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A slave to the Goddess Flora shares his garden adventures.
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  • 05/21/18--06:00: In a Vase on Monday
  • Today's vase started with Loree's idea about using Buddleja globosa in a vase.  I couldn't find the vase I'd thought of for today but this one has been sitting around, waiting to be used for months.

    In addition to the buddleja, I found a few other things out int he parking strip to throw together:  Ceanothus 'Dark Star,'  NoID rhododendron,  Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae, and a bit of Cupressus arizonica 'Blue Ice' foliage.

    May is such a wonderful month in the garden when simply trimming wayward plants can yield a bouquet.

    The Cascade Cactus and Succulents Society visited the garden today and in honor of their visit, joining the arrangement are this made by Jeff Pinto  silly-looking cactus whose spines are tied up in a bow

    and a less silly-looking cactus vase. 

    There was more
    Sincere thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting IaVoM.  To see more of what participating bloggers are plopping into vases today, visit Cathy's blog!

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    Rare Plant Research is a wholesale grower of unusual plants that opens it's doors to the public one weekend a year.  I'd purchased their plants from local nurseries for years before visiting myself and now try to make it to the open every spring.   To see many previous posts from RPR, look here.  You can also search my blog by typing Rare Plant Research (or any other term you might be interested in) in the white box with the magnifying glass in the upper left hand corner of the screen.   Once again this year, I met my pal Loree (yes, THE Loree Bohl of Sunset Magazine Fame.) in her equally famous garden from which we set out to Rare Plant Research together.   Loree warned me that the garden was a mess so I didn't ask about taking pictures but his lady doesn't know from mess - her garden looked fabulous as always.  Here's a bit of what we saw.

    Lots of tiny agaves.

    Some more stressed than others. 

    Only in the Pacific Northwest...Our native sword fern finding its way into potted agaves. 

    Trachycarpus wagnerianus for a ridiculously low price had me wondering where I could squeeze in another 

    This NFS variegated pineapple made me glad that I purchased one here several years ago. 

    Speaking of bromeliads...

    The hot and bright conditions in these greenhouses really bring out the vibrant colors of these beauties. 

    I would want more bromeliads if I didn't already have so many from a number of years of attending this sale.

    Citrus trees are lots of fun to see but My garden is out of space. 

     Cussonia looking quite happy.  I wonder if they'll have these for sale in the future?

    Fucrea gigantia is such a stunning thing.  Mine is struggling along in the greenhouse.  Wouldn't it be divine to live in a climate where these could happily grow in the ground?

    Musa zebrina 

    Look at the size of those velvety leaves .  That's the head of a shopper included for scale. 

    Agave geminiflora.

    Colorful succulents. 

    Aloe dorotheae

    Carnivorous and colorful Sarracenias aka  Pitcher Plants.

    NoID NFS coolness. 

     Well, isn't that different?   

    Now for some of what my pal, Alison, calls  fat bottomed girls (Caudiciform plants) 

    Calabanus hookeri looked so fabulous  at RPR.  

    It jumped into Loree's new plantmobile along with a few other things.  To be fair, some of these are Loree's.  (well, one box)  Someone has no control.
    We opted not to visit the house, gardens, and vineyard this year.  It's beautiful but another nursery and lunch were calling.

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    Garden statuary is becoming more and more realistic all of the time.  This vignette was captured at Xera Plants in Portland.

    Notice how the blue of the pot is echoed in the cherub's blue shirt.  and how the garden designer cleverly used golden foliage to set off the blues beautifully. 

    Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click on over to her blog to see more.

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    As we drove up to Xera Plants in Portland, the bright color of this rose caught my eye. One also caught a ride home with me.

    Xera had been a great wholesale grower of plants for many years before they opened their own retail space.  Luckily, their plants are still carried by other retailers but there's nothing like visiting their own space which is always packed with fabulous plants.

    Sweet and tiny Polygonatum humile.

    Epimedium x  'Pierre's Purple' has great purple flowers but the color of it's new foliage is also very attractive.

