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.

Monday, February 29, 2016

In A Vase On Monday - Little Bottles of Spring

Inspired by the Educational tables put together at plant sales by the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon and other organizations at some plant sales and this little collection of tiny bottles,  I set out to clip smallish flowers.  The smallest bottle, second from the left, was unearthed while digging a bed in my garden.

Spring comes early here (these are considered winter blooming plants but when things begin blooming again it's spring in my mind.)

 Skimmia maponica and a little spring of Ribes sanguineum.   Viburnum × bodnantense ‘dawn’, Daphne odora

Cyclamen coum and Sweet Violets.

Stachyurus praecox, Hyacinth, 'Tete a tete' daffodil, Pernettya mucronata berries, Ribes sanguineum.

Scilla siberica (Blue Squill,) Muscari (Grape Hyacinth)

Primula vulgaris and a Hellebore.

Crocus, Primrose, Daphne.

Dark red Camellia.


Now to throw them all together.

 Throw in a bird or two and a purple background (It's lent and all.)

Do you remember those tiny perfume bottle samples?  Maybe they still make them but it's been years since I lived with sisters or a mother.  I remember smelling these miniscule vials of olfactory delight (Avon perhaps?) and thinking that spring or summer actually must smell like that somewhere. (I wasn't a particularly bright child - explains a lot, doesn't it?)  Anyway, here are my little sample bottles of spring.  If you live in a part of the country that is still experiencing winter, all you have to do is place your order now and spring will arrive at your door soon.   

In A Vase on Monday is hosted each week  by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click on over there and check out what people all over are putting in vases (or other receptacles) this Monday.

 Let's shorten that Stachyurus branch and throw in some pussy willows.  

Happy Leap Year!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Portland Yard, Garden, and Patio Show Part 2: The plant vendors

While the gardens at the Portland show were a bit of a disappointment for gardeners, there were still a lot of plants to be seen at the numerous plant vendor spaces and at the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon educational tables.

N & M Herb Nursery Outlet from Hubbard, Oregon always brings a nice mix of interesting plants to the show!

Aloes in bloom

The first combination planting that I've seen using Medinilla.  

I considered getting one since they are supposed to remain in bloom for five months but, although they're interesting, they still remind me of a large upside-down flowering salvia.

Heuchera 'Rio' from Blooming Advantage/Blooming Junction is a riot of color. Heucheras have won my heart because of their evergreen foliage in so many beautiful colors.

Vertical gardening!

Sedum Chicks are at again!

What a pleasure to see the Little Prince of Oregon in person.  I've admired his countenance on the labels of fab plants for quite a while!

This guy gets around!

Ryan and Mark reprised their fancy facial "hair" creations from the Farwest Show.

Mark was taking a break. 

 Thank goodness that tillandsias are still so popular as I love them!|

Youngblood, a wholesale nursery, has  beautiful plants!

A little piece of British Columbia in the heart of Portland!

The Hardy Plant Society of Oregon does a great job of creating these tables of cut flowers and plants currently in bloom.  For someone new to the area or new to gardening, this is an amazing service. For everyone, it's a treat to see so many gorgeous plants!


"Happiness is shopping for plants."  It's like they know me!

Echiveria 'Ebony'

Cistus brought some thorny characters!

 Some softer ones as well, like this Prunus mume 'Dawn.'  

Dancing Oaks' table was packed with treasures.   One day, I'll plan a trip to see their nursery in person!

There were many other great plant vendors, including Rare Plant Research but I didn't photograph them all.

I bought a screaming pink Cordyline (forgot the variety)  and a Lunaria 'Rosemary Verey.'  My goal this year is to buy a lot fewer impulse plants.  We'll see how long that lasts. 

Happy weekend and happy gardening.  Go out and buy some more plants!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Portland Yard, Garden, and Patio Show Part One: The Gardens

The Portland show had far fewer gardens this year than in the past few and they seemed to resemble offerings at home shows much more this year but there were still some fun ideas and cool plantings.

Sometimes an effectively placed pot is all the color necessary and it blooms year round!

I'm always attracted to things like this but truth be told, I seldom sit in my garden unless someone comes by to visit.  For me the joy comes at making discoveries while working in the space.

At the Seattle show just last week I attended an interesting talk about gardens that only required maintenance twice a year.  The presenter was a very knowledgeable and interesting plantsman and his presentation included beautiful shots of these spaces.  This easy-care garden style "allows for more time to enjoy the space."  While I admired the environmental friendliness of the style, I wondered if I'd actually go out and sit and admire or if I'd find something else to do with the spare time?

Elaborate outdoor kitchens are all the rage.  My indoor kitchen isn't much larger than this and much less functional.   Although it does have a roof and walls which makes it nicer in the winter. 

What's an outdoor kitchen without an outdoor dining room complete with fireplace?

In my next life or when I win the lottery my garden will be large enough to incorporate something like this.

The wall o water was cool but since we live where this stuff falls from the sky nine months of the year it might seem a little redundant.

I do love a mixed media pathway.

What are your thoughts on torch flowers?

The density of planting and variety of evergreen color is skillfully done here.  Until the plants grow that is.

Bleached stumps as artwork.

Speaking of outdoor rooms, how about a living room?

Fantasy dining room just off another outdoor kitchen. 

Interesting concept.  Behind this was an elaborate outdoor kitchen and a couple of seating areas.  So, one goes outside to commune with nature but they've put in a drive in movie screen complete with surround sound.  Turn off the T.V. in the summer kids!  Aren't we lucky we don't live next door?

One of the aforementioned seating areas so that the grownups can also see the show. 

The kitchen
 Which also has views of the screen.

If one had acres of land and there was still ample space for interesting gardens,  the dogs to run, and the children to play this would work.  Yet I rarely even play music outdoors as it interferes with my enjoyment of the birds singing, bees buzzing, water splashing.  What are your thoughts of these elaborate outdoor kitchens and entertaining spaces?