Monday, December 27, 2010

Just Peachy at Work

Rhododendron from the Greek: rodon, meaning "rose", and dendron, meaning "tree"

This is a tropical rhododendron that is growing in the store that has decided to bloom this week. Yes I said tropical, I had no idea myself.................Actually we have three others that are in the greenhouse, all planted in a 1 gallon pot or smaller. A pink one bloomed a few months ago and I forgot to take a photograph. Just Peachy has a tag in the pot that states it was propagated 8/19/02 and it is about 3 ft. tall.

First discovered in 1843 in the South Pacific, these plants are native to countries like Indonesia, Borneo and Malaysia. They are often found growing in rock crevices and in trees. This tropical is not really difficult to grow. The primary considerations are drainage and location. The correct exposure must be totally protected from wind and North side cold. A protected East exposure, or perhaps with a partial South exposure is required. Perfect drainage, high humidity, protection from direct sun, year around warm weather and good air circulation are the keys to happy plants.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Grew Peppers This Summer

Forgot I had taken this picture of a couple of Bell peppers that I grew this last Summer. I usually grow a variety of peppers, my Grandmother grew peppers and everything else. Her favorite pepper to grow was Banana peppers, her and I would sit and eat them while in the garden. Her and my Grandfather also grew Black-eyed Peas, Pinto Beans, Green Beans, Tomatoes, and just a lot of other vegetables. I remember as a kid, having all these great vegetables to eat during the late Fall and Winter. Guess I took it for granted, never really thought how important growing your own food was...........anyway, I grew Hot Hungarian, Nu Mex, Bells in orange, yellow, and red. But of course it was a crap year for vegetables here this year and I mean any vegetable. My peppers did okay because of where I planted them, if it had not been so wet here it would have been a great crop. Maybe this coming season it will be better, I hope so.

Monday, December 6, 2010

For Your Gray Day

These daylilies are from this last summer, planted by the patio. They are just a plain and simple spider, but I do not know the variety. Love the petal and throat contrast............Thought it would be a great photograph for a winter-like day.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Agave U

"Silver Surfer"
Americana ssp. protoamericana x scabra intergrade features dramatic rigid silvery-blue leaves

The Silver Surfer is planted out in the front garden in the Yucca bed. Planted there at the beginning of the season. Whether it be Agaves, Yuccas, or cactus I always plant at the first of the growing season. If I purchase any plants in the fall, I hold them over in the greenhouse till Spring. Giving them a little extra grow time is better to get a good root system established where they will be living. Once again I mixed a lot of pumice (75% pumice & 25% soil) into the ground and mounded the spot up, so the plant itself will not sit in water. The Yucca bed itself is mounded and the Agave has been placed on the side of the mound. Freezing water is usually the #1 death to many plants in a garden. Pumice, pumice, can never use to much.

USDA hardiness zone 7(b) to zone 10

Monday, November 29, 2010

Paris is Burning

Heuchera "Paris"

Heuchera beautiful and drought tolerant, one of the earliest bloomers as well as one of the last to flower. Flowers from Spring to Fall. This photograph was taken just a couple of days ago, before we had the first freeze. A long time for a plant to flower. Large, rose-pink flowers atop blue-green foliage with silver overlay. This variety comes from the great Terra Nova Nurseries, as well as many other fabulous varieties. I have this planted in the back garden on the north side of the big Cherry tree. It is about 14" wide and 14" high. A single bloom stem can last a couple of months out in the garden and if you cut them they will last over 12 days in a vase. It is also a great container plant, remember that this plant would rather be on the drier side than on the wet side during the growing season.

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 9

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stars At Work

Wax Plant

The flower cluster is from the Hoya plant that is in the greenhouse at work. It is always blooming, usually about every couple of weeks there are flower clusters on it. I love Hoyas for their unbelievable flowers that always look like they are plastic. An outstanding vining plant that is quite simple to grow if you follow the basic rules. Bright indirect light, keep soil moist during growing period, average humidity, temperature no lower than 55 degrees (60 to 65 is best), infrequent re-potting they bloom best when they are root bound.