    Acanthus  syriacus is a gorgeous thing.

    Arthropodium candidum 'Maculatum' caught a ride home with Danger along with a brown aeonium.  Can't wait to see what she does with them.  

    Xera and Hyland Garden Design/Contained Exuberance flow together nicely.  

    This is my kind of pot shop!

    Anne Boleyn? Catherine Howard?   Looks like someone's axe or sword needs sharpening.  

    Allium seed heads are a repeated  theme at CE.  Aren't they cool?

    A burlap bag tree seems like it could hold up the whole building. 

     Pots by apotspot.  
    Happy Friday Eve!

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    After thirteen years, Digs Inside and Out is moving from it's Alberta Street location in Northeast Portland to a new location in Sellwood, an area of Southeast Portland.  As packing boxes were being filled and the move was imminent we visited the Alberta Street location one last time.

    They're hoping to open in their new location on June first.  Do check their website for updates.

    Those of you who've had the pleasure of visiting the private garden of JJ DeSousa, the owner of Digs, will recognize her eclectic style and sense of humor.

    As an object, this string bean vase is cool but just think how great it would look filled with blooms.  It would look almost as if the flowers were standing on their stems right on the table.

    I love this shop but am glad that it's 150 miles from my house or I'd be broke in short order. 

    Looking one last time out at Alberta Street from inside Digs.   See those orange stools?

    Things aren't always what they seem and although the loss of Digs will be felt on Alberta Street, I'm certain that the creative force behind this special store will work it's magic in their new home. (A cool historical building which you can check out on google maps.)
    Happy weekend!

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    One might say that Cecile Brunner is in her cups on Monday but casting aspersions on such a sweet little thing might not be the best way to start the week.   On the other hand,  the climbing Cecile Brunner in my garden, planted on the previous site of a compost heap, grows is such a wild way that it might seem inebriated.  Rose experts call it vigorous and healthy.    Even in a jungly/casual garden like my own,  frequent pruning is  requited to keep it from taking over the world.  The tiny, perfectly-formed blooms are so endearing that a few got rescued from being tossed into the yard waste bin.

    The cheery blooms and luxurious fragrance are a joy to experience as we pass through the butler's pantry.  Of course, the yard waste bin smells pretty nice at the moment too.

    In the U.S. today is Memorial Day, originally Decoration (of graves) Day, which originated after the Civil War, a conflict which claimed more lives than any  U.S. history and required the establishment of the country's first national cemeteries.  Today is day of remembrance of all the men and women who've lost their lives in the service of their country and is unofficially the beginning of summer.   The civil war ended in  1865 and communities began holding ceremonies of remembrance shortly thereafter.  Cecile Brunner was introduced in 1881.  I wonder how many graves she's decorated.  As we remember the fallen, let us cling to the hope for peace.

     In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click here to see what others have cut to enjoy this week.

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    Okay so the title was a nice way to say stealing ideas from blogging pals.  In keeping with the theme, I'm stealing some photographs to illustrate this post.  I'd long admired Pam Penick's fabulous entry planting of Dasyliron longissimum in her entry garden.

    Photo by Loree Bohl, stolen from Danger Garden.  You can see Pam's post about installing this here

    Back in April, I saw A dasylirion longissimum at Cistus Nursery and decided that I'd make this work somehow in my own garden even though it's way overcrowded.  

    I almost gave the plant away because there is simply no place in my garden that would allow the same kind of empty plane that Pam's entry has but a couple of weeks ago, Loree reminded me of how well her dish planters worked in her garden without the negative space. 

    Photo by Loree Bohl.
    Then this post of Gerhard's Garden showed his Dasylirion  growing beautifully in a metal planter.  The universe must be trying to tell me something. 

    While I love the look of rusty steel, it's heavy and often expensive.  However a recent stroll through a local hardware store (a big plant sale and 50% off all pots had nothing to do with the visit) had me contemplating shiny aluminum tubes that were inexpensive and light. 

