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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Portland Visit Continued - Joy Creek Nursery

It's always a pleasure to wander through the gardens and retail area at Joy Creek Nursery. It's like strolling through a friend's garden.  The space is as spectacular as the staff.   I fondly recall a visit several years ago with Alison.  We'd arrived just before closing and did a quick bit of shopping. We were getting ready to leave when Mike, a co-owner, offered to give us a guided tour of the gardens.

 Oh, that driveway!

With views like this, it's surprising that there aren't car crashes in the parking lot.  

Clematis, one of the specialties of Joy Creek.  Was it calling my name?  Someone was.

Turns out, it was my pal Anna (Flutter and Hum.)  Blogging pals Tamara and Ricki also now work with Mike and Maurice. I'm sorry I missed them but it was, as always, a pleasure to visit with Anna who was very excited to share her new favorite plants.  Her stash was on one of the front tables.  Do you think you'd actually make money working at a nursery?  

So many shady characters.

More varieties of hardy fuchsia than you could shake a stick at.

Primula 'Green Lace' 

Golden Hops Vine looks handsome with just about anything. Persicaria virginiana (maybe 'Lance Corporal') is likewise a great team player.  Together they're quite a knockout.

While admiring a new Farfugium japonicum 'Shishi Botan' leaf,  someone yelled, "Anna, come here quickly."  What could the excitement be?


It was the largest and most beautiful garter snake I'd ever seen!  Anna seemed very excited and not fazed by this sight at all.  Snakes are beautiful but I don't often see them and they can move so quickly which makes them a bit scary to me.  Unbeknownst to me, Anna, who seemed thrilled at the sighting shares my fear.  It's all here in her post.

After that encounter, I kept wondering if there were more snakes lounging about in the plants.  

That didn't keep me from finding some treasures to take home. 

Meanwhile, back in the gardens... 









Although Ricki wasn't there in person, her arrangements graced the inside of the old barn/checkout area.




 New this year is the large vegetable garden.  Oh to have this kind of space to play with..

Another exciting visit to Joy Creek drew to a close.  If you don't live in the area, Joy Creek also sells by mail order
Up next: Portland Nursery on Starke.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday Vignette - Good Clean Fun!

Recently, en route to tour a garden in Seattle, I saw something on the side of the road that made me request that Tom stop the car.


One doesn't see that every day!



I salute the individuality of this statement!
Wednesday Vignette is hosted by my blogging pal Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to join in the fun!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Confessions of a Lazy Gardener # 768 Making a Garden in a Day

Out in front of our house between the intersection of two streets and the intersections of the two sidewalks, there is a roughly 8 foot by 12 foot space where an inherited classic Pacific Northwest lawn (green in the winter, brown in the summer except the vibrant green dandelions)  There is a fire hydrant close to the sidewalks so I'd never though much of doing anything in that space other than keeping the weeds mowed and averting my eyes.

This year, I decided that I'd replace the weed bed  with Acaena inermis 'Purpurea.'  a sweet little plant that does well in my parking strips with practically no summer water.  It doesn't look like much in the little pots or when it's first in the ground but once it becomes established, it's lovely.

Back in my misspent youth, when I wanted to create a garden bed, I marked off the space, cut out sod, shaking out as much soil as possible, amended the soil, raked it all level then planted.  Now that I'm old and lazy and inspired by  "lasagna gardening," I use a less labor-intensive method that gives much quicker results.

1) Cut the sod from the outer perimeter of the bed.
2) Scavenge through the house for cardboard. (A saved collection of nursery boxes works well.)             Decide that you need more  and go scavenging through your neighbors' recycling bins.
3) Cut the sod away from where you'll place the new plants.
4) Cover the rest of the sod with cardboard, plant the plants sticking out of the soil a bit.
5) Cover the cardboard with whatever you have on hand like compost or manure.
6) Water everything well.

A friend calls this technique "Garden in A Day" and it's been used to create lots of areas in my garden.  The upside is that it's fast; the downside is that you have to have pretty good existing soil for plants to be really happy.  

