Friday, February 2, 2018

The Proof is in the Banana!

If it weren't for this monster:

Hardy banana, (Musa basjoo) after a hard frost would think we didn't even have a winter here in the Pacific Northwest. I mean, unlike the hardy banana's foliage--sad and brown from a cold snap in December--most plants haven't died back at all this winter, so far anyway. Next week's temps are predicted to be in the sixties and the more time that slips by, the less likely we are to have more cold weather. Fine by me. Spring? Bring it on!

Today's temperature on my patio.

Here are some bloomers in my garden:

Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Ruby Glow'

I admit I'm not a huge hellebore fan. I bought this one because of these delicious leaves. They always look fantastic.
Helleborus x ericsmithii 'Ruby Glow'

My 'Freckles' winter blooming Clematis has grown so high in the Viburnum that it's difficult to get a decent photo. But I'm not complaining.
Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles' on Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn'

Can you see the honeybee in the lower flower?

 These tiny flowers pack a powerful, delicious fragrance. 

Chimonanthus praecox -- oh so fragrant!

Chimonanthus praecox

And speaking of fragrance, the Daphne odoras are fixing to bloom!

Daphne odora

 Daphne odora 'Marianni' 

And the Skimmia is also about ready to pop.

Skimmia japonica [Male]

My Sarcococca has been blooming since early January. It is so beautifully fragrant. 

Sarcococca ruscifolia

Sarcococca ruscifolia

This pretty Camellia sits outside in my courtyard and I see it every time I look up from my computer screen. I just love those summery-winter, bright pink blossoms.

Camellia sasanqua 'Shishi-Gashira'

Some of the early Crocus are blooming too!

Crocus and opportunist.

Crocus with emerging Galanthus

The Oxalis are super early. Most of them are like this one, still in full-leaf mode. 
Oxalis crassipes 'Rosea'

 With Viburnum tinus, the buds are as pretty as the flowers. 

Viburnum tinus buds

Viburnum tinus flowers

 Under my covered patio, my potted Farfugiums continue to look gorgeous.

Farfugium japonicum 'Argenteo Marginata' flowering!

Farfugium leaves...aren't they yummy?

I've had this Brachyscome overwinter for me several times. It's a tough "annual." 
Brachyscome 'Radiant Magenta'

A tiny fragrant Violet

Euphorbia 'Blackbird'


This Polygala is late. Last year it started blooming in November and continued all through winter.  

Polygala chamaebuxus

 And here is my purple flowered Polygala not far behind, which is right on schedule for the late-winter bloomer. 

Polygala chamaebuxus 'Kaminski'

This amazing hardy geranium is already looking fab. 

Geranium x oxonianum 'Katherine Adele'

And finally, if you're still with me, all of my Allium schubertii are up and look promising. 

Allium schubertii
Thanks for visiting. I hope to get back to reading blogs this year 
to see how your garden is growing.


  1. The weather is decidedly weird but I'm glad that Mother Nature is being kind to you overall. Your Polygala chamaebuxus is charming. I've never seen a yellow-flowered Polygala here although P. fruticosa and P. myrtifolia are common.

  2. Hi there - I'm thrilled to know about that winter blooming Clematis, "Freckles". That's a new one for me and I know just where I'd like to put one. Being in Portland, I'm also amazing by the mild temps. Good ole' Matt Zafino said that "this past January was the warmest on record for Portland", brought to us by climate change. Good news, bad news.(I have family in Santa Paula where that devastating fire started in December - horrible). But yes, to being out in the garden! My new cedar garden boxes will be installed this Thursday so I can get to planting spring peas early. Your garden looks wonderful and I always learn so much from you Grace - thank you! Take care and be well, Susie

  3. So many familiar plants, a little early for most of them here in the East coast of Scotland. Except for the Viburnum Tinus which is in full bloom, your one looks like Eve Price. I cant make up my mind regarding host plants, although your Clematis 'Freckles looks fantastic.

  4. Grace--Agreed! Strange, spring-like winter. We had a mosquito accompanying us yesterday outside working! (Probably going to be a bad year for bugs--none killed off by winter.) It is so warm and refreshing outside now. AMAZING young buds and blooms in your garden--just shocked at the timeline. Although, the older I get, the more time flies. So maybe it's more "February" than my mind has actually acknowledged yet. Is your Oxallis Rosea really blooming now? I especially like your photo of the close-up single Crocus.

  5. Nice! I must admit I am a Hellebore fan, and that foliage is lovely. It's great to see spring happening somewhere. It will be at least mid-March before it happens here. Crocuses, Primulas, and Viburnums...oh my! :)

  6. my hellebores stuck with me through my illness and i have only ever lost one or two. That said, i am looking now for only those with the beautiful foliage. Geranium x oxonianum 'Katherine Adele' and winter blooming clematis are now on my wish list. i think that first crocus you showed is a tommie ‘lilac beauty’. It is the first to bloom in my garden.

  7. Gracie girl you are making me crazy but you know that anyways don't you !
    Flaunting those temps and the ability to work in the garden with actual blooming plants .. now how mean is that when we are in winter storm mode?
    I love the opportunist in that shot ? LOL ... hey I would even take THAT right now when all we see is WHITE .. haha ... hey I hope you become a little more tolerant of hellebore (I would have shared some of my pretties with you girl .. if it weren't for the BORDER ? LOL)
    OK .. enough of my nonsense .. enjoy yourself but think of us poor northerners stuck in winter gear STILL !!

  8. Grace, that banana plant looks like all the annuals on my deck that were still active until we had the unusual freezing week in Texas ... the stock and dianthus and mint are the only plants that survived well. I am surprised and happy that my huge sacco palm made it through the ice and snow with no damage. I'm sure your garden is going to be lovely again this summer and looking forward to your great photos of it.

  9. Who could think there are so many blooming plants in February! Grace, your garden always surprises me with its variety. You have a great collection of plants for all seasons!
    I stopped complaining about our rain after seeing images of snowy eastern and central states. Of course, I had a sunny break in Arizona....

  10. My goodness, I had no idea that your winter could be THAT mild! Lucky girl.

  11. So much happening in your garden! I'll just be glad when I'm back to actually having a garden. :o)

  12. Crazy Clematis ! Only one zone away and you have color in your garden, soon some will be here.. Great to see new blooms.

  13. Hey there, Miss Grace.

    As usual your garden is much more colorful than mine. I have white and brown as far as the eye can see. You have almost convinced me to try Hellebores. Must resist....

    Christine in Alaska, snow everywhere


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