Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A salvia change of heart?

As far as salvia go there's only one that has my heart, Salvia discolor (Andean silver-leaf sage), I love it.

Those dark—almost black—blooms, the ribbed light-green and while calyx, that jaunty little curl at the tip of the petals, what's not to love? Well I suppose that they're frost-tender and I can't manage to over winter them.

There is one other salvia to be found in my garden, Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine Form', but I don't have a photo of it, because these photos are all from the gardens I visited in New York. Where I started to have a change of heart about salvia...

Back in 2014 I wrote a story on salvia for the Oregon Association of Nurseries. The story was assigned to me, I didn't chose it. I knew nothing about salvia and didn't have any interest in learning, but learn I did. I interviewed nursery folk, and read, and wrote. I faked it, but I still didn't care for salvia. Well, until now.

These Salvia discolor photos are all from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, several containers were grouped by the visitors center.

I've never grown this plant in a container, I think that's going to change though, they looked great.

But enough about that salvia, there were others! At the New York Botanical Garden there was this mash-up. Truth be told I paid zero attention to the red/pink flowers, is that a salvia too? It might be, but my eyes were drawn to the tall plant in the back...

It's Salvia mexicana 'Tula' and I love the chartreuse and blue combination as well as the very graphic arrangement of the blooms on each stem.
Here is the question: did I start to see salvia differently, maybe have a salvia change of heart while touring NYC gardens?  Or do salvia just grow better there and that's why they caught my attention?

This white fluffy number was in another part of the NY Botanical Garden, I was kind of in love, but wondered if there was more to the flowers.

I finally found this stem, it looks like maybe the flowers are white? Once home I did a little research and found Salvia 'White Flame' PP32429.

At Wave Hill I saw this, Salvia leucantha Danielle's Dream ['Ferpink'] PP21,734 (Pink Mexican Sage).

This color combo of pink and white is pretty much my worse nightmare, my teeth hurt just looking at this photo. I was only paying attention because I feared this is what the plant I loved at the NYBG (Salvia 'White Flame') actually looked like in flower. 

Then in another section at Wave Hill, this. Yes! White flowers not pink, so I was able to feel sure that it's a thing. White flowers aren't usually my jam, I love the fuzz though!

More from Wave Hill, Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' (Texas sage cultivar)

And Salvia confertiflora (Red Velvet Sage), oh my! 

I got lucky capturing that red ant (?) in the red velvet.

This one is even more tender than Salvia discolor, but I am definitely going to hunt it down next spring.

One more, this one unlabeled.

But a hit with the locals...

So are you a salvia lover? What are your favorites? Do you grow them as annuals or are they reliable perennials in your garden?
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All material © 2009-2022 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, November 28, 2022

We made wreaths—at Rancho Cistus

Saturday afternoon I retuned to the scene of several past wreath making parties to have a go at it again. There have been years where Ann Amato and I cut greens from the garden in the rain with Sean Hogan and Preston Pew, but this year we arrived to piles of interesting things in the driveway ready for the making.

My friend Bridget (OMG, I haven't shared the news here but Bridget who used to live around the corner from me, then moved to Louisville and started a business called Mahonia is back in Portland and is now the Director of Operations at Cistus!!!) kicked things off with a little talk on the "how to" of wreath making and then we all started grabbing stems from the selection in the drive. Just then hundreds of geese flew overhead, I was not the only one who lifted my phone to record the moment, it was pretty majestic.

But back to the wreath making. I failed to get any shots of  Bridget giving us direction and a pep talk, but I did get a few shots of people in action and after pics. It's so inspiring to see what we each came up, since we all had the same things to choose from.

Dan Pogust at work here, one of the co-founders of the Portland Botanic Garden

Ann with her arborvitae wreath.

Evan Bean and Linda Wisner (in the background) hard at work.

Evan was smart to turn the needles of this conifer upside down for maximum contrast and to show off their silvery bits.

Bob made a spectacular eucalyptus wreath.

Evan proudly showing off Franklin—A(wreath)a Franklin that is. Yes, they're pretty darn punny. Giving Sean a run for his money.

Ann with her bodacious buxom beauty wreath (buxus/boxwood that is).

I didn't think to take photos of my two wreaths until I already had them in the car. Wreath A...

