Monday, July 25, 2016

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Oh, the busy garden. The flourishing garden! I'm watering and watering and taking in all the loveliness before it's gone. You can relate, right? 

I don't know about you but my Oriental lily bulbs seem to decline after several years. This spring I bought another bag of 'Star Gazer' from Costco. They've just started blooming. The flowers must be at least six inches in diameter! 

Lilium orientale 'Star Gazer'

'Star Gazer'
You may have noticed that the stamens are gone. I try to pinch them off before they drop their pollen on the petals.

One thing I love about my summer garden is the profusion of flowers on my hardy Fuchsias. The hummers and bees love them too.
Fuchsia 'Baby Ann'

Fuchsia 'Delta's Angelique'

Fuchsia 'Tom Woods'

Fuchsia 'DeBron's Black Cherry'

Fuchsia 'DeBron's Black Cherry' with Bergenia

Fuchsia 'Checkerboard' 

Back in 2004 when I was still new to the many merits of hardy Fuchsias, I purchased the Fuchsia below at a plant sale. Unfortunately there was no tag. I'm curious to find out its identity. 

Fuchsia NOID... Do you know the ID?

When preparing for this post, I was looking back at all the Fuchsias that are no longer with me. There are a lot that aren't hardy or met their demise in some other way. Every year since discovering Fry Road Nursery, I've purchased at least a few new varieties. Now that Fry Road has closed, I took my obsession to the variety store and purchased the one below. I don't know if it will survive, but it's pretty for now.

Store-bought NOID

I found the Fuchsia below at N&M Nursery in Hubbard (Oregon) a few months ago. Apparently it can get quite big. I can't wait! 

Fuchsia 'Cardinal'

Fuchsia 'Golden Herald'

Fuchsia 'Beacon Rose'

Fuchsia 'Mrs. John D. Fredricks' (I think)

Mrs. Fredricks again, I think

Surprising to me is that 'Island Sunset' Fuchsia survived (in a container, no less) on my patio during the 2014 single-digit winter. It blooms reliably every summer. This year it's in a hanging container. 

Fuchsia 'Island Sunset'

Fuchsia 'Flash' with Hydrangea serrata 'O Amacha Nishiki' 

And, of course I've got several (because they're so easy to propagate from cuttings) of the standard hardy Fuchsia, below. As long as the soil stays moist, it'll bloom its fool head off.

Fuchsia magellanica

More bloomers...

Pink-flowering hardy Lobelia 

Lobelia tupa

Lobelia tupa with Rosa glauca and a single-flowered Dahlia

Phlox paniculata 'Starfire' (I think)

I've not had great luck with Angel's Fishing Rods. I think it's got to do with my tendency to crowd things. This year I'm giving them space, determined to help them get established. I was surprised to see a blossom on this one a few days ago.

Dierama spp.

Coreopsis 'Cruzin' Main Street'

Gladiolus spp.

Clethra alnifolia 'Ruby Spice'

Sanguisorba menziesii

Saponaria x 'Max Frei'

Rosa 'Knock Out' hiding in Panicum 'Shenandoah' 

Alstroemeria psittacina

Alstroemeria psittacina

Finally, after two years of watching, waiting, watering and wondering, my Anemonopsis is blooming! Such exquisite little blossoms, aren't they?

Anemonopsis macrophylla

Anemonopsis macrophylla

Dahlias are another plant that don't exactly thrive in my garden. But I'm trying. Here are the ones that are blooming right now.

Dahlia 'Sayonara'

Dahlia 'Roxy'... thank you Nancy!

Dahlia 'Ivanetti'

Dahlia 'Fatima'

Dahlia 'Twyinings Smartie'

Dahlia 'Matchmaker'

The photo below is from last year. I purchased the Love-Lies-Bleeding at a plant sale/fundraiser and admittedly didn't treat very well. Despite that, it grew and bloomed. 

'Dreadlocks' Love-Lies-Bleeding

At season's end, I shook the "blossom" and let the ripe seed scatter around. I didn't think I'd see any babies because I know how the slugs love to eat seedlings. Well, lo and behold, I've seen lots of seedlings! Here is the biggest plant of the bunch, now standing at four feet tall. It's a lot more healthy and vigorous than its mother. 

Volunteer Dreadlocks Love-Lies-Bleeding just starting to bloom.

Begonia grandis with foliage from Weigela florida 'Variegata'

I'm not a huge fan of blue and prefer purple because it is a lot more harmonious with pinks and reds. But this Agapanthus, is a wowzer for me.

Agapanthus 'Northern Star'

And I like the Echinops balls too. 

Echinops ritro

Echinops ritro

Oreganum x 'Bristol Cross' 

This plant (below) is a super easy annual to grow from seed. The most challenging part is finding a store that sells the seed. I found mine at Wilco Farm Store, of all places. 

Malope trifida

I grow the purple ground orchid but not the creamy yellow one. When I saw it at a nursery recently, it came home with me. This is the very last blossom. 

