glaucum 'Purple Baron'.

Being the Autumn Grinch that I am, I'm still not on board with the fall thing. Thus I walked away from this fetching display, whispering a prayer for more sunny warm days...

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Weather Diary, Sept 29: Hi 86, Low 54/ Precip 0 

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Let's look at some groundcovers...

I started collecting images for this post back in June, then I forgot about them—which is sad, because I love groundcovers!

Observant readers may recognize these first few images as coming from Megan and Mike's garden which I wrote about in July (here). Their use of groundcovers was masterful. Above and below is Soleirolia soleirolii, aka baby’s tears. This plant is typically said to be evergreen above Zone 9, and dying back to the ground and reappearing in Zone 9. I've never thought of using it because of that, Zone 9 meaning that in a typical winter I could lose it, but maybe it's worth experimenting with, since it looks so good here.

In the same garden this pathway is covered with Leptinella squalida...

Of course nobody said a ground cover has to be flat. Here you've got several perrenials acting as ground cover including black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'), Onoclea sensibilis, (sensitive fern) and what I think is Pyrrosia lingua.

In my own garden I'm happy to say there are a few patches of black mondo that have become worthy of the label groundcover. Here a few blades are reverting to green...a better gardener would have taken the time to pull those out.

Here I'm trying to get a mash-up of saxifraga, sempervivum and sedum to grow together and cover the ground at the base of a palm (Trachycarpus wagneriensis). Unfortunately the squirrels keep pulling pieces out which is kinda messing with my plan.

Ditto over here...

Here cape blanco sedum was filling in nicely until said squirrels went on a bit of a rampage, they can't so easily mess with the saxifrage (on the left) however.

Speaking of saxifraga, this S. x urbium 'Primuloides' patch makes me so happy.

Especially because it can support itself growing where there is absolutely no soil for it to grow in, like here on concrete...

Of course there will never be a groundcover as perfect as moss.

Although Adiantum venustum comes close!

Here's an interesting collection of things, I believe the short green grass is Ophiopogon japonicus 'nanus', a dwarf mondo.

I wish I could remember the name of the saxifraga in the two green mounds closest to the grey bricks. I can tell you the sort of mossy looking bit on the far right is a spikemoss, Selaginella kraussiana 'Aurea'.

That same spikemoss is growing here, at the base of a trio of bromeliads that I need to remember to pull before winter.

I love this stuff, although it appears to have a mind of it's own and only becomes established where it wants to, rather than where you think it should.

This final image suffers from a ridiculously bright day, which does the groundcover I want to share a huge disservice, because usually it looks so lush. Acaena inermis ‘Purpurea’ thrives in this neighbor's garden, and I could not be more jealous. I've yet to find a spot in mine where it can be happy. So, what's your favorite groundcover?

Weather Diary, Sept 28: Hi 85, Low 52/ Precip 0

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

Monday, September 28, 2020

My garden in Fine Gardening magazine

I am thrilled to share that the December issue of Fine Gardening magazine—making it's way to newsstands now—includes a story I wrote on my garden and my plant collecting tendencies. The article is accompanied by photos from Claire Takacs. Yes, THAT Claire Takacs. The talented Australian photographer who's in the news right now because her gorgeous photos of Dan Hinkley's garden are all over the place with the publication of the book Windcliff: A Story of People, Plants, and Gardens. Hmmm... same photographer, two gardens: mine and Dan Hinkley's. I sure hope Dan is ready for my fame to rub off on him....

Hahahahahaha. Ya. So anyway...

Here's the image that went out to Fine Gardening's email list. That's the cover of the December issue and behind it you'll recognize our patio and shade pavilion...

I was a little startled to see that Andrew and I made the table of contents page (below) but also very happy they used enough of Claire's fantastic photos to make this an eight page spread...

