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.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day March 2018

My spring fever is terrible this year, which is a pretty great problem to have. We're all euphorbias and manzanitas and hellebores and crocuses around here.

The very first Tulipa humilis 'Odalisque'

Euphorbia 'Blackbird'

Euphorbia myrsinites

Euphorbia rigida
Othonna cheirifolia

Arctostaphylos canescans var. sonomensis

Arctostaphylos 'Greensphere'

Arctostaphylos 'John Dourley'

We have so many hellebores going off right now, I think these are 'Black Diamond'

Crocus chrysanthus 'Ladykiller'
Loropetalum chinense 'Sizzling Pink'

Epimedium 'Black Sea'

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata'

Happy bloom day! Thanks to our host Carol.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The 13th Annual ANLD Designers Garden Tour, June 17th

Each year the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers holds a garden tour, showing off some of the projects their members have completed. The proceeds fund scholarships for aspiring landscape designers attending local community colleges.

I had the good luck to attend a sneak peek of the seven gardens on this year's tour. The gardens were impressive, especially considering some of the site challenges they had to address. The theme of this year's tour seemed to be underground streams. Many of the homes are situated on properties with underground water issues.

#1 Terri's Garden

A combination of underground drains and wetland plantings combine to deal with the large amount of water flowing under this property. The garden is low-maintenance and designed to allow the owner to age in place.

#2 Letson-Gardner Garden

This steep yard was transformed into a spectacular terraced garden, perfect for entertaining or solo contemplation.

#3 Mill Pond Garden

I am still marveling over this transformed property. With a 110' vertical rise in the back, the property was terraced with 380 tons of rockwork. This garden is mind-boggling.

#4 Myers Garden

This asian-inspired garden employed a number of creative solutions to manage the large amount of underground water beneath the property. It's peaceful and lovely and you'd never guess that there's an underground stream flowing beneath your feet.

#5 Andora Gardens

This is the personal garden of Ann Nickerson, an ANLD designer. This is a small but incredibly usable garden, broken into different entertaining and resting areas. 

#6 Peck Garden

This was my favorite garden on the tour. This is the personal garden of Marcia Peck, an ANLD designer. She has installed an interesting assortment of mosaic rockwork and the plant palette was exciting. 

#7 Schmitt Garden

This garden suffered from, you guessed it, poor drainage! You'd never guess it looking at it now. 

The ANLD Designers Garden Tour will be held on Saturday June 17th from 10am to 4pm. Tickets are available online. Or leave a message and be entered to win a ticket! I will announce the winner on Thursday June 15th.