Iris season slipped right by without a single one making it to a vase but the Peonies and Foxgloves were not to be denied. I’m not a big fan of pink, but pairing it with the bronze of Persicaria Red Dragon makes it OK by me.
The Dahlias are just beginning to put in an appearance. Here, I’ve paired them with Lysimachia ‘Alexander’
I started with a single plant that has multiplied nicely but only a few still sport the variegated foliage. The rest have reverted to solid green.
It has been a few years since having success with sweet peas. What was I thinking? The fragrance is heavenly. The clear marbles hold the stems upright nicely.
My Mothers’ Day bouquet came with some orchids in the mix. They were kept fresh in these water-filled tubes that also took the place of stems. Neat tool, don’t you think?
My favorite task at work is creating big, showy bouquets to showcase the plants we carry (admittedly, I often fail to resist a few that are in the display gardens but not for sale on the tables). When the weather is cool, many of the blooms last for two weeks or even longer.
In which case, a little fluffing up is all that is required. Cathy is completely dependable https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2020/06/29/in-a-vase-on-monday-glow-davy-glow/ with her weekly In a Vase on Monday posts. I do continue to make bouquets but posting about them seems to have fallen by the wayside of late. Summer, you know…it calls us into our gardens, where the stress of these times tends to fall away and there is no place I would rather be…how about you?
We took the back roads but with a destination in mind. We were on the hunt for trees and Maurice at Joy Creek had recommended Conifer Kingdom in Silverton. Richard called ahead to determine the hours and days and off we went.
We arrived within the allotted time framework, only to be told that they were closed to the public. As with most gardening folk, they responded to our obvious disappointment kindly, allowing us to take our time and look around.
What a place! All conifers, all the time! We were in heaven. All of the plants were in tip-top shape and the variety was overwhelming.
This was basically what we were after: something kind of light and fluffy.
But faced with such abundance, who could stop at just one?
I fell hard for this Abies. Overcome with plant lust, we knew we had to have all three. Alas, we were not allowed to pay and take home our new adoptees but must order online and wait at least two weeks for them to be shipped to us. The owner ambled over for a chat and volunteered to waive the shipping fee.
I was distressed to be unable to hand pick each tree but they did as well or better and even threw in a gift (second from right) Sciadopitys verticillata (Japanese Umbrella Pine). http://coniferkingdom.com is a good place to start browsing if you are a tree nut. Once restrictions are eased, a beautiful drive through the countryside can lead you to this oasis. I plan to make a day of it, pack a picnic and hit the trail around Silver Falls. If you are planning a trip to this area you might consider staying at The Oregon Garden and dipping into the nurseries and wineries scattered about.
Hillary wanted to be near family during the pandemic so she is here and with two good cooks on hand we are enjoying fabulous meals and interesting dinnertime conversations. She is also working at Joy Creek 3 days a week to make the family connection all the more iron-clad.
Getting the orchard pruned is a big project every spring. Richard has a love/hate relationship with this particular chore.
This year the project went much faster with Hillary’s help.
We can easily add a few more chairs if you decide to share one of these sunny afternoons with us (I am sure they are just around the bend).
I’m not going to work (cuz, you know…I’m old) so here I am making bouquets at home. There’s so much going on out there that it is hard to choose. Hence several arrangements tucked in here and there around the house and deck.
The Lilacs are just coming on, so I stuck them in with a big bouquet of Euphorbia wulfenii that resulted from a cutting back project (two weeks ago and they’re still looking fresh). I cut back then dug out a huge clump of it. Because of its profligate ways there are still plenty of new clumps here and there. I would hate to be without it.
That vase is fairly flat (if we looked at it from the side it would look narrow). In the background is a pair of candlesticks made by Richard and the cloth was a gift brought back from Japan by my boss, Maurice. Oh, and the little hand-crafted vase in the first photo came from a craft fair (alas, a thing of the past, at least for now). Cathy’s https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2020/04/20/in-a-vase-on-monday-cuckoo-in-the-nest/ meme is NOT a thing of the past and I am pleased to be joining in this Monday.
No trips to buy dye kits, so decorating eggs became a fun group effort. The moiré egg on the right (my personal favorite…meaning “eat last”) was done with a combination of felt pens and colored pencils. The two dark greens top and bottom sat in red cabbage water overnight (chopped up red cabbage boiled, strained, with vinegar added). One kept its original, lovely brownness because we ran out of ideas and/or enthusiasm and the last three were done entirely with felt pens. I like them better than those Paas numbers and they were way more fun.
Hillary is staying with us and boy, do we put together some super meals when we pool our resources.
I hope you are finding ways to spice up your life while following the guidelines to stay home and stay safe. I have been out of the loop for some time, during which WordPress has “improved” things beyond my comprehension so please bear with any glitches and accept my very best wishes for the season, whatever it may bring your way.
Summer is glorious but I have always been drawn to the subtlety of the muted tones as things wind down in the garden. Here is the latest example: Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ has been starring in a parade of bouquets at Joy Creek. It lasts and lasts. This week the supporting cast is especially strong: Cotinus ‘Grace’ and Hydrangea quercifolia foliage, the fading blooms of Hydrangea ‘King George’ and several plumes of Miscanthus ‘Cosmopolitan’.
