Friday, October 29, 2021

Pumpkins! 'Tis the season...

Y'all know I drag my heels—well, if flipflops had heels—I live like it's summer for as long as I can. But then I come across a neighborhood scene like this and I feel a little tug...

Go big or go home, right?

I spotted this one as we drove home one afternoon. It was a blue-sky day and I should have asked Andrew to turn around. Instead I thought I'd stop the next time I was out on my own. 

Thing is blue-skies have been a little hard to come by lately. Still, fun!

There was a second dangling pumpkin, and no, that's not a bite out of it, just a yellow leaf. Bad camera angle.

Here's the scene at home. The tetrapanax leaf is the star, as it should be, right? 

Once I put this seasonal assemblage together I realized something was missing. Then it hit me... the photos! A friend recently sent us a box of old photos (presumably family, but no one she could recognize), hoping we find something creative to do with them. I'm not sure a spooky scene is what she had in mind, but working off the black and white photos hanging above the mantel it just seemed like the perfect finishing touch. And old photos—so formal, so serious—of people you don't know can't help but be just a little, well, spooky...right?

Since the plants that had been vacationing outside were coming indoors I included the dark bromeliads.

A few small gourds help define the season.

Our black cat and skull came out of storage...

We really do need to give that guy a name. I meant the cat, but maybe the skull too.

These last few images have no pumpkins in them, but there is fall color. Here the color comes courtesy the Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' as seen thru a few Yucca filamentosa leaves.

And from the other direction, thru the branches of Arctostaphylos x 'Austin Griffiths'.

In thise photo it's the Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) adding color, along with Yucca desmetiana 'Blue Boy'.

Finally an Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' surrounded by leaves from the neighbor's dogwood and a neighborhood oak that I still haven't located. Hope you enjoy the last weekend of October!

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

New containers for the season, because

My October garden chores include a lot of garden deconstruction, as I pull apart vignettes and move plants to their winter homes. Sure there's a bit of in-ground planting, as the rains have returned and the ground is once again workable, but those aren't creative endeavors, just work! (side note, it was rather exciting to use my shovel foot again—the one at the end of the ankle I broke last May) So knowing I need to do something creative to feel that important connection to my garden, I was looking forward to a couple of new container plantings I had in the works. Here's the first project completed...

You might be wondering, what was there before? Summer containers that needed to come down before the temperatures start to drop. That Euphorbia tirucalli isn't winter hardy here, and when temperatures fall below freezing the expanding mass of frozen soil can crack pottery. I learned that the hard way.

Here's what had been hanging in this spot over the last couple of winters...

I loved this spiky grouping!

But they'd started to look a little blah after two years in rotation so this spring I popped the plants out of the metal container and planted them in the ground.

Well the opuntia and aloes at least. The agaves looked so sad I just put them out of their misery.

And if you're wondering, yes. Yes those containers are metal shades from clip-on shop lights. The large holes provide great drainage, which was important for the spikes during the rainy season. A piece of metal screen covers the large holes and keeps the soil in place and since they're metal there's no freeze breakage.

This year's plantings won't need that great drainage however, so if we have extended dry periods—unlikely since it's a La Nina winter—I'll need to be sure to give them a splash. 

So what did I plant?

Remember the Saxifraga stolonifera 'Maroon Beauty' I fell for at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden? Well I scored two of them when I visited Joy Creek Nursery. I also tucked in a couple of Asplenium trichomanes I had on hand, as well as some moss and black mondo (Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens') from my blogging friend Theo. He's been getting rid of what seems like acres of the stuff at his garden and I'm thrilled with the windfall.

I'm kind of curious to see if the runners from the saxifraga develop baby plants that hang down over the edge of the pot. I tried not to disturb them when I planted.

The pair are pretty matchy-matchy but oh well, I think it works here.

My other container project involved planting up three new dish planters with hardy succulents. Here's one of the completed plantings.

Over the summer these three dishes are filled with non-hardy succulents, pictured are the plantings from summer 2020, because it appears I did not take a photo of the summer 2021 versions before I lifted them and took them indoors. Or maybe it's better to say, I couldn't find a photo, because I must of taken one?

As I was putting the new plantings together I realized the light was rather lovely so even though I wasn't done with the third dish I started snapping photos.

I guess seeing an empty dish is kind of interesting, maybe it helps you to understand how I mound up the soil? 

As I was working I was trying to remember what I had in these dishes last winter, then when I saw the carnivorous corner it hit me! Some of these plants were in the dishes...

I like this year's version better. Oh and I'm trying something a little different, not taking the gravel covered soil all the way to the edge, leaving the outer metal rim exposed. I can only get away with that when the plants are small and I'm not seriously cramscaping.

So what's in these plantings? Agave parryi 'JC Raulsten' is the star.

One of them has a spiky Maihuenia poeppigii tucked in...

...and one has a second agave, A. bracteosa. I didn't manage to get a close up of it however, darn it. They all have several cuttings of Sedum takesimense and a NOID sempervivum with great cherry-coloring.

Project A...

Project B...

And guess what! There's also a Project C—I recently acquired several hypertufa pots that I've been having fun filling. That's a story for another day though, as I'm still working on that one...