A group of 200-300 species of tropical climbing plants in the family Apocynaceae (Dogbane), native to southern Asia (India east to southern China and southward), Australia, and Polynesia. These plants were named by botanist Robert Brown, in honor of his friend, botanist Thomas Hoy.

Viburnums the Versatile Shrub

This Viburnum is planted out in the side garden, it has been flowering all Summer. This photo was taken the day before the frost that hit. And of course I lost the tag so I can not tell you what it is, hopefully it is in the shed. I like Viburnums instead of Hydrangeas. Hydrangeas are a high maintenance plain and simple, not worth growing in my eyes. With some varieties of Viburnums you can get the flower look of Hydrangeas, like the one above which reminds of a Lace-Cap Hydrangea. A group of about 170+ species of shrubs or (in a few species) small trees. They are native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere, with a few species extending into tropical montane regions in South America and southeast Asia. In Africa, the genus is confined to the Atlas Mountains. Many species of Viburnum are popular as garden or landscape plants because of their showy flowers and berries, fragrance, and good autumn color of some forms. Flowers are white to cream & pink, fruit (drupe) is red to purple, blue, or black. Wonderful as background specimens in a border or smaller varieties in pots.

USDA hardiness zone 2 to zone 9

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Variegated California Lilac

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus "Zanzibar"

Planted out in the front garden by the street. When it blooms the powdery blue flowers are striking against the variegated foliage of green splashes on golden leaves. As you see it has a few blooms on it now.....Coldest November in 25 years and a few of the plants in the gardens are blooming. Have they lost their little minds, do they know what time of year it is. The majority of the species are evergreen, but the handful of species adapted to cold winters are deciduous with all species from North America. One of the best drought tolerant plants you can grow, you do not have to water them here. If you do water them you stand a chance of killing them. They do not like extra water of any kind, shape, or form. Some will live to 20 to 25 years if allowed to grow properly. A full sun exposure in well-drained to heavy clay soil. It will grow to a height of about 10' and as wide as 5'. I manicure mine so it does not take over and cover the smaller plants I have around it. I have other Ceanothus planted in other areas and they seem to do well on their without to much work. When they do go into a full bloom in the Spring the bees are thick on these plants, it is quite the show.

USDA hardiness zone 8 to zone 10

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Honeysuckle Devine


I have this shrub planted out in the front garden and every year I talk about moving it out. Yak-yak-yak. The fall color is awesome, but its a plant I'm not that impressed with after all. Bought it thinking that it was going to flower more like a honeysuckle vine, NOT even a true honeysuckle........
Northern bush honeysuckle has bright yellow flowers and glossy green foliage on a deciduous shrub that is about 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide. Native to the eastern half of the United States and Canada. The flowers appear in early summer and last through summer, and the foliage turns a bright red in fall.
Prefers full sun to partial shade and fertile, well-drained soil. I prune mine back to a basic framework in early spring, further for rejuvenation if needed. This shrub will sucker from the base. Suckers can be separated from the parent plants in spring and replanted if you want more. Powdery mildew can be a problem, but I have never had it.

USDA hardiness zone 3 to zone 10

Monday, November 22, 2010

Black Pagoda Lipstick

Aeschynanthus radicans "Black Pagoda"

Decide to stray away from the gardens and show you the plant life at work. Its gotten very cold, we are to have our first freeze tonight and at 9:30 pm we finally have snow. First thing today we were to have 3 inches of snow by morning (really) and it was to start at 5pm.......Thats what they were telling us.

This a tropical that we have in the office at the store. I was very excited when it started budding out. No idea as to what it was, spent a little time looking in our major plant book and looking on line for the exact photograph of the flowers after they opened. They are a beautiful color of orange bleeding down into yellow and about 3 to 3 1/2 inches long. When it is done blooming, I'm going to try some cuttings in the greenhouse here. I'm sure we could sell a few of these starts.

This is an evergreen, tropical perennial that prefers a hot, humid climate and is suitable for growing indoors. It is considered an herb, though it is a vine and can be trained as a climber. It is often used in baskets as well. The leaves can vary from somewhat large, thick and shiny to smaller and softer, to almost succulent like. Some species are nicknamed Lipstick Plant due to their long tubular flowers that resemble red lipstick as they are budding. Bob has it sitting on his desk by the window, but it is a east facing so it gets morning sun......

