Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Cold and Snowy Start to 2017 - Jan GBBD

It's the first 'Bloom Day' of 2017 and I have no blooms to share....because everything is covered in about 7 inches of snow.

Here's the RainyDay Cottage, blanketed in snow.

Generally, this is the time of year when I celebrate my hellebore collection. Not sure what condition the plants will be in after this all melts. Prior to the snow storm, we had a week of very cold temps. Dry, frigid air laying waste to my pretty plants.

The snow storm has already caused some damage.  In this next picture, the 80+ year old, Chinese snow ball tree (viburnum macrocephalum var. sterile) planted by my husbands great grandfather, is overloaded by the weight of the snow. After trying to lighten the snow load, I realized the old tree had broken at the base. Turns was rotting. So..the hubby got the chainsaw out (always a favorite moment for him) and cut down the old wood. Luckily, I've been letting a few new shoots grow over the past few years (to try and fill in the back). Those are healthy and this old tree will still keep on going....just in a very reduced way.

The old viburnum tree

Of my three cats, only one would venture out into the cold. That's right....Demon Cat turned into the 'snow cat'!

One of the sweetest things about snow, is that it makes the world quiet, softening the sounds of everyday life.

I love how snow can make tree branches stand out, like on my Twombly red sentinel japanese maple.

However, now its like day 5 of icy snow.... and I'm over it.

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day! Visit Carol at May Dreams Garden to see what is blooming around the world. 
Cheers, Jenni

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Winter Blooms and Foliage in my Oregon Garden

Icy and snowy weather has befallen the Pacific Northwest. It brings beauty to the garden and horror to the freeways as folks in these parts just don't know how to drive in the snow.  We do not get snow frequently enough in the Willamette Valley to become good at navigating it on the roads.

I've been homebound a few days with the kiddos (the perks of working for a school district) and have had time to snap some pictures of snowy garden scenes. While I think I have a nice selection of winter blooming plants, I have many on my list to get. The Anna hummingbird stays around all year and I want to provide more natural nectar for those cute little things.

Here is my garden in winter.

I seriously love this plant. I love photographing it all year as it changes color. Right now, this summer blooming heath has pink tipped foliage and the dried blooms add creamy charm.
calluna vulgaris 'firefly'
The abelia is blooming and oh, that pink tipped foliage is so pretty!
abelia 'Sunshine Daydream'
When I bought this dwarf conifer..I wasn't expecting it to hold this 'blue' color all year. It is beautiful and the snow sharpens the color even more.

chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Blue Surprise'
callicarpa 'Beautyberry'
I cannot get over panicums. In winter, they have remained upright with their petite seed heads dancing in the wind.
panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'

Licorice Ferns 
polystichum setiferum 'Alaskan Shield Fern'
pinus densiflora 'Burke's Red Variegated'
Isn't this a pretty picture? I've only grown pieris a few years and I have been so pleased with their early blooms for the bee's and hummers. They handle the part sun areas under tree's nicely. I had not noticed the winter red coloring and now it just adds to how great I think this shrub is.
pieris japonica 'Scarlett O'Hara'

Demon the Terrible
My only bloom..ish! 'Elly' from the Spring Promise line started blooming in November. The shape of the blossoms reminds me of fancy, ballroom dancing skirts.
helleborus spring promise 'elly'

Visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens for December's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for Foliage Follow up and check out more amazing gardens. Even in December we can find beauty in our gardens.

Wishing All a very happy, holiday season.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Garden in November

We've weathered a few October storms that have dumped over 8+ inches of rainfall in the Portland metro area. Webbed feet is an asset these days.

November, however, begins with sunshine and I took advantage of the pretty weather to take some pictures to showcase the gardens as they transistion deeper into autumn.

'Fireglow' Acer Palmatum
The warm hues from my Japanese maples are welcome. I look forward to the leaves changing every year. It's really a breath taking sight. Acer Palmatum 'Fireglow' is my favorite. In the summer, I love to sit under it and gaze upwards. The leaves look like they are on fire as the sunlight bounces off.

Acer Palmatum 'Fireglow'
In the fall, the leaves turn a warm reddish hue. It is a standout piece in my garden.

Acer Palmatum 'Sango Kaku' or Coral Bark Maple
If you love fall color, I suggest adding blueberries to your landscape. The irridescent red hues are brillant. I have a little girl that loves to eat blueberries, so they are important to our edible garden, but the bonus of fab fall foliage can't be beat.

blueberry fall foliage
Every year I think about moving my callicarpa to a more prominant location...and then I forget. I need to remember because it's a show stopper this time of year.

Callicarpa aka Beautyberry

I need to take some cuttings and make a few more starts to sprinkle around the garden in those hard 'dry shade' spots. This tall scrub is perfect.

As we have not had a frost yet, the dahlia's continue to bloom. 

Dahlia's are an autumn favorite of mine. 

The seeds from the butterfly weed are popping from their pods. I love it when the pod first splits open and you see this amazing pattern of the seeds layed like falled dominos. 

