|Underside of Tetrapanax 'Steroidal Giant' leaves|
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Thursday, June 27, 2013
|Agastache 'Raspberry Summer' in my front border with Eremurus 'Lemon Chiffon' behind|
I planted three of these in my front border and then just basically abandoned them for the rest of the summer. Two of them made it through the winter and they are now showing their true worth. I love this color of flower, and if the Terra Nova blurb that accompanied them is to be believed, they will bloom all summer and into the fall. According to that blurb, the foliage is an attractive bright green and aromatic. The plant is supposed to be easy to grow given full sun and well drained soil.
This agastache, which I love, by the way, is a product of Terra Nova's breeding program for agastaches. As indicated in Terra Nova's website, the goals of that breeding are to produce plants that, among other things, have longer lasting flowers, better habit, and better color palette. This plant certainly succeeds on the color palette criterion. Hopefully it will also succeed on the others as well. I haven't grown it long enough to know.
For those who don't know, Terra Nova is a large wholesale nursery in Canby, Oregon, which specializes in tissue culturing and breeding new cultivars of various plants. Some of their specialties have been heucheras, pulmonarias, and echinaceas. They are also the nursery which has been producing mass quantities of the 'Winter Jewel' hellebores from the O'Byrnes in Eugene, Oregon. As I have mentioned before, I think these hellebores are the best on the market.
A few years ago Will Giles of the Exotic Garden fame from the UK was visiting, and I chauffeured him on a trip to various Oregon nurseries. He particularly wanted to see Terra Nova, so we got a guided tour of the nursery by Dan Heims. I must say, the scope of it was quite impressive, and it was interesting to see the tissue culture operation. You can see pictures of this, as well as an explanation, on the Terra Nova website here.
The eremurus in the background of the photo above is 'Lemon Chiffon', one that I got from McClure and Zimmerman a few years ago (if I remember correctly).
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
|Salvia argentea foliage last summer|
|Salvia argentea in bloom now with Salvia sclarea 'Piemont' in front and Papaver 'Lauren's Grape'|
I planted three of these salvias, which I got from Bainbridge Gardens, one of our local retail nurseries. I have noticed Salvia argentea is widely available this year in local nurseries. Two of the three plants were on the most sloping part of the bed, while the third was on a less sloped area. Interestingly, the plants on the greatest slope did the best over the winter, even though all of them survived. The moral of this story is that if you want these plants to live over the winter in this climate, remember drainage, drainage, drainage!
I have read that many people grow these plants as annuals because the foliage is so great that it doesn't matter if they ever bloom. Indeed, I have seen it recommended that you cut off the flower spikes as they come up to maintain the foliage and to prevent them from blooming. This, it is said, will keep them living longer. I have never tried this so don't know if it works.
Of all the furry grey leaved plants I have grown over the years, I must say that Salvia argentea has the most furry tactile leaves of all. Just remember, if you want to grow it, give it good drainage, full sun, and do not let it get overshadowed by other plants.
Monday, June 24, 2013
|Eryngium alpinum with Salvia nemerosa|
Sunday, June 23, 2013
|Echium wildpretii with Salvia sclarea 'Piemont', Salvia argentea, and Papaver 'Lauren's Grape'|
Other plants in the picture above are Papaver somniferum 'Lauren's Grape' which is a self sown seedling (I have mass quantities of self sown poppies all over my garden); Salvia Sclarea 'Piemont' which I wrote about yesterday; and the white flower is Salvia argentea which I will have a post about in the future. Although I don't usually go in for white flowers, I think the white actually looks good in this situation.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
|Salvia sclarea 'Piemont' blooming now in my garden with Verbascum bombyciferum and Echium wildpretii|
|Closeup of Salvia sclarea 'Piemont' flower|
I finally got around to planting this bed last year, and one of the plants I chose for this spot was Salvia sclarea 'Piemont' which I got from Annies Annuals. I planted three of these last summer. Only one of them made it through the winter, and the pictures above show what it looks like. This is supposed to be a biennial which sets copious amounts of seed, so I am hoping for lots of little baby salvias. Anyway, I think this plant will make a nice addition to my repertoire of deer resistant, drought tolerant plants.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
|Front Border from the back with Agastache Rasberry Summer at the bottom|
|Front border with Yucca rostrata and Stipa barbata|
|Front border with various dasylirions and Echium vulgare|
This is not to say this border is empty in the winter time. It relies on the various spiky plants--the dasylirions, yuccas and nolinas-- as well as the restios for winter interest. Now that the Eucalyptus which used to live in this border are gone (see this post), I probably need to add more of these evergreen kinds of plants. It is just that I do not feel the need to have every space of ground covered at all times of the year.
I should also stress, as I have many times, that this border is never watered and it is not protected from the deer. Bainbridge Island is deer central and the south part of the island where we live is even more so. Yet it is still possible to have a beautiful garden consisting only of deer resistant plants. I often find deer droppings in the middle of this border, yet thus far this year I have seen no evidence of their grazing on any of these plants.
