Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: Snow Monster

Our first snowfall of the season in southern Oregon melted away quickly, leaving this terrifying mouth of the giant snow monster from ‘Frozen’ in my new-this-year tigertail spruce tree.   If I can shed the radiation fatigue* like my garden easily shed yesterday’s four inches of snow this sturdy little tree will hold strings of Xmas lights.  My cancer monster is dead.
*This entire year I let blogging slide as my breast cancer diagnosis took over everything.  Let the blogging begin anew: once the ground freezes,   my photos are rightfully placed in the new computer, and I have abundant energy.

More on scary monsters over on Anna's  blog where she hosts Wednesday Vignette.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: How to move a rock garden

Thyme is running out for my rock garden.  Ouch.  Sorry about that pun.  I must take another garden area apart.  Ouch.  How will I be able to put the puzzle back together?  I have no idea.  While my latest toe surgery heals, ouch, I need to come up with a plan.  Where can i put it?  I have no idea.  The stone clashes with the basalt and granite that we have in abundance. 
 It survived an array of attempts to remove the silver maple tree that anchored it visually and greedily took all the soil, water and light.   On a day with frozen soil three weeks ago the maple was reduced to firewood and sawdust.  Rock garden was covered in a sort of armor I made for it.

 There was one glorious spring.  Species tulips spared by the squirrels. 

Fourteen months ago I spent six days arranging limestone that the neighbors cast off.  Limestone that formed the original foundation of Southern Oregon University in the 1890's.  

 Intricately fitted puzzle.
Puzzle complete.   Plantings complete. 
There was one summer with the three Agastache 'blue boa' hyssop dominating. 

After the only time I have ever used the leaf blower: mostly dormant, bits of winter beauty, and less damage than the mole did last summer. Dave is digging a trench all around the stump in his epic chore of removing the maple tree roots.   Rock garden is absolutely in the way.  The stone clashes with the basalt and granite that we have in abundance.   

It cannot return after the maple roots are gone.  

How do you move a rock garden?

Euphorbia 'mini martini'

Anna hosts Wednesday Vignette.  You can find it here.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

wednesday vignette: it could have been worse

A dreamy last image before many of these limbs were removed by my overly confident husband.

His main target was the complete removal of this silver maple tree in one day. Some of the tree is gone, but it did not go well.  It could have been a much worst disaster with a worst injury. He has called professionals about finishing the job. 

Thanks to Anna for gathering up our stories, go read some happier ones at  flutter and hum.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Foliage Follow-Up December 2015

When I was a young gardener, flowers were everything.  So I surprise myself when I choose to grow plants for their foliage.  The snowstorm we had in southern Oregon this week was followed by me getting very cold knocking six inches of wet heavy white danger off of our evergreen plants.  The saddest bits of broken plants I brought indoors to make a large Yule swag.  

A Maenad fountain wedding cake in the courtyard.

Western sword fern, which forms the lower tier backbone of our garden, this huge individual reduced to three fronds emerging from the field of snow.

 I have waited for these wonderful colors to happen for years!   
 Hydrangea quercifolia oak leaf ‘Amethyst’

Hydrangea quercifolia oak leaf  ‘ruby slippers’

It is just a plain old Prunus laurocerasus english laurel, but it was the only successful foliage large shrub in the back garden when we moved in and i would be inconsolable to lose it. After snow removal it all bounced back.  The bathtub planter, our treasure from Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 'Head Over Heels" (2015) appears to be full of suds.  I have two evergreen vines to plant in it.

Arum italicum  Lord and Ladies.   I was a dunce about this plant, forgetting it was supposed to go dormant in late spring and then being surprised when it emerged this fall.  Patiently, not really, waiting for the leaves to develop more interesting patterning as they grow into mature clumps.

Symphoricarpos x chenaultii  'Hancock' Coralberry mostly disappeared under the snow.

Rosemary 'Tuscan Blue' and Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow’ had disappeared under the snow my husband shoveled in the driveway...

They pulled through.  I do not understand how the Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow’ managed this, but it did.  I will probably cook something out of the one broken rosemary stem.

Another Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow’ because one is not enough, especially in the winter.  I actually do not even like the flowers on this plant.

Laurus nobilis   Sweet bay. Yes, that is a bungee assisting the main stem in righting itself after  being mightily crushed by the snow.  I have grown this from a small plant, and dug it up when we moved.  It has loved being in the earth again.  Ida been heartbroken to lose any of it.  One of many shadowboxes along the fence that my very handy husband built out of stage set wood.

