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

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tell The Truth Tuesday

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts. I bet you thought I ran out of ugliness to show you.

Hahahahahaha! No chance. Feast your eyes on this mess.

Mess of weeds and shade-loving plants under an oak tree in my front garden

I've been pretty busy trying to catch up with cutting back last winter's dead stuff and pulling two-foot-tall weeds, I just haven't been paying much attention to this weed-choked corner of my front garden. But it needs help. There are actually some choice plants hiding in there.

'Sunset Shades' Primulas and Epimedium x warleyense 'Orange Queen'

Lots more 'Sunset Shades' Primulas, in a nice deep shade of red, that I could probably transplant into the back garden to my Ruby Red Death Bed

This swath of self-sown Primulas in every shade of sunset

A sort of antique rose pink

Yellow, red and orange

Primula kisoana next to Hepatica foliage

I think this is Epimedium fargesii from Windcliff

Nice bristly leaves

Unusual, elegant lilac purple flowers

Primula auricula (I think) with its succulent-like foliage

Sinopodophyllum hexandrum coming up amidst self-sown Primulas

A nice Podophyllum pleianthum that needs to be rescued from being smothered by dandelions

Dicentra 'Valentine' that sowed itself into the path and needs to be saved from trampling

Embothrium coccineum in too much shade that leans over precariously, but will it survive an attempt to transplant it to a better spot?

Fatsia polycarpa, not exactly thriving amongst the weeds and lean soil

It does produce new growth every year, but it looks pretty spindly

Another variegated Fatsia amongst a pile of weeds

I don't know if you can see the tall leader that this Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn' has produced, but it needs pruning, and maybe more sun and richer soil, because it never flowers

This variegated Hydrangea has never thrived here either, and clashes with the variegated Fatsia

This Corylopsis has pretty new growth, but has a very gangly appearance and has never flowered

Keep it? Move it?

Another Dicentra 'Valentine' competing with an enormous crop of weeds

Magnolia laevifolia blooms and seems to be doing ok, but it is surrounded by a mass of weeds

Diphylleia cymosa amongst the weeds

There's a small clump of the fuzzy Syneilesis (aconitifolia?)

I think this is Trillium kurabayashi, although it's very small, probably because the soil is not rich enough

Oh, what are you called? This plant does well, but that foliage is supposed to turn reddish in the fall and it never does, it just stays green and then turns to mush at first frost

Trillium luteum

Tiny, sickly Podophyllum that was planted at the same time as the big healthy clump shown earlier, but has failed to thrive

In another area is the more smooth stemmed Syneilesis (palmata?)

Astilboides rising out of a cloud of Primulas

A Euphorbia rigida that sowed itself -- the original died and this one is in a much more inconvenient spot

Baby Primulas

Dandelions gone to seed

Dandelions and ragweed at the base of the Magnolia laevifolia

There is supposed to be a path here, but it's really nothing but weeds

This chaotic mess desperately needs help. When will I get to it? Who knows? I know the solution is probably to pull everything out and coddle them in pots for a while while I sort out the weeds and beef up the soil. But this bed needs to get in line behind all the other projects competing for my time and energy.

Do you have an ugly spot in your garden to show us? We all know you have them. I get so fed up with seeing perfect gardens everywhere I look on social media. Tell us the truth about your garden and its problem areas.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Time in a Bottle

Well, it's time for another Time Travel Friday trip. I'm nearly out of corny time-related old songs, and nearly out of gardens to share as well. I thought for today I'd share a peaceful, serene, green, shady garden that I visited last summer.

But first we have to hear from The Muppets.

Time in a Bottle -- The Muppet Show

The Garden of Patti and John McFerran

I met Patti McFerran last spring when she came to the class that Peter The Outlaw Gardener and I taught for the NPA on starting a blog. She was one of the students. I felt a connection with her when she described herself as a journalist, because I used to be a journalist too, and I remember more than once during the class when I talked about some of the challenges of writing blog posts and dealing with vendors who just want to use the blog as an opportunity to advertise, I met her eyes across the room and she understood. I was really looking forward to seeing her garden and it didn't disappoint.

You can read here about Patti's gardening background and find a list of articles she has written for WestSound Home & Garden, a magazine covering the West Puget Sound area (i.e., the Kitsap Peninsula) of Washington state.

Beside the driveway as you enter the garden is this small sunny area with sedums on top of a rock wall.

Behind the sunny area is a more shady sloping area with a little white kitty statue peaking out on the left

A little further along on top of the rock wall are concrete or perhaps hypertufa containers with choice succulents.

Aloe aristata getting ready to bloom

A very tidy garden shed for seed starting and puttering

Just outside the door, fluffy Clematis seedheads

Rodochiton atrosanguineum aka purple bell vine, which I have never successfully grown, was thriving on a trellis just outside the shed as well

A great potting area against a wall of the house opposite the shed

What I wouldn't give to have that collection of terra cotta pots!

Another shelving unit against a wall of the shed holds an intriguing collection of plants in terra cotta

This mossy path and gate leads into the shady back garden

I loved how this Clematis bloom seemed to hang by the gate, reaching out to hug guests

All around the garden are seating areas, separated by islands of plants and mulch paths

Absolutely gorgeous thriving Fatsia

I'm a sucker for a big pot high up on a column -- so monolithic

Ferns and a Podophyllum

Begonia grandis (possibly ssp. evansiana?) with striking dark red veins

A beautiful lily

Another calming, green seating area with touches of blue -- they say blue is a calming color

A closer look at the cluster of blue pots

From there, I headed up to the deck of the house, which overlooks the back garden and found this cool table with pots of sedums.

The view from the deck

There's always an Agave

I saw Patti and her husband that day and they were talking excitedly about moving to a new house, giving up this garden and planning a new one. I would have had a hard time leaving such a peaceful place. I saw her again a month ago and she told me they had decided not to move -- in fact, they're opening this garden again this year for the NPA!

Once again, my blogging friend Linda visited this garden a few years ago and shared it on her blog, which you can read about here.

I hope you enjoyed this visit. Come back again next Friday, I have only a few more gardens to share.