This issue is a good one, so you really should pick it up at the newsstands if you're not a subscriber—but then again why wouldn't you be? This is one of the last real gardening magazines we've got going here! That said if you want to read the story online the good folks at Fine Gardening do make that possible. But be forewarned, clicking on this link for the main story and this link to get the spotlight on garden texture (they broke the story into two parts) will eat up both of your free articles, so click when you have time to read it. Oh but clicking through to read Steve Aitken's "Letter from the Editor" is just part of visiting the website, so definitely do that (here). 

I am really quite honored that Claire thought my garden worthy of a photo shoot and that Fine Gardening let me ramble on about my plants. How lucky am I? Thank you to both.

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Weather Diary, Sept 27: Hi 75, Low 51/ Precip 0 

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

Friday, September 25, 2020

Found an Agave ovatifolia across the street from my barber...

So started a Facebook post from my fellow Portland gardener and blogger Matthew Hubbard. He shared a few photos and I begged for the location, I had to see this garden for myself...

Unfortuantely when I was driving nearby and remembered to stop, I discovered I'd left my camera at home, iPhone to the rescue!

The Agave ovatifolia are what Matthew called out in his FB post, and both are amazing—but there is so much more to love a few palms (Trachycarpus wagnerianus I'm guessing) and at least eight Agave parryi.
There are also a few choice yucca, like this small Yucca rostrata...

And these two large, trunking, guys...

Oh, and also several spiky opuntia...

I bet seeing the agapanthus in bloom with all the spikes adds a nice color to the mix.

Everything is tucked away behind a short, but substantial hedge.

I wish I knew the story behind this garden. How long has it been here? What did they do to prep the soil?

Looks like those agapanthus were super dark blue.

The mix of gravel and rock is quite fabulous, and unusual for Portland, at least in my experience.

There's the largest Agave ovatifolia, isn't it gorgeous?

Seriously stunning.

The garden next door caught my eye...

It's not as "all out spiky," but still rather inspiring.

I have no idea if I'm correct, but I want to call the conifer Cupressus arizonica var. glabra 'Blue Ice'.

It was pretty fabulous and looks like it's been taken care of (pruned well) over the years.

The line of Cupressus sempervirens (again, I'm guessing) along the sidewalk were also impressive.

And then there's the'd better like plants brushing your body to walk up to this front door.

Looks like you'll be rewarded with a lush little Yucca linearifolia if you do make the trip.

Looking back at the garden that brought me...

I wonder if there was vandalism after planting and that's why the hedge?

Super tidy palm...

And btw, that hedge was approximately 33" tall (measured with my hip), so I am guessing the agave is about 40"? Wow...thanks Matthew for finding (and sharing) this gem.

Weather Diary, Sept 24: Hi 72, Low 60/ Precip trace 

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

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Let’s drop by the Huntington; plants on plants

Hey, look at that, we're back at the Huntington Garden in San Marino, CA...

One of the first blog posts from my December 2019 visit to the garden was about jungle cactus growing in and on other plants, such as an opuntia, and a low branching tree (here). This post continues the theme of plants growing on other plants. Look closely at that bleached bare stump behind the tall white cactus in the center of the photo...

That one there...

Did you already spot that cute little ball cactus perched on top of a branch? Seed grown I wonder, perhaps "planted" by a bird? Or a plant placed there by a gardener?

Next up we have a palm...

At first glance there is nothing remarkable about the palm's trunk, but look closer. See anything?

The Kalanchoe are what I first spotted but there's another ball cactus and a small columnar some-something too. I absolutely love this.

Our third installment isn't technically plants on plants so much as it's plants on a rock, well, unless you consider the moss, which I suppose I am, so plants on moss!

This one I'd believe happened naturally, but the fact there's both an opuntia and an agave makes me think there was a human hand at work here.

The name of this series "let's drop by the Huntington" was inspired by a fantasy of living close enough that I could stop by and wander the pathways any old time the mood struck. I can't help but think there are more of these "plants on plants" out there to be discovered, if only I were able to visit more often and hunt for them...

Weather Diary, Sept 23: Hi 67, Low 60/ Precip .74" (seriously) 

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