Friday, June 30, 2023

Pent-up plant buying needs met with a stop at Christianson's Nursery...

Garden touring and plant peeping in another country is great fun, but it can be a little frustrating too. Looking at plants, but not being able to buy any*, eventually gets old. After nearly 5 days in Vancouver, BC (Canada)—for the 2023 Vancouver Hardy Plant Group Study Weekend—I couldn't wait to stop at a nursery on U.S. soil and buy some plants! Christianson's was oh so conveniently located just of I-5 in Mt Vernon, Washington, north of Seattle.

Evidently I wasn't the only one with a need to shop, in my brief time there I ran into three other people who had been at the Study Weekend events with me. 

Above and below are plants that look to have planted themselves (maybe with a little human assistance?) on wooden posts around the nursery.

While I loved the moss growing in this rotted out post I couldn't help but envision a bit of pyrrosia tucked in there.

Acacia baileyana 'Purpurea' looks good with a yellow back-drop, even if it is a rose. 

Nice Agave attenuata 'Kara's Stripes', with a little bonus foliar fertilizer.

This was fun; I made a trip to the restroom and noticed a pile of bird droppings on the ground just below the entrance. This is what I saw when I looked up...

Feeding time!

So what did I buy? Here's the haul, and since I also stopped at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden there's a flat from their nursery too...

Starting with the haul from Christianson's...

Arisaema concinnum

There were so many gorgeous arisaema in the gardens we toured over the weekend, I couldn't help but grab this beauty when I saw it. Especially with it's green flower.

I also couldn't resist the coloring of Tillandsia 'Spirit'.

A very out of focus Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Chirimen', it was just sitting there looking all cute with it's strange "crinkly, congested foliage" and I had to have it. Maybe because I'm still feeling the loss of my Cornus sanguinea 'Compressa' and this is another odd congested treasure?

Speaking of, how odd is this? Hedera helix 'Erecta', eventually 2-3ft tall and wide, maybe. I saw what I think was a mature version elsewhere in the nursery but neglected to take a photo, here's a good image from the grower.

There were so many (SO MANY!) great saxifrage in gardens over the weekend, I was primed to grab a couple when I saw them for sale. Saxifrage hostii (silver saxifrage)...

And a pair of Saxifraga 'Winifred Bevington'...

Who is 'Winifred Bevington' you might be wondering? Me too. All I could find online was that it's a "British hybrid of obscure origin".

On to the RSBG haul...

Rhododendron orbiculare, that foliage sends me! (I'd be happy if it never bloomed)

Rhododendron williamsianum, ditto. I do already have one of these in the ground, but I saw it doing great in containers all over Vancouver so I grabbed another.

I even got a bonus tag with a bit of it's history. 

Rhododendron nakaharai ‘Mariko’, yep... I already have this one too (shared it in my Bloomday post).

It's a "dense and dwarf" groundcover and those fuzzy leaves are adorable.

And yes... another pyrrosia (identified as Pyrrosia species lingua affinity).

But that's not all! My friend Matt in Seattle sent me home with a fine bromeliad...

And I brought home this pair of Leo wall planters thanks to my friend Todd, owner of Pot Inc in Vancouver.

They aren't colors he normally offers these planters in...

But they are "my" colors, and I happen to have his old-style Hover Dish planters in exactly the same colors...

Yay! I've already got most of the plants planted, but I guess I am going to have to buy some more to fill those new planters...

(*there were some plants available at the Study Weekend plant sale that were pre-qualified for the phytosanitary paperwork needed to bring them back across the border, but none of them called to me.)

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All material © 2009-2023 by Loree L Bohl. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Oh no you don't!

I spotted this leaf from the front porch and knew right away what it was, a Tetrapanax papyrifer sprout. This has been a banner year for them. I've pulled and tossed, and pulled and potted, several.

Last week longtime blog reader Chavli spotted a tetrapanax volunteer coming up in the middle of a verbascum, in a photo from my Bloomday post.

My neighbors to the north have been extremely good sports about the many tetrapanax babies that have came up in their yard—which is an amazing feat since the plants have to work their way under a driveway first.

There are currently at least three plants, one adjacent to their front lawn, and two in their hellstrip.

