Thursday, October 29, 2020

'Tis the season: container change-up

As I mentioned in Monday's post, the time came to pull the trio of succulent dish planters indoors.

Rather than just have empty metal posts sticking out of the ground all winter I planted up a new trio of dishes with winter hardy plants.
Each dish has a nice big chunk of black mondo grass combined with a small pot of light green Scotch moss and a selection of carnivorous plants that were previously living in dish planters plunged into/above the stock tank pond.
Nothing terribly earth shattering, but it will be interesting to see how the carnivorous plants do in these dishes over the winter. 

In other container changes, since the shade pavilion is now enclosed as a green house for the winter, I moved the fern bowl over to this corner. It's hard to see, but there on one of the paver squares...
I do love this planting, it's one of my very favorite things in the garden.
The Dryopteris sieboldii are stunning.

Better than anywhere else in the garden.
The Pyrrosia sheareri are knock-outs as well.

There's the "greenhouse"—ready to keep its contents cozy over the winter months.

It seems like there's more room this year, but I'm sure that's just an illusion which will vanish once it gets really cold—and more things are moved in.

Shout-out to this Agave sisalana ‘Variegata’ pup my brother sent me in July, I pulled it from it's spot in one of the drive way stock tanks to pot it up and protect it in the greenhouse, of course I stopped to admire it's good looks.
The view of the patio is sadly empty...cause all the containers have moved elsewhere.

Here's the greenhouse view from the patio...
Since it's the season for such things, I also removed the ceramic hanging containers from the front of the garage and replaced them with the metal clamp-on "light shade" hanging containers. These have great drainage with the bonus of not breaking when there's a freeze. Thin ceramic containers don't do so well over the winter months.
These are going into (I think) their fourth winter. 
I also threw together this grouping by the back door. The bougainvillea had been in that tall container but was past it's prime, so I planted Erica arborea 'Estrella Gold' instead.
The two small black containers are filled with Calluna vulgaris 'Firefly'. I added a couple of pumpkins for my autumn-loving husband.
That Erica arborea is just so gorgeous!
Also in the group is a Fascicularia pitcairnifolia, I am wondering why some of the leaves are starting to color-up, that usually only happens when the plant is going to bloom, yet there's no sign of a bloom. Curious.
Black mondo and pumpkins seem like a natural pairing, don't you think?
Finally, I brought home a few of these large cones when I visited Secret Garden Growers in September, I thought they made a great combination with the leaves from my Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida’ (Cutleaf Emperor Oak).

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Wednesday Vignette, let me introduce...

Last week included several sunny afternoons and much time spent in the garden—preparing it for forecasted cold. Unfortunately the very scenes that feed my soul and lift my spirit sometimes do not translate well on screen, like this one. The spots of sunlight were positively brilliant in person, but distracting here...
Never-the-less I will use one of these photos in an attempt to share the skeleton flamingos which make me smile whenever I see them. They've moved around the garden but somehow seem to keep being drawn back to this area.
Let me introduce them, proper like. This one is Morticia...

And over yonder is her lover, Gomez...

I don't think they'll be around much longer, they seem to always fly away around midnight on October 31st...

—   —   —

Weather Diary, Oct 27: Hi 60, Low 31/ 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, October 27, 2020

Thank you Ron McKitrick—my cactus buddy. May you rest in peace

I am writing these words with tears in my eyes—feeling like I was just punched in the gut—and yet I have a smile on my face because I'm thinking of Ron, my "cactus buddy". That's how Ron identified himself whenever he returned a phone call, and he returned a few while I was working on my book.

My friend Bryon Jones (horticulturist at the Pt. Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, WA) called on Sunday afternoon to let me know that Ron McKitrick had passed away. Bryon had visited Ron and purchased several plants from him over the years, many of which are growing at the zoo. You may remember Ron as the man behind the Hillside Desert Botanical Gardens in Yakima, Washington. I am so glad I took the above photo of him when I visited in May of 2019. 

Bryon was researching one of those plants from Ron, when he found the online obituary, Ron passed away last January. Of course he had a full and rich life beyond plants, and those of us that knew him through his garden—but didn't know his family—had no way of knowing that the plant world lost one of its local greats.

