vases and a visit



I kept it simple today, with two arrangements that started with pruned branches. Here, they’re from the Weigelia ‘Wine and Roses’. The flowers on the dark-leaved sprigs are nearly gone, but one little cluster remains. A red rose grows in an unfortunate spot close to the house. Perhaps I should instead deem it fortunate, because the deer will not come that close to nip off every bud before it has a chance to develop. Anyway, this one perfect red rose smells divine.


So here’s your view, as you stoop to bury your nose and drift on the memories the scent evokes.


Artemisia ‘Valerie Finnis’ was threatening to bloom, so I gave her the “Chelsea chop”. I don’t know why silvery plants insist on yellow flowers, but if you catch Valerie while hers are still tight little buds they can be quite pretty in a vase. Digitalis blooms in colors ranging from white through purple. I chose this one in order to keep things subtle and added a single chive blossom just for fun.


Mondays are made special by Cathy (Rambling in the Garden), who encourages us to find something in our gardens to put in a vase every week, regardless of the weather. Offerings range from simple to simply over-the-top. Don’t miss it.


Saturday, we worked all day in the garden, so Sunday had “Road Trip” written all over it. A drive through the country down Canby way took us first to Secret Garden Growers Nursery. A long border showcases many of the plants they offer.


Like this stunning Peony.


Other display beds are newer, promising an even richer experience in years to come.


When you will be coming back to buy plants from the nice women who will serve you popcorn and lemonade under the shade of the stately honey locust tree. I found Kirengeshoma palmata. When I admired this plant during the Fling, I was told that it is nearly impossible to find. Imagine my excitement.


Down the road a piece is Miller’s Manor Gardens. Their display gardens are well established. I picked up lots of ideas for mixing perennials with conifers and deciduous ornamentals.


This alleyway formed by weeping blue atlas cedars might have been the highlight of the trip.


This is what it feels like to walk through that alley.


Paths meander through the property, some flanked by Irises, all clearly labeled. We were told that the Iris Society had visited the day before, 600 strong.


Fall in love with an Iris here, and you will have no trouble tracking it down by name. That held true for other plants as well.

Cornus kousa 'Wolf Eyes'

Cornus kousa ‘Wolf Eyes’

Cornus kousa 'Gold Cup'

Cornus kousa ‘Gold Cup’

Quercis robur 'Concordia'

Quercis robur ‘Concordia’

Clematis 'Empress'

Clematis ‘Empress’


Shade gardeners are not short-changed here. There’s an extensive collection under those trees.


R had a long talk with the conifer guy while I wandered around. He had something pretty specific in mind and finally Nathan just gave him a little pine tree to try out. That’s garden people for you. I came away with some Digitalis obscura because the one I put in last year came through like a champ.

The Canby area is just south of Oregon City on Hwy 99. These stops were listed with HPSO, but you could find plenty of places to scratch your gardener’s itch if you were to meander around those country roads any time.

19 thoughts on “vases and a visit

  1. Your wine and roses is simply lovely. Deer are a huge problem here also and I try not to tempt them with things that will encourage them to come over the fence. Before we fenced the garden it was salad buffet every night. Your garden visits look like a day well spent.

  2. I must make a trip to ‘Secret garden growers’. I always seem to find plants I’m after from her stall at the Plant sale.

  3. I’ve been wanting to visit Secret Garden Growers. Thanks for the virtual tour. Miller’s Manor looks good, too. I had an inherited rose right up against the house and the deer still stripped it most of the time. But then they’d also sleep against the house before we moved the rhododendrons that gave them shade.

  4. Since I bought ‘Wine and Roses’ for it’s foliage I’m thrilled there was only one small bloom. You, however, have use a spray of flowers quite nicely. Pat/Secret Garden Growers is the best ! Glad you got to visit.

    • I don’t mind the flowers too much, mitigated by that dark foliage. And bloom time is brief…there’s that. Most people probably look forward to the flowers and think we’re crazy, talking like this.

  5. What a great day out rickii – as you say that alleyway of weeping blue atlas cedars is amazing and those iris would be an iris-lover’s heaven! I love your simple little vase, but somehow expected to find a glass of wine alongside it 😉 Thanks for sharing this post, as always

  6. Your arrangements are always fun and I especially liked the silver and pink combination. Oh those beautiful conifers. Aren’t we lucky to live here where they flourish? Canby goes on the list of places to explore!

  7. What an amazing nursery with so many unusual plants. I love the Cornus ‘ Wolf Eyes’. I can never resist irises, it looks like a great collection.

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