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Monday, September 30, 2013

Cape Primrose

Welcome to my Monday post,  I am linking with:

Blue Monday, hosted by Smiling Sally

Macro Monday 2, hosted by Gemma Wiseman

I Heart Macro, hosted by Laura

Mandarin Orange Monday, hosted by Lori

Monday Mellow Yellows, hosted by Gemma Wireman

Sculpture by Noelle Winiecki, Marylhurst College Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis-

Cape Primrose with a blue cast caused by the camera-

Cape Primrose closer to true colors-

Raindrops on Euphorbia lathyris, Gopher Purge-

Thanks for visiting, Hannah

or cameras are macro

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Favorite Plant of the Week, Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks', September 26, 2013

My favorite plant pick of the week is my new Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks', favorite of my 6 new Goldenrods I am trying out this year.   To read more about them see my Wildflower Wednesday post here.  'Fireworks' grew three stems its first year, and is blooming on long thin branches that fan out like sparks exploding outward.   'Fireworks' is more tolerant of wet soils than most Goldenrods and makes a clump 2.5' - 3' tall and wide.  It blooms from September to October, and attracts bees and butterflies.  It is hardy from zone 4 to 8.  Photos on the internet show a magnificent display when the plant spreads into a clump.

It and the other Goldenrods that were 3' tall needed to be staked in their first year, which is a drawback but I think when they have grown into a clump that will not be a problem, fingers crossed.

To see other bloggers' plant picks for favorite plant of the week, join them at Loree's blog, Danger Garden, and see the links in the comments section.


Wildflower Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Welcome to my Wildflower Wednesday post, to see more wildflowers click on the link for hostess Gail's blog, Clay and Limestone, where this month she is posting on Physostegia virginiana, False Dragonhead.

This month I am featuring my new goldenrods.  I was intrigued by goldenrods on other WW posts, for their benefits for pollinators, clumping rhizomatous growth, and uses as medicinal and anise-flavored tea plants.  There are not many native in Washington state, just 4 according to the Burke Museum, Solidago lepida, missouriensis, multiradiata, and simplex, and none actually in my county.    I was hesitant to get some of the wild varieties since they have a reputation for spreading rampantly by rhizomes, so I bought some named varieties that are not so invasive, here they are with photos of their progress this summer, ordered from Forest Farm-

Solidago Laurin, a dwarf, very short but not yet blooming-

Solidago Little Lemon, short and with a nice compact cluster of flowers-

Solidago rugosa Fireworks, long bloom spikes that are reminescent of fireworks exploding and streaking off into the darkness-

Solidago shortii Solar Cascade, it grew several stems and is blooming satisfactorily-

Solidago sphacelata Golden Fleece, it grew several stems and is blooming, but it is not as short as the 1' tall dwarf it is claimed to be-
Flower close-up-

And finally I also ordered the most fragrant and best-flavored for tea Solidago odora from Prairie Nursery, but I went out to take a photo lately and found the tall plant had turned brown, and seems to be dead, I don't know why.  It's always possible that voles damaged the roots.

I'm puzzled somewhat not to have observed any pollinators on the plants.  BTW if you think Goldenrods cause hay fever, it is a myth, Ragweed with inconspicuous flowers but very allergenic pollen blooms at the same time and is the real culprit.   I am happy that most bloomed and am looking forward to seeing what they develop into as they form more of a clump.

So, plant some native plants for those pollinators that we can't live without, or at least get much fruit without.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Portland Rose Garden, September 23, 2013

Welcome to my Monday post, I am linking with-

Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma Wiseman

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Mandarin Orange Monday hosted by Lorik

Monday Mellow Yellows hosted by Gemma Wiseman

This week I am featuring a visit to the Portland Or. (City of Roses) Rose Garden.

