What’s Blooming in the Shade: June 17, 2012

17 06 2012

Untitled

Lilium pardalinum (Leopard Lily)

Untitled

Fuchsia Showtime

Untitled

Fuchsia (Annual variety)

Untitled

Campanula portenschlagiana (Dalmation Bellflower)

Untitled

Hydrangea Endless Summer

Untitled

Pseudocamilia japonica





Ravishing Rhodies

19 05 2012

It’s a wonderful time of year here in the Portland metro area!

Almost every where you look, there’s a dazzling rhododendron in bloom, one color more spectacular than the other.

Here in the  shade, my rhodies are just blossoming out and it’s already clear; this will be a great year for blooms.

Untitled

Untitled
Unknown variety

Untitled
Unknown variety

Untitled
Rhododendron Anah Kruschke

Untitled

Rhododendron Royal Purple

Untitled
Rhododendron chinoides





Fancy Ferns

13 05 2012

Yesterday saw the opening of the local Farmer’s Market; the 25th season opening, to be precise. While I admired the amazing array of  edibles, the art creations, and the delectable breakfast options, my focus was on finding some new ferns for my growing collection.

The Pearson Nursery stand did not disappoint. Over the years, they’ve become my go-to nursery for highly affordable, quality shade plants. Tens of fern varieties, and some very tempting young Japanese Maples grafts; I settled on some old favorites and two new-to-me fern varieties. I hope these will do as well as all the other “Pearson” ferns.

Untitled
Athyrium otophorum (Eared Lady Fern)
Height: 18″
Zone: 5-9
Part shade/shade, deciduous

Untitled
Athyrium standishii (Upside Down Fern)
Height: 12-36″
Zone: 6-9
Part shade/shade, deciduous





Earth Day 2012: In Praise of Natives

22 04 2012

Hardy and reliable, tolerant of dry Summer months, and pest resistant; the native plants in my garden are true winners in my book. When I first started the garden, I passed over many natives in favor of showier non-natives (nons), seductively described and photographed on plant tags, books and online.

Fast forward to 2012. While many of the sexy nons are strutting their stuff in the garden, many are no more. Some of the nons required more TLC than I gave them, others just didn’t like the shade, the water logged soils, the dry Summer months, or being tramped on by a series of willful dogs. Without exception, all the native plants are going strong. In more recent years, I’ve added steadily to the collection of native plants. The native may some day become the largest  collection in the garden as I replace fussy little nons with their more robust bird-friendly cousins.

So on this Earth Day 2012, I want to share my top six native plants which are truly earth and resource friendly:

Misc 069

Polystichum munitum (Western Sword Fern)

Untitled

Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar)

Untitled

Untitled

Gaultheria shallon (Salal)

Untitled

Ribes sanguineum (Red Currant Bush)

DSC_0088

Darmera peltata

Untitled

Vaccinium ovatum (Evergreen Huckleberry)





Springtime Japanese Maples

15 04 2012

An early morning stroll in the garden is one of the many joys of Spring for me. On each stroll, I discover newly leafed out plants and anticipate the arrival of others. Fresh, tender young leaves in various states of maturity, bursting forth with such vigor. They really put a smile on my face.

This morning, the Japanese Maples grabbed my attention. While I’ve photographed the maples extensively in their Fall colors, I realized only recently they are equally photogenic in the Spring. Take a peek!

Untitled

Acer palmatum Seiryu

 

Untitled

Acer palmatum species

 

Untitled

Acer palmatum, unsure of the variety


Untitled

Acer palmatum Ukigumo

 

Untitled

Acer palmatum Emerald Lace

 

Untitled

Acer palmatum Mikawa Yatsubusa

 

Untitled

Acer palmatum Corallinum

 

Untitled

Acer palmatum Trompenberg





Spring has Sprung?

8 04 2012

It looks and feels a lot like Spring here in the Portland area.

The sun is streaming through the trees and Hummingbirds are fluttering by their feeder, dipping in to a fresh batch of nectar, carefully prepared by my dear husband last night.

The garden is slowly drying out after record rainfall in March. Wellies are still a must to venture  into the back garden, unless you want muck-encrusted shoes, or cold wet feet. I’m not complaining; it’s been a long and busy Winter, and I can think of nothing more therapeutic than some quality gardening time outdoors.

There’s plenty of color to keep me company as I clear last Fall’s pine needles and the debris from Winter.

Daffodils, which I plant as annuals to ensure blooming here in the shade, are brightening up the moss lawn.

Untitled

The flowering currant bush Ribes sanguineum, at the edge of the wetland area is adding pretty pink to a gray area in the garden

Untitled

Close to, but screened off from the corgi runway, a lovely pink camellia vies for attention. If only I knew the name of this variety.

Untitled

In the front garden, safe from the corgis, but subject to inspection by “The Ladies”, our neighbor’s hens, the  pink and white bleeding hearts Dicentra spectabilis  are just starting to nod their heads to Spring.

Untitled

Untitled

Two dozen delft blue and pink hyacinths perfume the way leading to the front door. Mud-splattered and a little worse for the weather, these darlings bring great cheer to a very shady and mucky spot. To be planted every year, from here on.

Untitled

And finally, a first time bloomer is showing off sulfur yellow flowers under a Laceleaf Japanese Maple.

Untitled

This is a variety of  Bishop’s Hat, maybe Epimedium suplhureum. Six years in the garden and finally a bloom!





Fall Color Parade 2011

12 11 2011

It’s prime time for Fall colors in the garden this weekend. Fire engine reds, smoky  apricot oranges,  and flashy yellow golds abound throughout the garden. The gloomy gray skies brightened enough for me to take photos of the spectacle.  Come, take a look!