A small sampling of what's blooming today in my garden. Short on words 'cuz I'm short on time, but thought I'd get something up here for garden bloggers bloom day. I hustled around and took a few iPhone quickies in my front garden. #gbbd
Lilium 'Golden Splendor'
Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'. Blooms have faded from vivid blue, but the dried seedhead's strong architecture will endure for months.
Bupluerum fruticosum. Umbrels, reminiscent of dill, are attractrive to bees.
Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame'
Echibeckia 'Summerina Yellow Patio', a crazy new cross between Echinacea (coneflower) and Rudbeckia (blacky-eyed susan).
There's something to be said for the tried and true. I ran across this trio of uber-common perennials in a street-side planting plot today while walking. While the plants and arrangement are not unique or uncommon in any way whatsoever, it still looks fresh and is pleasing nonetheless.
It’s an almost sure bet that no one has done much of anything with these plants, including watering. Yet here we are in the middle of a heat wave and they look as pert and perky as ever.
The longer I have been doing this garden thing, the less I turn my nose up at the old standbys. A happy plant is always more attractive than one that is struggling.
There. I said it. Oh dear, am I getting boring?
P.S. I suppose I should ID the plants, just in case. Front to back: Achillea (yarrow), Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and Perovskia (Russian Sage).
It's been awhile since I've participated in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day but I hope you'll enjoy this very brief tour of my front garden.
I took these photos earlier today and they are of the upper section of my small frontyard garden. Spring is in full swing here in Portland, Oregon, though we've had some record-breaking heat over the last several days that I'll be happy to see the end of — makes it all go too fast. This is such a busy time of year for me as a garden designer that when it all unfolds so quickly, I'm afraid that I'll miss something!
Among my favorites in the garden right now are the ITOH peonies; I've got four magnificent plants in bloom right now. Pictured immediately below is Paeonia x 'Bartzella' with Allium 'Globemaster'. I'm also growing P. 'Kopper Kettle' and P. 'Keiko'. I'm trying to confirm the name of the fourth, the last photo included below. It looks a lot like Kopper Kettle, but I'm pretty sure that it's not. What do you think?
All of my allium varieties are in full bloom and lots of clematis too. I've never really thought of myself as a collector of clematis but I did an informal count of how many I have in my garden the other day and came up with about 28 plants. The first wave of bloom is well underway now and it's looking to be a wonderful blooming season for them. Pictured below are Clematis 'John Warren' clamboring through my red cutleaf Japanese maple and a close up of Clematis 'Evijohill' Josephine™ which is growing on the far fenceline.
I got a message on my Facebook page today from someone asking me to identify a plant they saw in a photo of a garden that I designed in a recent issue of Sunset. As is oftentimes the case, it can be hard for me to identify plants without seeing a copy of the exact photo that she might be looking at, but I thought I'd give it a shot by looking in my photo files of that client's garden.
She was asking about a white-variegated plant with bold foliage and this certainly fits that description. While I don't think it's the plant she was looking to have ID'ed (I'll have to keep looking for that), I've always loved this combo and I thought you might like it too. I find this foliage-driven, mostly-monochromatic scheme to be elegant and sophisticated. The addition of the bold, white variegated foliage of the Fatsia adds sparkle and drama. Though not evident in this photo, the Podocarpus adds a lot of changing color to the mix; it takes on bronze tones in winter and its new growth is creamy aging to pink.
Plants, back to front: Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web', Podocarpus alpinus 'County Park Fire', Astelia 'Westand' (though could possibly be A. 'Red Gem' which I'm using more frequently than 'Westland' at this point).
I just recieved my copy of the Spring 2014 issue of Pacific Horticulture where I'm the featured voice in the recurring section of the magazine called Voices in the Western Garden. What a thrill and an honor to be included in this wonderful publication! If you're a northwest gardener and you're not familiar with this organization I urge you to check it out. The magazine is published four times a year by Pacific Horticulture Society, a non-profit with the mission to educate and inspire gardeners in the art and science of horticulture on the West Coast.
The article is the product of an interview with Lorene Edwards Forkner, editor of the magazine, about the design process I use with my clients and I'm really pleased with what she was able to capture from our conversations. The piece will ultimately be included on their website so if you're not a subscriber you can eventually see it there.
In the meantime, I hope you'll take a moment to get to know this great organization by taking a peak at their website; beautiful to browse and chock-full of great garden information.