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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Recent Visit to Windmill Nursery

I made a resolution this year to spend much less money on plants, so I haven't been making many trips to nurseries or plant sales this year. But a week or so ago, I did pop down the hill to Windmill Nursery in Sumner, to pick up some seeds for the veggie beds - radishes, spinach, snow peas, carrots and mustard greens.

Of course, I had to take a good look around and see what they were selling!

Territorial has a nice line of organic seeds.

Windmill has a good selection of seed companies.

Magnolia 'Black Tulip' was flowering in a pot just outside the door

This concrete leaf fountain is pretty cool!

They had pots of Muscari 'Golden Fragrance' for sale.

Muscari "Golden Fragrance' smelled heavenly

Agave and Lewisia


Scotch moss in alternating gold and green patchwork

Black mondo grass, Ajuga and golden spike moss

I saw photos from this year's Northwest Flower and garden Show, of one of the show gardens that had a plant combo of Ajuga 'Black Scallop' and golden spike moss. I'd love to try this combo in the northeast back corner of my garden, under some Douglas firs. Of course, I like that golden Scotch moss too, so I might try that with the Ajuga as well. But, not this year.

Armeria rubrifolia and Selaginella kraussiana Aurea (golden spike moss)

A colorful collection of Heuchera

Asarum 'Panda Face'

Anemone coronaria 'Marianne Red'

Anemone coronaria 'Marianne Blue'

Helleborus Winter Jewels 'Black Diamond'

Camellia 'Tom Knudsen' -- the most recently opened flowers have a decidedly salmon shade, but you can see the older blooms behind age to burgundy

The following display of Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty' and Primula veris has me wondering if someone on their staff has been to Far Reaches, where similar plant combos appear over and over in their display garden.


And white. Both are striking!

Bougainvillea display table in the tropical greenhouse

Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst'

Another striking combo -- deep purple pansies, golden Acorus and variegated bear's breeches

Believe it or not, I came home with just seeds, and sowed them immediately. My radishes, spinach and mustard greens are already up!

If you'd like to check out a previous post on my blog about a visit to Windmill, which shows pictures of their display garden, check here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Vignette

Today's Wednesday Vignette post is about making an effort. Or tenacity. Or something. Some kind of life lesson. Deep thoughts are in there somewhere. Take what you will from the photo.

This bag of mixed Daffodils sat on my front step all winter. I really thought I'd get them planted last fall when I bought them. I never got around to it, and they've been sitting right there for a few months now, guilt-tripping me every time I go out to get the mail.

Now, they've doubled-down on that guilt trip and are trying to make me feel even worse by flowering in the bag.

Poor things. I bet I could still plant them, right?

Anna at Flutter and Hum hosts Wednesday Vignette. You can read her post for this week here, and check out the links other bloggers leave in the comments.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday Vignette

For my Wednesday Vignette, I'm sharing a few more flower shots from the Bellevue Botanical Garden, which I visited a couple of weeks ago.

Corylopsis spicata

Pale pink Ribes sanguineum

Salmon pink Camellia

Shy Hellebore

Anna at Flutter and Hum hosts Wednesday Vignette. You can find her current post here.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Gardening on the Bleeding Edge

The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions. Alfred Adler
Read more at:
The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions. Alfred Adler
Read more at:
For today, the first day of spring, I've decided to take a look back to last summer -- to a dry, warm day when I visited a fabulous Portland garden. One of my greatest regrets about not attending the 2014 Portland Fling was that I missed seeing fellow garden blogger Loree's Danger Garden. I had seen it once briefly on a spring day that year, when Loree was still in the midst of sorting out her many tender pots for the year. (She keeps a large number of potted plants that aren't hardy to our climate, which she overwinters every year.) But that wasn't the same as seeing it at the height of its summer glory.

So when I heard that her garden was going to be part of the 2015 Green on Green Garden tour, I knew I had to get myself down to Portland to see what I had missed.

Here's what the blurb in the pamphlet said: Loree's edict is "bare ground equals room for another plant." Hardscape helps to control the "chaos." Few elements of the original garden remain, especially in the front garden where plants are chosen for minimal reliance on water and maintenance. A shade pavilion doubles as a greenhouse in the winter. Featured plants include dozens of containered succulents.

A talented hand at pruning has turned an Arctostaphylos, with its lovely red branches, into the sculptured centerpiece of the front garden

And the foundation plantings are definitely not the same old, same old

I was captivated by this stunning arrangement to the right of the front door

I'm hoping some day to have fruit on one of my own cactus (I have two Opuntias that were gifts from Loree)

This enormous Tetrapanax is another cornerstone of the front garden

Loree keeps her edibles in the driveway in containers, along with several of her signature Agaves.

Now we've gone around the corner into the back garden.

Loree's clever husband created this container with bits and pieces from the hardware store

This bed in the back garden is a riot of spiky, prickly foliage, anchored by a tall, stunning Yucca rostrata

A closer look

It's mesmerizing!

A glimpse beyond at the patio

Every tiny detail, like this set of containers, was impeccably groomed and curated

Every corner of the patio has its own arrangement of containers, organized by color -- lime green, orange, black, turquoise, gray and metallic silver

A stock tank "pond' houses a lily with a mottled leaf and a pale yellow bloom (I don't know the other two plants)

Interspersed throughout the garden are several of these narrow pedestals with funnel containers on top

Peter The Outlaw Gardener also keeps most of his Podophyllums in containers, where they thrive like this one.

This year I might dig a few of mine up and keep them in containers, where I can more easily control the amount of water they get. Mine always do fine in the spring, but by the middle of our dry summer, no matter how much I water the beds they're in, they start to flag and die back prematurely.

An overturned bucket with a hole in the bottom houses an Astelia

A lime green circle pot from Potted hangs from a bigleaf Magnolia, with Hostas and a crowded clump of Syneleisis at its feet

Metapanax delavayi further along in the same bed

Loree, the queen of spiky plants, and her sweet dog Lila

Lila, the true queen of the Danger Garden

I was lucky enough to come at the very end of what must have been a long day for Loree and Lila, but they were very gracious hosts and didn't mind me staying past curfew. Fortunately, that also meant that I got to see the garden without a crowd.

Thanks so much, Loree. I know your garden this summer will be just as glorious!