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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Plants, And What I Plan to Do With (Some of) Them

It's been a few years since I did a post where I showed off new plant purchases. Last year I bought few, if any, new plants, since my health problems kept me from doing much gardening, although I did manage to redo a couple of small areas this past fall. I have big plans for this spring, if only the rain would stop, and it would warm up just a tad.

I've been to Watson's a couple of times, and once to Windmill Nursery, and a couple of weekends ago I went down to Portland and visited both Cistus and Xera, as well as participated in a blogger outing to the wholesale nursery/growing operation Little Prince of Oregon, where we were allowed to buy some of the plants that were growing there.

So, get ready for the beauty pageant and the list of tongue-twisting Latin names.

From Cistus, the two shrubs in the back are Arctostaphylos 'Pinnacle Ridge' and Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile,' in front are Metapanax delavayi, Grevillea 'Canberra Gem,' and Astelia 'Red Devil'

New growth on Metapanax delavayi
See that hole in the middle of the bed, to the right of the cardoon? Grevillea 'Canberra Gem' is going there

This messy thicket of branches is Lonicera involucrata, aka twinberry honeysuckle. It's coming out, and that new Arctostaphylos is going in.

This semi-shady corner needs something -- maybe Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile'
From Xera, in back: Aralia californica, Callistemon subulatus 'Dark Red,' Grevillea 'Neil Bell'; in front: Primula 'Spice Shades,' Arctostaphylos 'Harmony,' and Arctostaphylos 'Howard McMinn'

Primula flowers

New growth on Callistemon 'Dark Red'

These lilacs are two of the few shrubs still left from the original landscaping. They suffered from the 9 inches of snow we got in early March, and will finally be replaced by a pair of Arctostaphylos and possibly the 'Neil Bell' Grevillea

From Little Prince, in back; Thalictrum ichangense (four of them) and one Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty,' then Grevillea 'Poorinda Leane', Feijoa sellowiana, Sedum oreganum (four of them), Red Anigozanthos aka Kangaroo paw, two each of Sedum ochroleucum 'Red Wiggle', and Sedum tetractinum

Closeup of 'Spotty Dotty'

Closeup of Sedum ochroleucum 'Red Wiggle' -- I needed some interesting Sedums to compete with and contrast with Sedum 'Angelina' in my sunny west-facing front beds
Feijoa sellowiana (Pineapple guava) is going into that open space between the bare Tetrapanax sticks on the right and the black pussy willow on the left (normally filled with a sea of California poppies and Nigella)

In back: Onoclea sensibilis, Hellebore 'Picotee Lady,' in front: Tricyrtis formosana 'Gilty Pleasure,' Hosta 'Fire Island'

In back: Hosta 'Guacamole,' in front: Hosta 'Cracker Crumbs,', Hosta 'Justine', Hosta 'Fire Island'

Golden baby tears, golden Scotch moss, golden creeping Jenny and chocolate creeping Jenny

Closeup of red freckles on stems of Hosta 'Fire Island'

I redid this area last fall, but already at least one plant is failing.

This is the only healthy patch of golden Selaginella left

The rest have all melted into sticks, like these three sad specimens

The Selaginella was originally supposed to provide a contrast to the dark leaves of the nearby Ajuga. At the recent Northwest Flower and Garden Show, I lamented this fact to my fellow bloggers while we were all at lunch together. Loree of Danger Garden suggested golden creeping jenny and Evan of The Practical Plant Geek suggested Scotch moss. I'm going to try both, along with the gold-leafed and small variegated Hostas, and we'll see who wins the final beauty contest. I don't know where Hosta 'Guacamole' is going, but it was hard to resist those big, bright green leaves.

Carex 'Feather Falls,' variegated Hydrophyllum tenuipes, Artemisia 'Seafoam' (bought online from High Country Gardens)

Carex 'Feather Falls' and variegated Hydrophyllum are going to be companions for my variegated Solomon's Seal, in my own half-assed attempt to recreate a plant combo I saw on Nan Ondra's blog Hayefield, in the very first photo in this post. It's not the same Carex and not 'White Nancy' spotted deadnettle, and I'm planning to use the sensitive fern instead of ostrich fern, but I hope it will have a similar effect.

In front: Hellebore 'Pippin's Purple,' Cyclamen hederifolium, Cyclamen coum, Dodecatheon hendersonii

Closeup of Hellebore 'Pippin's Purple'

What's going in this bed on the far side of the stream (posted about here)? Hellebores, Cyclamen, Thalictrum ichangense, and something feathery -- probably western bleeding heart

I'd like to visit Sky Nursery and Swanson's Nursery in a couple of weeks, so I'm sure I'll be buying a few more plants. Plus, in early May there's a Garden Bloggers Plant Exchange, which I'll be attending in Portland, and I know my fellow bloggers always share fun and interesting plants! I have an intriguing lineup of my own that I'll be hauling down there to give away.


  1. WOW! Thanks for sharing these beauties. As an added benefit (for me) I'm not feeling so crazy with my purchases this year. Of course your garden is much larger than mine, but we won't talk about that.

    The shape and angle of your 'Spotty Dotty' has it looking like the coolest satellite dish ever! And oh your poor Selaginella! I had a beautiful, lush, patch of Selaginella by the gate, Lila loved to lay on it to cool her tummy on a hot day. Sadly it seems to have been killed off by our crazy winter.

    See ya at the swap!

  2. New plants, yay! That is one of the best parts of spring. Your plans sound great - good luck with them!

  3. You've been busy! And you're going to be busier still getting all those plants in the ground. I'm glad you found yourself some 'Seafoam'. I LOVE that Carex and I'm intrigued by the foliage of that Callistemon. Moreover, I'm impressed by the variety of plants you're able to get in smaller pots - it's become remarkable here to find anything smaller than 1-gallon pots. I prefer to plant small when I can but that's becoming increasingly difficult.

  4. Impressive new plants! More impressive is the fact that you have an idea about where you're going to plant them. Sorry that your lilac will be going. I love them in other people's gardens but they're just so boring for most of the year and their bloom time is fairly brief. There's nothing like that fragrance and the memories it evokes though. Happy planting!

  5. I see a lot of great plants there! What fun! Our nurseries are just starting to ramp up inventory. I'm going to give them another couple of weeks before I get too serious about buying.

  6. You've done well Alison ! And how admirable that you actually know where some of them are going. I fear that I am often undone by impulse purchases. Good thing I have lots of empty pots.

  7. Enjoy the new plants, especially the Primula!

  8. I'm more than jealous of being able to buy those manzanita varieties, let alone watching them grow. None of ours are available. The mix of those more xeric plants with the understory plants that (to me) look leafy is one of the unique qualities in the PNW.

  9. Well, if lots of new plants equates to feeling strong and healthy enough to plant them, I'm glad to see all these purchases. I've always had severe thalictrum envy. T. inchangense looks very cool. And chocolate creeping jenny? Might have to find a mail order source for that one.

  10. Love that Primula. I will have to see if anyone in the Midwest is selling it. I have had best luck with yellow Hostas as low ground covers, better than with creeping jenny. Hosta Guacamole can take quite a bit of sun here so I am sure it could do so with you. Looks like you are going to be having fun!

  11. Holy cartwheels you've been busy! You've got some interesing species and I'll be keen to see how they do. Looking forward to seeing you at the plant swap!


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