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

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Out in the Garden Today

What a beautiful day it was today! I think the temps made it up into the low 50s, and there was lots of bright sun! I made it out into the garden to cut back and clean up, and check out what's deigned to show up yet again in my lovely little corner of the world. It seems like it's been ages since I posted photos of what's growing in my garden, so hold onto your sun hats, folks!

I have lots of hellebores about to flower. I think this one is Ivory Prince.

 Except for the crazy ice storm we had a couple of weeks ago where we lost power for two days, I think we are having a rather mild and unusual winter. I only have three winters here in the PNW under my belt, but it certainly does seem to me that we have had less rain than the norm for this part of the country. Not only was today sunny and mild, but the rest of the week until Friday is slated for the same -- temps in the 50s and partly to mostly sunny. There's no telling if that might change, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I actually have a couple of Scabiosa flowering, with more buds on the way.

The flowers on my Sarcococca/sweetbox are open now, and boy do they smell sweet!

The flowers on my witch hazel are open now too, adding another layer of sweet and spicy scent to that area of the garden.

I just love the strange spidery flowers!

I am thrilled to see signs that this tree survived my neglect last summer. I planted it about this time last year, and then didn't water it till late in the summer. Oops!

The flowers on this Mahonia 'Charity" should open soon.

What else seems to be thriving?

Oriental poppy foliage is lush and green

Cyclamen hederifolium is looking good too

I'm hoping I'll have enough stalks on my edible rhubarb to pick some this year. Look how red that stem is!

Fuchsia magellanica always dies back to the roots.

A couple of the heathers that I planted didn't survive, but it looks like this one will flower soon!

I have plenty of self-sown seedlings from the California annuals that I direct-sowed last year.

Last year I bought two Clintonia sibirica from Annie's Annuals. Now their offspring are everywhere! This is where they were planted last year, so this spot has the highest concentration.

But if I just look to the left of there, I see more!

I decided to leave most of the Claytonia seedlings to see how they do. I can always pot some up and give them away. I'll have to see if I can collect seed from these this year, and maybe have a slightly more controlled explosion. I had no idea they would self-sow so prolifically.

I left a couple of seedlings that look like this too -- I'm hoping they're annual poppies.

I planted an Agastache 'Rose Mint' last year, and it has given me a ton of little babies too!

I left this seedling in the bed too. I don't know what it is, but there were no others that looked like it, so it might turn out to be interesting -- in other words, not a weed. I've never had a Tiarella self-sow before, but the leaves on this remind me of one I have in another bed.

I pulled a ton of shotweed today -- one of those weeds that comes up flowering and shoots its seeds far and wide!

And -- does anyone remember this Escallonia from last year, that I thought I might have lost? I cut it back hard.

Not to worry. I eventually cut it back even further. Now it looks like this.

I was surprised that these new branches survived the ice storm. When it died back last time, it was because we had a sudden hard freeze in November, just before Thanksgiving. Nothing in the garden was ready for that weather. Although the temperatures were probably the same during the ice storm, the shrub had already made it through many nights with below freezing temps, so it was acclimated.

I'll be going to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show next week. I'm really looking forward to that, there are lots of seminars I want to attend. I've also signed up for their free Design Consultation. I want to get some input on the gravel garden I'm still planning to put in.

Not to mention -- the great display gardens! I'll be taking a ton of pictures, so watch for that!


  1. I'll be looking for your post on the garden show! I may end up missing Portland's Yard and Garden show the weekend following as my surgery is scheduled around there. :( May have to live vicariously through my blogging friends! Wasn't it just gorgeous today? I ended up at buying some blue berry bushes, a service berry and a combo pear tree at a local nursery. Then went and scratched around in the raised veg boxes. It was delightful to be out and about! Cheers, Jenni

  2. Look at all your greenery! We still have snow on the ground here, but did have sunshine today, so I'm not going to complain! I'm excited for you...and love your pictures.

  3. You have lots going on in your garden! This is the time of year I start wishing I had room for a Witch Hazel! I've got some poppy seedlings coming up too, but they are much smaller than yours.
    That does look like a Tiarella, they come up in random places in my yard. I think they may be the native ones.

  4. Your garden is showing signs of wanting to leap out at you any day now. I have never seen Witch Hazel. What an intriguing flower. I wish we had Sweetbox here. It seems like a most rewarding shrub and anything heavily perfumed merits a place in my garden. I really am looking forward to seeing your garden evolve into its spring and summer splendour this year" I am eager, also, to enjoy what you'll be sharing with us from the NW Garden Show this year!

  5. Alison,
    I think what you called shotweed is what I call winter cress. It is a winter annual, weird huh? Anyway we get lots of it, but it dies back by spring planting time, mostly.

  6. What a nice February garden showing. Well earned after the Jan storm. The fragrance is so nice to have. I do what to find a spot for witch hazel too. Paula

  7. You certainly have a lot of plants popping up. I need to check my Fuchsia -- new to my garden this year. Hoping they took hold. Yes, your little seedling is poppy...annual poppy.
    My Sweetbox isn't open yet, is yours the Sarcococca hookeriana? Think that is what mine is...stays low.


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.