Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Visiting Arium Botanicals, in Portland

At the urging of my friend Ann, I attended a meeting of the PNW branch of the American Begonia Society back on Nov 24th . That meeting took place at Arium Botanicals, a shop I'd never even heard of—even though they're burning up Instagram with 47K followers. Where have I been!?

The houseplant craze just keeps building (which I suppose means it isn't just a craze?) and shops like this are popping up around town (and in my Instagram feed).

I'll admit seeing Instagram explode with houseplant pictures and the accompanying hashtag madness (#plantparenthood #houseplantsofinstagram #monsteramonday) had me rolling my eyes—at first. But many (most?) of these houseplant lovers are actually serious plant people with impressive knowledge of these plants.

Here at Arium the plants are all labeled with their proper botanical names. This should be standard operating procedure when selling plants, but it's definitely not.

This Rhipsalis boliviana was pretty adorable, but at $30 a little rich for my blood.

They had some really nice pottery too...

The space is full, but not cramped.

And installations like this...

And this...

...are very inspiring. As is the moss-covered column for growing plants up, up, up. Note there are smaller ones available (on the right)...

I must admit watching and eavesdropping I was very much feeling like the 20-something apartment dweller I used to be...the younger me longing to own a home and thus a garden.

I didn't buy my first home until I was 34—that was a few years ago (just a few...)—but I've come to take having soil to plant in for granted now. How I would have loved shops like this when I did not.

Wait! I love shops like this now!!! Like a great deal of my plants, these are houseplants in the winter, patio plants in the summer (thanks to Ann for that great label—"patio plants")

Anthurium pedato-radiatum (kokedama version—$205)

There were lots of mounted plants available...

Dischidia imbricata

And a nice selection of kokedama too...

But the reason I was there was for the Begonia Society meeting, right? They were very enthusiastic plant people, and of course brought lots of great plants to show and share.

This spiky guy—brought by Emily, of In Search of Small Things—is Begonia versicolor. I also visited Emily's home garden and propagation area and will have a post on that amazingness coming up soon.

Here Linda is showing off a leaf cutting of Begonia masoniana (the iron cross begonia).

I went home with cuttings of Begonia soli-mutata (Sun-Changing Begonia) and Begonia bowerae nigramarga, which I'm trying to get to root. I also bought a fabulous little bird's nest sansevieria from Arium...it was a good night!

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Weather Diary, Dec 9: Hi 49, Low 38/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, December 9, 2019

White worm coral...aka fairy fingers or white spindles

It's not just a play on words, fungi really are fun. In my compact city lot I've discovered things such as dog vomit slime mold aka Fuligo septica (which admittedly is no longer considered a fungi but hey, work with me here) and Peziza fimeti, a strange growth that looks like a brown silicone cup. My latest discovery are the these thin white fingers which go by the name white worm coral...also fairy fingers or white spindles...

They're reaching up from the space between the lawn and the brick edging, which is actually kind of creepy.

Their real name is Clavaria fragilis, well, unless it's not. This Wikipedia article says there are are several other small white coral-like fungi with which C. fragilis may be confused.

Clavaria fragilis is said to be found growing in woodland litter or in old, unimproved grassland. While I'm not sure my small urban garden qualifies as either I do love the idea of it.

From the same Wikipedia article: "One field guide says "its flesh is tasteless and so delicate that it seems to dissolve in one's mouth." Its odor has been compared to iodine"... nope, I have not, and will not, be tasting them.

A few have sprouted up in the lawn, away from the edging.

And now there's even a colony a few feet away next to one of the pathway pavers. They may be trying to stage a take-over...I'll be watching!

Weather Diary, Dec 8: Hi 53, Low 45/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, December 6, 2019

And that's a wrap, on the HPSO Study Weekend 2019

With this post I wrap up my coverage of the HPSO 2019 Study Weekend open gardens here in Portland. Study Weekend itself is an event that rotates among the PNW plant societies. Last year was in Seattle,  the year before in Vancouver, BC. Next year should be in Eugene, but they're sitting that one out, so there won't be another Study Weekend until 2021, when it will be back in Vancouver.

These events are a big draw for locals, as well as people from the other PNW cities and into California (hello KS from Gardenbook). The weather could have not been better...

We'll look at two gardens today, the first is called "Age in Place" and is the garden of Marion Azorr and Rick Criswell: "This one acre garden shows what one gardener is doing to reduce maintenance and allow her to "age in place." Installing new hardscapes, gravel paths, yard art and reducing the amount of lawn allows enjoyment of this garden for years to come. The garden offers a variety of evergreen textures, flowering perennials, colorful foliage plants, carefully selected small trees, a small pool, a vegetable garden and assorted, colorful annuals."

The white froth in this image is blooming sedum.

And green froth from Amsonia hubrichtii.

I'm a sucker for interesting patterns that cast equally interesting shadows.

What a luxurious deck...

Beyond the rusty triangle sculpture was a small putting green. I didn't take a photo because there were several people enjoying the space and I didn't want to intrude.

Large poles in urns were a theme...

This shady deck was off the opposite side of the house from the first.

I should have included something for scale, but those sempervivum were gigantic.

What a nice sized pool. Not too big, not too small.

The next (and last) garden belongs to Susan Albright: "Charmingly eclectic is an apt descriptor for this suburban corner-lot-garden. Over the past 32 years the garden has been remodeled in bits and pieces, resulting in a very pleasing patchwork of plantings and design. Anchored by a large maple tree, the mostly shady, two-level backyard displays several specimen trees and a variety of shrubs and perennials, most selected for their foliage... Starting in 2015 the hell-strip areas bordering this corner lot were redesigned. Focusing on drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plantings, the last section was completed in June 2018."

We begin our visit with the hellstrips...

WOW! Delosperma as nice as what I saw in Denver, I am impressed.

Hmm, that sedum! I know what it is, really I do...but I can't think of the name...

This sweet vignette was in the back garden...

...I think near where we swooped down those stairs.

Wow! The best patch of Lysimachia paridiformis var. stenophylla I've ever seen.

So many people discovered this plant for the first time right here, in this garden.

It was fun to watch.

There were also nice raised benches for growing veggies.

A big thank you to all the garden hosts who opened their garden for the Study Weekend tours! Oh and I lied, there is one other garden I visited during Study Weekend that I haven't yet written about, the Kuzma-Halme garden. That one is yet to come because I visited several times over the summer and have A LOT of photos to go through. Think of it as an upcoming January treat.

Weather Diary, Dec 4: Hi 53, Low 39 / Precip 0

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.