    The hottest and sunniest location at my place is out front but when standing the tube here it just didn't  work very well so the tube went into the greenhouse perhaps for use as a plant stand but it didn't  work there either

    The pipe/Dasylirion idea still made me want to find a place for it  so it got put in near the Danger Gardenette. This isn't the hottest spot in my garden but perhaps the plant will still grow in this mash-up area.  


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    Costume idea for Handmaid's Tale?

    (Image lifted from the interweb.)
    Image result for Handmaid's tale images

    No, that's not it.  

    It's Lupinus 'Westcountry Blacksmith' 

    Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to join the party.

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    More than 20 years ago, I admired this garden from the outside and it's gardener, who was working outside, invited me to view the garden inside the gate.  She said that she wished she hadn't planted ornamental cherry trees in the front as they're so prone to disease.  As I recall, those trees were sizeable. 

    They were obviously been replaced by maples quite a while ago. I'm seldom in this neighborhood and always forget the exact cross streets so coming upon this garden is always a surprise to me. 

    What lies behind the well manicured shrubbery is a magical treat of a garden that can be enjoyed from the sidewalk.

    One simply cannot walk briskly down this part of the sidewalk as there are surprises tucked away in every corner of the garden.  Everything is exquisitely well manicured, coiffed, fluffed, and trimmed and yet the garden is exuberant and welcoming.

    Some years ago, this gardener won a prize for her garden design from Thompson & Morgan Seeds. 

    Feeling especially bold, I knocked on the door but no one answered.  What a treat it would be to once again see the inside garden and all the changes that must have taken place in the last 20 years or so.

    An imaginative and talented colorist came up with this great mostly-evergreen combination with coleus and tuberous begonia jewels.

    In a sunny corner, near the intersection of the sidewalks on this corner lot stands this perfect pairing of Yucca rostrata  and pot. 

    Even the gravel is special. 

    Another view of the sunny corner. 

    Here's the other street side of the garden.

    This garden must bring great joy to both the gardener and passersby.  What a great space.  Perhaps one day I'll get a peek at the inside garden again. 

    Can you believe that this is the last day of May already? 

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    I always visit Willow Tree Gardens and Interiors' Christmas open house when the entire space is transformed into a wonderland of decorations.  Not far from home, this is a fun nursery to find both garden standards and unusual plants alike.  I'm drawn to the interior part of the business because it's in an old house and walking through feels more like visiting the home of a crazy collector (nirvana for me) than shopping in a retail space.

    The truck garden is planted up for another season .

    If grown in a pot, Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' is perfectly well-behaved.   I love those colorful leaves!

    It's that fabulously busy season when new  deliveries arrive frequently and shoppers can browse even before the newbies make it to the sales tables. 

    Okay Gardenias, you're not fooling anyone with that sign.  We know who you are!

    Betula 'Trost's Dwarf' 

    Hosta 'Electrocution' 

    Hosta 'Restless Sea'

    Pennisetum setaceum rubrum is a common sight this time of year but there's something fabulous  about pink foliage.

    Senecio candicans 'Angel Wings.'  I've seen this same photo tag calling this plant a temperennial. Annie's says it's hardy to zone 8 or 20 degrees as long as it's not too wet.  Mine made it through the winter in it's four-inch plastic nursery pot on the back steps without suffering any winter damage and has put on some nice growth already this year.  Perhaps I should find a place for it in the ground.

    Colorful perennials making a splash.

    From Little Prince of Oregon (Prince of Paradise, Tender perennials with a tropical flair)  comes this striking Begonia rex 'Royal Crown'

    And Begonia rhizomatous 'Oregon Midnight' which appears much darker in person than it does in this picture.

    Petunia 'Night Sky'  tugged at my heart last year when it first came out and so a couple came home with me. 

    P. 'Johnny Flame' is pretty sweet too. 

    Aren't they cute?

    So many fun things to find inside the old house. 

    I really dig the more is good decorating vibe.

