Monday, June 28, 2021

My garden in June, before the extreme heat arrived

After ankle surgery I knew getting out to enjoy the daily developments in the garden would be tricky, there's no way out of our house that doesn't involve fairly dangerous steps. Thankfully, Andrew and I came up with a safe method (using a short stool), but it's a two-person effort, so it doesn't happen on a whim. Determined to make the most of every opportunity I've been snapping garden photos like crazy whenever I'm out. 

Let's start street-side with the peeling bark on Arctostaphylos x ‘Austin Griffiths'...

Little did I know by taking these photos, I was creating a record of the garden before the arrival of heat like Portland has never seen. On Saturday afternoon, as I was working on this post, we broke our record of 107 for all time high temperature, when we hit 108. As predicted Sunday was even hotter at 112 and this afternoon is predicted to top out at 114. Good lord.

June is yucca time...

Yucca filamentosa that is. When I finally got out to check on things around 5:30 on Saturday most of these blooms had already crisped up, or dropped.

Ditto for the Callistemon 'Woodlander's Hardy Red'—crispy!

Had I been thinking I would have cut a few, they make great cut stems. I wonder if those flower buds will abort?

Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' with Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy' 

There are so many flowers on the pineapple guava this year! It's been fun encouraging visitors to snack on them. Fingers crossed for fruit later in the season.

Artemisia versicolor 'Sea Foam' looks cool on a hot day.

A reminder of a previous version of the front garden. I inherited a huge clump of this orange daylilly and so grabbed another when I saw one available. Now the original is gone, while this one lives on. 

I was caught with a few plants still unplanted in the driveway stock/holding tanks. Thankfully I don't think this blooming Aristaloe aristata will mind...

Also in the drive, this long-tortured Agave americana that came to me as a tiny pup from my in-laws plants in Truth or Consequences, NM. 

It did great in the front garden until the evils (snow, cold, ice) of January 2017 almost killed it, but certainly deformed it. I dug it up and put it in the large galvanized container to recover. Now it's facing extreme heat (possible sunburn) on the cement of the driveway. We've got an umbrella up for shade but I can't be out constantly moving it so some sun happens.

Nearby are several of these little cuties (haworthia?) tucked in a strawberry pot.

More driveway agaves...

Agave 'Kissho Kan', a recent adoptee from Lance Wright.

Moving into the back garden now, Clematis recta 'Purpurea Select'.

Coniogramme emeiensis 'Golden Zebra'

Ferns and bromeliads long the side of the garage...

Sedum takesimense

Saxifraga x geum 'Dentata'

Look! A clematis I'd given up for dead is making a rebound. I think this is Clematis 'Danielle'...

Palm shadows, not depressing.

Planting that fuzzy agave was one of the last things I did in the garden, before the ankle incident. I came labeled as Agave parviflora but evidently is actually Agave x leopoldii.

My cloudy cabbages—aka Bukiniczia cabulica, along with Lonicera crassifolia (blooming) and a small Deuterocohnia brevifolia.

I've got 3 or 4 Aloiampelos striatula, formerly Aloe striatula blooming.

Spikes in containers, a hechtia...

And a NOID, I assume it's a dyckia.

The northeast corner of the patio...

The large Agave ovatifolia you see above in the container.

First bloom on the Passiflora 'Amethyst Jewel'.

As I captioned this one on Instagram: ‘Blue Glow’ and bougainvillea, is this Portland or Palm Springs?

The carnivorous gang. Pitchers...


Dyckia ‘Nickel Silver’

Agaves everywhere!

Up in the sky... doesn't the Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’ look magical in this photo?

On the patio table...

I always think of a mummy (or several) when I look at this cactus.

The back of the garage... the bromeliad trashcan lids that would normally be perched on those cylinders hadn't yet made it out of the garage before the ankle break, now they're waiting in the shade for the crazy heat to pass. The other circles on the back of the garage have also come down, temporarily.

Close-up of the contents of stock tank visible in the photo above.

And an arty shot of the Blechnum chilense.

Acanthus mollis bloom and Nepenthese miranda

And I'll end this long post with a look up at the blue sky with the big leaves of my Magnolia macrophylla and Tetrapanax papyrifer. By the time this post goes live we'll be into the last—and worst—day of the heat. Fingers crossed for my plants.

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


  1. Bitter-sweet, seeing these photos. Not only because of your injury, but also because of the insane heat wave you're in. Fingers crossed any damage will be minimal.

    It was great to see your cloudy cabbages doing well!

    1. The cloudy cabbages are definitely a bright spot, they couldn't have cared less that it was 116!

  2. AnonymousJune 28, 2021

    Here hoping the damage is minimal. Your plants are gorgeous, and you've put too much work into the garden to lose them because of the heat/temps.

  3. Don't know if it's better to be able to run out and constantly check on your plants or not be able to. I know I tend to check too often when we're having frost and there's nothing I can really do but make myself crazy. Can't even begin to imagine your temps. Good luck.

  4. Every photo is beautiful, Loree. I'd hoped that the massive heatwave would fizzle and I'm very sorry it did not. I contacted my BIL on Vashon yesterday and even there is was 104F and expected to climb to 110F today. This is nuts! I hope some of the remaining climate change deniers roast what's left of their brains.

    1. I wonder what excuses they'll come up with ? (the deniers)

  5. Those temps are more like Phoenix than Portland. I've been thinking of you and your garden, hoping the damage is minimal. These extreme weather events are insane!

    1. I had to send my brother in Phoenix a screen shot of my weather app's reading yesterday when we hit 114 and Phoenix was at 108. We eventually topped out at 116.

  6. Oh dear, I'm so sorry you're having to deal with such extreme heat. It's crazy! That Cotinus/Eucomis is stunning--it really caught my eye. All your plants and photos had me sighing with pleasure. Thanks for sharing! Stay cool; I hope you'll find that the garden will recover OK after the heatwave.

    1. Thanks Beth, the heat finally broke last night and we got to open the windows around 1am, it was heaven.

  7. The great lengths we go to in order to save our plant babies... I positioned a parasol to protect Japanese painted fern. It seems that when visits to the garden require so much planning, each one is extra special; your photos seem more deliberate (and from a lower angle). I hope your Truth or Consequences baby comes through okay. Love the arty shot of the Blechnum chilense; I'll take the poster version please.

    1. I saw (on Facebook) a lot of friends using umbrellas, I hope your fern escaped damage. I thought about using a few but was afraid the wind would send them where I didn't want them...

  8. Yes, here in Phoenix over 110º is the way it is in especially June and July. Your plants in these photos look so wonderful. Hope they are not too affected by the night heat. Lots of the succulents you have I also have here. But mine are used to high heat. What are the nights running in temps. Most plants can overcome the high heat during the day if it cools at night so they can breathe.

    1. Yes indeed, we set a few warm night records too. The poor plants weren't getting a break!

  9. So many beauties. Wincing to think of the heat you are all experiencing.

  10. Your garden is looking great and glad to hear you're on the mend! Hope you didn't get too much damage from the heat.

    1. Thanks guys. I've only been able to explore parts of the garden thus far, but there's definitely some unfortunate damage. Hopefully must things will grow out of it.

  11. AnonymousJuly 26, 2021

    Please take care of you, be well and may God bless you, yours and your lovely garden !!
    Hugs from the indian ocean.



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