Monday, October 31, 2022

It's Halloween...

Wednesday and Addam—our favorite skeleton flamingos—arrived right on time, but this year they brought a friend.

He's a rather thin fellow, I was kind of worried about him—but it seems like he's up for a good time.

None of the trio seem to mind the cold or the rain that's descended upon us, at least not like I do...

A spooky Halloween to you!

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, October 28, 2022

It's not just roses...

This month marks the end of my six and a half years of service on the board of directors for the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. I met so many talented people during my run, it has truly been an honor. Today's garden visit is to a fellow board member's garden, that of Harry Lander...

Funny thing is, I've never actually met Harry in person. He joined the board during the COVID era. The board used to meet in person at the HPSO's office, however since spring of 2020 the meetings have all been online. I do however know that he's the former curator at Portland's International Rose Test Gardens, and he also served on the board of the Portland Rose Society. Thus I figured his garden would be all roses all the time. Whenever he held an open garden event I didn't even consider going. Well, until now...

Ryan of @tropicalpdx was the one who pushed me to visit, he lives near Harry and knew there were plants I would enjoy.

Even agaves!

There are definitely some plants in the garden's mix that can't stay in ground thru a Portland winter, so I was curious how they're protected. I imagined them getting whisked off to some fancy greenhouse Harry had connections to.

But no! They get shuffled into this window and sky-lit room behind the palm.

I didn't actually talk to Harry during this visit—he was off entertaining more important visitors—but I do imagine this gorgeous brugmansia is pruned back, dug, and stashed indoors.

Now we've passed into the back garden and the light got kind of weird. It was a day of mixed sky conditions.

To the left is the entrance to the back garden, in the above photos I was looking straight ahead, but here I turned to look back.

There is a pond between me and those two gentleman, that's what they're looking down at.

Proof of pond.

Oh ya! Tree ferns!!!

I heard from another visitor that Harry used wrap these with a heat-source during the winter, but now that we've "moved up a zone" there's no need (an idea that I'm not buying into, btw—climate change means erratic non-predicable temperature swings, not all "warming"). Fingers crossed for them.

Looking back towards the pond.

I didn't quite understand this installation. The staghorn ferns were stunning, but the door didn't seem to add anything to the mix.

Impressive staghorns!

I was also a fan of these fern-covered orbs.

I need fern orbs in my garden!

Another staghorn on the potting bench.

Thanks for opening your garden Harry, and to Ryan for encouraging me to visit...

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Alaskan inspiration

Kenneth Egawa—a friend I haven't seen in ages (at least since the late 1990's) but I am connected with on Facebook—recently posted some vacation photos, a Holland America Line Alaskan cruise. I've never had any interest in visiting Alaska, but one of his photos is definitely going in my inspiration file...

Isn't that fabulous!? Ken says the planters are trees that came down during a storm, the nursery (and a garden, see below) sunk them in the ground upside down and plants perennials on the root mass each year. Crazy cool right?!?

*UPDATE, commenter Elaine identified the location as Mendenhall Gardens in Juneau, Alaska. Thanks Elaine!*

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Photo by Kenneth Egawa and used with permission. Words © 2009-2022 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Susan's garden...

It was a lazy warm Sunday in mid September when Patricia and I visited Susan Langenes's garden in Milwaukie, Oregon. This was not my first time to visit, but it had been awhile. This rock garden area was all new to me...

It's tucked into a warm (reflected heat) corner bordered by the street and the driveway.

Lots to look at and love here...

If I remember correctly this agave was a NoID. 

However I think Susan told me the name of this one, and I promptly forgot it.

Agave utahensis 

And this little guy (below) is an Agave x ovatispina 'Blue Rapture' (ain't that a mouthfull?), from Plant DelightsAgave x ovatispina 'Blue Rapture' is a 2018 Plant Delights/JLBG introduction from a cross of two cold tolerant century plants, made by our volunteer agave specialist Mike Papay. Mike crossed his voluptuous Agave ovatifolia with pollen from an unsuspecting Agave flexispina. The offspring, which are still young but insanely vigorous, look absolutely amazing. We obviously won't know the mature size for another 14 years or so, but would estimate the rosettes will reach at least 2' tall x 5' in width. This is a very limited offering of what promises to be a truly amazing new strain of century plant...each seedling is different, although overall they are quite uniform. 
Don't go thinking you're gonna add it to your collection however, because it's no longer listed for sale.

Sedum spathulifolium 'Cape Blanco' 

Cuphea ignea, the cigar plant—a tender perennial.

This cutie! I think it's a drought stressed Pleopeltis lepidopteris? Or I could be wrong.

It's a great plot full of interesting plants.

Oh and there's another one of her other passions (she has a few), vintage BMW's.

Susan does Plantago major 'Rubrifolia' well...

And seeing her blackberry lily (Iris domestica) seed pods made me wish I'd gotten serious about sowing the seeds my in-laws had sent me.

And this! OMG. She has a seriously large Grevillea ivanhoe doing fabulously up by the front door of her house. It's not thought of as being reliably hardy here so it's fantastic to see doing so well.

That foliage!

The push to visit Susan's garden was because she'd put out a plea to the local bloggers group that she wanted to rehome several container plants. She was overwhelmed and wanted to be free. A few of the plants up for grabs were agaves, but thankfully she'd decided to hang on to this sweet Agave americana, 'Mediopicta Alba'.

I adopted this Agave victoriae-reginae and will be keeping it under cover over the winter, then planting it out in the late spring. I've always wanted to try one of these in the ground, and free is the best price to experiment with.

I also went home with this Agave gentryi/montana cross (maybe? I'm trying to read the writing on the side of a container, not neatly labeled for sale).

After thoroughly appreciating the plants in the front garden, we made our way around to the back garden. This blooming Schefflera delavayi was on it's way out, another plant Susan was rehoming.

Phormium and Bupleurum fruticosum mash-up.

And then my eyes saw this! OMG! It's a stellar example of Lyonothamnus floribundus, aka Catalina Ironwood—made even better by the agave at its base.

The foliage...

The bark...

The next tree we were captivated by was this eucalyptus, Eucalyptus perriniana. You can see its mature foliage way up there at the top.

The trunk was also pretty spectacular.

And the blue on blue with that sky wasn't hurting.

There were more agaves here and there. Susan has a much more relaxed gardening style than I do—yes I know. Some of you might call me uptight, I don't care. I love her style, and I also love coming home to mine.

Speaking of...back at home here's my #1 fabulous score, a nice big Phlebodium aureum. It hung out under the shade pavilion for a few weeks...

But once I started moving things around (and indoors) I tried it out in what will be its home next spring, up on the SW corner columns. Heaven! Thanks Susan!

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.