Showing posts with label tulips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tulips. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Garden bloggers' bloom day March 2015

I may be late but many of my blooms are early this year. We have tulips already, for Pete's sake! The daphnes, hellebores, and Pieris are all still going, making this month feel especially floriferous.

Tulipa 'Flair'

Tulipa 'Come Back'

Bigroot geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum)

Ribes sanguineum 'Variegata'

Ribes sanguineum

Rhubarb (Rheum x hybridium 'Victoria')

Vaccinium 'Sunshine Blue'

Epimedium 'Black Sea'

Aucuba japonica 'Rozannie'

Fothergilla gardenii 'Jane Platt'

A happy bloom day to you! Thanks to our host, Carol.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I love spring

I love spring. It's all tulips and plant sales and the anticipation that I've finally figured out that area of dry shade and it's going to look amazing (I haven't and it won't but it's nice to think otherwise). 

Mukdenia 'Crimson Fans'

It's lengthening days and stubbornly sitting outside drinking beer at night, even though you're freezing.

It's mourning the loss of your favorite canna ('Wyoming') and being giddy over the fact that your Ceanothus thyrsiflorus is going to bloom for the first time.

It's yelling ROBIN RED BREAST! and also OH MY GOD, WHERE ARE ALL THESE ANTS COMING FROM, IT'S LIKE A FREAKING HORROR MOVIE IN OUR BATHROOM! and marveling that the bees are back and sighing that so are the wasps.

It's dandelions and being behind on mulching, already! How is that possible?

It's that perfect week when the daphne is still going and the tulips are all yodeling and every day there's something new blooming to make your allergies terrible but it's okay! It's so worth it!

Isn't it marvelous? Here's to hoping you're enjoying spring as much as Portland is, wherever you are.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

One of these things is not like the other

One of my tulips mutated or reverted and is now yellow. And it had the audacity to produce an offshoot bulb! Part of me doesn't care, as I already have a mess of orange, pale pink, peach, black, and red bulbs. What's the harm in adding yellow to the mix? (For the record, the pale pink in the very back offends me the most in this scheme.)

In other strange surprises, I've found English ivy popping up in the backyard. One spot was in the rain garden, which made me emit this terrible gargling yodel-scream as I ripped it out. This is the part they don't tell you about when creating a bird-friendly yard: sometimes they spread your neighbors' invasive plants to your garden. It's a good thing they're so cute when they splash around in the birdbath.

Monday, April 1, 2013

We're in technicolor

My apologies to those of you still buried under snow. It was pretty glorious in Portland this weekend, with the weather hitting 75 degrees. Greg mowed the lawn, I got a little sunburned, I complained over and over about being hot. It's officially spring.

This is that time when the garden starts going nuts. Things are a little technicolor in the backyard right now. The spirea 'Magic Carpet' is in the neon phase.

The old tulip color scheme was black and pale pink. Now that I have the orange tulips installed I need to relocate those peachy colored guys to another part of the yard.

The Japanese golden sedum in the wheelbarrow is filling in nicely and it's electrically chartreuse.

The Dart's Gold ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius 'Dart's Gold') under the cedar screams from across the yard (in a good way).

My next door neighbor has an impressive swath of muscari, which I'm liking with all the orange tulips I planted along here. I know orange isn't everyone's favorite but it's my favorite. Especially with blue.

Happy spring, y'all!

Tulipa 'Flair'

Friday, April 13, 2012

I think I've become a flower floosie

Annie of Annie's Annuals calls herself a "flower floosie." I'd probably lean toward calling myself a shrub whore but now I'm starting to wonder.

While you're hanging out, would you mind voting for Meryl and Chris of Picardy Project? They're up for an award and voting closes this Friday the 13th. Go vote here!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Things I learned while I was planting 160 tulip bulbs last night

  • An hour and a half before sundown is not an early enough start time, especially when we're still in huge-ass-spiders-in-the-garden season. Digging in the near-dark is scary.What was that? Did I just walk through a web? Do I feel something on my neck?
  • Laying them out first, based on color and height is a better approach than what I did last year, where I dug as I went and ended up with clumps of colors and bald spots galore.
  • I tried to sprinkle the bulbs like Jacqueline van der Kloet recommends (so everything looks more natural) but I suspect the whole thing will look kind of stiff anyway.

