Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Meanwhile, Back at Home

Last weekend, I actually got to spend a couple of hours in my own garden.  I'm so looking forward to spring break when I'll actually have a few days to start some projects and get a few things done.  Here are a few pictures of what's happening in the Outlaw Garden at the end of March:

Out in the greenhouse, hippeastrum (Amaryllis) are blooming.

I finally hung the rusty metal chandelier made by Blackwaters Metal that came from the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in February.  I threw the crystals on but am not sure if I like them or not.  Should they stay or go?

The agaves all made it through the winter in pretty good shape, including the couple planted in the ground outside.

The three jasmines on the back wall started looking unhappy at the height of their blooming.  They may be removed from the greenhouse as they'll climb pretty high and block a lot of light.

Scadoxis punicus is blooming again this year and has produced a couple of tiny babies near the main stem.  It's hardy to zone 7 but must have great drainage in the winter.

Clivias are easy care and reliable performers for me. 

A few house plant experiments have gone well.  It's surprising that some tropical plants can take a bit more cold than one might think.

 The orange is blooming but I'm over it as it takes up so much space.  Next plant exchange, it'll be up for grabs.

Begonia  boliviensis, it's tuber so large that it's distorting the shape of the three gallon pot, is sending up nice new growth.  Perhaps it should be potted up.

Other tuberous begonias are pushing up new growth too.

It's magnolia time!  

It may be time to prune a bit of an opening here.  at one time the branches allowed a view of buddha and the large gunnera leaf casting at the top of the water thingy; now they almost totally obscure it.

Magnolia stellata 'Centennial Blush'  is a new addition this spring. I've admired the stellatas around town for years and how their buds look like giant pussy willow catkins in the winter.  Seeing this one with the pretty pink plush pushed me over the edge.

Rain followed by a wind storm did this to some of the blooms.  I hope it's not a regular habit of the plant to hold on to brown petals.

Cardiocrinum giganteum has such glossy leaves.  Everyone loves them, including the slugs!

Trillium.  Suppose it could be divided. 

My first rhododendron this season is 'President Roosavelt' just in time to clash with the other pinks in this bed. 

 Astilboides tabularis in a sea of maturing galanthus foliage. 

The way Sanguinaria canadensis 'Multiplex' leaves emerge hugging their flowers is adorable.
Rheum palmatum atrosanguineum

The spicy/sweet fragrance of Akebia quinata 'Shirobana' always catchers my attention before I notice the flowers.

The pot ghetto of newly separated Podophyllum delavayi  is doing nicely.



My favorite Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) today is this one with  vibrant pink new growth. 

The green man is happy to have his shaggy hair back. 

I love this time of year in the garden!  

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Vignette

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by the remarkable Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to see her post and links to those of other participating bloggers.

When we, squinting mole-like,  emerged from our homes and work places yesterday, there was a strange blueness and a bright orb of some sort in the sky.  The familiar gray of the heavens had given way to this foreign thing.  Whatever it's called, it sure made a nice background for the blooming maple trees lining Ruston Way.   Sunglasses were soon retrieved from their winter storage places. Looks like March will be going out like a lamb.

We've had the wettest winter on record so the return of blue sky, always a treat in the pacific northwest, is especially welcome this year.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

An Easter Surprise

A couple of months ago I dragged home some interesting lichen covered branches.  They sat in the garden (most of them are still out there on a bench) until finally, last week, I attempted to use them in an arrangement. You can see it here if you missed it. Not the best arrangement ever nor the best use of the cool branches which were certainly dead.  The vase was left in the butler's pantry where, on Saturday night, after returning from Easter Vigil, what should those branches be doing?

Coming back to life!  I'm imagining that this is an ornamental crab apple of some sort based on a dried brown fruit left on part of one of the branches.

Will the buds open?

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, March 28, 2016

In A Vase On Monday - New Life!

It's been an especially busy week so I'd planned on simply throwing some grape hyacinths into a little white vase as their blueness has been delighting my eye lately.  I went out to cut them and saw a couple of Scilla siberica and the first forget-me-nots of the season that might not be missed if they came inside.  Blue was my mother's favorite color and her birthday is only a few weeks away. (She was a Good Friday Baby.)  The white vase was abandoned for a blue one.

The vase looked a bit lonely so out came a few props. 

A couple of little ceramic chicks which remind me of my eldest sister & niece for reasons they'll know when they see this, and some ceramic eggs that I got on sale a while ago were added.

The egg painted in the "Cobalt Net" pattern of The Lomonosov (now Imperial) Porcelain Factory in St. Petersberg stayed although the porcelain pieces I thought of using went away.  There, done.

Until a special postcard came to mind.  Surprisingly, I knew right were it was.

In the reverse is my grandmothers name and the name of a hospital, town, and state, a cancelled two cent stamp with the year of my mother's birth, and the message, "Am thinking of you and your little chick. "

In the little stack of family correspondence were also these:

We spent the afternoon with family, at a niece's home.  Mom would have so enjoyed seeing her great grandchildren hunting for eggs and playing games.  Being the youngest of five children, It's interesting to now be one of the older people at family gatherings.  At Easter, in our time, and in our gardens, death gives way to new life as "One generation passeth away, and another genteration cometh; but the earth abideth for ever." 

May your Eastertide be rich with fond memories of the past and making memories for the future. May you in the northern hemisphere enjoy the earth's rebirth!
In a vase on Monday is hosted each week by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click here to see other participating bloggers' vases.  

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Northwest Perennial Alliance March Madness Sale and a stroll around the Bellevue Botanical Garden

A couple of weeks ago, Alison (Bonney Lassie) and I hit our first plant sale of the season, March Madness, sponsored by the Northwest Perennial Alliance.  Lots of our favorite specialty growers were there .

Alison got another trillium to add to her garden and I got a couple of podophyllum  including this one.

There were tables and tables of plants as one would expect.  When we were finished inside, we visited the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

It had been years since I'd visited and huge, wonderful changes have been made.  I did visit last Christmas to see their light show but that was different. Here are a few shots along the paths.

Paths diverged in many areas of the garden.  Beyond this gate is the Asian garden but  we chose a different path.

Alison found it interesting that they'd left last year's hydrangea blooms still.  Even though I'm the laziest gardener I know, mine come off the minute that green buds appear.  They do create an interesting contrast with all of the springy green new growth.

Rheum palmatum atrosanguineum with most of the new growth being beautifully red but with some deciding to be green instead.  This coloration seems quite variable from plant to plant.

Astilbe with golden fur emerging from it's long winter's nap. 

Oh, those stately Nolinas!

Across the lawn  with a view of the original owners' home.  For a little history of the place, go here.

A fancy new building in which the plant sale took place. 

A plant zoo. 

Catkins of  Corylus 'Red Majestic' are a lovely pink color rather than the yellow of the green-leaved contorted filbert.  

We even found a hobbit house. 

Next plant sales?  Heronswood on April 2, Hortlandia on April 9 & 10 and The Rhododendron Species Garden on April 15 & 16.   The last one promises to have more vendors than ever before.  These should all be great fun!  Will I see you at any of them?