Wednesday, May 1, 2024

A walk around my spring garden

Spring is doing its best to try and make me forget about the damage of winter. I appreciate the effort and I'm enjoying the heck out of it. But I'm still feeling the burn! That said I want to share with you some of the good things happening in the garden right now.

New growth on the daphniphyllum is always bright and gorgeous. Below is the variegated plant, Daphniphyllum macropodum 'Ki Midori Nakafu'—the leaves start out chartreuse and as they mellow the variegation shows up.

And this the straight up Daphniphyllum macropodum...(no variegation).

Another shot of the variegated version, with flowers (they never get much better than that). I had a third plant, non variegated, but was in a container and it looks like the winter storm was too much for it. Bummer.

Doing my annual cut back on the Akebia longeracemosa 'Victor's Secret' (it wants to own the entire garden, plus the one next door) I noticed the fantastic lichen on the fence. 

The fence was built in early 2014, and I still think of it as new. In reality 10 years have passed.

Here's the akebia. I love the foliage almost as much as the flowers (which are on the way).

In the same general area is the Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida’ (Cutleaf Emperor Oak), also dating to 2014 for when it was planted in my garden.

This entire area was newly planted that spring, and then the 2014 Portland Fling happened that July. I look back on how new everything was then and cringe at the fact almost 100 people were here to see the baby plants!

Speaking of baby, the new quercus foliage is adorable, covered with peach fuzz.

One of the mahonia that is recovering from the winter die-back, M. x media 'Marvel'...

Neither of my Schefflera delavayi missed a beat over the winter, and the new growth is always spectacular. 

Disporum cantoniense 'Night Heron' with a pyrrosia planting that spent all winter hanging on the fence, except for the week of horrid temperatures when it was tucked into the greenhouse.

Another view of 'Night Heron'.

Fertile fronds of Struthiopteris spicant, aka Blechnum spicant, aka deer fern.

I'm so thrilled that my Convallaria majalis 'Aureovariegata' (variegated lily of the valley) is bulking up. Thankfully the foliage is more important to me than the flowers, as I have only two stems of blooms.

This photo is a couple weeks old now (taken 4/14) and things have already changed, but I love the combo of new fronds on the Adiantum venustum (Himalayan maidenhair) with the Veratrum californicum and Podophyllum peltatum.

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern) with it's spectacular brown outline—which only lasts a few days before it fades to green.

The fine black lines of Adiantum venustum fronds.

New pyrrosia leaves/fronds are adorable, don't you think?

Paris quadrifolia

Epimedium × rubrum, this plant looked great even after the winter storm, thus I added five more to the garden.

Clematis 'Pixie' blooms.

Blechnum penna-marina, aka Austroblechnum penna-marina, aka alpine water fern

Magnolia  laevifolia

Such a fabulous small flower.

Speaking of small flowers, Saxifraga × urbium 'Aureopunctata' is sending up tiny little flowers all over the garden. Hundreds of them. I am trying so hard to like them and not be annoyed by them. Somedays it works, others—not so much.

Aquilegia viridiflora Chocolate Soldier’

Pacific Coast Iris hybrid ‘Wildberry Shortcake’

Leucothoe fontanesiana 'Rainbow' (L) with the blooms of Lewisia cotyledon 'Sunset Series' (R).

That lewisia again.

And another, so VIBRANT it wants to break the camera every time. NoID.

Last shot, this from inside the house. I cut back my Rhododendron laramie in February, it was leggy and suffering damage from the winter storm.. Naturally I stuck the bits I cut in water, and what do you know, they've pushed out new foliage. No roots, but definitely responsible for weeks of "in a vase" enjoyment. Plants are amazing!

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All material © 2009-2024 by Loree L Bohl. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Woah! Rhododendron laramie's new growth is fuzzy and adorable. You have so many winners here, the Akebia makes me melt. Your fence is glorious, I had to laugh I'm just beginning to stain mine. I would NEVER touch it, if there was a chance of lichen spreading like that.

    1. The guy who built our fence kept asking me when I was going to stain "his" fence. If he asks again I'll let him know the lichen won.

  2. AnonymousMay 01, 2024

    I love variegated Daphniphyllum! For some years now I've been keeping an eye on the one at the Bellevue Botanical Garden, so I know it rebounds from the nastiest of winter malaise. How big is yours?
    I'm gushing over new growth everywhere this time of year, especially ferns and epimediums. Oh, and on a new little Rhododendron from the RSBG: burgundy new leafs with 1/8" hairy fuzz... I'm in love.

    1. Mine is neither as big, or as nicely shaped, as the one at the BBG. It's as awkward as can be, but I still love it so. Your new rhododendron sounds like a winner!

  3. You have a LOT to be happy about, Loree! Your garden always enhances my appreciation for the interesting forms and colors of foliage plants. I'm a little in love with the new foliage on your Schefflera delavayi. And that lichen blew me away.

    1. The Schefflera delavayi new growth almost looks like it was cast in metal. So good!

  4. AnonymousMay 01, 2024

    Saxifrage? Those aren't *flowers*! Those are transitory sparkly foliage contrast enhancers (and seem to be at least a week ahead of mine).

  5. So much goodness!! I have none of these plants except for two (Mahonia 'Marvel' and Pyrrosia sp.). That's what makes seeing your garden (and photos of it) so exciting.

    1. Yes--if all are gardens were the same, what would we read blogs for!?

  6. AnonymousMay 03, 2024

    Looking good, Loree! Oh, yeah, love that daphniphyllum! Yeah, my schefflera delavayi looks the same. However, my schefflera alpina seems to be further behind with just the tiniest leaves. They look like little miniature hands. Still holding out hope for my pyrrosia. P. lingua varigata is looking the best but no new leaves yet. P. sheareri is still holding out with the bronze color of winter. Is it dead? Hoping for new leaves soon.

    1. I do not know this "bronze color of winter" unless it's the color of death that many of my fronds on the pyrrosia in the ground had (since cut off). It should be pushing out a new leaf soon if it's alive. (fingers crossed)

    2. Jeanne DeBenedetti KeyesMay 06, 2024

      Yes, maybe it is the color of death! However, I do see a few, new baby leaves, that will replace the dead leaves soon!

  7. Jeanne DeBenedetti KeyesMay 03, 2024

    Oops, the above comment was mine.

  8. Saxifrage flowers - reminiscent of those vanilla frosted circus animal cookies with pink and yellow sprinkles. I think they are cute, but I like your Aquilegia viridiflora and all of the ferns better.

    1. I couldn't help myself, I've begun to chop chop chop them off.


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