  • You have to wear gloves when you plant hyacinths because they will irritate your skin. Thanks for the heads up, Brett and Becky's!
  • It doesn't matter how perfect I think my angle is, I will end up tossing the bulb in top-down or on its side.
  • Somehow I didn't run into any of the 75 bulbs I planted last year, which is impossible, right? I must have bulb-stealing critters.
  • Being really hungry while you plant does not make things go faster. 
  • Elizabeth over at Garden Rant says that the process of planting the bulbs is the best part--I'm not so sure I agree. I *do* love the anticipation of waiting for them to come up. It's exciting when they start to emerge from the ground and again when they actually open. I wanted to be more zen about the whole process but the sun was sinking so fast.
  • Man, doing anything 160 times right in a row is boring.
  • Goddamn it, I didn't order any crocuses. Again. Someone remind me next year?
  • I'm going to have to spend some time getting to know this new camera--the colors and white balance in my photos are all off.
I finally bought Rosalie bulbs in honor of my grandma on my mom's side; now I'd like to find a Marjorie flower for my dad's mom. It looks like there's a variety of clematis (C. montana var. rubens 'Marjorie') that might fit the bill. It's pretty and pink and I'm obsessed with incorporating vines into my garden right now, so everyone wins!

In addition to getting the bulbs in the ground I also replaced (FOR THE THIRD TIME) the birdbath top. You'd think I'd get smart and glue it to the top, but it was cold and I didn't feel like it. I went for a red one this time.

I'm totally tempting fate to knock it over again, aren't I?

Friday, October 28, 2011

To rain garden or not to rain garden

I've been waffling on big garden projects, excited to get going but unsure if I have the free weekends to put in the work. If I rush home from work I have about an hour and a half where I can work on things before the sun goes down. That will get cut down to 30 minutes once Daylight Savings hits. That's if it's not pouring rain. My big project contemplation right now is the rain garden. I want to put one in front and one in back. 
For anybody not familiar with rain gardens, this is how they work: instead of having your rain gutters empty into the storm drain you treat your storm water on your property. Water from your storm drain ultimately gets dumped into the river, where it's warmer than normal (which means it has less oxygen) and it's full of pollutants. All the critters in the river get stressed because they can't breathe and they're dealing with oil and chemicals that come off of our streets and roofs.
When you treat water on your property it gets slowly filtered into the ground water supply, the pollutants are reduced, and the rivers don't get inundated by water from all of our impervious surfaces (roofs, driveways, streets, patio slabs, etc).So you dig a pit where water can collect, plant it with native species, and mulch the hell out of it. Did you know that microbial activity in mulch helps break down some of the common pollutants in stormwater? TAKE THIS INFORMATION AND GO BE INSUFFERABLE AT DINNER PARTIES. Then you divert your gutters to drain into this instead of your storm drain.
Before you start planning your garden you need to do a percolation test, to see if your soil drains quickly enough to withstand one.

So you dig a hole. I thought I heard somewhere that it should be 12x12x12, so that's what I dug. It turns out I can't find any documentation saying that 12x12x12 is the way to go. So maybe I dug a larger hole than necessary? Ideally you're supposed to do your perc test in the spring when the ground is really water logged, but I can't be counted on to follow directions, obviously.
Then you fill your hole and let it drain completely. Then you fill it a second time and let it drain. Then you fill it a third time and set your timer for an hour. At that time you look at how inches of water drained and *that's* a pretty good indicator of your drainage. Anything over 2 inches per hour is good. 

Mine drained 8 inches in an hour. After two hours all but the smallest puddle was gone.

So now I'm worried that my property is *too* well draining and that I'm actually living atop a giant sandpit that will collapse once I install my rain garden. Worrying is what I do and, damn it, I'm good at it.

If your property won't accommodate a rain garden, don't worry, you can still be insufferable at dinner parties! You can plant a tree instead. They are super good at sucking up water on your property. True story.

Has anyone built one of these before? Should I wait until spring? Would you like to help me dig? (I'll bake bread and cookies!)

Or would you like to help me plant the 150 bulbs I ordered? I swear I don't remember ordering half of these which is why you should never, ever drink wine when there are plant catalogs in the house.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Random updates

1. I've been a little scattered lately, my weekends thrown off by the fact that the boy has been traveling for work a ton. Like, half of last month he was gone. So instead of getting my projects together, we're staying in bed until noon on weekends so we can catch each other up on our weeks. I think we finally decided that we're not going to build the deck this summer. It seems to make more sense to wait until we paint the house. Why would we paint the house when it looks so awesome in back? Yeah, I don't know.