    It's considered poor form to simply take something that one admires in another's home but here  that sort of thing is encouraged.  There's the little matter of exchanging payment for items before leaving with them but still it's swell. 

    It's the first day of June and Friday.  Hooray!  Only three more weeks of school.  Come on into the dining room and let's celebrate.

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    The contents of today's vase were all cut back to keep the stop sign at the corner visible or to keep paths passable. 

    Sweet little very fragrant rose whose name has been lost. 

    Weigela 'Rubies N' Gold'  and lots of Argyrocytisus battandieri (Pineapple Broom that really does smell like pineapple.)

    That one-time blooming old climbing rose whose name I keep forgetting.  It's incredibly fragrant and although it only blooms once a year, those few weeks find the canes covered in pink. 

    This vase hasn't been used to hold flowers for the thirty or s years it's been hanging around here. 

    A mild day meant that I could make a mess outside  instead of in the kitchen. 

    It's a little wide for the vase but the stems just didn't want to stand up and I was too lazy to take it apart and put it back together using wire, foam, or a frog so I'll just avert my eyes and enjoy the fragrance as I pass by this week.

    Joining the vase this week is a ceramic leaf made by Jeff Pinto.

    In a Vase on Monday  us hosted by the fabulous Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click here to see what others have brought inside to enjoy this week.  Many thanks to Cathy for continuing to host our weekly party!

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  • 06/05/18--06:00: Surprises in the Greenhouse

  • Sometimes things get a bit busy and I don't see the inside of the greenhouse for a few days.  At this time of year, things are happening quickly and there are usually some surprises to be found after a brief absence.   Here are a few that greeted me this weekend.  The church choir is off for the summer so I actually had a two day weekend which I celebrated by not leaving the garden.

    the buds that appeared on the Trevesia palmata are beginning to open.  What fun blooms!

    Amorphophallus knojac is hardy to zone six but outside it emerges late in June by which time I would have forgotten it was there and planted something else in it's spot.  In the greenhouse, it comes up much earlier and it happens very quickly once it warms up.

    Mine came from Cistus Nursery several years ago and now has produced several offsets.  the huge central leaf will be huge again this year.  Why not enjoy it a bit longer by keeping it inside?  It'll need a bigger pot soon. (This is a 5 gallon size.)

    A big surprise was this bloom on an Echinopsis subdenudatum rescued from a box store last year.  It's rewarding me for pulling off those silly strawflowers that were glued to it. Looks like there'll be a few more blooms to follow and as if the little cactus to the right will be blooming as well.   Such big, pure, and delicate flowers from such a small and prickly character. 

    What's been your favorite garden surprise this week? 

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    Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to see what's captured the attention of other bloggers this week. 

    A succession of several chickadees flew down from the Contorted Filbert tree to this bird bath to get a drink and splash around in the water.  By the time I ran in and got my camera, attached the telephoto lens, and focused, the last one had just finished and was taking off.  Oh well, almost.

    Last year, I was thrilled that the very scarlett blooms of Tropaeolum speciosum had finally made it to and climbed the very blue foliage of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Pelt’s Blue.' The old pink rose nearby blooms in June and the Tropaeolum blooms after the rose is finished.  Except this year when they decided to bloom together.

    Red on the orange side combined with pink with blue undertones is not a combination that I would have chosen.  Thank goodness I'm a master of averting my eyes...

    which comes in handy while walking through this amorphous mess o' plants in which I live.

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    Funny, I don't even remember what it was we needed but it was on this trip to our local McLendon Hardware that I found the stove pipe planter and a couple of 18 inch ceramic spheres with fire-engine red glaze sold under the Chelsea Gardener label.  All ceramic items were 50% off and these seemed to have been priced too low to begin with so they somehow jumped into my cart.   McLendon has a year round nursery section that carries a nice variety of plants.  Here are just a few.

    The evergreen section is especially nice and features plants from the wonderful Iseli Nursery in Boring, Oregon which is responsible for introducing a large number of coniferous delights.

    Hydrangeas blooming a bit early. 

