Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fun in the Sun

When you see the term "fun in the sun" you probably think of white-sand beaches and pool parties. But gardeners know that playing in the garden can be equally or in some cases (me!) much more enjoyable than lounging on the beach. 

It looks like summer has arrived early here in the Pacific Northwest. We've had sunny weather with highs in the 70s and even 80s. Typically we don't see more than a scattering of nice days until the middle of July when the rain turns off and the temperatures turn up. But nobody is complaining! After several dreary, wet springs, this year is a welcome change.  

Here is a fragrant blossom on my poor, neglected Rosa rugosa bush.

My little pink-flowered 'Jeanne LaJoie' is just starting to bloom. 

Wow, my camera really brought out the ruby highlights of Rosa glauca.
I've got it planted with Aster lateriflorus ‘Lady in Black’and Bronze Fennel. 

I just love these Verbascums. 

Not the best picture, this is Jasminium beesianum just starting to bloom. 

I just love Dianthus! These guys have been in my garden forever
and they never fail to dazzle me when they bloom. 

Calamintha grandiflora is also starting to bloom.
I have two healthy plants but I think I need more
so I'm going to see if I can root some cuttings.

Cistus 'Gold Prize' ... I think. The label on this plant said simply, 'Golden Cistus'
and I can't remember where I purchased it last year.
After searching the Internet, I'm going to conclude that it's 'Gold Prize' although some of the online images
depict a green leaf with yellow margins. 

I love the rosy buds and I should have a flower tomorrow!
And yes, that is a Bishop's weed photo bomb. :) 

Anemonella thalictroides is still just a bitty thing so I'm keeping it in a container
which I can now see needs a freshening up of  the moss topdressing.
Funny the things you see with the camera's lens. 

The last of my Dutch Iris...planted years ago. 

My Hydrangea serrata 'Omacha Nishiki' is such a beauty.
And look at all those flower buds. 

This was a small plant last year when I purchased it so I kept it in a pot.
I think it's about ready to go into the garden.
But where? 

I know many gardeners despise Euphorbia cyparissias ‘Fens Ruby’ due to it's traveling prowess. But I really like the tiny, fragrant blossoms.

My Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) is just beginning to bloom.
I love these because they look pretty in bouquets for my desk at work. 

I planted seed a year ago and the plants sailed right through our wicked winter. 

In a shady spot, my Hart's Tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium) juts skyward
as if to say, move aside, peeps, I'm coming up for air. 

I love this plant. 

The goodies in my vintage wheel barrow are coming to life. 

Here is the entire rusty, vintage vignette. The aforementioned wheel barrow is
to the left, behind the sewing machine. You can only see the yellow Sedum 'Angelina.' 

This Hypericum (Hypericum androsaemum) is ruby-leaved progeny from
the more lightly variegated H. a. 'Glacier.' Go figure.
It's kind of weird how these plants get to frolicking. 

This is a newbie this year. Geranium 'Victor Reiter.' The leaves, which are the
best part of the plant, are actually a bit darker than they appear here. 

Yesterday, at the Corvallis Habitat for Humanity ReStore, I found this plant.
Can you guess what it is?
Eryngium yuccafolium. $2.00. STEAL!
I asked my peeps on Facebook if I should go back for the two remaining pots
and got a resounding YES!
Commonly called Rattlesnake Master, it is a host for Swallowtail
butterfly larvae. More info can be found here.

My in-ground planting of Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigra’) looked terrible.
So I dug it up and planted it in two containers with
Sedum 'Angelina' for contrast. We'll see how it fares here. 

And finally: A Confession
I really try hard to not fall prey to current trends. I like to think of myself
as a free-thinking rogue, not easily swayed by the titillation of mass media.
When it became apparent that Digiplexis would be the IT plant of the year,
I found it easy to eschew, given its high price and marginal hardiness. 

But then I saw this at Home Depot. With multiple side-shoots
and deep green foliage, it was the picture of health and vigor. 

Um, yeah. $7.00? .... I think I can do that.
After all it's a PINK flower ! I'll plant it in a spot where I can protect it easily
should we get a repeat of last winter's arctic unpleasantness. 

So there you go. I'm officially part of the IT crowd now.  Yay me.
Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame' 
Thanks for visiting!


  1. And yay for Home Depot. You sure have a knack for assembling your rusty finds into an artful whole. I'm afraid if I tried it, the result would look like more of a junk pile.
    Happy Sunny Days!

  2. Your garden looks great! I get so tired of the weed struggle, it would be nice to have a regular city lot. My rugosas have been blooming, and now I have the first open rose, I love rose season. I think it's a couple of weeks early, I guess because of the added heat. I'll have to go check to see how my new Hydrangea is doing, it is hardier than all the regular ones that died one severe winter. I admire Euphorbia cyparissias too, I didn't know it was fragrant, I'll have to go sniff it. Great photos!