Bletilla ochracea 'Chinese Butterfly'

I also found a variegated Beauty Berry this spring. Love, love!

Variegated Beauty Berry ~~ Callicarpa japonica 'Snow Storm'

Callicarpa japonica 'Snow Storm'

Years ago--2001 to be exact--I purchase the Potentilla (below). It is a rare thing to see in nurseries which I find baffling. I mean look at these gorgeous, deep pink strawberry-like flowers. With the cooler summer we're having, the flowers are lasting a lot longer. 

Potentilla fruticosa 'Pink Beauty'

Wine Cups (Callirhoe bushii)

And as I bragged on Facebook a few days ago, my Gardenia 'Frostproof' is really happy this year. I counted over 35 blooms one day. The fragrance is amazing!

Gardenia 'Frostproof'

Gardenia 'Frostproof'

The other day I was at the Farmers' Market and found this new-to-the-market variegated Astrantia! Yep.

Astrantia 'Star of Magic'

Foliage galore! This dark-leaved Canna is amazing. This spring I dug up the clump and replanted offsets all over my garden. I love the bold contrast to all the small-leaved shrubs and perennials. 


And the cooler-than-normal summer has been so good to my Japanese Blood Grass.

Japanese Forest Grass (Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra') and a red-berried Hypericum

Such a happy plant!

I have a BEFORE and AFTER for you. I decided the Hosta on the right needed to go. It was too matchy-matchy with the variegated comfrey. I wanted something dramatic and contrasting. 

Variegated Comfrey and Hosta 'Paradigm'

Unfortunately my AFTER photos are a bit blurry, but I think you'll get the idea. I replaced it with Hibiscus moscheutos 'Kopper King' which plays off the Chameleon Plant (Hottunynia cordata) really well, I think.

Okay, I've droned on long enough. I hope you're all enjoying your garden. Isn't it fun to design and play with plants? 


  1. Busy, busy indeed! As I've said before, your garden always looks so lush. My Stargazers are finished blooming. I tried transplanting them to a different area last fall, but I must have missed one because it popped up in the same place this year ... with one flower, which I promptly plopped in a bud vase in the powder room. I love the scent. :)

  2. Your garden is amazing! My mouth was hanging open over all the fuchsias. I've regrettably given up on them, at least for the foreseeable future, due to the combination of drought, heat and reduced shade cover. The lilies don't last beyond a few years here but they're great while they're here.

  3. I always view your flowers with a hunger for something just as lovely for myself. And I learn so much from seeing the photos. I'd like to invite you to view my recent post about the Love Lies Bleeding plant. I almost emailed you because you know so much about plants.

  4. I bought the 'Cardinal' fuchsia too. I have it in a spot with almost all shade. I hope it does well there. I am a bit obsessed with them. We could not grow them in the South. Does the chameleon plant spread here? In my former garden, it was a nightmare and literally took over every bed I had. I vowed never to plant it again!

  5. Enjoyed this post very much. I have 3 dozen fuchsias in pots (deer issues) - am getting a deer fence this summer and hope to plant some out in the front beds. My sister is a member of the Lane County Dahlia Society and has over 150 plants which she blogs about at

  6. Oh Grace, I'm going to enjoy your posts more and more now. I'm soooo glad you love the same colors as me! :-) Your garden is GORGEOUS as usual but now I'm going to lust over it! We won't have a "garden" until sometime next year, and then it will be contained within our vegetable garden deer proof fence. But, we will have SOMETHING resembling a garden then. For now I'm enjoying the wild flowers and NOT having to water in July and August. :-) I think Idaho was too dry for Chameleon plant, we had a bit of it, so pretty. We actually brought some Agapanthus with us in a pot; leftover from my son's garden when he had to quickly move last year. It's just starting to bloom. So far the deer have left it alone. The beauties in your garden are too numerous to mention, but I've always envied you the fuchsias you grow; just stunning! Maybe next year I'll have some pretty things to show, at least some plans I bet!

  7. Oh, those fuchsias! I had no idea so many more than the F. magellanica were hardyish. I love those dark leaved cannas, too. I was wishing that mine would bloom (not enough sun, I'm sure) but seeing yours, I realize I'm delighted for the beautiful foliage. Interesting to see how well behaved your Houttunyia is in those last pictures - I understand your delight in it. Great post, Grace!

  8. I have a few lilies and they are lovely indeed, but they don't last long. I had one called Dizzy, and only recently realized that I hadn't seen it in some years! Now I have one called Girosa, and it smells like heaven, but those two skimpy flowers only last a few days. Your fuschias always make me swoon. I can't even grow them in a container here in the Garden of Constant Sunshine! LOL I have a tiny little shady spot, but it isn't enough to keep fuschias alive, so I gave up on that idea.

  9. Holy moly!!!! SO Many great plants. All my hardy fuchsias wanna grow up to be like yours. And the variegated Astrantia....drooling.

  10. LOVE IT!! I wish I could grow dierama but our winters are too cold. I love the chameleon plant but it's so invasive here. It looks great with the hibiscus. :o)


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