Monday, March 31, 2014

Signs of Pink, And Other Happenings

UNLIKE THE PREVIOUS ONE, the past weekend was rainy and icky. Gardening was a hit and miss operation as raindrops kept forcing me back under cover to wait it out. I could have (and should have) gone inside to tackle some much needed housework but you know how that goes. The bare minimum got done both inside and out. Such is life.

I took photos but rather hastily, so they're a little blurry. 
This is my favorite look on Spiraea x bumalda ‘Pink Ice.' Later the blooms will open white, then turn brown. But right now it looks pretty cool, all pinky.

Despite having worked this bed multiple times,
my shovel has, thankfully, avoided a few of these stalwart tulips. 

Not pink, but cute nonetheless, little Violas are popping up all over. 

Slugs have been here. 

I'm not a big yellow lover, however this Leopard's Bane (Doronicum orientale)  blooms faithfully every spring.
So I let it.  In early spring, any flower is a good flower.

Loropetalum survived the December and February freezes!
The leaves look tattered and tired but flowers are in its future.  

Kalmiopsis leachiana
I bought this little gem last spring from one of the plant vendors at the local Farmers' Market.
Since then I've learned that it is one of the discoveries of the late Lilla Leach
of Leach Botanical Garden fame, in Portland, Oregon.
She spied it in 1930 while exploring the Siskiyou Mountains in Southern Oregon.

Lamium, the purple-flowered variety, for lack of the official name.
I bought this a few years ago. It's not quite as vigorous as the one below. 

This is Lamium maculatum ‘Chequers' that grows (and spreads) from a small cutting I received from a now-deceased friend years ago. Seeing it reminds me of her. The early-rising bumblebees love to tunnel into the blossoms.

I'm not a huge fan of blue, but I enjoy these little Muscari.

Here they are in a row, with 'Angelina' and 'Autumn Joy' Sedums.
Plus a bazillion Laurel seedlings waiting for me to kick their butts in to the yard debris can.

Darmera peltata flowers jutting upwards before the leafy main event. 

I know. Pretty, ain't it? 

What could it be? 

It had me at " speckled leaves." Never mind the pink flowers,
which, from the looks of things, might be here earlier than "fall" as the tag says.
I bought it last year.

Persicaria 'Painter's Palette' 

After several years, my Hydrangea macrophylla 'Lemon Wave' has gained confidence.
It is almost four feet tall. 

I don't remember which Heuchera this is but it's sure a good one.
And by that I mean, no problems with the dreaded root weevil. 

Ditto for Heuchera 'Paris' which has the best of both worlds:
gorgeous foliage and an ongoing display of deep pink flowers. 

Heuchera 'Green Spice', yet another stalwart. 

Thalictrum ichangense ‘Evening Star’ is really gaining some girth this year, planted under the Star Magnolia, as evidenced by the white petal-fall.

Aquilegia 'Woodside Strain' always dazzles me. 

Persicaria 'Red Dragon' 

Blushing chicks 

Hosta 'Sum and Substance' despite being in a huge container
remains huddled in the center. 

Artichoke awakenings, amid the sea of Pacific Wax Myrtle foliage,
a plant that was not happy with the mercury dip last December.

This was the first in its ten year history that my
Acanthus mollis went completely dormant.
Wakey, wakey! 

Variegated Comfrey, Symphytum x uplandicum ‘Axminster Gold’ looks better than it ever has in early spring.

My baby Syneilesis is, um, still a baby. I think I see one more tiny leaf jutting up.

In the midst of what looks quite disgusting, there is life on my Musa basjoo.
And it is coming up even earlier than last year. Go figure.

It has become evident that my Wire Vine (Muehlenbeckia axillaris) is going to be a no-show. Dave's Garden says it is hardy to -28 but, I suppose that's when it's planted in the ground. In a container, it's apparently much more vulnerable. Fortunately it's common and cheap enough to replace.

The waterlilies survived. Just look at that foliage working its way to the surface. 

And check out our resident tadpole population! Hooray!
I love these little guys.

Last Friday, this bright rainbow entertained me the entire 12 mile drive home from work.
My photo doesn't do it justice.

I hope all of you are seeing signs of spring in your gardens. I'm going to try my best to visit you all this week.


  1. "In early spring, any flower is a good flower." So true! I always edit myself--disallowing some plant/spring bulb purchases as "lurid", or clashing, or whatever--but then I realize that I should have loosened up--they won't be blooming with anything else, anyway.

  2. Great post! Such gorgeous foliage, and I agree, any bloom in the spring is a good one. You must be a zone or so warmer than we I admit to zone envy? Ha ha, of course I do!

  3. Not much spring yet...snow still melting...we have many of the same plants....heucheras, lamiums, grape hyacinths...but oh the violas! I didn't grow any from seed this year but plan to buy some for a few containers.

  4. No surprise that your pink lamium would outperform the purple: we all respond to LOVE, dontcha know.

  5. Same here in and out all day long, just getting a few things done. Don't give up on the wire vine, mine has greened up at the ground !

  6. I don't think I've ever seen so many blue flowers in one of your posts. I fear my Acanthus is a goner, it died back completely too, and so far no sign of it. Hooray for all those cute little tadpoles!

  7. It looks as though you have the start of a very promising spring despite the miserable winter you experienced up there in the PNW.

  8. Wow, what an amazing collection of perennials! I enjoyed seeing all your whimsical containers. And that Kalmiopsis is something special!

  9. Where do I start?! I can always count on you to have plants I've never even heard of. I feel like a newbie every time you post.

    That speckled spirea is awesome.

    The plant from the Leach Gardens is new to me, but me likey.

    A hydrangea with pink variegated leaves!? Be still my heart. That lemon one could come live at my house, too.

    I told you about my heuchera issues. Why oh why won't they grow for me?!

    The leaves on that columbine are awesome.

    Your artichoke is up more than mine. I was afraid I had lost it, but he's comin' along, slowly, but surely.

    I want that comfrey.

    There was a rainbow on Sunday when we were at the Rock Farm and it was a FULL arch into the canyon. So dang cool.

    Happy hump day! :)

  10. Must have been hard to concentrate on the road ahead Grace with that brilliant rainbow in the sky above :) ♥ that pink lamium.

  11. Your tadpoles are adorable! Gorgeous rainbow! So easy to be excited this time of year with all the signs of new life and the promise of a great summer to come!

  12. Your garden is so ALIVE! It is just magnificent! We are just now seeing the tips of our tulips! And all of those tadpoles remind me of being a kid and wading in the creek to try to catch a few! Beautiful rainbow as well! I hope that you have a lovely weekend! Nicole xo

  13. I'm glad the most of your plants survived, Grace. I love your muscari, heuchera, variegate leaves of others. Spring is nice! Your hosta is an hero--grows in a container and is resistant to frost.
    Have a nice weekend!

  14. Oh Grace the spring colors are fantastic. I love all the colors but the variegated foliage is lovely, aw heck they are all beautiful.


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