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dogwood color

The colors are
beautiful on the
trees again this year.
Lots and lots
of reds and reddish oranges.
With all the reds
in the leaves
it means that the
trees have had
a good growing season
and manufactured
lots of sugar.
its the
way the tree is
breaking down
the sugar. This is the
Dogwood in the
front garden,
I have a post on it
from the past. Get out
and enjoy the colors of

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rosa Glauca

I spotted this rose years ago growing in another member's garden of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. It is a very popular variety among the club, mostly grown for the rose hips in the fall. They look like big red could even use them in a wonderful Autumn display in your home. This plant will also seed freely, I have lots of little ones coming up in the back garden under the cherry tree. I planted it in the shade so it would maintain the blueish-green leaves. Star shaped flowers are mauve-pink on the outside with a whitish center, fragrant, but very small, not very showy. In winter, the reddish-violet canes of this rose add lots of winter interest.

A species native to the mountains of central and southern Europe, from Spanish Pyrenees east to Bulgaria, and north to Germany and Poland. It is a plant that is shade-tolerant, resistant to black spot, mildew, and rust. Can be grown as a shrub or let it climb to a height of 20 feet.

USDA hardiness zone 2 to zone 9

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Delicate Blooms on Tough & Hardy Plants

I have many miniature roses planted at the gardens, they are great to tuck in between early Spring blooming perennials. By the time the perennials are finished the miniature roses start putting out their first buds. Nice and compact, and full of buds. Unfortunately I do not have any names on the ones pictured above. The top photograph is a variety that is a climber, it is at a height of about 5 1/2 feet. I love the flower size on these plants, nice little boutonniere style.

Miniature roses are true roses on their own root stock, bred to stay small in size and come in a wide variety of types and colors. There are climbers, trailers, micro-minis (6" to 12" tall), and mini-floras. Despite their small size, miniature roses are extremely hardy. In fact they are more winter hardy than most tea roses. Miniatures also tend to be profuse repeat bloomers. Plant and treat miniature roses the same as you would full size roses, but remember they are hardier than your hybrid teas.

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 10

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Morning Little Friend


An exciting morning to see this little creature on the side of the house. I was in the shower, Will came in the bathroom and said there is a surprise on the back of the house for me. Well what it is, I still have to get dressed for work......No you have to go see and take your camera, you will want to take a picture. This is the third praying mantis I have seen in the gardens since we moved in. I'm sure we have them every year, I just do not see them every year.

A beautiful insect with a voracious appetite. Being strictly carnivorous, they will eat almost any insect of a size it can overcome. Waiting in quiet ambush for hours at a time, then when an insect comes wandering by they suddenly jump out and attack. They do make wonderful backyard pets and constantly entertain while they eat insects all Summer long.

You can buy egg cases from your local garden store in the Spring, but it takes 2-8 weeks of warm weather for them to hatch. Egg cases hatch about 100-200 mantids, which continue to grow throughout Summer and reach 3" to 5" long by Fall. Next Spring think about purchasing nature's pest controls and let nature take care of your bug problems.

Say goodbye to applying sprays and dust.
Hired bugs control pests easier, safer, and better!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Climbing Fuchsia??????


No it does not climb, not this variety anyway. It is called a Climbing Fuchsia, but, while it does need support, it doesn't twine or climb by tendrils, but rather insinuates itself among the branches of its neighbors. It can get quite large, my plant has grown about 4 1/2' high. Flowers are also large for a species Fuchsia which is a native Brazilian wildflower, but not so large as many hybrids. They are long and narrow, and have red sepals and purple corollas. The summer flowers persist long into autumn, with even an odd occasional bloom in early winter. Not suitable for hanging baskets because it will become leggy in search of places to cling. But it does exceedingly well as a hardy garden plant trained to a fence or trellis. I planted mine in with a Clematis that is growing up a trellis at the corner of the garage in the side garden. What I did was weave the fuchsia stems in and out of the trellis. Mine died all the way back to the ground the last two winters. I never trim any of my hardy Fuchsias till late Spring when they start putting out new growth.

