Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A visit to Little Prince of Oregon Nursery

A few weeks back I had the good luck to be included in a group blogger visit to Little Prince of Oregon Nursery. You might recognize their name because you've seen Stepables (walkable groundcovers) or their huge line of sedums and sempervivums. Or maybe you've noticed the hundreds of other plants they grow, because you're not living in a cave like I am.

The team at Little Prince of Oregon. Photo source

I had no idea that Little Prince sold such a wide variety of plants. Agaves! Natives! Ground covers! Ferns! Edibles! Grasses! I went with a short list of plants to buy but ended up with the largest haul of anyone because I kept finding more plants I needed. What did I get?

The biggest Tillandsia xerographica known to man. I was blown away by their tillandsia collection. It was hard to choose just one. This guy is hanging in an impromptu swing in the bathroom.

This is bigger than my head, if the photo belies the size.

Epimedium 'Black Sea'. I have had a really hard time finding this epimedium. I bought three pots from Dancing Oaks a few summers back but they have been slow to bulk up. I freaked out a little when I saw that Little Prince offers them, and I snatched up five more. The leaves turn deep purple in the fall and winter, giving them their name. Little Prince has a pretty great variety of epimediums in their Fit for a King line.

Mahonia nervosa. I bought a clump of this NW native a few years back and plopped it in the front rain garden. It gets full scorching sun and no water and it's been flawless. It's just as happy in shade. I bought a flat and a half to fill the side entry to the back garden, where the hose won't reach and it alternates between searing sun and full shade. This plant is bullet-proof and I couldn't love it more.

Mahonia nervosa in winter

Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora). This evergreen fern was my favorite plant this winter, where it looked absolutely perfect, no matter the weather. It erupts into bronzy hues in the fall and continues all winter.

Stipa tenuissima. My driveway strip is a little onesie-twosie and I've been wanting a mass-planted grass to unify the whole space.

I thought, "What's the weediest, messiest grass I could choose?" and went with this one. I have three of them already and the seedlings pop up in the funniest places. The heart wants what it wants, I don't know.

Our driveway. Don't judge.

Woodwardia unigemmata or Chain Fern.

Polypodium pseudo-aureum 'Virginia Blue'. If I had more than three square feet of moist shade, I would've bought more of this one. Those wavy blue leaves make me weak in the knees.

Jovibarba hirta 'Bulgaria'. I couldn't leave Little Prince without some hen-and-chicks, and I'd never heard of this one.

Agave franzosinii. If I wasn't already planning to marry Greg (in June!) I would marry this beauty. Loree got some great shots of large specimens at the Ruth Bancroft Garden. This is my favorite agave right now. It's hardy to 15-20 degrees, which means we'll definitely get a super cold winter next year. Because life is cruel and sometimes it wants you to buy replacement plants.

Agave gentryi 'Jaws'. I've wanted this one forever, thanks to Gerhard and Loree. I finally have one!

Agave parryi ssp. huachucensis. I had one of these (it was my favorite agave) and last winter turned it to mush. Again, because I planted this, next winter will be miserable. I'm so sorry!

Agave utahenesis ssp utahensis. Look at those gorgeous chompers.

I am still kicking myself for not getting more plants. Why didn't I pick up a Silver Surfer agave when I've wanted one forever?!? What is wrong with me?

I've got almost all of my plants in the ground now and I've been thrilled with how healthy and well-rooted they've all been. Keep your eyes peeled for LPoO when you visit your local nursery, and if you see something on their website that your nursery doesn't carry, let them know you want it. And a huge thank you to Mark and the Little Prince of Oregon crew, who so generously opened their greenhouses to us.

To see more coverage from our visit, check out:

Danger Garden
Gravy Lessons
plant lust
Rainy Day Gardener
Sprig To Twig

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.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Etta James lied

There's no fun to be had in the basement. A few weekends back the weather was terrible and I suggested to Greg that we watch House of Cards all weekend on the couch and he was like, "Yeah! Let's do that."

Greg almost always spends his weekends working. I tend to spend it puttering in the garden. Our only daytime interaction tends to be me knocking on the office window, and screaming, "You should come outsiiiiiide! It's so pretty out!"

So we had a nice plan to spend the day together. Then he said, "I just have to answer a couple of emails," and I said, "I'm going to vacuum the laundry room." (Don't judge.) Fast forward six hours and we hadn't spent any time together and I had demo'ed this closet in the laundry room.

It wasn't original to the house and it was completely useless. It was so deep that things would just disappear into it. At some point we decided we should get rid of it. I've been decluttering the house for the last couple of months, and there was so much crap we didn't need hiding in here. Somehow vacuuming led to pulling everything of this cabinet.

