Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snowing at Beech Street Gardens................

Took this picture at 3pm, snowing like crazy. Weather report says it will be gone by tonight. Thought I should take the picture now before it gets much darker. It is very pretty, I will take a few pictures of plants if it lets up a little. Hopefully it will not end up like last year..... 19+ inches.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twin Agave Shira ito no Ohi

Cute as cute can be................Bought this pair of Agaves and hopefully I can separate them. I have not looked at the root system closely yet to see if they are one plant or two separate plants. If they are one that will be okay. These plants are about 1 1/2" wide each, very small. Pick this plant up if you find one, plan on spending a little extra cash for this variety. All your gardening friends will truly be jealous!

USDA hardiness zone 9 to zone 10.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas 2008

I found another picture of the holiday snow & ice storm from Christmas 2008. This is an Agave parryi planted out in a container and lives outside in the gardens. This plant is five years old, about 18" across, survived the snow & ice just fine. A wonderful plant for a drought tolerant garden, even better in a container. If you have the opportunity to purchase one, it is a dollar well spent.
Agave parryi is a USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 11.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

One year ago today..............

This is a picture of one the Opuntias out in the front garden after Portland had the big snow and ice storm this time last year. I find these plants amazing, no problem with the weather.

I will have rooted pads of these plants for sale this spring, if anyone is interested drop me a line.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall colors of a Dogwood

Wanted to share the Fall colors of our front yard Dogwood. Outstanding! This little tree is amazing, planted in the middle of a drought tolerant garden. Gets full sun, since this garden is all day sun in the afternoon. Even when we had the high temps this little tree never had a dried up leaf. Remember this section was only watered three times this year. Most people are surprised when they see this tree growing here, all I can say is that it is happy!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

New Agave for the Death Valley Shack

This is an Agave schidigera "Shira ito no Ohi", right.......... nickname: Queen of the White Thread. I think I knew someone that did drag by that same nickname.
Love the coloring of the dark green with the white border and the silver like filament threads on the leaves. This will be an outstanding specimen when it grows larger up to 12", its in a 4" pot in this photograph. This plant takes full sun. USDA hardiness zone 9 to zone 10.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Agave ferox "Green Goblet"

Purchased an agave for the gardens this past Sunday at the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon plant sale. Agave ferox "Green Goblet", the meanest looking plant I have never seen. I thought the opuntias were Devil plants with their needles. This beautiful dark rich green plant which is about 9" wide by 7" has a single black spine on the end of each leaf that is about one inch long and there are these little spines that are on the sides of the leaves. Looks like an accident waiting to happen if it is not handled right. Trust me on that statement!

Native to eastern Mexico and reaches about 4' in height x 5' wide.

Drought tolerant and USDA hardiness zone 7b to zone 10.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

This week in the Death Valley Shack

If I have said it once, I'm sure I'll say it again.
When it comes to flowers,
it is hard to beat a cactus in bloom.
This is a Lobivia famatimensis, native to mountainous Argentina at elevations of 9000', forms globular stems to 6" in height.
Can you believe that color.........
Note that a single flower is about the size of the plant. This cactus is about 4" wide and 5 1/2" tall. Unbelievable!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Beech Street Gardens Residence

Thought I would give you a look at two of the residence animals that live at Beech Street Gardens. This a photograph of the male (left) and female (right) frog that raised babies in the big water bowl in the back garden. This is the fourth year for tadpoles, but the second year that frogs are now doing the job themselves. They are native Pacific Treefrogs (Hyla regilla). Very charming to have, singing all the time and I mean all the time. Three, four, five o'clock in the morning, no sense of what time of day it is and they don't care. They had business to take care of. I have noticed that the slug population is not as big as it was, I'm sure they have helped with curving that situation. Check into raising native frogs in your area its a great way to pay back nature. The great thing about frogs is they take care of themselves.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blooming in the Death Valley Shack

This a Notocactus magnificus or common name is the balloon cactus. One of the older plants in the greenhouse, but always a good bloomer.

Beautiful soft vivid yellow bloom. Last year this plant had four blooms at once.

Size of the cactus is about 6" x 7".

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I forgot my Moonflower!

This morning on my way out of the house to go to work I noticed this huge flower bud in my Clematis and Morning Glory trellis. I could not remember planting anything else in that bed. Well, it donned on me earlier this evening after I arrived home that is was a Moonflower vine that I forgot I planted. My goodness, I looked at it later this evening and behold the Moonflower. STUNNING!!!!!!!! My Grandmother in Texas grew them all the time and I have not seen one since I was a kid. The flowers bring back great memories. The flowers are tightly closed buds during the day, opening in the evening and will close in the early morning. Sad thing is they are a one evening flower. If you have the chance to grow them.... you will fall in love. The flowers are about 4"-6" across, pure white and fragrant. USDA hardiness zone 9 to zone 11.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New For The Gardens

Came across this Echinacea 'Tomato Soup" today and had to have it for the Gardens. Once again give Terra Nova Nurseries credit for another outstanding plant. Those guys just do not give up!!!!!!
Stunning warm, tomato-red flowers to 5" wide, fast growing to 3' tall and nearly as wide covered with flowers till frost. Plants are well branched and show excellent vigor. Easy to grow in full sun with good drainage. The Echinacea is a wonderful plant for the drought tolerant garden. USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 9.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Ceanothus "Tuxedo"

I just purchased and planted in the garden the newest introduction of Ceanothus or California Lilac "Tuxedo". The beautiful powder blue flowers when it blooms this coming Summer will be outstanding against the very dark purple/black evergreen foliage. The Ceanothus is a wonderful plant for a drought tolerant gardens. This is the fifth Ceanothus I have planted. All gardens should have at least one variety of this plant, mason bees will love you for it. If you come across this plant pick it up, I purchased my at Garden Fever located at 3433 NE 24th Ave.
Tuxedo is an upright selection with an open well branched habit. It responds well to pruning and will make a dramatic garden specimen. A summer blooming variety with lavender blue flowers that will grow to approximately 8' tall by 8' wide. Plants will bloom sporadically through warmer months but reach their full flowering potential in late summer to fall. USDA hardiness zone 8 to zone 10.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Blooming in the Death Valley Shack

Not only will I show you things from the garden but also from the cactus greenhouse, which I named the Death Valley Shack. This is a Gymnocalycium pflanzii var. lagunillasense
in bloom in my collection, the flower is a soft pale pink with a raspberry center. The cactus is about 5" x 4".

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Welcome to Beech Street Gardens

Beech Street Gardens is located at an elevation of 253 ft./ latitude 45.54983/ longitude 122.603747 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest or also known as NE Portland, Oregon. My partner Will and I purchased our home that the gardens are based around 19 years ago. I have redone the gardens many times, but I believe this to be the last phase because I finally figured out what I want it to look like. When the gardens first started there was lawn (2 1/2 hours of edging and mowing) and a few flower beds. Today there is a very small lawn (15 mins. top to edge and mow) and small minor gardens within three major gardens consisting of trees, shrubs, and perennials. These gardens are based on drought tolerant plants, very close to a Mediterranean style. Plants receive most of their water during the fall, winter, spring months from the rains and with very little help from me during the summer. Even though I have watered three days this year, when it hits 100+ I feel guilty.

Please visit often, there will be a great mix of pictures during the year. At Beech Street Gardens there is always something in bloom. Once in a while I will show you a photo of what the yard looked like a few years ago, comparing it to what it looks like today. I'm sure you will enjoy the difference.