But wait, what if you decide that it would look really sweet to have a bit of Acaena saccaticupula 'Blue Haze' for contrast?  Simply use your shovel to remove some cardboard, cut out the sod below, plant and fill.

But then, you're at a nursery and see this adorable and drought tolerant Tanacetum haradjanii whose little fern-like foliage would be charming with the others.

Oh yeah, there are those three Carex testacea sitting in pots in the ghetto from the fall sale at Watson's a couple of years ago. Orange and purple with touches of gray - pretty.

Also hanging around were several pots of Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens.'  The pots at nurseries are usually very crowded and expensive so I always divide them and make several out of each one and have divided my own that are growing in the ground.

So, there you have it, the uneven garden in a day. It looks hideous now but once it fills in, I think it'll make me much happier than the former brown lawn.  Most of these plants can take foot traffic once established so hydrant access won't be an issue.

Best part?  No mowing!  
One does enjoy being lazy!

Monday, June 19, 2017

In A Vase On Monday

A strange alien attempting to eat an owl?


A low-hanging branch of Magnolia macrophylla had to be cut so that it didn't thwack passersby in the face.  Not a problem in the garden but out on the public sidewalk, people aren't so keen.

I threw it in a large mug in the kitchen and enjoyed the fragrance as it waited to find a vase.  the owl was still waiting to be put away after having been used in a previous IAVOM post.  There didn't seem to be anything that would work with this huge bloom so there it sat, spewing it's anthers(?) on the counter. Do you suppose that the owl is simply disgusted that the magnolia seems to have vomited on the counter?

These ceramic items seemed to go together nicely:  A pink shell vase from the fifties that I've had since high school,  some blue Wellies that were going to be used during the seemingly endless wet spell we had, and a grenade-shaped vase found at Portland Nursery.

Perhaps one could say that early work in the garden "shell" lead to an explosion of bloom? 

Filling the vases are: 
Deutzia 'Strawberry Fields'

Senecio leucostachys (Thanks Denise for the ID.)

Tanacetum parthenium

 Linaria purpurea

Throw in a little Euonymus  foliage and call it a day.

Oops, forgot the Wellies when I took this picture outside before bringing everything inside.

Sincere thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this rather addictive meme!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Foliage Follow-Up

Foliage Follow-Up is hosted by Pam Penick of Digging on the day after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day to remind us of the important role of foliage in our gardens.  Click here to join in the fun!

On Thursday we had rain all day and night which made the garden happy.  Not great weather for traipsing through the garden with a camera so a quick dash outside yielded a few shots of some random foliage from part of the garden.

Acer pseudoplatanus 'Esk Sunset' has gorgeous foliage viewed from above and below. 

Found by the side of the road with a "Free" sign a few years ago, this guy, one of many pieces of a huge plant that someone must have gotten tired of,  has finally settled in and is happily putting on new growth.

Rex Begonias


Pelargonum 'Distinction' 

The name of this Japanese Maple is on the tip of my tongue.  You know the one, leaves like this that are beautifully golden infused with orange  all summer long.


Acer palmatum 'Emerald Lace'

Some bigger leaves. 

I stole borrowed this combination from Danger. 

A new flush of leaves on Schefflera delavayi.

Arisaema, Pulmonaria, and a fern whose name is on a tag somewhere. 


Hosta 'Vulcan' brought home from Hughes Water Gardens on a recent nursery hop with fellow plant addict, Loree.

Brunnera grows where other plants won't and does so beautifully. 

Another Pulmonaria with solid silver foliage. 

Petasites japonicus giganteus. 

Quercus dentata pinnatifida, after many years in pots finally got set free in the garden this spring.


Tall variegated Miscanthus. 

Berberis 'Orange Rocket'

 Green stuff.  

Persicaria virginiana 'Painter's Palette'

More green stuff. 

Whole lotta' green, purple, and gold stuff.