    Brunnera macrophylla 'Hadspen Cream'  is nice but I still love the silver  foliage of 'Jack Frost' on the left.

    Yucca filamentosa 'Ivory Tower' 

    Lots of potted rose bushes in bloom. 

    Pinus contorta 'Taylor's Sunburst' has spectacular golden new growth.  

    Chamaecyparis lawsoniana imbricata 'Waterfall' was a serious temptation as it would look spectacular cascading over a pot but I have too many plants already so it stayed.

    The thready evergreens were looking good to me for some reason.  

    And...There's always an agave.   Just this one left from last year when they got a whole slew of them along with other succulents. 

    Love this but it wouldn't work in my garden.  Perhaps you need to stop by and pick it up.

    There it is again, Petunia 'Starry Sky,' a relatively new introduction which is quite eye catching.

    Don't know the name of this petunia but it was new a few years ago and still seems quite popular.

    Interestingly, Petunia 'Pretty Much Picasso,' which was all the rage not so long ago is still around here and there but seems to be not so popular now.

    Just when you thought that evergreen Lithodora covered with intense blue flowers couldn't be any more vibrant, they introduce one with gold foliage.  L. 'Gold 'N Sapphires'

    Delphinium is a long time favorite of mine that used to grow very well for me in my garden in Alaska.  However, they've never liked any of my gardens here.
     Sorticulture Garden Arts Festival opens tomorrow in Everett.   If you're in Washington, do consider going as it's a great event that can fill an entire day with fun for everyone.  Click here for more information.

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  • 06/08/18--06:00: Another Mystery Garden
  • I've enjoyed passing this garden in Fife every day for the last 20 years. It's on a road that once ran through the middle of growing fields which are rapidly being replaced by apartment buildings and warehouses.  The sweet and modest old homes along the road keep vanishing but there are a few that remain.  There's always something interesting going on in these beds but I've never seen anyone working outside. 

    You can't see it in this picture but behind the rose bushes at the back there is a large plot of tilled soil which I'd imagine is a vegetable garden.  Behind that there are quite a few Monkey Puzzle Trees (Araucaria araucana) in huge pots.  They're a mystery but may be progeny of the Monkey puzzle tree in the garden next door.

    The street is very busy, the shoulder is tiny and there are no sidewalks so one has to pull into the driveway to investigate.  I didn't actually enter the garden but took snapshots from the side of the road.

    I remember watching this project go in many years ago.  That Alberta spruce was tiny. 

    Okay, so to knock on the door to hopefully meet the gardener, I did have to approach the house and may have taken a few pictures from there as well.  On the other side of these hedges is an orderly fence with a lovely gate and a walkway to what once was a neighbor's garden.  When the properties here go on sale, they're usually purchased by developers as the zoning has changed.  The homes are either demolished or just left to fall apart. 

    A view just to the right of the back door.  I so wanted to walk in and explore.  On this warm afternoon, the fragrance of roses filled the air.  Impressive was the fact that they were very well grown with no black spot whatsoever, unusual in our climate.

    There was no answer when I knocked. 

    The neighbor on the other side of the house is obviously a plant person as well. Notice the pots of epiphyllum on the porch spending the summer outdoors. 
    One day,  perhaps we'll learn more about these two gardening neighbors who've added joy to my commute for so long but for now, it's a mystery.

    Have a great weekend all! 

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    Ah, floriferous June with so many choices for a vase.  It's also prime bamboo shooting season and every stroll in the garden includes snapping, kicking. and cutting bamboo culms coming up where they're not wanted.  There also may be a bit of swearing involved followed by a vow to do more rhizome pruning.  Anyway, the new shoots are interesting and it always seems a shame to just throw them into the yard waste container.  The severed shoots usually sit around the garden for a while before they're thrown out.  On Sunday, I decided to put a few in a container.

    These were meant to be the centerpiece  for lots of blooms but nothing looked really great with these giant lumps in the middle of the container. 