A, again

And at home...
I hung this one and stood back so Andrew could see it and his response, "so that bare wire, that's intentional?"... yep.

And wreath B...

This one is still laying on the basement floor, pending the official holiday decorating spree to come...

Since there was still a little daylight after the wreathing I walked through the nursery.

I think this grapevine and lichen wreath might have been one of my favorites of the day!

Seen in the Cistus big-top...

And here's Ann, closing out the day with suitably twee Kinfolk-like cover pose. Work it Ann!

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

Friday, November 25, 2022

Leach Botanical Garden, updated

Yes, that's right, updated. Notice I didn't call it new and improved, because I'm kind of on the fence about that.
Somehow it's been—gulp—7 years since I last visited the Leach Botanical Garden. The pollinator and habitat garden (above), as well as the fireside terrace and tree walk (below) are all new. An upper section of the garden, a propagation area, and a sweet little rock garden are all gone to make room for the new additions.

To be fair the new additions are much more visitor friendly to the average person, as is the reoriented entryway with a sizable parking lot and a nice bathroom. Of course, there's now a fee to enter, but at just $5 that shouldn't stop most people, and if it does, well they've got a great "Garden for All admissions program" and no one will ever be turned away. How cool is that?

The tree walk wasn't as dramatic as I'd hoped for, but later I heard the sounds of kids enjoying the heck out of it, so I suppose the target isn't really me.

Tetrapanax papyrifer

This is one of the first manzanita I saw upon starting to garden here in Portland. I'm thrilled it is still here, Arctostaphylos manzanita ssp. laevigata.

The house itself as well as the terraces around it were closed when I visited. The house is about to undergo a re-roofing project. It needs it badly!

I pray they don't disturb this Dasylirion wheeleri which has been right in this spot as long as I've been visiting.

Ditto for it's friends, the opuntia.

And the agaves! Although I am shocked they're not larger, this is about the same size they were the last time I stopped by.

Agave toumeyana var. bella

Did you catch the set of four pipe stands in the upper photos? They must be used to put a winter cover in place?

Looking up at the tree walk.

And at the under-utilized rock garden.

Shiny new arbors.

The land to the far east of the property is fenced and part of the "Back 5 Acres" project.

It looks like there are interesting things going on back there.

Now I've walked down to the lower part of the garden, beneath the house. This is the area referred to on the map (at the end of this post) as the riparian zone, the creek is just to the left of this photo.

Oh how I want to plant something in those logs!

Ferns baby!

I sat down the oak leaves I'd been collecting to take the photo above, they looked so nice there that I left them.

If I had a stone bench I would definitely want a fern planting pocket.

Wouldn't you?

A Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Wissel's Saguaro' perhaps?

Walking back up the hillside now I noticed the arctostaphylos bark was highlighted by the sun, naturally I had to snap another photo.

And what's this? A "contemplative place" installation, according to the map.

Oh and while you might think that's a lawn, it's not. It's a "gathering green"...

Yes I am having fun with the names that seem to take themselves a little too seriously.

As I headed back to my car—having enjoyed this walk through the updated Leach Botanical Garden—these pots caught my eye, and I thought back to the ones I spotted in other parts of the garden. I suspect this is the work of Bob Hyland, Leach Garden Vice President and owner of Contained Exuberance. Nice work Bob!

On a sad "local garden" note I wanted to share that Portland's Elk Rock Garden at the Bishop's Close (which I seem to visit every spring, here and here for example) is up for sale—listing here. The garden and home were donated to the  Episcopal Diocese of Oregon by it's builder the Kerr Family. The history section of the website notes: "In 1957, when Mr. Kerr died at the age of ninety-five, the house and garden were given by his daughters, Anne McDonald and Jane Platt, to the Episcopal Bishop of Oregon together with an endowment for the care and maintenance of the garden, with the stipulation that the garden be opened to visitors. Since 1986 the garden has been managed by a Garden Committee. In 1994 the Elk Rock Garden Foundation and the Friends of Elk Rock Garden Foundation were formed to protect, preserve and perpetuate this wonderful garden." So much for that. Rumor is the property is priced to appeal to developers, and you know what that means; lots of new McMansions, no garden.

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