USDA hardiness zone 7 to zone 10

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Humboldt County Fuchsia


I have this plant out in the front garden next to the street, it has just started to put on it's show. As you can see I have it planted next to Dragon Blood Sedum, nice contrast. Beautiful red-orange flowers, I'm not sure if the hummingbirds get to this plant since it grows so low to the ground. This variety is 6" to 12" in height and spreading 12" to 18" wide that stays a handsome gray green all year long (evergreen). They put on their bright show in the late summer or fall with their trumpet-type flowers that may be scarlet, orange, and occasionally white or pink. I have never had a pest or disease problem with it either (bless the native plants). This California native is drought-tolerant but appreciates a deep soaking every now and then. They prefer excellent drainage, however they adapt very nicely to heavy clay soils which is what I have at the gardens. California fuchsias look lovely in an informal border and is excellent for stabilizing hillsides or banks. They are wonderful as a groundcover. Another variety called Zauschneria californica is an upright and may get 6-8 feet high with a spread of 3-4 feet. Local nurseries will sell different varieties of Z. californica ranging from different colored flowers, as well leaves of varying shades of greensand grays.

USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 7

Friday, August 27, 2010

Little Rays of Sunshine


Maximilian's Sunflower

I planted a one gallon container of this sunflower last Spring and the way this plant grows is amazing. By the end of the season it was a tenfold on the size. In the late fall I dug it up and cut it in half and gave half to my neighbor. I took the piece I kept and planted it in a different spot. Originally it was located in the front garden by the street, I had no idea it was going to get 8' tall. I moved it into the side garden and closer to the fence line. Now it is in a much better location.........It still reached 8' this year and again grew into a huge clump. The bees absolutely love this plant, all day long the flowers are buzzing with all types of bees and other insects. The nice thing about this variety is that you have so many small flowers at the same time. Once this plant starts blooming it continues into late fall. If you grow this plant you will need to do some kind of staking early. I purchased a 60" tomato cage and put it over it when it first started emerging out of the ground. The plants have gotten to wide that you do not even see the cage. A perfect solution with little work. Also keep in mind that this variety of sunflower is a perennial, most sunflowers are annuals.

An uncommon plant that occurs in NE Illinois, west central Illinois, and SW Illinois. It is adventive from the west in most, if not all, of these areas. It is possible, however, that Maximilian's Sunflower is native to a few of the western counties where it occurs in high quality natural habitats. Habitats include rocky upland prairies, hill prairies, ledges of rocky cliffs, areas along railroads and roadsides, and waste ground. This plant is more common in states that lie west of the Mississippi River. The preference is full sun and mesic to dry conditions. The soil can contain clay-loam or rocky material. This plant appears to have few problems with pests or foliar disease.

USDA hardiness zone 3 to zone 8

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lilium Oriental Hybrid


One of the darkest red Oriental hybrids on the market, introduced by B & D Lilies in 2005. I purchased mine from Dancing Oaks Nursery this early spring and planted it out in the front garden in full sun by the street for all to enjoy. The upward facing flower color is scarlet red with a very thin edging of white. Since this is the first year for this bulb it reached the full height of 4 '. Not for shady areas, 'Sumatra' needs a sunny site for sturdy stems and the most intense color.

USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 9

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fall Fireworks

Japanese Anemone "September Charm"

I planted this in the side garden years ago where it does not receive a lot of sun. It receives most of its shade from the Clerodendrum tree, only very late in the day does it get direct sun. I treat it like a drought tolerant plant, it receives as much water as the other plants and it is one of the oldest plants in the gardens. It takes up an area about 5' to 6' wide and about 4 1/2' high. The flowering reminds me of fireworks, first the stock comes up high above the dark green foliage and then there are all these single little flower heads. Looks like a Roman candle going off. It is the perfect late summer/ early fall flowering plant.