  3. Wow! $7? I wish now that I waited, I think mine was at least twice that. But it is everywhere, and it's a pretty flower. Your garden is looking good. I love Verbascum too.

  4. Once again I am in awe of your beautiful blooms. So much to see and enjoy! It must be a real treat to be out in every day.

    I stopped at a nursery this morning and came home with two miniature roses and one beautiful pink hibiscus. :-) $17 not including tax.

    Happy Gardening dear Grace ~ FlowerLady

  5. Oh Grace, your garden is looking fabulous! Love that verbascum, your dianthus are dazzling!, ha ha, yeah, I hate Fens Ruby, I planted Sweet Williams at my daughter's house, should get me some, that Hart's Tongue Fern is to die for, your vignette is lovely, and who could resist that digitalis! I hope I find one to purchase!

  6. Love your Dianthus! Last year I sow its seeds too and had seedlings by fall. This winter they spent well so I'm waiting for flowers like yours. Also I liked this Dutch iris, nice bright color!

  7. I'm glad the temperatures up your way are pleasant rather than oppressive. Your garden is certainly enjoying the weather. I admit to some initial hesitation about the Digiplexis too but I can tell you that it's performing like a trouper down here in Southern California, holding up under 2 heatwaves with temperatures nearing 100F. I can't wait until additional colors become available.

  8. The digiplexis flowers look like mouths. :o) But I'd have a hard time passing up a $7 plant, too. Everything looks incredible. :o) LOVE that variegated hydrangea!

  9. Grace I love the pink in your garden and it is really coming to life...cooling off here again next week.

  10. Digiplexis is deserves 15 minutes of fame! Such lovely flowers...I'm a fool for Hydrangea. I get your love of pink. My good friend and fellow gardener, Fran, won't allow yellow in her flowerbeds.....we all have our thing. Thanks so much for visiting my blog the other day and naming my mystery plants! I am happy to leave a review of your book on Amazon.

  11. I don't think I would be able to pass up that Digitalis either, it looks incredibly healthy. All your pink flowers are gorgeous, I get it too! I have different waves of color, right now everything is pink, wine tones, whites and blues. As the season gets really hot, the dahlias and rudbeckia will introduce some hot colors into the mix. Hasn't it been amazingly beautiful, if not a tad HOT...strange to be watering now. May you enjoy your beautiful flower beds!

  12. oh boy, i'm going to have to peek at Home Depot to see if they have that Digiplexis locally for me too! Thank you for linking up to this weeks garden party over here at Fishtail Cottage! oxox, tracie

  13. Beautiful garden! Enjoying a visit from Fishtail Cottage.

  14. The rusty metal in your garden speaks to me! I remember seeing Digiplexis blooming last summer at Annie's Annuals with a sign saying, "Next Year" When I saw that it was the It plant this year, I tried to resist but finally got a couple when I saw them offered for a fairly low price (Not as low as yours) and gave in. They are interesting and pretty plants and if they bloom all summer as they say they will, it's going to be pretty sweet! Love your gold cistus!

  15. everything is just gorgeous. I love that Hart's Tongue Fern and the wheelbarrow looks super cool. And all your pinks of course are always to die for!

  16. Exactly which dianthus is that one in bright pink? I had a white one last year and was so underwhelmed that I tore it out. But I saw one like this that practically glowed, but it was in a public place and I don't know what it was. Also, I do blame you for making me lust after Illumination Flame! Now to find it...

  17. That's the Foxglove!!!! That's the one I saw in a potted arrangement at Portland Nursery, that I oohed and ahhed over. Then, the second time I was there, I was petting it because it was so damn pretty I could hardly stand it. But I couldn't justify a $15 annual. The only difference was the throat color. Yours looks a wee bit yellowish and the one I was coveting was more of a pink/purple combo. I WILL check out my local Home Depot. If I find one I will kiss you for that little tidbit. I LOVE it.

    And there's that Verbascum again. I need some of that. It's SO pretty.

    I put in two clumps of that little Dianthus last year and it's bloomin' its little heart out right now. So sweet.

    That Calamintha grandiflora isn't a familiar name to me. The flowers look like Weigela. I'll have to Google it.

    When you say fragrant, referring to the Euphorbia, do you mean that in a GOOD way? Mine smells like cat pee.

    I was petting a Sweet William in my neighbor's yard yesterday. I had forgotten all about that plant, and theirs is blooming so good right now. It's a perfect hot pink. I need some!

    I pinned that Hart's Tongue Fern - I had never heard of it. Very cool.

    I dug out all my Black Mondo Grass this spring and gave it away. It never did anything for me and it was taking up precious real estate. I suppose I could have tried a piece in a pot, too.

    Great, and inspiring, photos as always!


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