Asclepias tuberosa or butteryfly weed seeds 
The summer blooming heath produced white, needle shaped heads in autumn as well.

calluna vulgaris 'Suzanne'
Northern oat grass turns a coppery color, but it's the dangling seeds that really delight me in autumn.

Mt. Airy Fothergilla is a shrub that I planted specifically for it's fall foliage.  I like it's shape, it's slow growing nature and the bottlebrush spring blooms. But, what I really love are the gold and orange colored foliage in the fall.

Mt. Airy Fothergilla
And what's this? A second flush of astrantia 'roma'? Yes, I'll take that.

Astrantia major 'Roma'

The garden is simply stunning in fall. I am benefiting from some of the plant choices I made, specifically for fall foliage and blooms. It's wonderful to have something to mavel at in the November garden.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - October 2016

The Pacific Northwest is current under siege by some strong wind and rain storms. Generally, these types of storms arrive in November and December. A EF-2 tornado made landfall after starting as a water spout yesterday. (Not a common occurance). The video and images are quite stunning.

I took pictures and did yard clean-up/prep mid-week as I knew with the impending weather that the garden could get be trashed by the end of the weekend. We may have wind gusts of up to 60mph (about 100km per hour) with the second big storm rolling through this weekend. 

So, here are my October blooms, in full glory, before I cut most of them down and made pretty bouquets for myself and my neighbors to enjoy.

nasturtium, asters and dahlias
Oh...and this guy stood guard to make sure I was working hard enough....

A perennial I don't see enough of, is Trollius Chinesesis. I have 'Golden Queen' and it bookends the blooming season nicely with a fall reappearance. I read a bit more about the plant and it likes boggy soil. It's doing well enough in my heavy clay, but I wonder if it might be more prolific in another spot.

Trollius chinensis 'Golden Queen'
It wouldn't be a fall garden without asters. 

Aster Novi-Belgii 'Marie III Dark Pink
Aster douglasii, a PNW native plant
And it wouldn't be fall without dahlia blooms.

I love perennials that give me a long blooming periods and/or a second flush of fall blooms.

Salvia 'Amistad' has been the best purchase of the year. 

It continues to pump out blooms for the hummingbirds despite the weather turning cooler. It's such a gorgeous shade of indigo blue. 

Verbena bonariensis is the prettiest petite bloom. I am getting more self seeded starts every year.  

Someone wasn't too impressed with my fab photo taking.

And this guy just wanted to get out of the way...

And finally, pumpkins! The kids picked them out of our garden and now it's time to prep for pumpkin meat preserving.

Wishing everyone a lovely October! Happy GBBD! Visit Carol over at May Dreams Gardens to see what's blooming around the world every 15th of the month. 
Cheers, Jenni

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Autumn Garden

The air is getting that sweet fall, crisp, texture...and it's not just me who can smell the change.

Demon Cat
Some of the summer blooms are on their last leg, but they still get regular visits from the hummingbirds and the bee's.

Verbena bonariensis and Douglas aster
One last flush of yarrow...

Summervine Yarrow
And the fuchsia's keep pumping out delicious blooms...Even though the fiesty Rufus hummingbirds are getting ready to depart on their journey south, the Anna hummingbirds stick around all year and love drinking from the cape fuchsia's.

Phygelius 'Funfare Wine'
Phygelius 'Passionate'
Fall means....chrysanthemum's and who said they have to be boring? This vibrant lime green color is bringing back the chrysanthemum. (I know, I know...I'm reaching here..)

My mums are from a local box store. I love them. They come back every year and bloom 2x. Here is the white mum opening up for it's second blooming period.

And what about those impulse buy, box store asters from a few years ago....well they are going strong, four years later.

Now, I love to purchase native plants and/or plants that support some of the incredible local nurseries in our area. But, sometimes I succumb to impulse buys.....

What about grasses in the fall? I have a love affair with panicums. Can you see why? Look at this array of color!

Panicum 'Shenandoah'
And what about those fall staples...
The anemones are so beautiful. I need more. So. many. more. It took two years for me to get both varieties to bloom but now they are colonizing and pumping out these incredible blooms. I think they liked the more 'vintage' summer weather we had. 

Anemome 'September Charm'

Anomone 'Honorine Jobert'

And what about the show stoppers of my fall garden? Hardy hibicus. They are such fascinating blooms. They always generate questions and comments from people walking by. I have a mind to add another..(ya know, when this moves there and that gets re-homed, so on and so forth...)

Hibiscus moscheutos 'Jazzberry Jam'
Who could resist oogling at dinner plate sized blooms?

Hibicus moscheutos 'Pink Cloud'
Finally, here are some pictures of my garden as it transitions to autumn.

Ah...this is where you'll fine me..after soccer practices or work. I love listening to the birds in autumn. This is the perfect spot.

Any autumn blooms you think I should investigate for my own garden? Let me know and Happy Fall!!
Cheers, Jenni