    So more were thrown in and  tied together so they'd stand up and some bamboo leaves were added.  I can hear my mother's voice saying, "Well, isn't that different?"  

    Joining the vase are this cloisonne koi in memory of my oldest and largest Koi, Remington  (He was a steely silver and black.  Do you remember Remington Steele?) who died on Friday. 

     In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Click here to see her vase and to find links to those of other participating bloggers.

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    Here are some of the more interesting plants that have made their way into the collection recently. 
    I had the pleasure of visiting the Danger Garden in mid May and saw Loree's gorgeous specimens of Agave 'Sharkskin' and Agave utahensis eborispina.  Of course these aren't plants that pop up a lot at local nurseries but through the magic of the interweb, look at what arrived in the mail recently.

    With wrapping like this, you know something special is inside.

    A baby Agave utahensis eborispina

    Agave 'Sharkskin'   Yes, it needs gravel top dressing.

    In other mail-order fun - [surely you can't be] Cereus forbesii spiralis.  

     A little rinsing off, some soil and voila. 

    Haworthias have been pretty happy in my greenhouse conditions, they stay small, and there is quite a nice variety of shapes and colorations.  Here's H. 'Ice Jade'

    This bit of coolness is Haworthia cooperi var. truncata.  

    That Portland garden is dangerous and so is surfing the net for plants.  The buttons on the keyboard  are so easy to push.  

    Surprisingly, Aeonium 'Party Platter' was found in a flat of assorted succulents at a big box store.  It's a hybrid.  Do you think that Aeonium tabuliforme might be one of it's parents? 

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    On Saturday, we drove up to Sorticulture in Everett.  We drove through several heavy rain showers and even thought of stopping on the way to buy a raincoat or umbrella. as Sorticulture is an outdoor festival.  In a surprising turn of events, (rain had been predicted.) the sun decided to shine and the day was warm and beautiful.  Lucky. (A post or two about Sorticulture will pop up one of these days.)  I could have spent the entire day at Sorticulture but after five hours,  the non-gardener deserved a change of scenery.  The plan was to go straight home but the lady in the phone said that Sunnyside Nursery wasn't far.  I'd never heard anything about that nursery but can only say wow!  What a fabulous place. Again, a post or two will follow.  A lucky find.

    While wandering the spacious nursery, a Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) butterfly landed on a Buddleja and seemed very happy to totally ignore me as I snapped a few pictures of it.   Usually wildlife doesn't pose so nicely for me.  Sometimes you just get lucky!

    From egg to butterfly - one month.  Life span of butterfly six -14 days.  How brief a life.  

    Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to get lucky by joining the fun!

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    On Saturday, the day of getting lucky, I discovered Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville.  A separate post about the nursery will come later but today, let's take stroll through the Smith Display Garden which surrounds a  home  next to the nursery.  I'm imagining that the owners live here.  I'll definitely ask next time I visit the nursery. 

    The garden is designed so that there are surprises around every corner, even in long expanses like the one below where one might imagine that everything was visible 

    Fused glass flowers.  

    So many stunning foliage combinations. 

    Looking toward the back of the house. 

    Clever use of Acorus between stepping stones. 

    I'm in love with these ceramic, larger-than-life asparagus spears.  The excellent placement doesn't hurt, either.

    There is also plenty of outdoor living space.  

    Out in front a golden catalpa glows in the sun on one side of this bed while a coppiced  paulownia offers more huge foliage.  Was there a Magnolia macrophylla in there as well?    It was so exciting being in this garden that I've forgotten.

    Musa basjoo waking up for the season.  The nursery sign is just beyond. 

    What a treat to find this wonderful garden as well as the nursery1

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    On the fifteenth day of the month, Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, a way to both share what's blooming in our gardens each month and to keep a journal from year to year.  Having participated in GBBD for six years now, I can now look back at previous year's posts when I think something is blooming earlier or later than usual.  Thanks, Carol for coming up with this great idea!  To see more Bloom Day posts from around the world, visit Carol's blog.

    Here's some of what's blooming in my garden this month.