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

Monday, October 25, 2021

Camille's garden

Back in early September, after visiting the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, I jumped in my car and sped over to Camille Paulsen's garden in Puyallup. I met Camille thanks to Alison and Peter... my south-sound (Puget Sound) garden blogging buddies who are no longer blogging. I trust they're still gardening however.

I've wanted to visit Camille's garden for several years, and was thrilled the stars finally aligned and it happened. Here's Camille and her husband Dirk... what happy faces right? The sky may have been cloudy but with smiles like those to greet me I knew it was going to be a fabulous visit.

Camille was very generous with her time and knowledge as we toured the garden. I apologize to her and all of you as I will only be able to remember a fraction of all she told me. 

I do know this very upright eucomis is Eucomis ‘Rhode Island Red’.

This front garden pond is in the area roughly behind Camille and Dirk in the above photo.

I was captivated by the short stream running to the pond. Those plantings were just so picturesque!

The stream begins over near the house, from a double sided waterfall. This is the side that fills the pond, we'll see the other side at the end of this long (photo filled) post.

You'll also see this friendly creature, Sambuca again. Quite the beautiful poser...

I was quite taken with these gabion pillars.

As you walk into the side garden, passing between the above pillars, the wooden torii gate designed and built by Dirk comes into view. Had it been a clear day I would have taken this photo a few steps ahead, so you could see Mt Rainer framed by the gate. Personally I was just as thrilled with this shot of the gorgeous garden surrounding the gate, but if you're curious Phillip Oliver shared a photo of Camille's with a framed Mt Rainer in his post here.

Turning back to look at the gabion pillars again (because I loved them)...

This dark physocarpus (ninebark) was swoon-worthy.

As were the many roscoea thorough out the garden. I've given up on this genus, they don't like my growing conditions.

Look who ran ahead of us and assumed a very photogenic pose...

I really wanted to run my hands through that hakonechloa. 

Hakonechloa, Mahonia (maybe x media 'Marvel') and Osmunda regalis... quite the lovely combination.

What a clever planting! It's a fern table... but more.

I'll spare you the sad story of how moss-covered this charming lantern used to be. 

Now we've walked around to the back side of the house and you see the stairs leading up to the back deck. To my left is a pool, but I was so taken with this planting of callistemon and Agave bracteosa that I didn't care about the pool. Of course the cut foliage of Grevillea 'Ivanhoe' (far right) caught my eye as well.

Pots on the stairs (because every surface needs plants!).

And up on the deck now, with more pots!

We won't talk about that mountain that should be visible off in the distance.

Still up on the deck and looking to my right. Of course I was focused on the plants and didn't even notice I'd managed to hide the structure behind the Robinia pseudoacacia Twisty Baby...

Back down on the ground now and I was happy to see another gardener growing Passiflora 'Amethyst Jewel'.

Such an abundance of blooms on these brugmansia.

I believe that's ipomoea growing up that frame, simple but perfect.

Melianthus blooms! 

Walking past the pool area now and we're down by a large pond, sweet Schefflera delavayi...

A better look at the pond.

That bench looks like it's positioned just so under the Camperdown Elm (Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii') for a reason don't you think?

Yep, prime mountain viewing spot! (on a clear day)

While I was snapping that photo above, Camille was snapping a photo of me. Blogger in action! (thanks Camille for sharing this photo)

Lots of great rhododendrons in Camille's garden...

Oh, I know this one (because I have it too)! Rhododendron pachysanthum.

Climbing up away from the pond area, but looking back towards it...

The perfect plant for this fabulous container!

The unusual weeping sequoia frames the grasses and rusty metal pieces perfectly.

So just when I thought the garden couldn't get any better, and that we were probably wrapping up, I spot this! A fabulous raised tropical island just in front of the greenhouse.


I'm not usually a fan of head-shaped planters but I love this one with it's agave "hair".

I didn't grow one of these double purple datura this year, but I wish I had...such a gorgeous flower.

Remember the structure I completely blocked with the tree in an earlier photo? Here it is! 

And looking back towards the greenhouse...

And guess what! The mountain made a very brief (and only partial) appearance. I knew it was out there... 

Only a bit left to explore, let's take the long pathway back to the front of the house.

Planted along that pathway is the beefiest syneilesis I've ever seen. Aren't they amazing? Camille shared that it's a hybrid from Far Reaches Farm.

The storage space along the other side of the long pathway features a custom bamboo painting by one of Camille and Dirk's daughters. 

And then there's this! Camille happened upon this rather gnarly stump and had to have it. A bit of negotiating and one piece of heavy machinery and it's hers!

She appears to be having a blast planting it up.

Another look at the front garden plantings...

...and at the containers under the front walkway...

Here's the backside of that two-sided waterfall I mentioned at the top of the post.

With that we've come to the end of this very photo heavy post! Thanks Camille for sharing your garden. So many plants so well grown, this post could have been twice as long. Speaking of, if you're left wanting more you're in luck as Camille has taken the plunge and is now on Instagram. Follow her @tahomaflora for more from her garden and other things that catch her artistic eye...

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