Anemones are long-lived, fibrous-rooted perennials that are native to China. The base of the plant is a dark green clump, which produces leaves covered with soft hairs. The low foliage clumps look nice from the moment they emerge in spring until frost enforces their dormancy. Graceful, branching stems grow 2-5 feet high. They display a charming appearance that masks a tough constitution. Plantings can survive considerable neglect. They will appreciate a good mulching in climates where winters are severe. Plants are slow to establish, but spread readily if the roots are not disturbed. Varieties such as white blooming 'Honorine Jobert' and double flowered, rose-red 'Pamini' are excellent for cutting. 'Prince Henry,' a double dark pink, 'September Charm,' a single pale pink, which is planted here at the gardens, and 'Queen Charlotte,' a semi-double pink are all commonly available.

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 8

Yum, Peanut Butter


There are number of these trees in our area, a very popular deciduous tree in Portland and in our neighborhood. I have two, one in the side garden and one in the back garden. The gardens across the street have two and two houses over there are two huge trees. When these trees ramp up into full bloom during the late summer/early fall it is an intoxicating fragrance like Jasmine that lingers through the neighborhood. Then if you bruise the leaves they have the odor of peanut butter. Later in the season when the flowers are finished blooming the calyxes turn a showy red, and ultimately, bright blue fruit. For which the birds, especially the robins love to eat. Its a non stop show with these trees. Native to Eastern China and Japan. Will grow in full sun to part shade and to a height of 15ft. to 20 ft. One thing to remember is this tree will sucker freely and you could end up with more than you want if you do not keep them under control. The other common names for these trees are Harlequin GloryBower and Peanut Butter Shrub.

USDA hardiness zone 6 to zone 9

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I have dozens of sedums planted here at the gardens, remember drought tolerant. Sedums have that phrase as their middle name. I have large types like Mr. Goodbud from Terra Nova Nursery in the front gardens to small varieties that I'm using as ground covers. Now that is the perfect usage, ground cover. Helps to suppress weeds and keeps moisture in the ground.

Sedums are a large genus of flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae, members of which are commonly known as stonecrops. There are around 400 species of leaf succulents that are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, varying from annual and creeping herbs to shrubs that have water-storing leaves. Flowers tend to be in shades of pink, mauve, white, red and yellow that start out pale and deepen as they mature. Sedum flowers bloom only once; most late in the season. The bees absolutely love these plants.......No need for deadheading and they often look good right through the winter. After several years, the center of Sedum plants will show signs of dying out. Division is needed at that point, to keep the plant vigorous.

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 9

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pink Ballerinas in the Back Gardens



The first image that comes to mind for me is the movie "Fantasia". Very time I see Fuchsias in bloom I think of the tiny ballet dancers. I have a number of hardy Fuchsias in the gardens. I'm going to plant a few in pots this year and see how they winter over. I love to experiment to see how good plants really are. The problem is that a fuchsia is not a drought tolerant plant but I kind of baby them a little more than the other plants. I do have one planted out in the side garden under the Clerodendrum trichotomum, so far it has been okay. It stays a lot dryer out there than in the back gardens.

Nearly all fuchsia species come from the West Indies and Latin America, from Mexico and southwards. They are trees or shrubs with flowers borne singly or in racemes and bloom on new shoots. The wood is hard and the bark flaky. The hardiest species comes from southern Chile near the Straits of Magellan - Fuchsia magellanica - where the climate is damp and cool. Fuchsias grow in rock crevices and at the edges of forests where the soil is rich and well-drained. They also grow at high altitudes, the nearer the equator the higher the altitude, in misty cloud forests, cool but light. The magellanica fuchsias are the best winter hardy varieties that you can plant. In the wild, fuchsias are often pollinated by hummingbirds, but in Europe, it's mainly bees, bumble bees, and wasps. Wild fuchsia species are of a woody nature, ranging in their natural habitat from trees, such as Fuchsia excorticata, 30 feet or more high, to prostrate, creeping plants such as Fuchsia procumbens with small, petal-less, yellow/green/brown flowers. The majority are vigorous shrubs, found on high, rain-drenched, moisture laiden mountain slopes in the Andes or in dense, evergreen forests or jungles.

USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 8

Echinacea "Double Decker"

Very interesting variety planted in the front garden by the street for others to enjoy. Love the way it pops petals out of the top of the cone. A great plant for a drought tolerant garden. I believe I have a posting from a couple of weeks ago regarding Echinaceas.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rosa "Madame A. Meilland"

"Madame A. Meilland"
aka Peace

This Peace Rose is an original planting that was here when Will and I purchased Beech Street. Probably an original bush when it was first put on the market. I did not have the heart to remove it. It was so out of control, with a ten foot height and just as wide. I decided to spend a couple of years working on it to get it under control and getting new canes to come forth. The first year I removed about a third of the bush and the following year a little more like half. Now we have this beautiful rose bush with the most gorgeous flowers. Its a prize in the front garden.

Developed by French horticulturist Francis Meilland in the years 1935 to 1939. He had no name for it in the beginning, but simply called #3-35-40. When Meilland foresaw the German invasion of France he sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the United States to protect the new rose. It was undoubtedly the most beautiful hybrid tea rose anyone had ever seen. The rose became known as 'Peace' in the following way. Early 1945 Meilland wrote to Field Marshal Alan Brooke (later Viscount Alanbrooke), the principal author of the master strategy that won the Second World War, to thank him for his key part in the liberation of France and to ask if Brooke would give his name to the rose. Brooke declined saying that, though he was honored to be asked, his name would soon be forgotten and a much better and more enduring name would be "Peace". Over 100 million plants have been sold since the end of WWII.

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 9

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Daylilies Of The Unknown

Have no idea what these varieties are but I love the colors. The burgundy flower came from Gail Austin, she did not know what the name of it was. The bottom photograph of the red flowers I received from a friend about 15 years ago. Wanted to share the flowers.........

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lilium paradalinum


Known as the panther lily or leopard lily this native of Oregon and California is a vigorous, clump-forming, rhizomatous true species lily, with strong stems bearing whorls of elliptic deep green leaves. Where it usually grows in damp areas. Typically it grows to about 3' to 3 1/2' tall, but known to reach 5' to 8'. The flowers are Turk's-cap shaped, red-orange, with numerous brown spots, usually flowering in mid summer to late summer.

I have a small group of these lilies back in the conifer area with the Lilium wigginsii. The colors are so rich and vibrant with the blending of the red, orange and yellow. I love the way the petals curl back and expose all the colors and spots. Another wonderful addition to grow here in a Great Pacific Northwest garden.

USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 8

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cistus- Worthy Shrub




Perennial flowering shrubs containing about 20 species found on dry or rocky soils throughout the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal thru the Middle East, and also the Canary Islands. 4' x 4' or smaller evergreen plants with showy 5-petaled flowers ranging from white to purple and dark pink, in a few species with a conspicuous dark red spot at the base of each petal. With its many hybrids and cultivars it is commonly encountered as a garden flower.The name Cistus is from the Greek for "Box," alluding to the square shape of the seed capsules.

I have been a fan of Cistus actually the whole rockrose family for years. Some of the best drought tolerant plants that you could ever plant in your gardens. I planted the Cistus salviifolious in place of the wonderful Matilija Poppy that I always wanted. There is a poppy planted down the street and that plant gets out of control. The number one need is lots of water, SORRY. I came across the salviifolious variety (first photograph) and stated on the tag that it is a substitute for the Matilija Poppy if you were wanting that style of flower. Worked for me........Include any of the rockroses in your gardens, they will not let you down.

USDA hardiness zone 6 to zone 9

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Got Common Milkweed?


I have planted this in hopes of attracting butterflies in the following years. I will be adding a few other varieties this fall for added color such as red, yellow, orange. The syriaca variety is okay, but not much of a bang for the buck. Odd little flowers, common is not the word I would not use.

A herbaceous drought tolerant perennial plant native to most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains contain a variety of 76 species. Plant in full sun to light shade and a bloom time from August to September. Flowers are a pink to lilac color. A favorite nectar source for butterflies and are host plants for caterpillars including Monarch butterfly larva.

USDA hardiness zone 3 to zone 8

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Allium -Latin For Garlic


Allium, an interesting group of 750+ plants that are grown for decoration and cooking. Most grow in temperate climates of the northern hemisphere such as Asia, but there are a few that grow in Chile, Brazil or tropical Africa. Species grow in various conditions from dry, well-drained mineral-based soils to moist, organic soils; most grow in sunny locations but a number also grow in forests, or even in swamps / water. They vary in height between 6" to 6'. The flowers themselves come in a wide range of design as well as a great palate of colors such as purple, pink, maroon, red, white, blue, and yellow. The basic varieties of Allium that we are familiar with are garlic, onions, chives, shallots, leeks, and scallions.

