Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Perennials, Native and Not -- and Other Stuff (Very Long Post)

I'm planting mostly native perennials in the new beds, but there are other plants that I like that I'm mixing in too.

This is called piggyback plant, aka Tolmiea menziesii. Often sold as a houseplant, it reproduces and spreads by runners, like strawberries. I think the flowers are inconspicuous, but I bought it for the leaves, because I liked their shape. It reminds me of a Tiarella.

Fringecup, aka Tellima grandiflora, can be an aggressive spreader when planted  in optimal conditions. I'll keep an eye on it.

There's another one in another area of the garden that has leaves with a pinkish cast.

Another PNW native in my garden is Silverweed, Potentilla anserina, which also sends out runners, that according to one site, the Native Americans in the PNW used to tie their leggings. I love its ferny leaves.

And the final entry in the native category is this tiny thing, Western Bleeding Heart, Dicentra formosa. I need a few more of these, this was the only one I could find at the nursery that was showing any signs of life.

I'm also planting lots of non-native perennials.
A swath of Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart' with variegated columbine and variegated Heuchera (not actually in the ground yet).

The variegated Heuchera up close

Rheum palmatum -- Ornamental rhubarb, with a columbine called Tequila Sunrise

I have various Heucheras planted throughout the shady beds. This is 'Tiramisu' with 'Palace Purple.' Before I planted them I experimented with what looked best -- dark leaves in front of light leaves, or the reverse? I went with dark in front of light.
A closer look at 'Tiramisu'

A few days ago I set out a bird feeder with black oil sunflower seeds. It didn't take the birds long to find it. It's in a choice spot right by the back door, to make it easier to take pictures. I'm going to put up a hummingbird feeder, and another feeder with thistle seed to attract goldfinches. I think this is a house sparrow, although I do sometimes confuse female goldfinches with their drab plumage with sparrows.

My peas are up, can you see them? I guess they really love all the rain we've been having.

And on Thursday I planted a bunch of seed potatoes in big pots. I hope they do well. I'm growing Yukon Gold, Russian Banana (a fingerling) and Bintje.

After all the heavy rain and strong wind we've had recently, the garden is heavily littered with twigs and branches and seed cones from the Douglas firs. Something, maybe a squirrel, tore a seed cone apart, probably looking for food.

Well, that's it for this blog post. I really shouldn't save so much up, it makes for a very long post. I'll try to remember to post each day, instead of once on the weekend.