Ron was a talented and generous man, I was just thinking of him a few days ago while working on a post for Fearless Gardening on Instagram. I interviewed Ron and profiled his garden in my book, I was highlighting one of the several wonderful quotes he gave me to work with...

I was excited for Ron to receive his contributor copy of the book in the mail soon. He freely shared his passion for plants and I was honored to share his story and the work he was doing there in Yakima. It makes me sad to think those who read about him in the book won't get the chance to visit the garden and talk with Ron in person.

When I started to outline which gardens I wanted to include in the book, Hillside Desert Botanical Gardens was a must, who expects to see a 10ft tall Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) along with countless agaves, cactus and other exotic yuccas growing in Yakima, Washington? Ron's "how do you know it won't grow here unless you try it?" way of doing things was a perfect fit, and I'm thankful he was willing to be a part of the project from the beginning—although I'm not certain he really understood what I was putting together. It didn't matter, he trusted me to do right by him, I can only hope that I did.

Please take a moment and click over to read the first post I did on Ron's garden when I visited—on a rare rainy day in Yakima—in 2012 here, and then the post on my 2019 visit, here. Below (in no particular order) are a few of my favorite photos from my last visit to his unforgettable garden. Thank you Ron, for being a gardening trailblazer, believing in me, and being so giving of your time and knowledge. 

Weather Diary, Oct 26: Hi 59, Low 32/ Precip 0 

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

Monday, October 26, 2020

In a Vase on Monday: collapse

No matter what local weather forecast I looked at (and believe me, they vary widely) it was guaranteed the temperatures were soon dropping lower than what was safe for leaving non-hardy succulents outside, and so I grabbed these succulent dish planters to escort them into the basement. That's when the large echeveria in the lower right hand corner fell out of the soil and into my bent elbow where it collapsed into a very pretty mess of stems and leaves.

What's a gardener to do? I put them in a vase.

A very heavy vase that is, the work of artist Claire Bansfield, aka apotspot who works in cast stone.

Unfortunately (fortunately?) this is the time of plant abundance—some people harvest flowers or vegetables, I harvest plants, bringing them indoors to safety—so I didn't have a great place to put this vase of succulent beauty. It just got shoved in front of the gas fireplace logs that we can't use because of all the plants...

It looks great there, even if it's not getting the spotlight it really deserves.

I would have put it on the mantle, but it's full...

With plants and just a few Halloween decorations, like this vintage paper owl...

And the black skull. Everyone needs a heavy metal skull this time of year...

Weather Diary, Oct 25: Hi 48, Low 35/ Precip 0 

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

Friday, October 23, 2020

Salmon River Trail fungi (and a few lichen)...

For the last couple of weeks I've been painstakingly uploading my photos one at a time to get them in the order I want to share them in. Today I thought I'd experiment and see if Google has magically made things better with their sorry excuse for a software update. They have not. So the first photo for this post is last, which is kind of fun, since I think I found the best first... follow me? Well, just enjoy...

In addition to the multiple mosses I shared yesterday (along the Salmon River) I also came across quite a few mushrooms and other lichen. This one had teeth any vampire would be proud of.

I won't lie, I needed to touch this one to see if it was slimy, slick, or sort of lacquered. It felt lacquered.

This shelf lichen glowed as if it were lit from within.

Have you ever went to sauté chopped garlic and accidently burnt it? I thought these looked like someone sprinkled burnt garlic on them.

I did take a photo with the camera aimed up from below, to capture the underside of the mushrooms, but the sky was so bright it made the image unusable.

Whereas this little guy was showing off his gills with no shame.

The pack was growing...

These look soft, but they were quite hard.

So curly!

Not sure exactly what this is all about, it seems like it would be more at home on an ocean beach than a forest floor.

And this! That orange looked like it would glow in the dark...

Don't you think?

This doesn't look healthy.

Even more so. I kind of expected the opening on the left to start talking, or maybe blow out smoke.

This pair was my favorite find of the day.

They were so exotic looking, attached to that mossy tree.

I expected the top to have a jelly-like consistency but it was solid, again rather like lacquer.

What a visually rewarding outing this was. 

Weather Diary, Oct 22: Hi 57, Low 36/ Precip 0 

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