Tuesday, September 2, 2014

End of the Month View/Peek Inside the Greenhouse -- August 2014

It's time once again for the End of the Month View, hosted by Helen at The Patient Gardener's Weblog (look here), although technically it's really the beginning of the next month. I got distracted by the holiday weekend (Labor Day) and didn't get around to taking photos till yesterday morning. I had originally planned to get some gardening done this weekend, but we started the weekend off with torrential rain on Saturday, plus I got way too comfortable in my pj's. I got dressed on Saturday and Sunday solely to go out and eat. On Monday morning I got dressed just to take pictures. Silly me, I figured the neighbors might be shocked at the sight of me in my nightdress gallivanting around with a camera slewing around my neck. (Oh, what a lovely image that leaves you with.)

I'm also including in this post a peek inside my greenhouse, which I was doing pretty religiously on the 20th of every month up until June. This meme is also hosted by Helen, but I haven't seen a greenhouse post from her in a couple of months. Her greenhouse may be in a state of transition, in her last post in June she mentioned getting some new staging. Anyway, I thought I'd just post some pics on my own. You all want to see what's happening in there, right?

The Greenhouse

The greenhouse from my front door

My collection of Begonias, clustered around the northeast corner, where they get a quick burst of morning sun, just keeps getting bigger and  bigger.

Seedlings and various Bromeliads. I'm collecting smaller Bromeliads to create a Fortnamesque Bromeliad tree

On the western side of the greenhouse, facing the street, is a table full of Agave pups, my Cycad and various succulents

Echeveria 'Black Prince'

View through the greenhouse door

My tomato plants inside are loaded! I've already made a couple of batches of tomato sauce and tomato jam.

My Sun Sugar plants have flopped over from being top-heavy, but they are still producing, although they took a break when we had extreme heat. And they're looking very sad and tired (I know how they feel).

Only two fruit on my butternut squash plant, which is bedeviled by mildew.

Peppers and basil are also looking tired, and the basil needs water and pinching back.

Because I moved the cherry tomato plants into the center of the greenhouse, I can no longer easily reach my table. It's a mish-mashy mess. I'd like to get it sorted, but that won't happen till the tomatoes are done.

The Bottle Tree Bed

For my End of the Month View posts this year I've been concentrating on my Bottle Tree Bed, which I tore apart at the beginning of the year and replanted in a different configuration and with new plants. There are still some plants flowering in there, and I do still like how it looks. I already know which bed in my garden I will post about next year. It's going to get the same treatment.

The Bottle Tree Bed at the end of August

From left to right  -- Veronica 'Lilac Fantasy,' Astrantia with spent flowers, Erysimum 'Apricot Twist,' Sesleria autumnalis, Chrysanthemum 'Sheffield Pink,' and in the lower right corner...a weed.

I probably should have cut off the finished flowers on the Veronica but there are only so many hours in the day, and we've had a hot August

Sesleria autumnalis

Most of the Agastache 'Golden Jubilee' flowers are completely finished, only a couple still have a hint of purple. I hope soon the Amsonia hubrichtii on the left will start showing some fall color.

Most of the Agastache looks like this.

Most of the Hydrangea arborescens 'Invincibelle Spirit' florets are done, there are only a couple still pink.

My hardy Geranium, which I think is 'Wargrave Pink,' is still flowering a little

The slugs love my Carex 'Banana Boat.'

To see what the Bottle Tree Bed looked like back in April when I finished planting it, look here.

I mentioned in an earlier EoMV post that I'd like to buy some secies tulips and maybe some other small spring bulbs to plant in the Bottle Tree Bed. It's getting on for time to order those. I did transplant a handful of species tulips into this bed already, but of course that foliage has long since disappeared, so when I do finally get around to putting in more, there's a very good chance that I will end up digging up what I already planted.

Who needs chipmunks and squirrels when I can do the very same job that they do?

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Visit to PowellsWood -- A Private Garden Open to the Public

On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, Nigel only had to work for half a day, so instead of making him wait till the late afternoon to get the first train home, I drove into Seattle to meet him for lunch, and then drive him home. I decided to leave the house early and stop for an hour or so at PowellsWood, a lovely private garden in Federal Way that is often open to the public. Check out the website here, and if you're on Facebook, you can check out the garden's Facebook page here.

Amazingly, this 3-acre garden was built on the site of a former dump, on ground covered in concrete, asphalt, old cars, and used tires. The soil was so poor, even weeds would not grow. Monte and Diane Powell bought the property in 1993 and spent the first two years simply amending the soil. Since 1995, when the first hedges that define the garden rooms were planted, every year has seen changes to the garden. Most recently, the garden just outside the back of the house was replanted, because of damage caused by the ice storm of 2012 (I myself lost a pear tree in that storm, which was the impetus for tearing apart and replanting an entire bed).

I started there, in the House Gardens at the back.

Enormous hardy bananas, which spent the winter covered in bubble wrap and burlap, anchor the bed

Spent Allium seedheads with a dark-leafed Dahlia, backed by the twisted stems of an ornamental Corylus.

More bananas, barberries and palms

Cimicifuga flowers waving, with Canna musifolia (I think) and 'Tiger Eye' Sumac.

A simple wooden bench mirrored by another through the archway

Senecio mandraliscae planted in the ground (presumably being used as an annual)

Looking back from the wooden arch to the patio just outside the house

Schefflera taiwanniana


The stems make a striking pattern
From there I headed into the Spring Garden, an area of grass paths and perennial beds under cherry trees (I bet they're fabulous in bloom!)

A Podophyllum pleianthum on the left

I'm not positive, but this looks like another Schefflera (delavayi?)

Wonderfully architectural tree limbs

Begonias and Hostas under cherry trees that look like they're being bent in a gale force wind

Lovely old lichens

Oliver, the friendly neighborhood cat, greets me noisily

I'm secretly pleased to see molehills in the almost pristine lawn, I guess they plague everyone who gardens

Rhododendron with orange tomentum

Mahonia berries aka Oregon grapes

A dry stream winds through the shade garden

A large arbor covered in several different kinds of Clematis (this one looks like Clematis armandii)

Perennial borders in the distance

A fig tree leans over the grass path, backed by a hedge of Leyland cypress, pruned to within an inch of its life

Fuchsia flowers about to open

A stream runs through the lower garden

Darmera peltata, Gunnera tinctoria and Caltha palustris, all love the boggy soil along the edge of the stream

The stiff fertile fronds of ostrich ferns line the stream

The monumentally large flowers of hardy Hibiscus moscheutos 'Dave Fleming'

A view up the stream past wavy grasses and Joe Pye Weed

A quite large Mahonia 'Arthur Menzies' is one of this border's anchors

A closer look at Mahonia 'Arthur Menzies'

Bench, Joe Pye weed, and the hardy bananas in the bed near the house in the upper garden

There were quite a few of these stone basins throughout the beds

Rhodie and fern make great companions

Rhodie and Astelia also make great companions

Palm reflection in a stone basin

A view from the entry garden, through the wooden arbor into the house gardens, where I started my journey

PowellsWood is open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 3 pm, April 1 through October 31. Admission is $5 and payment is on the honor system. No pets allowed.