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.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Random Friday - It Could Be Worse

We in the Pacific Northwest have been complaining about the nearly nonstop rain a lot lately.  On the morning news today, the anchor said, "News Flash!  The sun may make an appearance today!"  while a co-anchor traced a circle with her fingers and said, "It looks something like this."   The sun did actually make an appearance and we had a high in the mid fifties, still lower than average for this time of year but it was nice to see the sun again, even if most people were squinting like moles emerging from their burrows.  My sister in Alaska is not sympathetic in the least as she woke up a couple of mornings ago to find a few fresh inches of snow on top of this which was still on the ground.

So, you see, it could be worse.

Much worse. You see, this shows that the snow had been melting.

Meanwhile, in my greenhouse, the clivia are beginning to bloom.

You may have a problem with tuberous begonias if  you already have this many stored from last year (there are actually more that aren't visible in the pictures)

and twelve more (in addition to the dozen or so that came home from Bark and Garden in February) arrived in the mail this week.  Well, occasionally one or two of the stored tubers don't come back so it's a good idea to have some extras on hand.   Funny but there doesn't seem to be any space left in the greenhouse to start these.

Happy weekend all and if you're in the area,  don't forget the Heronswood Open and plant sale on Saturday!  Can you believe that it's April already?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spring In A Box

A big box store that is.  Each year, in the late summer there is a wistful feeling at the sight of the removal of the plant corral in the parking lot of our local Home Depot so the recent sight of the temporary fencing taking up quite a bit of parking space  is a sure sign of the beginning of a new growing season.  There was nothing particularly exciting out here yet, just basic plants but last year, several shipments of huge succulents, bananas, palms and other exciting offerings appeared.  

Inside, the painted plants made me smile.  Someone must like this look.

Looks like the straw flowers glue gunned to cacti practice is alive and well too. 

There were also some nicer things as well. 

Back outside, cold season vegetables.

An abundance of spring color.

Since the Depot and Lowe's are in proximity, I hopped over to see what was adorning their shelves.  Forgot which  of these was at which store.

 Daffodils and grape hyacinths are a great combination.

Narcissus 'Precocious' is a lovely thing if you're fond of "pink" daffodils. The thought of bringing a nice big pot of these home to enjoy crossed my mind momentarily but the mission this day was to get supplies to fix the hose on the recirculating pump in my pond. Despite what the weather is doing, spring is definitely arriving!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Vignette - Hope For the Sunshine Tomorrow

Many thanks to Anna at Flutter and Hum for hosting Wednesday Vignette!   Join the party by clicking here.

Seems like someone around here should start building an ark as it seems like it's been raining far longer than forty days and forty nights already!  Spring is slowly making itself known this year but it's still cold and wet outside.  For some reason this year I'm just not as motivated to be working outside.  Maybe it's the squishy sound the ground makes when trod upon; maybe it's just one of those seasons. I went out to the greenhouse to water and begin fertilizing plants and was delighted by a familiar summer fragrance.

There in the scraggly jungle of plants barely hanging on  was a brugmansia bloom.  Not a big thing, this happens on and off through the winter but on this spring day when it seemed like blue skies and warm temperatures will never return, this Angel's Trumpet was  whispering hope to me.

Soft as the voice of an Angel ('s trumpet)
Breathing a lesson unheard
Hope with a gentle persuasion 
Whispers her comforting word.
Wait, 'til the darkness is over
Wait, 'til the tempest is done
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow 
After the shower is gone. 

Whispering hope
Oh, how welcome thy voice
Making my heart 
In it's sorrow rejoice.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Different Kind of Gardening

This Saturday, instead of spending time in the soggy garden outside, I got to spend the day in a nice toasty (I was firing projects from a class earlier in the week in the kilns) classroom at Mandarin Stained Glass  teaching one of my favorite classes (okay, I love them all) Glass garden stakes.  

Like flowers in nature, every one of these creations is unique and I'm always delighted by the imagination of the students.   It all starts with an idea and some glass.

A little cutting 

A bit of wrapping.

and soon a flower begins to take shape.

One person wanted to create a passion flower. 

 This one was mostly made with glass found in the scrap bins.  What a lovely combination of colors!

One of the best things about this class is that there are no rules and anything goes.  It was a great time with a fun group.

Next week is spring break and I plan on spending most of it working in my garden but helping others play with glass has been a nice diversion from the cold wet conditions outside.  What do you do when you can't be out in the garden? 

Monday, March 27, 2017

In A Vase On Monday - Rain, Rain, Go Away!

We've had a cold and wet spring so far with no significant change predicted for the next few weeks.  Despite the sogginess and chill, plants are blooming and beginning to leaf out.  My choice of container this week is a crystal pitcher because since it's pouring outside, it might as well be pouring inside as well.

While it would be nice to say that I went outside between showers, that  would be impossible as the rain came down constantly from shortly after dawn and continued through the night. Skipping a vase this week was a temptation but since I had to brave the rain to water the plants in the greenhouse, some flowers got cut on the way back inside.  Some camellias,  Stachyurus praecox, and Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesen's Gold’  got plopped into the pitcher.

Spring is full of possibilities for new life and a new gardening season as represented by a trio of pysanky eggs from the Ukraine  and a few glass eggs from Italy. 

The bright side of our cold spring is that snow in the mountains continues to fall and isn't melted by warmer temperatures which insures plenty of water for late summer when we sometimes run a bit low.

Just think, soon it might even be warm enough for eggs to start hatching!
Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who hosts In A Vase On Monday.  Click here to see her arrangement this week and to find links to those of other participating bloggers. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Searching for Spring at Watson's

It's spring and, because of our cold temperatures, the garden is waking up a bit more slowly than usual.  Fortunately, nurseries are brimming with color to make up for spring's recalcitrance this year. A visit to Watsons at the beginning of March was just the thing to soothe a  winter-weary soul!

Primula vulgaris is ubiquitous this time of year and for good reason.  this bright flower gives months of vibrant color, is very cheap and will come back year after year or you can toss them out with little guilt if you don't want to plant them.

It was not quite spring yet and the explosion of early color gave me hope.


So, this hellebore in a six inch pot was incredibly floriferous for such a small plant so it had to come home with me.

You'd think that I don't already have too many hellebores because this one jumped into the cart as well.

Must include iris reticulata in my bulb order this fall!  I so admire them in other gardens and enjoy seeing them on friends' blogs.

Oh, that glorious fragrance!

Looks like summer already.

 Did Mr. McGregor finally find an effective trap for Peter Rabbit?

Would these be considered woody succulents? 

Hope you have an opportunity to hop on in to a nursery near you soon!
Happy Weekend.  Speaking of weekends, the Heronswood early spring sale and garden open will be taking place on Saturday, April 1.  Will I see you there?