As for the one coming up in a crack in our sidewalk, no. As much fun as I might have with the idea of people having to walk around a large leaf plant in the middle of the sidewalk on the way to our front door, I also don't want to have to pay to have a new sidewalk poured when the crack gets even bigger than it already is. Bye-bye baby!

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Monday, June 26, 2023

My agaves that made it through Portland's ugly winter

What a winter it was for agave lovers gardening in Portland. Over the past few months I've written so much about the agaves that didn't make it, some of you were probably wondering if I had any agaves left in my garden. Yes. The answer is definitely yes—and I've added even more over the last few weeks, but that's a post for another day. Today we look at my agaves that made it through last winter, photos taken on June 14th.

We start at the front of the house, next to the driveway. This NOID (from a Cistus tough love sale), along with the small Agave parryi, got absolutely no protection.

The bloom belongs to an Aloe (Aristaloe) aristata. These two agaves got a layer of frost cloth and a piece of reflective "bubble foil" insulation laid over them during the December storm, nothing for the February event.

Agave 'Streaker' (a gift plant from Sean Hogan/Cistus Nursery)

Agave 'Baccarat'

To the left of the front steps. The in ground agaves here were protected during the December storm, but nothing thereafter.

Agave 'Baccarat' (center) and Agave americana var. protoamericana (on the right), on the left Agave parryi 'Notorious RBG' (ignore the agave in the container as it was pulled undercover for the winter).

Agave parryi 'Notorious RBG' (my name for a NOID purchased at the Ruth Bancroft garden) close-up.

Agave parryi from Bryon Jones (Pt Defiance Zoo & Aquarium).

This Agave montana was protected during the first round of winter extremes (December) but not the second in February. 

I guess I should come up with a code to use from here on out. P1 is December protection, PA is all winter, as there are a few things out back that spent the whole winter covered. NP means there was never any winter protection.

Agave 'Mateo' (P1)

Here's my pair of Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue'. These both went in the ground in the spring of 2013 and were just small gallon-sized plants back then (P1).

The one in the foreground, closest to the front steps has been struggling all winter. Thankfully the warm dry May and early June has really helped it. 
The worst spot now...

And back on May 22nd... 

If this summer is hot and I remember to give it plenty of water it should put on a lot of new growth and maybe push through the wounds? Time will tell.

Here's the second one, which was always kind of the less glamorous of the twins. Not anymore...

Looking south along the front of our house, this is the first time Alberta (Yucca rostrata in the foreground) and Holman (Yr in the background) have appeared together here on the blog.

Huh, I guess I couldn't decide which photo to upload.

Okay, moving on. I'm still stunned this small variegated Agave parryi made it through the winter, P1.

Another Agave ovatifolia (P1)

I've always thought this blue agave to the left of the Yucca rostrata was an Agave 'Silver Surfer', but I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't an Agave parryi? (P1)

Agave bracteosa (NP)

Agave parryi 'JC Raulston' (P1)

Three more Agave parryi 'JC Raulston' (P1), and on the far right is...

An abused Agave ovatifolia (NP), but it's alive!

The last photo from the front garden, Agave parryi 'JC Raulston' (P1) with an Agave ovatifolia (NP) in the background.

This Agave americana is in the driveway is (P1). It needs to be planted out or root pruned, the poor thing has been in this container for too long.

The variegated Agave americana on the far left has since been planted in the ground—a summer fling—but of course it didn't spend winter in this location, the rest did though (PA). Close-ups follow from left to right.

Agave bracteosa (PA)

Agave neomexicana (maybe ?), on the left (PA) and Agave montana on the right (PA)

Agave bracteosa (PA)

There was a long plastic-covered tunnel over this entire in-ground planting all winter, so they're PA.

Looking at those plants close up, there are a couple of small agaves I no longer can ID, and then an Agave bracteosa and an Agave 'Mateo'.

The Agave 'Mateo' with a small A. montana in front of it—as well as a blooming Aloe striatula (aka Aloiampelos striatula).

This agave came from a rescue operation (here), I think it's an Agave salmiana.

Another perspective on the area...

Just a couple more now, another Agave bracteosa (PA)...

And this containerized Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' (PA). What's that? You don't see a container?

There it is. I'm guessing the roots have grown down through the drainage hole.

That's a wrap! While it was an extremely ugly winter for my garden, and agaves in particular, I feel great about what did survive and they're now enjoying another beautiful PNW summer!

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