Meanwhile, at home, Iris ‘Immortality’ is gifting me with a second flush of blooms. I like a single flower, backed up by a branch of Ponciris trifoliata ‘Flying Dragon’ (those wicked thorns would do any dragon proud), complete with three of its fruits. It should be fun to see what others are finding to put in a vase as the choices dwindle with the season. Go to Rambling in the Garden to get in on the act.
I decided to begin a new island where it would get full sun. I call it Bali Hai, referring to the song from South Pacific…”Here am I, your special island, come to me, come to me.” Richard finds this super-silly, but oh well… This summer photo features Penstemons ‘Margarita BOP’ on the left and ‘Blue Springs’ on the right. The folks that discovered Margarita used to end their days on the back porch drinking Margaritas, hence the name, BOP standing in for Back Of Porch.
I was so excited when I brought home the little tree in the upper photo (isn’t that color to die for?) Well, die it did. If you look closely you can spot a small tuft of green at the base so I’m not giving up on it (anything could happen).
So satisfying and they are giving me a second bloom right now. More iris? Yes, please!
My good friend Anna gave me a big clump of this, which I separated to make a nice sweep of grasses.
I have been incommunicado for some time. If you are reading this, you have somehow refound me and I would love it if you would tell me how in the comments. I now go as sprig2twig.com, which makes a lot more sense than my prior handle. It took a lot of time on the phone with various providers to get here, but WELCOME! I hope this is the start (or renewal) of a beautiful friendship.
So much of what is bloomingnow is a treat for the nose. I look forward to the scent of lilacs that transports me to my gram’s casual side yard (never referred to as a “garden”). The bottlebrush blooms of privet and a few store-bought Alstromeria fill in the blank spots.
Lily-of-the-valley, Convallaria majalis is taking over the bed where it was introduced. I was warned, but it just means I can cut as many as I like and sniff away.
Enkianthus is an extremely slow-growing tree with clusters of bell-shaped flowers adorned with subtle stripes.
See what I mean? I adore these.
This is indeed the season for an embarrassment of riches. Excorda ‘The Bride’ is showing off her gown of white and turning heads. The Rhodys are strutting their stuff (here we have ‘Horizon Sunset’) along with Choisya ‘Sundance’ with fragrant white blooms.
Whensome things wimp out, others come along to take their place. Here I added three stems of our native Camassia and a few Centaurea montana.
Who doesn’t love a touch of blue?
The red vase was just asking for some red Rhodies and a dark Anthriscus leaf to set them off. Am I filling every nook and cranny with flowers? You bet! Why, there’s even a little posy in the port-a-potty. Don’t mis out on Cathy’s collection of bloggers’ vases at Rambling in the Garden.
Now…if you are moved to leave a comment (and I adore getting comments) please do not be put off by the ominous “fatal error” message. I haven’t the skill to fix this annoying problem. On the up-side, your comment will appear nevertheless, so please ignore the nasty warning. Who knows what WordPress is up to here: seriously, if you have any ideas for a fix I will be eternally grateful.
They tend to be a bit fragile, so bits and bobs are always breaking off from the mother plants.
I had a pot that needed some filling in at ground level so just poked those bits into the soil. Voila! In a matter of weeks they had surpassed all expectation. Kinda reminds me of Jack and his magic beanstock.
This little vase is an afterthought because it took shape a couple of weeks ago. The mums last and last in a vase even though the great outdoors destroyed what was left out there. Supplemented by some dried Persicaria and Chasmanthium latifolium and a decorative leaf plucked from a NOID houseplant, I’ll offer it up for Cathy’s ‘In a Vase on Monday’.
You still have a couple of days to catch the dahlia festival at Swan Island Dahlias in Canby OR. We went last Monday to avoid the crowds…HAH! It was wall-to-wall people but a fun, festive atmosphere. (I just missed catching a shot of an adorable little girl peeking out the center of that flower graphic)
Row upon row of incredible flowers stretch as far as the eye can see.
Thanks to clear signage, you can wander the fields to create a list of must-haves.
My latest heartthrob is the pom pom form, like ‘Maarn’, above. Hard to believe that nature can produce such geometrical perfection.
‘Spartacus’ is a whoppin’ big guy with recurved petals and a velvety richness.
‘Gitt Crazy’ has wonderfully modulated shades of color and a name that must have come from a late-night session fueled by who-knows-what.
The fields will be open through September. Here’s a glimpse of what you will miss if you can’t make it to the festival: music, food, crowds of happy people, and extensive indoor displays of cut flowers like those above. I prefer seeing the flowers growing in the fields, where the varying heights and strength of stems are obvious.
We came home with a nice bouquet…
…and a full color catalog that I cut up to make my selections (it was a little too overwhelming to me to make up my mind on the spot). Prices range from a low of $5.95 to upwards of $25.00 for new introductions. You can order online HERE for delivery at planting time. OOOH what bouquets I dream of making next summer!