    Tropaeolum speciosum

    The first brugmansia bloom this season belongs to B. 'Snowbank.' 

    Of course there are begonias.  I won't bore you with all of them. 

    Pelargonium (Geranium)


    Martagon  lilies

    Cardiocrinum giganteum.  Who knew it would grow up into the leaves of the tree?

    Meconopsis 'Lingholm'

    A messy tangle of fuchsia, Rose 'Zephirine Drouhin', clematis and a couple of jasmines.  Some of this has got to go!

    There are other roses blooming here and there. 


    Magnolia macrophylla

    Centranthus ruber.  Thirty years ago, his came from a crack in a paved parking area outside a big Victorian duplex in Seattle, the home of a friend.  The building and parking area are long gone, having been  replaced with s high-rise apartment building. 

    Argyrocytisus battandieri (Pineapple Broom)

    Volunteer perennial sweet peas. 

    Carpenteria californica

    Winter pansies were flopping out of their pots so they got stuck in the ground and they seem perfectly happy there. 

    Cotinus coggygria 'Young Lady'   

    Senecio leucostachys

    Salvia 'Amistad' and some annual red dianthus, a teacher appreciation gift last year.  Seems they decided to stick around. 


    More hardy fuchsias.

    Dogwood.  Taken from an upstairs window as one usually misses seeing this in the garden. 

    Abutilon 'Red Tiger' will represent all of the Abutilons this month. 

    Alstroemeria (let's call it Pink Mystery.)

    Allium with fallen Kolkwitzia blooms.  Everything in this area gets covered with them. 

    Dracunculus vulgaris not yet opened but will be gone by next GBBD.
    Happy GBBD all and have a spectacular weekend!

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    At the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival in February, this painting done by artist and potter Cindy Jenkins brought memories of summers past and another that was still so far away.  Time passes so quickly and  here we are, on the verge of the official start of summer.

    This vase/pot, also by Cindy usually sits by my computer holding  the latest bunch of plant tags.  It would be perfect to hold  some of the Senecio leucostachys that had to be cut back from the walkway.

    Might as well throw in one of Cindy's birds. (For the record, this is not what's meant by giving one the bird.)

    Oh right, this is supposed to be about something in a vase so here's my vase for this week.  Truth be told, the kitchen counter is covered with various prunings stuffed into containers of water but since we're approaching the lazy days of summer, maybe I'll just enjoy them there this week.
    In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Do click over to her blog to see her vase and to find links to those of other participating bloggers. 

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    Sorticulture in Everett is my favorite garden festival of the year (so far)  It's outside in a beautiful park full of wonderful old trees , there's live entertainment,  plant vendors with outstanding offerings and garden-related art  galore.   I took way too many pictures for a single post and got home from work and errands fairly late so today we'll take a gander at a few miniature gardens.

    Let your imagination grow while your garden shrinks? 😆 

    For me, a big part of the gardening experience is being outside in the space moving around and enjoying the plants as I work among them so I've never really wanted to create my own miniature garden.  However, it's a joy to see those made by others, especially when whey're as well put together as these.

    All decked out for the Fourth of July.

    What a fun way to interest children in gardening.

    I suppose someday, sooner than I'd like to think about, when they wheel me off to the home for ancient gardners, a garden of this size might be all I'll be capable of tending.  But for now, for the moment, it's enough to enjoy the itty-bitty creations of others. 
    Spring will be officially over in just one more day and yet there's still so much left to do in my garden.  Yikes!  How are you feeling about your level of completion of seasonal garden chores?  Wishing sometimes that your garden were the size of one of these? 

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    Walking through the park  yesterday afternoon the bark of  of an old Populus x canadensis caught my eye.  Over a hundred years of life in a city park through storms and fair days has caused the bark to become interesting and beautiful.    That's what our faces become as we age, interesting and beautiful.

    Anna at Flutter and Hum hosts Wednesday Vignette.  Click over to her blog to see what's caught her eye this week.

