Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Ricin Report

I almost called this post "the come back kid" but then decided to go with something a little more scandalous, or at least to try. So back towards the end of July when I declared the castor bean pictured below my weekly "fav" plant I was pretty sure it was going to be the reigning champion for size this growing season.

But ever since it bloomed (and look seed pods!) it's slown down.

Where as this guy, who was under 10" then, has exploded and seems determined to reach the top of the fence and beyond. Right now he's almost 5ft tall, in just 2 months time he's grown that much!

And that trunk, it's beefy, over an inch wide. It should be noted this monster is from seedlings given to me by Alison last spring. Alison your offspring is amazing, thank you!

It's especially wonderful that the foliage is in a place I can see it up close.

The three plants out in the front garden haven't grown much at all since the July post.

Back then several people said increased water would do the trick, along with heat. The heat we've had and the watering has stayed pretty consistent between them all, in other words it alone shouldn't account for the growth spurt on the comeback kid.

As you can see these two seedlings haven't grown more than a couple of inches.

What's the difference? I'm going with Heather's theory that they grow to fill the space available to them. The one in the back garden had nothing encumbering it's march up and out, where as the ones out front had to contend with neighbors nearby. Whatever the reason I'm thrilled at this beefy Ricinus communis in my garden...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lunch (and a stroll) in the Pearl…

Earlier in the year my gardening friend, and former neighbor, Bridget, moved to Portland’s Pearl District. “The Pearl” is known for its restaurants, art galleries, shopping and condos. What about gardens? Yes, if you know where to look there are a few of those too. After a lovely lunch Bridget shared one her favorites with me…

I suppose calling it a garden is a bit of a misnomer, after all it’s more of a planted walkway between two buildings. However there are enough interesting plants to keep a pair of plant lovers gawking. I think this is Osmanthus 'Jim Porter'…

Metapanax delavayi

Schefflera delavayi

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? These are all plants taken from the Cistus catalogue. I wonder if it’s a Cistus Design project? Here we have Aspidistra under-planted with Trachelospermum asiaticum 'Theta.’ The Aspidistra is looking a little rough around the edges, lack of water? Winter damage?

I’m still not a fan of pots jammed full of multiple plants, but these are quite attractive. Sort of mini-gardens.

Mahonia eurybracteata, likely ‘Soft Caress’

The walkway opens out on to Jamison Square, the first park in the Pearl and a popular one with kids due to its fountain and wading pool.

But instead of joining the kids we turned left and walked by the Ecotrust Building…

And on to explore the rain garden at 10th @ Hoyt. A visit to this space was the second post I did on this blog when I started back in 2009. The building was designed by the architecture firm I used to work at and this space really captured my imagination.

The landscape design was done by KLA Architecture, if you’re interested there are better photos and a nice write up on their website, here. The concrete and rusted forms come alive in a rainfall, something we haven't had in a couple of months.

The older photos, on my blog and their website, show the gunnera at a much more impressive size. I wonder what happened?

Hope you enjoyed this urban garden adventure...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, September 19, 2014

WWTT #16

Yes it’s been awhile since we’ve enjoyed a good WWTT post, here we go...

Zipping along one day I caught the sight of something out of the corner of my eye. Something that made me stop and turn around, just to make sure I’d seen it correctly.

Yes, yes I had. But the thing is it was a hot day and the homeowner (gardener?) was enjoying a cigarette on his front porch. You can't see him because the porch is hidden behind that big green thing, but trust me, he's there. So I manned up and asked “can I take a photo of your cactus?”… “Yes, you can” and so I give you opuntia row...

So straight.

So spiky.

So, odd.

But I love it. It’s his vision and he’s going for it, barberry and mini-rose included. I just wish I knew what he was thinking.

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Echeveria elegans is my favorite plant in the garden, this week…

If I lived in a slightly warmer climate scenes like the one below would be repeated throughout my garden...

But since I don’t, they aren’t. And so I enjoy the couple I have, this one especially since it’s along the path I walk from the patio to the house...

The agaves are always planted here for the summer, but this is the first year I've added the Echeveria elegans. I bought them at Cistus earlier in the year, if memory serves there were just two rosettes then. They've done exactly what I hoped they would, form a bit of a wrap around the base of the agave. Sadly the whole lot will be dug up in another couple of months, but be replanted in the spring.

The Cistus description: “Echeveria elegans (Mexican Snowball) Dense, blue-gray succulent species from Mexico that mounds or spreads slowly in tight colonies. Edges of leaves are slightly pink, producing equally pretty small pink flowers with a yellow tinge. Very handsome and uniform in the garden. More cold hardy than many other echieveria hybrids, this one makes an excellent rock garden or container plant that needs occasional winter protection below 25 degrees. Drought-tolerant. Plant in part to full sun.”

I love how their powder blue echoes the blue of the agaves. So...anything you're admiring in your garden this week?

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Early autumn harvest…

What, you expected apples or pumpkins? Silly. It’s time to harvest the agave pups!

I’ve never before separated my Agave americana pups, I think because I’ve suffered from the delusion that if left in place they’d magically grow into a fierce spiky patch, like seen in the Southwest. Instead they turn mushy and die over the winter. After almost losing my “big” (don’t laugh, they’re big for Portland!) A. americanas last winter I vowed to not repeat that mistake again. Why not take advantage of the insurance nature is providing me?

I cut away the two furthest from mom, I just couldn’t bring myself to mess with the one snugged up against her.

There was another on the other side…

Got that one too, but left the two guys on the upper right in the photo above. They are just too tiny.

Here’s the other big A. americana…

I am thrilled these guys are both looking so good after I thought I’d lost them.

This one's got a few pups too...

Here’s the harvest, 8 new plants…

This one came out sans the roots, hopefully it will make it.

I love that plants so small still have wicked teeth and their imprints on the leaves.

All potted up to be protected and grow on over winter.

Of course we’ve still got a week of summer left and nice long sunny warm autumn ahead too! (see, I’m slowing coming to terms with it…)

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloomday for September 2014

September 15th, we're down to the last full week of summer. It's been a good one, hot and sunny, but of course all too fast. It's time for a look at what's blooming as autumn is knocking at the door, to see the full report from blogs around the world visit May Dreams Gardens.

The canna's are going strong. It's a pity I'm unable to tell you what any of them are...

This is Callistemon citrinus, it's not especially hardy but went in the ground this spring. Time will tell...

This silly thing, Abutilon 'Red Tiger', has grown and grown and grown, but not bloomed much. Right now it's finally got 4 flowers and half a dozen buds. It must have realized I was eyeing it's spot and thinking about what I'd plant there when I got rid of it.

Cassia didymobotrya

Clematis tibetana var. vernayi

And the fully opened bloom of last week's "favorite" Colocasia fontanesii...

The Crocosmia 'Orangeade' just keeps on pushing out new flowers, I love this plant!

There were three blooms on the Hedychium 'Tara' this year, this the last one.

The spaced themselves out nicely, I've been enjoying them for 3 weeks.

Passiflora 'Sunburst' is a riot of blooms right now. My first go at rooting cuttings failed miserably. I'll try again.

Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream'

Mahonia fortunei 'Curlyque'

Mahonia gracilipes

Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart'

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

Schefflera brevipedunculata, on it's third round of blooms.

The very unattractive buds/blooms/seed heads of Senecio mandraliscae.

And finally Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'...enjoy your last week of summer!

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.