Although I call this a border, it really is a bed which can be viewed from all sides. It doesn't really border anything except grass.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
|Panorama Shot of my front border|
Saturday, June 15, 2013
|Salpiglossis 'Kew Blue" Blooming now in my garden|
Friday, June 14, 2013
|Tropaeolum polyphyllum with pink California poppies|
|Closeup of Tropaeolum polyphyllum|
|Wide view of bed near lionness sculpture|
In the background of the wide shot above you can see my one remaining Chamaerops humilus var. cerifera that I have in the garden. I used to have a number of these, but they all died in one winter or another. This particular one is doing well just now and looking good because we have had two mild winters in a row. The main growing crown was killed one cold winter a few years ago, but Chamaerops send up new growth around the main crown, and those have since taken over. It takes several years for these palms to start looking good after they have been damaged like this one was.
Also in this bed are some self sown alstroemerias which will probably completely take over this bed some day if I am not careful!
Finally, if you click on the wide shot and view it large, you will see rising above the palm what looks like the flowers of a dandelion. Although I do have dandelions in my garden, this is not one of them. Rather, those are the flowers of a self sown Ranunculus baurii whcih I previously wrote about here.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
|Nomacharis pardanthina blooming in my garden now|
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
|Lionness sculpture with Scilla peruviana in bloom in front|
The bamboo in the background of the picture is Fargesia robusta which I wrote about here. In the top left of the picture you can see the foliage of Nothopanax (or Metapanax) delavayi which is discussed here. The bright green foliage in the center left is the unnamed alsroemeria I previously wrote about here.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
|Self sown Verbascum bombyciferum in my front border|
A few years ago I planted 3 plants of this verbascum in about the spot you see above in the picture. They have since self sowed prolifically, and some of their offspring, from several generations, are what you see. In the first couple of years the seedlings pretty much stayed in the same location that the mother plants were, but this year I have noticed that they are getting around the border in a gratifying manner. I would like for them to be scattered more evenly throughout the border.
For those who are unfamiliar with this plant, it is a biennial, meaning that the rosette forms the first year of its life, blooms the second year, and then dies, leaving its progeny to live on. Like all verbascums, this one is deer resistant and drought tolerant. Indeed, it will not do well in a very moist situation. Also, like most gray leaved plants, it requires full sun.
Other plants you can see in the picture above are Stipa gigantea (in the background), Lychnis coronaria (a weed!), and Callistemon 'Woodlander's Red'. I will have a future post on Callistemon, of which I have grown many with mixed succes.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
|Vignette of my front border with yellow accents provided by Allium moly and yellow dutch iris|
I particularly like lemon yellow as opposed to a more orange yellow, and two plants which meet this criterion, and are also deer resistant and drought tolerant (which they have to be to exist in this border) are Allium moly and yellow dutch irises. I would highly recommend Allium moly--most bulb suppliers carry it, it is inexpensive and it provides a nice shot of lemon yellow at a time to coincide with the great flower extravaganza in this border. I have had more mixed results with the dutch irises. They are also inexpensive bulbs carried by most bulb suppliers, but I have found that they tend to disappear from the garden over time. I suppose I could remedy this by getting more each year, but I want the plants in this border to be self sustaining over time.
Other plants in the photo above are Eremurus 'Roford', Allium 'Globemaster', Papaver orientale 'Bolero', Eryngium bourgatii, Echium vulgare, Papaver somniferum, and Nasella (Stipa) tenuissima. As you may be able to see from the photo, particularly if you click on it and view it large, the flowers of the Eryngium bourgatii are nothing to write home about.
One plant which would provide a shot of yellow at this time of the year, and that I do not currently grow is any kind of Euphorbia. I have, in the past, grown every kind of Euphorbia that is hardy in our climate, and I have gradually gotten rid of them for one reason or another, so that I am now Euphorbialess. The main reason I don't grow them in this front area anymore is that after the bloom time is over the flowers become incredibly ugly and you have to cut off the flowering stalks to keep the garden looking good. In a garden the size of mine not only is this an onerous chore, but the white sap the cut stems exude can be downright dangerous.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
|Papaver orientale 'Manhattan' blooming now in my garden|
This poppy is in my front border, where it has grown for at least 7 years. The deer never eat it and I never water it. This is probably my favorite Oriental poppy.
This is a focus stacked image meaning it is a combination of 4 shots with different focus points. This, as I have explained before, allows the entire flower to be in focus while keeping the background out of focus.
Monday, June 3, 2013
|Eccremocarpus scaber growing on trunk on dead Trachycarpus|
Sunday, June 2, 2013
|Closeup view of Sunrise Elegy|
|One of the yellow/orange irises I ordered from Schreiner's Iris Gardens last fall|
|Sunrise Elegy again|
|Two more of the Schreiner's irises|
|Yet another of the Schreiner's irises|