Sunday, April 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day April 2018

It's one of my favorite months of the year! In spite of a pretty mild winter, we've had a pretty cold spring and everything is just a little behind schedule for me.

Tulipa 'Flair'

Tulipa 'Black Parrot'

Tulipa 'El Nino'

Camassia leichtlinii 'Blue Danube'

Epimedium grandiflorum 'Red Queen'

Geranium macrorrhizum

Epimedium 'Red Sea'

Mahonia nervosa

Loropetalum chinense 'Sizzling Pink'

Freesia alba

Eriogonum oreganum

Magnolia laevifolia

Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum'

Prosartes hookeri Hooker's Fairy Bells

Epimedium pinnatum v. 'Colchicum'

Oxalis oregana

Othonna cheirifolia

Viola glabella

This motherfucker

A happiest of bloom days to you! Thanks, as always, to our host Carol.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Vines, all the vines!

I've been installing trellising material on every surface available so I can garden vertically this year.


I actually have a lot of vines planted in my garden, but they all look terrible because they clearly state on the tag, "NEEDS SOMETHING TO CLIMB" and I said, "Is that really important? Eh, they'll evolve or something without support. I'll just let them figure it out."

This doesn't work. They all lay about on the ground getting eaten by slugs and looking terrible. So I'm supporting my goddamn vines for once. And I'm planting a LOT more of them.

What I already have:

Akebia longeracemosa 'Victor's Secret'
This poor vine has been hacked back twice, once after we removed the franken-fence from the side entrance from the garden, and again when I installed the trellising. The vine had created such a complicated french braid with about a thousand tendrils that I had to cut it way back and try to salvage a couple of strands with buds on them. It's a pretty vigorous vine but not as bad as, say, Clematis armandii.

Clematis cirrhosa 'Wisley Cream'
This is a super tough evergreen vine that blooms in winter. I think I want to plant another one to scramble up the front of the former franken-fence so I can see it from the kitchen window.

Lonicera sempervirens 'Major Wheeler'

Trachelospermum jasminoides
I planted this in 2011 (to hide our trashcans) and it only took about four years to completely cover this trellis, maybe less. The flowers smell amazing and when I get my shit together to give it some summer water, it reblooms.

Lonicera periclymenum 'Serotina'
Scott and I were walking through Cistus Nursery when we got hit by the most amazing fragrance. We ran around trying to figure out who it was and I came home with this vine. Have the flowers ever been fragrant at my house? I don't think so. Do I care? No. Look at the flowers! That's good shit.

x Fatshedera lizei 'Annemieke'
I saw this vine on Loree's blog and fell in love. She responsibly texted me from Garden Fever and said, "They have it, get down here now, missy." This vine is perfection and grows in complete shade. Thank you, Loree.

Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Moonlight'
I bought this vine so many years ago but never gave it anything to climb so it has largely looked like a mangled piece of rope, trailing through a pile of Doug Fir dander. It should look like this.

Photo source: Broken Arrow Nursery

Parthenocissus quinquefolia 'Troki'
"Haven't I seen that growing on a freeway embankment?" you might be thinking to yourself. Yes, you have. I love it anyway.

Clematis jackmanii
Another one I haven't given a trellis to. I also don't water it when I should. I'm going to be better this year, I swear.

I've bought and killed a LOT of other vines but I won't bore you with that. Things that I have planned for purchase include:

Mandevilla laxa, Chilean Jasmine

Photo source: Annie's Annuals

Passiflora edulis 'Frederick' (I killed this once when I planted it in the wrong place and neglected to water it)

Photo source: Annie's Annuals

Passiflora x 'Star of Surbiton' (I killed this one when I left it unprotected in its nursery pot during a particularly bad winter)

Photo source: Xera Plants

Passiflora actinia (I'm treating this one as an annual)

Photo source: Annie's Annuals

Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus)! I've never grown them before and I currently have 'April in Paris' and 'Navy' in the ground.

Photo source: Australian Seed

Jasminum officiale 'Devon Cream'

Photo source: Xera Plants

Holboellia aff. chapaensis

Photo source: Far Reaches Farm

Hedera algeriensis "Gloire de Marengo.' I took some cuttings from Megan and I'm hoping they take root.

Photo source: Promesse de Fleurs

Clematis 'The Countess of Wessex'

Photo source: Brushwood Nursery

Do you have any vines you can't be without? I've got trellises for days and my ears are open.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Life updates and plans

So 2017 was a pretty crappy year, huh?

Despite the constant feeling of doom we had some good things happen. We adopted a puppy from the Oregon Humane Society. He name is Bee (Beezus Marie when she's bad) and she's pretty much the best dog. We adopted her during a heatwave where temperatures reached 107 and our backyard was being hardscaped. It was chaos. You haven't lived until you've scraped puppy poop off your kitchen mat in 107 degrees while some construction guy tries not to stare at you.

Our hardscaping is done and I have declared 2018 to be "The Year of No Big Projects, Damn It. Just Enjoy Your Fucking Garden, Heather."

We replaced the franken-fence at the entrance to the backyard with a proper fence and a gate that keeps the dog in and random runaway dogs out (I can't tell you how many dogs have appeared in our backyard, meaning I spent the day trying to find their owner instead of gardening).



We hired someone to do it because we are not good at building fences. The gates never close right and they're always a little crooked. This stupid little run of fence makes me SO happy every time I see it.



I'm also planting more flowers because more flowers are more better. I am not optimistic but I am planting flowers as a way of staying sane.

I lifted this from Facebook, the artist is JM Nieto

I've also been trying to simplify the front garden. I'd like the luxury of having a bad year or two without having to worry about maintaining the public area of our house. As a result I think we're becoming "the agave house" but I don't care because I like my agaves and I have pups coming out my ears. I'm buying more of the plants I already have in an attempt at cohesion. I look forward to spending a lot of money to reduce my front garden to three plants, then changing my mind in a few years.

I'm also trying to figure out how I want to use this blog going forward. I'm considering turning off commenting so this exists as more of a garden diary. It's not that I don't want to hear from people, it's that it stresses me out to feel like I need to reciprocate and comment on the blogs I read. There's only so many times you can comment, "Gosh, that's pretty" before you start to sound and feel like an idiot robot.

Bee is going to keep widening the pathway she's put right here. Dogs are funny.