Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Wednesday Vignette, R E S P E C T

The Pacific Bonsai Museum is located right next to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, WA. Unfortunately I didn't have time to walk through the bonsai museum during my February 2020 visit, but did snap this photo. I appreciated both the idea that you should RESPECT the RAKE, and the image of three rakes made to work in unison. It certainly makes the patterns in the rocks a little easier to create.



Weather Diary, March 2: Hi 55, Low 38/ Precip 0 

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

A trio of whales and other interesting creatures

Here I am at yet another garden I was tipped off to by a friend. A friend who knows how happy it makes me to see other agave lovers doing their thing here in Portland...

I took these photos back on January 9th, and unfortunately some are quite blurry. Just pretend the wind is blowing the leaves on those Yucca rostrata.

Hey, look at those lovely creatures!

Although one did have a fin that looked little concerning (get it, fin... because after all Agave ovatifolia is the whale's tongue agave).

I would love to know how old these are, and what size they were when planted.

The same garden's hellstrip...

Agave bracteosa

And another...

Since the neighborhood looked like it had potential, I took a couple random turns before heading on my way, looking left and right, scanning for interesting plants. I was rewarded with this garden and it's gem of an agave. Hellstrip...

And corner of the garden "proper"...


Walking further up the sidewalk I discovered an interesting vignette (in the same garden)...

There was a lot to look at.

Walking back to my car now...


I feel like such an agave loser that I didn't have a firm idea what this is. I had a few guesses but sent a photo to my friend Bryon Jones at the PDZA to see what he thought. He had a couple ideas as well, but sent it on to Greg Starr to see what he thought. Greg says Agave havardiana—so there you have it!

It's certainly happy and healthy and pupping! But a little close to the sidewalk.

Nice work fellow Portland spiky-plant lovers!

Weather Diary, March 1: Hi 60, Low 39/ Precip 0 

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

Monday, March 1, 2021

Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden; the stumpery. Because really, we all deserve a stumpery—don't we?

Yes we do!!! In my fantasy garden I have another half-lot that's full off downed stumps, exposed roots and a lot of moss and ferns. Of course there's also another half-lot that's a desert—a girl can dream right? Until then I visit places like the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden with their fabulous version, aka "the world’s largest public stumpery, with ferns spilling over 140 stumps and logs in a magical half-acre" (read more here).

This post is essentially a "part two" of the visit I began writing about on Friday...

"A stumpery is an intentional arrangement of woody material like old stumps and tree trunks.  The goal of a stumpery is the creation of habitats especially for ferns and other shade-loving plants; secondarily comes the sense of accomplishment from the arrangements of the arresting architecture of the roots, or any other things that you can find on or in re-purposed wood."

Dryopteris sieboldii


I think this is Pyrrosia sheareri, but it might be P. lingua—I'm having trouble telling how large the fronds are.


Cyrtomium falcatum (holly fern)


That beautiful fern is a Dicksonia antarctica, the Tasmanian tree fern. There are a few growing around The Spheres in downtown Seattle, but that area is a heat island—warmer than Federal Way, WA, where this garden is located. 

Since this plant is only borderline hardy here they'd taken a little extra care to protect it for the winter months.

More Cyrtomium falcatum. I find myself really drawn to this fern lately, whereas I used to not care for it at all.

I want this!!!





Dryopteris wallichiana

These are Pyrrosia sheareri, for sure. I do love me some pyrrosia!

And this concludes our look at the stumpery... 

Weather Diary, February 28: Hi 58, Low 44/ Precip 0 

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

Friday, February 26, 2021

Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, before it all unraveled

Going through and editing/uploading these photos was more of an emotional experience than I anticipated. This visit to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden was a stop on our way up to the 2020 Northwest Flower & Garden Festival in Seattle, on February 26th, one year ago. COVID-19 was in the news, and in fact the first US case had been discovered in the Seattle area, where we were headed. I'm smart enough to have been concerned, but I had no idea what lay ahead for us all.  

The version of me that walked this garden that day was blissfully clueless as to just how much her life would change in the coming months. Honestly I tear up a bit just typing those words. I was headed to see friends, hug them, dine with them, go places with little concern about a very contagious and fatal disease. Imagine. 

Anyway... to the garden! Near the entrance...

I have come close to adding Ypsilandra thibetica to my garden. This appears to be one of those plants that is very very good when it's good. And very blah when it's not. Do you have any experience with it?

Just inside the gate there's a sales area for featured plants, and beyond that a larger area with many more plant tables. The light on these plants made them seem extra special.

I took this photo for the moss—but of course the dark leaves draw my attention and maybe yours, they're labeled as Shortia galacifolia.

Those large leaves!

It's tempting to throw out Rhododendron sinogrande as the name, but only because that's the large leaf rhododendron I'm most familiar with.

Schefflera delavayi

I know I photographed this the last time I was here, and I am confident I will photograph it next time, and the time after that.

Side view.

Wow! Podophyllum pleianthum, so early!

Rhododendron macabeanum

Matteuccia struthiopteris, the ostrich fern. All that's left standing are the dried fertile fronds. 

I love them so much!

Blechnum chilense, now known as Parablechnum cordatum.

A close up...


Unknown ID but look... it's a mahonia tree!


Helleborus argutifolius

The green pond...


Rhododendron lanigerum


The crevice garden, looking a bit empty.

Okay, a lot empty actually.

Their Daphne x houtteana looks a little sparse. Actually it was nice to see their plant looking even worse than mine, I guess maybe I'm not doing anything wrong and that's just what it does in February?

Just a couple more photos from inside their greenhouse and then I'll wrap up this post—however a look at the stumpery is ahead next week!

I love this moss-filled column and basket, so many ways to grow cool plants (it does need more plants though).

An orchid on a stick! I have no idea which one. I would have certainly added to my collection from Andy's Orchids (up to four now, 2 from 2019 and 2 from 2020) had the 2021 NWFG Fest have happened. I guess that means I need to double my purchasing in 2022 (fingers crossed the show returns).

I photographed this very orange rhododendron the last time I visited. I didn't know what it was then and I certainly don't now.

Strobilanthes gossypinus, mine is leggy too.

Finally a green wonderland I stopped to admire on my way back to the car. Will I be able to make this stop again in February of 2022 on my way to the NWFG Festival? God I hope so...



As I was working on this post, and missing my friends in the plant community (missing the NWFG Festival), in came an email from Carol Michel, blogger and hostess of Garden Bloggers Bloomday. She and Dee Nash have a gardening podcast, The Gardenangelists, and she was writing to let me know they'd received a review copy of my book Fearless Gardening and talked about it on their latest episode; Wipe the February Off Your Face: Microclimates and Rhubarb. What a lovely thing to have show up in your inbox. It was like a hug from friends I haven't seen forever. Give their podcast a listen, it's a lot of fun!

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Weather Diary, Feb 25: Hi 51, Low39/ Precip .09 

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