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  • 06/21/18--06:00: So, What's Happening Here?
  • You may remember my posts (here and here)  about the demolition of the  Tacoma's Scottish Rite Masonic Cathedral. The fence was erected and the demolition carried out in short order of the sale and plans for a large apartment building announced.  Since November, the scar of the old building has remained on the fenced ground.  No sign of equipment or anything happening with the sight other than taggers going over or under the fence to express themselves on the remains of the foundation.  I drive by  this site at least twice a day and wonder what's happening.  Then just the other morning a flash of red caught my eye.

    Somehow, perhaps from seed brought in with the fill gravel, seeds of Poppy somniferum got spread all over the site.

    Flowers for the remains of  the old building?

    Where do you think these seeds came from?  

    Had they been somewhere on the sight waiting all these years to germinate? 

    In any case, it's sweet to see the cheery bright red blooms.  Like the cathedral, they'll be plowed down to make space for the new  building.  A good reminder to savor beauty when we find it.

    Today is the first official day of summer. Spring has gone way too fast. On this longest day, we revel in the arrival of summer.  Let's relish every moment and not even entertain the thought that starting tomorrow, the days begin to get shorter again. 

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    After attending Sorticulture, Everett's  garden arts festival a couple of weekends ago, I decided to ask the lady in the phone if there were any new-to-me nurseries in the area and up popped Sunnyside Nursery only a few minutes away.  What a delightful surprise to find this huge gem of a  nursery bursting with plants. (It's June after all.) 

    A sunny day draws gardeners to nurseries!

    A green thumb almost came home with me!

    Rusty metal  fire pits with amazing cutwork.

    Very tempted by this one.

    The other side of the above sphere.  Too bad there's no space in my garden for this.

    Acers and evergreens.  Yes, we're definitely in the Pacific Northwest!

    It had rained before the sun took over the sky, a perfect combination to carry fragrance.  Roses charmed my nose from a distance luring me closer.

    'Violet's Pride'

    'Frida Kahlo'

    Scentless 'Betty Boop' is a favorite in my garden because it blooms in what's become a crowded shady location.

    Too many thorny beauties to share them all so we'll move on after 'Julia Child.'

    This place is delightfully large and like gardens that thrill me, it reveals itself little by little.

    Surprises around every corner. 

    However, it's still very well organized. 

    The people working here were extremely friendly, helpful, and seemed to know and enjoy plants making the experience of this spectacular nursery even more special.


    Sand dollar stepping stones. 

    Impressive sarracenia garden.  Like everything here, it's very well done. 

    A little tenderness.

    A nice young woman kept patting the opuntias with her hand and telling her friend how cute they are, how much she loved them.  Sometimes love hurts as she was sure to find out in a few minutes.

    The geranium (Pelargonium) house.  There was also half of a house devoted to tuberous begonias,  and they even had the old-fashioned varieties of which I'm fond.

    An explosion of seasonal color.  Would you call this an annual event?

    Popcorn Cassia (Cassia didymobotrya) did smell a bit like popcorn. 

    Colorful coleus.

    Cordyline 'Electric Star'

    In the mood for some grass?

    Clever signage! 

    Undoubtedly planted for winter, this container still looks marvelous. 

    Acer palmatum 'Radiant'  with it's red branches and lovely leaf colors made it into my cart.  (It was only in a gallon pot.  Someone has too many little trees in pots.)

    Somehow, Monrovia has gotten Hosta 'Curly Fries' to bulk up.  Many folks have reported that this one hasn't gotten much fuller for them over a few years.  I wonder what the secret to success is?

    Magnolia macrophylla planted in the ground is always a good thing. 

    Speaking of fabulous plants in the ground, check out the tree ferns looking like they took winter in stride in this sheltered location.

    Finding a new nursery is always fun but when that nursery is as stellar as this one, the experience becomes a special joy.  I was surprised to find that I'd spent two hours here taking it all in.  If you're ever in the area, this is a nursery not to miss!
    Happy weekend and happy gardening.