I have planted a number of different varieties and have them blooming from early Spring to late Summer. The plants that I have chosen for the gardens are mostly the Mediterranean varieties due to the drought tolerant conditions here at Beech Street Gardens. If you have the opportunity to add them to your gardens DO..........They are a very delightful plant, Allium vineale, Allium siculum, and Allium christophii are just a couple of others that are a great addition to any gardens. They are truly showstoppers when in bloom. The Fall is the best time for planting. When you are picking out your other bulbs for planting this Fall add a couple of Alliums just for fun. You'll wish you had planted more.

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 10

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Species Lilium wigginsii


A very pretty species lily that is growing in the back garden in the conifer area. Looks perfect up against dark green fir trees. A rare, little-seen lily from the Siskiyou Mountains of northern California and certain areas of Oregon where it grows in bogs and under redwoods.
The stems can reach 3' to 3 1/2' and flowers that are about 3" in diameter. Several hanging turkscap flowers of pure yellow, with little orange-brown spots all over the inside. The upright leaves clothe the stem. Lilium wigginsii takes partial shade to full sun in the north, give filtered shade in the south. In the garden keep the bulbs on the dry side and the roots damp for best results. In cold areas try a thick layer of mulch to protect the bulbs from freezing in the winter.
Naturally these beauties grow in streams with the bulb sitting above the summer water level and the roots down in the water. When the streams run high in winter the bulbs are often totally covered with cold but not frozen running water. They find places in the streams where rocks or tree roots keep them from washing away in winter storms. The seeds fall down into the pebbles and stones of the creek bank and take root.
If you are new to growing species lilies give
Lilium pardalinum and Lilium pardalinum subspecies a try – I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 10

New Fountain For The Back Garden

I just purchased this new fountain for the back garden. I placed it where the big water bowl was, but of course I had to remove a 10' fir tree first. I really do not care about the tree it was starting to crowd out other things I like better. I love the fountain, it has a great sound, and I know the birds are going to enjoy it. Now I need to get some new plants to put around it. The bowl of the fountain is just a little over 24" and about 8" deep. But not to worry, the big water bowl was placed closer to the patio. I could never get rid of it, its where the frogs hang out at during the Spring. Remember to add water features to your gardens, all the creatures need that special attention. At this time there are 4 fountains, 5 birdbaths, and 2 large water bowls here at Beech Street Gardens and there is room to add more.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Please visit...................

I have started another blog Death Valley Shack. It is where I will now post information and photographs of the succulents and cactus that live in the greenhouse here at Beech Street Gardens. I hope you stop by for a visit.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

White Lilies and Wisteria


What a nice combination, the oriental lily is "Garden Angel" from B & D Lilies in Port Townsend, Washington. Height about 4' and wonderful fragrance very similar to Casablanca, but blooming a couple of weeks earlier. The white wisteria is a tree form that I purchased from Portland Nursery a number of years ago. When it blooms its a big pompom of white cascading flowers on racemes about 1 1/2 to 2 feet long. At the time I planted it in the middle of the backyard, now it is in the middle of the back garden which can be viewed from the house and patio. The evening fragrance is amazing, this is the second blooming this year and there should get at least one or two more rushes of blooms before the end of the season.

Garden Angel Lily
USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 9

Wisteria Tree
USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 9

Thursday, July 29, 2010

ORIENPET LILY "Scheherazade"


Another Orienpet lily that came into bloom here at Beech Street Gardens a couple of days ago. This was the first Orienpet lily created by The Lily Garden in Vancouver, Washington that can be found all over the world. I purchased the bulb from an event Garden Fever had sponsored about three years ago. This year the flower stock is 8 1/2' to 9' tall with at least 15+ blooms on it. I noticed yesterday there are five baby stocks that have come up around the mother plant. All of them are about 1 1/2' tall and have a single huge flower bud. More lilies.......... These fragrant flowers are dramatically curved at 6", a deep red edged in gold, shading into white with the throat showing the same color pattern. It is planted in full mid-morning sun and transfers into partial afternoon shade.

