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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Be careful with those spiky plants!

You could poke an eye out.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Who Wants Some Lily Bulbs?

Finally -- finally! -- I am getting some work done out in the garden. I injured my shoulder way, way back at the beginning of September and have been taking a long break from doing any real work out there. An extreme state of frustration over lack of progress and a huge pot ghetto looming on the patio every time I went outside, and a long list of undone chores and unfinished, half-started projects that went through my mind over and over every morning at 5 when I woke and couldn't get back to sleep, and the unwelcome sense of an onrushing winter heading toward me like a bull toward a red flag made me get outside yesterday and dig up some lily bulbs that I've wanted to transplant for a while now.

Lily 'Matrix' flowering its first year, in 2014

Although the colors of 'Matrix' suit my front bed, I've never been happy that the flower stalk itself is only about a foot to a foot and a half tall. All the other lilies in that front bed are 3 - 4 feet tall, in similar colors. For me, the shortness of 'Matrix' just doesn't fit. So I wanted to move it, into a bed in the back garden. I don't remember exactly how many bulbs I planted originally, it might have been 5, it might have been as few as 3. But yesterday I dug up and transplanted 25, and had some left over.

After reproducing, in 2017

'Matrix' is an Asiatic lily, which you can buy in the spring from Brent and Becky's. I think I might have originally bought mine from B&D Lilies at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, but it isn't in their current catalog. Lilies on B&D Lilies website range in price from about $5.00 to $13.00. I'll send you some for free!

There are 11 smaller bulbs ready to be planted

This gives you some idea of the size

There are also many, many, much smaller bulblets that in a few years will be flowering size

I'd really like to pass along the extra bulbs and bulblets to a gardener (or more than one) who can use them. Please take my extra lily bulbs! They probably should get back into the ground as soon as possible. Leave a comment with a way to get in touch, and I'll contact you to get a mailing address. I don't mind paying for postage. If I get a lot of interest I'll divide them up as reasonably as I can.

Basically I am just incapable of simply throwing away any plant matter that can become a viable plant, whether it's a seedling, an offset, or a division. Are you familiar with the musical number "Every Sperm Is Sacred" from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life? As Michael Palin sings and dances along with hundreds of children, I know how he feels. That's me and my plants.

Every Sperm Is Sacred

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- October 2017

Once again, it's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. It's hard to believe that we are halfway through October already. Where does the time go? I still have so much I need and want to get done this fall, but I am rapidly running out of time.

Unfortunately, I started September by pulling my shoulder, and once the muscles finally stopped screaming, I realized I also had a pinched nerve, which left my right arm and neck in pain and my fingers tingling, which gets worse if I sit at the computer for any length of time. The doctor gave me a prescription NSAID, but the only real help for a pinched nerve is time. I have lots of pictures and posts in the pipeline, but really need to take it easy on the shoulder.

Something for you to look forward to over the winter!

This tall purple aster is the biggest and brightest thing in my garden right now

The pollinators, like this cutie-pie hoverfly, love it

I managed to follow him from one flower...

...To the next.

My overflowing pot ghetto has plenty of flowers in it too.

I bought two Mahonia 'Soft caress' at the Heronswood Sale.

Still unplanted pink flower whose name I can't remember

Three gallon pots of Agastache, bought at discount because they were past it, have rebloomed after being cut back severely

The tuberous Begonias are still flowering well. Now I just have to figure out how to overwinter them.

Hummingbird favorite Fuchsia magellanica


Chocolate Eupatorium (which isn't called Eupatorium any more, but I don't care)

Yellow Corydalis pops up everywhere, here it is amongst Geranium phaeum foliage

A little fall rebloom on native bleeding heart Dicentra formosa

Calamagrostis brachytricha

Golden Hakone grass beside the waterfall

Sheffield Pink Mums are just starting to open

This huge cluster of buds on Tetrapanax will never open before frost, but its flower look like every other Araliaceae family plant, clusters of white puffballs.

I moved almost all my tender plants off the front porch and into the greenhouse a couple of weeks ago. We've had some pretty cold nights lately, and I've even turned on the heater out there.

Begonia 'Little Brother Montgomery' flowers look like just about every other Begonia grown for its foliage


Pelargonium sidoides

'Old Lady' cactus looks very much like I might if I decided to wear flowers in my hair

That's most of what's blooming in my garden right now. I managed to finish this post without too much pain, so things might be looking up.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Check out her post here, and all the other posts by bloggers around the world celebrating their blooms.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday Vignette


It's my neighbor's cat Frankie. No, he's not pretending to be a lion, he's trying to chow down on one of my ornamental grasses. By keeping the shutter depressed, I managed to take a quick series of photos, one of which ended up being him with his mouth wide open, teeth bared.

Anna at Flutter & Hum hosts Wednesday Vignette. Check out her post here.

And now for something completely different: Nigel and I celebrated 36 years of wedded bliss yesterday by going to Dairy Queen for sundaes. Bet you didn't know that #36 was the hot fudge anniversary, did you?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Garden in Decline

I know some are upset that summer is over and fall is here, followed too closely by winter, but I am rejoicing. The rain has returned, the weather is cooler, the days are getting shorter and darker and Halloween is coming.

Happy First Day of October.

I don't even mind that the garden is in a state of decline. There's beauty in death (an appropriately Halloweenish state of mind). It appeals to my morbid sensibilities. If Goth had existed when I was a girl, I would have been one.

Echinacea seedheads against vibrant purple Asters makes quite a contrast

I like to leave them for the  birds

Yellowing Syneleisis foliage

Mukdenia never dies pretty, like in all the internet photos of it; in my garden it just collapses to the ground like an ornamental rhubarb in the heat of summer

Pacific Fire vine maple

An interesting pattern on a Brunnera leaf

Drought-stressed Hosta 'Sum and Substance' leaf

A cup-shaped variegated Hosta leaf has caught a bit of fall detritus

The oak leaves have started to turn

'Forest Pansy' Redbud leaves collect in a planting pocket of the recycled concrete wall

One redbud leaf caught in the colorful and still vibrant branches of an Arctostaphylos

Turning Peony foliage

The oakleaf Hydrangea flowers are all brown, but the leaves are all still quite green

The fall rains always bring on a flush of fungus

 How do you feel about autumn's many little deaths? There's a Shakespeare quote about sleep -- "Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care, The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in life's feast." I think of autumn (and winter) that way. Something has to balance spring and summer's exhausting exuberance, and feed next year's second chance at getting it right.