2. We booked a trip to Amsterdam in the fall! THE ONE IN EUROPE, oh my god. I think we're going to hit Paris and Cinque Terre but please feel free to chime in with your favorite cities/sites/activities. I've never been to Europe and I can't wait to embarrass Greg by yelling loudly, "The LOOV-ruh! I liked Disneyland better!"

3. There has been no movement on anything tree-related with my next door neighbor. She cancelled our sit-down with the neighbor from around the corner and I haven't heard a word since. Greg and I wave and yell "hi!" every time we see her and we're going to keep doing that, pretending that nothing is wrong. And no one came to rip out her tree, so that's good. We may never know what was really going on.

4. I found this recipe for washing sheets that's supposed to make them very soft. It involves washing them in vinegar with very little detergent. I'm a big fan (it doesn't make your sheets smell like vinegar, I promise) but Greg has not been convinced. Then when Portlandia shot at our house they filmed a scene in our bedroom and Fred Armisen had to climb into our bed. As he got situated he murmured, "These sheets are really soft." If that's not the laundry equivalent of a double-blind randomized trial, I don't know what is. I think we can safely say that I WAS RIGHT.

5. My friends throw a county fair every year, held at the Kenton firehouse. There are competitions for ribbons in lots of categories from butter sculpture to pie making. I won a blue ribbon two years ago in pie making (blueberry sour cream) but this year I didn't even place (banana cream, shame on you). I'm not gonna lie, I'm competitive enough that this was a bummer. Luckily I hedged my bets and entered some of the lillies from the yard in the "gardening: flowers" category where I tied for first in a category with three entries.

I feel a tiny bit robbed because I used spent penstemon seed pods and how cool is that?

I shouldn't have to share my honor with some stupid zinnias (which really were beautiful). Greg guessed within one number how many items were in a sand jar, which garnered him some beads! We're both winners!

6. I installed a sliding screen door off the bedroom. It doesn't open or close smoothly, but hooray for fresh air in the bedroom. A cool night breeze is just the thing when you're drinking your wine and watching The Bachelorette together. Oh god, did I write that out loud?

7. The boy requested that I plant some orange tulips in the yard. I was going to plant "Sensual Touch" bulbs but I decided that it would be more embarrassing to order him "Orange Princess" bulbs. Do you like our princess bulbs? Greg picked out these pretty princess bulbs!

Because I'm not a totally horrible girlfriend, I also ordered him some Bastogne bulbs. Bastogne is featured prominently in Band of Brothers, which he loves. This has nothing to do with the fact that I think they're gorgeous and he never asked for red bulbs in the first place. I'm just being thoughtful.

8. My sister is coming up this month to visit and take photos of the garden. She is a fancy-pants photographer and she's going to document the yard better than I can. You know what would've been a great idea? Watering the lawn so it won't be all brown when she's here with her fancy-pants camera. Hopefully she can just photoshop that out.

Hope you're enjoying your summer!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Spring fever!

I've been so starved for action in the garden that I've been running into the backyard when I get home from work and scanning the ground for emerging bulbs.  Since it was only January I was always disappointed.

But!  Yesterday things were happening!

Simple minds = simple pleasures, you guys. February 3rd, I'm gonna kiss you on the mouth.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Readying for winter

Somewhere in the last two months I forgot how to blog.  There was an incident with the big window in the front of my house (turns out it's rotting!) and my sad, sorry attempt to reglaze it.  It's better not to talk about it and instead save my money for a new window. 

I went to Hawai'i with my boy and hit the tropical gardens and I almost rethought all the NW natives I have in my yard. 

Maybe high maintenance tropicals are the way to go?  How gorgeous is that?

I've been clearing out the yard for winter, chopping down my unruly dahlias and planting tulips en masse.  I also planted this freakshow:

It's an allium, which is the genus of onions, and boy did the bulbs smell like it.  Apparently they are good to plant around your tulips and other bulbs because they deter would-be bulb eaters, like voles.  While I was in Hawaii a huge storm came through Portland, which knocked over the patio umbrella (I meant to take it down before I left, I swear) . . . which took the table with it . . . which took out my birdbath . . . which smothered my chives.  There's nothing like returning from paradise to a little bit of reality.  Surprise! You're still a homeowner!  There are no drinks in coconuts here.

It's sort of sad to see everything cleared away, like my poor tomato plants that never got past the green stage.  

I think I'm going to turn my focus this winter to planning the front yard.  And maybe applying for jobs in Hawaii.