Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wednesday Vignette, everyone's experience is different

A few weeks ago I posted an image of this plant—Ligularia dentata ‘Othello'—on Instagram. @renegade_gardener commented: Nice to see you honor a Z4 perennial, “Othello” grows beautifully in Minnesota, gets huge. I responded: probably grows for you better than me! To which he replied: They’re like hosta here. Can’t kill them with fire.


Here in my Portland Zone 8 garden they're not quite so hardy. Well okay hardiness isn't the issue, I grow this plant in a container because otherwise the slugs would have a party and that would be the end. Or at least it's been the end of the other ligularia I've grown in the ground. Just another example of how everyone's experience is different...in the garden as in life.

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Weather Diary, April 20: Hi 75, Low 45/ Precip 0 

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

I’m listening, I don’t agree, but I’m listening

I’m listening to you. I’ve got my hands folded, just so. I’m willing them to stay put, to not move about, to not gesture, to not reach out and grab you.

I’m trying to make sure my body language says that I understand, that I want to hear more. It’s hard to not laugh though, as you tell me how you think this place (this dry ugly place) is worth your time and your energy.


(you call those plants! you call this a garden?! none of it is very nice, none of it is beautiful) 

My face tries to betray me, I will it to remain neutral. I listen, I try, to understand. But I can’t. This alien landscape hurts my heart. You need to come home with me, now. Come back to Kansas, Dorothy. Back to the land you know, that we know. Stop fooling yourself, the desert is not where you belong. Remember, there’s no place like home, this, this desert, it’s just a bad dream Dorothy…

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(Yes this is another attempt at an inventive interpretation of one of the many black and white photos my husband has given me over the years, I hope you enjoyed my creative narrative)

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Weather Diary, April 19: Hi 73, Low 45/ Precip 0 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Erasing the grime...

After fourteen years of use our patio was not looking its best. Dingy, dirty, ugly...

Here's what it looked like back when it was all brand new. So bright! (photo circa 2008).

And this, from 2009. I was showing off what a mess an afternoon of wind could make, but of course now it's all about that cute face that I still miss soo much. She was so good at knowing when the camera was aimed at her.

Anyway, back to the present. I'd wanted to power wash the patio a couple years ago, but Andrew talked me out of it. It only got worse. So when he casually mentioned that maybe we should borrow the neighbor's power washer so he could clean the patio I didn't let the idea pass without acting on it! Oh and he's masked in the photo below because the neighbor had just brought the machine over. COVID protocol you know...

Once he got started the difference was remarkable. 

I went to get lunch while he worked and came back to this...

Of course there was no way to wash the individual squares without also removing the sand (a grout, of sorts) between the pavers. So while this job took an afternoon, I spent several hours over the next few days sweeping sand back into the cracks.

But to have a clean, bright patio again... it was worth it.

Before...

After... it was still wet in this photo, it's even better when dry.

And yes... the patio looks so much larger when it's empty! Our weather went from record low overnight temperatures to record high daytime temperatures—with non-stop sun— within a week. Once things return to some version with clouds I'll get serious about bringing out the container plants. Oh, and we sold our patio furniture! The new pieces are still in boxes in the garage. We need to do a little building...an empty patio awaits!

Weather Diary, April 18: Hi 83, Low 47/ Precip 0 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Scenes from my visit to Joy Creek and Cistus nurseries

Today's post is a random look at things I saw while I was out shopping (plant shopping!) last week. First this breathtaking tree at Joy Creek Nursery. Sign says Manglietia insignis but we'll call it Magnolia insignis.



It's just gosh darn beautiful.


I have no idea what this charming grass might be, but I am intrigued.

I loved seeing their Dasylirion bloom still standing proud.

And finally (for Joy Creek), this fun sign near the check out area. If you're wondering that's a Clematis macropetala 'Mountaindale'.

We're at Cistus now and looking up, because you never know what interesting combinations you'll see up in the sky.

I've snapped this photo previously, because it's just so HOT. That mahonia is Mahonia nitens.

This stunner was part of a newly arrived shipment out front, labeled as Michelia crassipes.

I wanted to call it Magnolia laevifolia, but what do I know? 

Agave bracteosa!

Every once and awhile I get a bit of a flashback to the awe and wonder I felt the first time I ever visited Cistus Nursery. I got that here, as I entered this corner pavilion.

Tetrapanax! Everybody needs one.