Like a jerk, I ran upstairs and said, "Instead of watching Netflix all day in our jammies, how about we demo that cabinet in the laundry room?" and Greg stared at me and silently calculated whether he actually wants to marry me. But because I am a jerk, I was like, "This crazy train has left the station and this shit is happening!" and I just demo'ed it myself.

It turns out that the cabinet was rotting, which made it really easy to tear apart. Also, the emergency water we had stored in the bottom had leaked and we had mold underneath. It was gross and I'll spare you any photos. Armed with my respirator mask, I attacked it with bleach, the air purifier, and the dehumidifier.

The only thing that was dicey about the whole endeavor was the fact that the cabinet was built right next to our water main. Which has an electrical ground for the living room attached to it. No pressure.

Greg picked up more of the resin shelves we already had and filled them with all of his stuff. I know this probably doesn't look better to other people, but it makes me SO happy every time I go in the basement. We have airflow to the floor, which is always good in a basement.

Also? Our basement doesn't smell musty anymore. The nervous, superstitious part of me thinks the musty smell will come back (it IS a basement) but for now I am so relieved to have that mold harboring cabinet out of there. And now our emergency water is stored on a metal rack over by the floor drain.

We've also go you covered on tonic water, should an emergency hit and you need a mixer for your gin. Priorities!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Garden bloggers' bloom day February 2015.

I missed bloom day in January, even though I had but three things to post. It doesn't get much easier than January. Also, so many people are buried in terrible weather, why wouldn't you celebrate having blooms in your garden?

Friends is on Netflix streaming. That's why. Also, Greg pulled a quilt that his Grandmother made him out of storage and it makes our couch dangerously comfortable.

Sarcococca ruscifolia

Hamamelis I. 'Early Bright'

Mahonia x media 'Arthur Menzies'

But I'm ready to rejoice: I'm finally past the season when Ross had a monkey and the weather has been so delightful lately! I'm getting off the couch, but only for a little bit. 

Arctostaphylos 'John Dourley'

Daphne odora 'Mae Jima'

Euphobia 'Blackbird'

Crocus chrysanthus 'Romance'

All of my hellebores are blooming and all of them look pretty terrible. I wasn't quick enough to get Sluggo down this year.

Helleborus orientalis 'Metallic Blue Lady'

Othonna cheirifolia


Arctostaphylos bakeri 'Louis Edmonds'

Helleborus x 'Black Diamond'
Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' with a bumble bee!
Not pictured: Pieris japonica, whose blooms I always miss even though the entire shrub looks gift wrapped and Euphorbia myrsinites.

Happy bloom day! Spring is near! Thank you to our host, Carol, over at May Dreams Gardens.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Garden bloggers' bloom day, December 2014

I had blooms to show you in November, like this beautiful Crocus speciosus.

Or my Salvia 'Amistad' that was improbably pushing out blooms, despite a freeze.

Or my Helenium 'Mardis Gras'.

But I couldn't pull my shit together last month (a recurring problem) and now those things have finally succumbed to weather. I'm left with Mahonia x media 'Arthur Menzies' outside.

Indoors I have a few blooms to cheer me up.

Cuttings of Echeveria diffractens I brought inside are blooming in a sunny window

An unknown succulent blooms despite a tenacious mealy bug problem.

Happy bloom day to you and yours! Thank you Carol for hosting us. I for one am looking forward to spring crocuses, hellebores, and a new year.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Garden bloggers' bloom day October 2014

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." --F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Ignoring the fact that the quote above is uttered by one awful person to another awful person in a book I didn't really care for, I agree with the sentiment. Fall weather is finally here! I have been cooking and wearing socks and bringing tender plants indoors and I am so freaking happy about it. The bird feeders are up, my Netflix queue is full and I am so ready to hibernate for a bit. This is that nice time when we're finally getting rain and cooler nights but the castor beans haven't died yet and things still look okay.

All of the salvias and agastaches are still going strong, acting like they just might bloom all winter if you let them. This canna popped up in a pathway and I left it to be a surprisingly effective hosebreak all summer.

My bloom is sad because someone didn't water me all summer.

These Aster oblongifolius are my favorite right now. They cooked all summer next to reflected heat of the chimney without a drop of water and they couldn't be prettier.

I've spent more time than I'd care to admit internally debating whether Dan Hinkley was on a bender or responding to a dare when he named this Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress.' Its blooms aren't quite as showy as its relatives but I'll take them.

Eutrochium rugosum is sited right next to some large clumps of snowberry, making this fairly uninteresting part of the yard look gift wrapped.

Eutrochium rugosum and Symphoricarpos albus
Plectranthus ecklonii was a spring addition to the dry shade under the cedar tree and I'm very happy with the late blooms.

Is it early for Fatsia japonica to be blooming? It feels like it.

Happy bloom day and happy fall weather to you! Be sure to visit our host Carol at May Dreams Gardens for the full show.