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 10

Friday, July 23, 2010



Garlic is a member of the allium
family which also includes leeks, shallots and onions. Individual cloves act as seeds. The bulbs grow underground and the leaves shoot in to the air. Although garlic is traditionally thought of as a Mediterranean ingredient it is also grown successfully in colder more Northern climates.
Garlic is a very friendly plant and grows well planted with other flowers and vegetables. I have a group that grows in the flower bed by the patio, they were there when Will & I bought our home. I never have dug any up, I like them for their ornamental value. The flower heads are about 4" across and stand at about 6'.

USDA hardiness zone 6

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Once again, I have a great daylily blooming in the gardens called Lady Lucille. It is planted out in the side garden by the street for all the world to enjoy. This plant that was in the back garden last year and not viewed very much. Nice large plants full of flowers and oncoming buds. Flowers are 6" of intense, deep orange petals darker than sepals, with a deeper orange blush extending from the throat and a prominent whitish yellow midrib. The plant stands at 26" and bud loaded scapes at 32". This variety is known to rebloom later in the season.

USDA hardiness zone 1 to zone 11

Wednesday, July 21, 2010



An Oriental lily with garden persistence, heat tolerance and
color of Trumpet and Aurelian hybrids

This is one of the most wonderful lilies I have planted at Beech Street Gardens. I purchased a single bulb from The Lily Garden three years ago located in Vancouver, Washington and now have three 6' stocks of fabulous flowers. I planted it next to the patio where the evening air is heavy with fragrance that is divine. The color is outstanding, huge white flowers that are about 7" across with deep, intensely crimson pink throats and secondary buds on the stems that extend the blooming time. Click on the link above and take a look at the wonderful selection of lilies this Pacific Northwest grower offers.

USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 9

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

CLEMATIS "Queens of the Gardens"

The Clematis, the "Queen of the Gardens" and the "Aristocrat of the Climbers". I have a number of them at Beech Street Gardens and at any given time or season of the year there is one in bloom. The Clematis is an outstanding plant for flower color, size, shape and petal count. But the Clematis is not limited to being a climbing vine, I have two varieties that are a shrubby style in the back gardens. What a surprise when guests learn that they are looking at a Clematis.
What do you mean that you have not heard of a bush Clematis?

USDA hardiness zone 4 to zone 11


Clair du Lune is an outstanding show-off, I have it in the far east garden where it gets no afternoon sun. This way the flowers stay true to color and do not fade during the day. White with a dusting of lilac, darker stripe running down the center of the petal, and ruffly single flowers at 7" across.
This variety grows 8' to 10'.


What can I say about Haku Ookan, nothing about the color except gorgeous . This is the second blooming this year, it took up residence in a pot on the patio where it has lived for three years. It is a smaller variety growing about 6' to 8'.
The flowers are about 5" wide.





Now that the weather is on the warmer side, the plants are out of control. There are flowers everywhere, the daylilies are the biggest show in the gardens right now.

Raspberry Smoothie is a small variety in the very back garden with Long Stocking, the plant is 24" to 28" high, scapes about 32" and the flowers are 4" wide. Deep rose pink with white and a rich chartreuse green eye.

Orchid Candy, this plant also a small variety located in the front garden came from Gail Austin, about 20" to 24" high, scapes at 26", and the flowers are on the smaller side around 3" wide. The colors are amazing, pastel pink with the center ring of delicious boysenberry and that great chartreuse green eye.

The last photograph is Little Grapette located in the back garden where you can view it from the yard or patio, a gift from my good gardening neighbors Steve & Patty. This plant is a dwarf variety, but the only dwarf part of the plant is the flowers. The plant stands at 22" to 24", scapes at 28" and the flowers are only about 2" wide. A wonderful rich purple color with a yellow center.

I will have more postings in the next week. I have a wonderful orange variety called Lucille that I want you to see. A great orange with 5" flowers.
Its outstanding.........till then, get dirty in your garden.

USDA hardiness zone 1 to zone 11