Inside the big-top greenhouse now. 

And that's a cycad! Wowsa.

Mangave some somebody.

Agave filifera ssp. schidigera 'White Stripe'

Aeonium canariense

Echeveria lilacina

Well now. That's another AMAZING cycad (or three)...

Tuesday I shared photos of a new to me mahonia, M. lomariifolia ssp. tenuifolia I purchased at Cistus. Here's that same mahonia in a garden setting.

Speaking of garden settings. I can't visit Cistus and not share a few images of the rock garden island at Rancho Cistus. It just gets better and better.



This opuntia skeleton was laid out on a nearby rock, and with the heart shaped leaf too!

Before I left I tucked into a greenhouse with my friend Ann, the "seedstress" at Cistus, where I was greeted by no less then 10,000 aspidistra. No, that's not an official count. But seriously!

There were a lot of aspidistra.


And a few billbergia, you just never know what you'll find at Cistus.

Weather Diary, April 15: Hi 76, Low 42/ Precip 0 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

It's Garden Bloggers Bloomday, for April, 2021

Well here we are, it's April Garden Blogger's Bloomday! My first ever GBB post was April 15th of 2009, that means I've been playing along with this meme for twelve years—and so I've got a record of what's blooming in my garden each month going back those twelve years. Amazing! Referencing that first post there's only one plant blooming back then that's still blooming this year, I'll call it out shortly. But first, we start with Euphorbia rigida...

The acid yellow/green bracts of euphorbia are a common sight here in Portland gardens in the springtime. I love them, but also dread when the time comes to cut them back because I have to suit-up so as not to get any of the irritating sap on my skin (or worse, in my eyes). My friend Mary Ann shared a horror story on Facebook earlier this week about some kids in Boise, Idaho, who were snapping the stems and using the white latex sap like sunscreen lotion. They ended up in the emergency room with burns on their skin. Be very careful with this plant!

So this euphorbia, E. amygdaloides var. robbiae is the only plant that was blooming in my garden in April 2009 and is still blooming here in April 2021. Crazy! And of course it's not the same exact plant per se, but a descendant of, as it's moved across my garden, several feet. I've not ever planted another so it's heritage can be traced right straight back to that original.

It feels like this rosemary has been blooming at least that long, and if you counted up the actual months spent blooming I'm sure it would knock that silly euphorbia right out of the park.

Daphne x houtteana

These white flowers belong to Arabis procurrens 'Variegata', which is not any of the plants you see in the background.

This is the actual plant creating the flowers.

Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow'

Epimedium x rubrum, flowers just starting to open. There are much more now, just a day or so later.

The epimedium foliage associated with the flowers.

How fabulous that this Helleborus  'Onyx Odyssey' is forming seeds. Babies would be much appreciated.

Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony’

The end of Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Nanjing Gold'

Whereas Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akebono’ is still going strong.

Helleborus foetidus

Almost flowers on Magnolia laevifolia.

Arisarum proboscideum, a plant I thought was gone, only to see it resurface! 

I've collected a few different gingers in the garden. This one, Asarum caudatum, a local gardener gave me last spring. I remember digging plants in her garden when we both realized we were way to close, and backed up. That was early days of COVID and before masks were standard. 

Such an odd memory and a cool plant.

A recent purchase from Joy Creek Nursery, Asarum europaeum.


And of course the strange blooms of panda face ginger, Asarum maximum 'Ling Ling' (still in it's container also).

Kinda spooky, yet also cool.

Another from the "almost" camp, Stachyurus salicifolius,


And here's an exciting development. Yes indeedy, the two oldest Echium wildpretii are finally giving it up and they're going to bloom. Exhibit A...

And Exhibit B...

It's interesting to watch the the little flower clusters along the stem forming.

Just a few more bloomday entries, the space-ship like flowers of Epimedium 'Amber Queen'.

Here's Epimedium wushanense 'Spiny Leaf Form'.

Both of these are shade-lovers who are currently doing their best to cope with sun, under Clifford, our big leaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla) who has not quite leafed out yet.

Arisaema ringens

And finally, our last image for this bloomday (hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens—did I already say that?) is from the basement. Since the basement garden hasn't migrated outdoors yet due to a very cool spring, my Aporophyllum Shirley 'Sun Cactus' is blooming indoors. What a sight... happy spring!

Weather Diary, April 14: Hi 71, Low 45/ Precip 0 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.