 Laurus nobilis Emerald Wave Sweet bay.   Reduced to brown sticks after the very cold winter of 2014, sweet bay is marginal in our zone 7 winters, but it is a plant i have an irrationally intense connection to.  I must grow it. 

Why do my Nandinas insist on staying green in the winter?   Thanks, Nandina 'Gulfstream', for at least one crummy red leaf.

Cupressus macrocarpa 'wilma goldcrest'  are scattered all along fencelines.  They are bitty things and i have been reassured by my local nursery that i can count on them eventually taking off after a typical slow start in our area.   Having lost my sense of smell for several years and regained it, the scent of lemon cypress makes me happy, along with the bright lime green color. 

 Euonymus fortunei  Emerald Gaiety successfully grown is a triumph in my black vine weevil ridden garden.  I suspect our explosion of centipedes populations was caused by having so much centipede food, that being weevil eggs and larvae.  Maybe i am finding less weevil larvae in the soil lately.  The Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd' emerald green arborvitae (i know it is a very common plant, but i shop at nurseries in southern Oregon, not Portland, and plant choices are limited here) will be welcomed into the evergreen foliage hedge wall i am creating all along the north property line to obliterate neighbors.

This ought to get me kicked out of every garden club and garden blogger group around.  But how can one have a garden built out of theatre sets and not end up with some faux ivy here and there?  You would do this too, because through the cracks in this fence come the most bright, un-shielded, vulgar bright landscape lighting.  It makes slug hunting in the dark difficult when the lights blind you.  Sit in the hot tub and look at their piece of backyard lit up like a strip mall?  They cut back on the hours of these timed lights when i warned them it might kill their new landscape.  Our darkness was precious for two and a half years before these people with too much money and big egos did this.  Our city has no ordinances requiring shielding or down-lighting for landscape or porch lights.  Does yours?  Unfortunately, in zone 7 there are not many choices of evergreen vines to smother the fences with to re-darken our garden and in many areas i already have established vines i would damage by adding materials onto the fence to seal the fence cracks.  

The 16th of every month Pam at Digging hosts all of us who appreciate foliage  just as much as flowers in the garden.  With this post, I accept her invitation to join in with my favorite foliage, which will include a ridiculous amount of the color lime green that I like to grow in drama garden.



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday Vignette – tree drama

Of course I was taking photos of our garden covered in six inches of heavy wet snow when the silver maple tree lost a limb. It crashed into the old metal barn right where I had been standing 15 seconds before.  The bower, the Viburnum ‘Shasta’, and me were unharmed.   All this, one week before my husband’s insane plans to remove that dangerous insect infested prolific samara-producing tree.
Anna hosts Wednesday Vignette.  Enjoy a less frightening blog and see other bloggers’ vignettes in the comments here at her blog, Flutter and Hum.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday Vignette: behind the dumpster

This weekend I  sold my pressed flower and calligraphy art from inside a poinsettia-filled greenhouse.  What I loved the most was this snapdragon plant I discovered blooming behind the  dumpster out in the cold wind.   It is, like me, holding forth despite being an outsider.

 Meanwhile , inside the greenhouse at the obligatory photo station, one of my vintage trolls.

The hanging basket poinsettias seem most practical if you want to experience that much xmas euphoria.  Ashland Greenhouses grows excellent plants.  It is a must see highlight in Ashland, Oregon every April.

I brought home a tiny black-red “Burgundy’, the perfect variety to accompany my son’s notes for the xmas episode of American Horror Story.  (He carefully edits out the horror for my viewing safety).
Anna hosts Wednesday Vignette.  Enjoy  an orange car and see other bloggers’ vignettes in the comments section- 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Vignette

Cobaea scandens Cup and saucer vine

Ok, I will admit it.  My ideas for posts on this blog are chronically too long, complicated and overwrought.  So here goes, one photo with one comment, once a week, on Wednesdays!

The vigorous Cobaea scandens Cup and saucer vine  on the barn decided to devise flower buds during the weeks of autumn equinox.  Two seasons of growing this annual plant,  growing maybe hundreds of feet of vine, I was ever hopeful to see a flower open.

This morning, snow on the first  flower beginning to open all year.

Silly plant or silly gardener?

Anna at Flutter & Hum  hosts Wednesday Vignette.  Check out her post and comments to see other bloggers' vignettes today.