Lots of roses were still blooming.   I photographed my current favorites, peach-apricot roses, with one exception.   I didn't manage to keep track of names much, many weren't labeled.  Etoile de Feu-

This lavender rose, Lagerfeld, was 6' tall-

This Fuchsia seemed to be climbing up the hedge behind, it contrasts with the wide
Elephant ear leaves below-

There is also a William Shakespeare garden that has tropical looking plants.  Sorry about the poor focus, but this Tibouchina has lots of flowers-

A Crape Myrtle full of blooms-

An Angel Trumpet-

Cape Primrose at home-

So, a sad farewell to Summer, and hello to Autumn, the rainy season is in full swing here now.

or cameras are macro


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Favorite plant of the week- Aronia September 19, 2013

I am joining in with other bloggers to participate in Loree of Danger Garden's plant favorite of the week posts.   Click on the link, then see the comment section for other links.

My pick is Aronia melanocarpa, a native fruit and the one with highest ORAC value of any North American fruit, an index of ability to quench reactive oxidation in the body, destructive forces that cause inflammation and disease problems, so a very healthy fruit to grow and eat.   The common name is chokecherry, so it is not the most delicious fruit to eat raw, though my son found that with ice cream or sweetened yogurt it could be palatable.  It is delicious cooked and strained though, and is used in some juice blends, such as Old Orchard Blueberry Pomegranate and Cranberry Blend.  I typically make it into a gelatin dessert, or thickened sauce, or  I freeze the strained cooked fruit in ice trays so I can just pop out a cube when needed.  

My 2 Viking Aronia bushes were insanely loaded this year.  I've had to realize I should have been cutting them back  because I think the growth is getting too far out on the branches, they are 7-8' tall, so being loaded this year, they have tended to collapse, though that is limited by the deer fence.   Deer love it, and also birds who are competing with me this year to strip the bushes.

What is so special about Aronia is that unlike Blueberries or currants which ripen a few at a time in clusters, with both green and ripe berries, so while picking the ripe fruits, the green ones can be broken off at the same time, Aronia grow in clusters hanging from a single stem, and ripen all at the same time.   To harvest, I just take a large grocery bag out and snap off the stems, throw them in the bag until it is full, then I can take it inside and sit around at night watching TV or whatever and pull the berries off the stems and directly into ziplock freezer bags, so harvesting is a dream.

There are also dwarf varieties available.   So if you only have room for one fruit tree or bush, my pick for health benefits would be Aronia.  They have nice glossy green leaves and gray-brown bark, white flowers in spring, and nice red fall color.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Blue Macro Monday, September 16, 2013

Welcome to my post, this week I am linking to

Blue Monday, hosted by Smiling Sally

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma Wiseman

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Mandarin Orange Monday hosted by Lorik

Monday Mellow Yellows hosted by Gemma Wiseman

This is a painting done by my son Adam 15 years ago, my photographic skills were not sufficient to eliminate the light fixture from the photo-

This is my newest plant aquisition, Veronica spicata 'Summer Border Blue, it is stiff so doesn't flop like my old Veronica, and is a much more vivid color-

It was raining today, look at what the Oxalis does with that-

I've been exploring starting Primulas from seed, this one I started on April 15 and just planted out, it is blooming already-

Thanks for visiting.

or cameras are macro


Foliage Follow-up September 16, 2013

Welcome to my Foliage Follow-up post, to see other people's foliage photos, click on the link to Pam's blog, Digging.

Miscanthus sinensis Zebra Grass-

Daphne 'Lawrence Crocker', small and rounded, purple flowers in spring-

Daphne tangutica, pink and white blooms in spring, large 3-4' mound-

Pulmonaria, seedling of Excaliber-

Salvia lyrata-

Happy Foliage Follow-up!    Hannah

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, September 15, 2013

Welcome to What's Blooming Now in my garden.  To see what's blooming elsewhere join hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens by clicking on the link.

Stars of the September garden are the Anemones, japonica and tomentosa.

The last Anemone is in a wide shot of my front porch garden, with the wonderful fragrant Daphne x transylvanica 'Summer Ice' in front, which blooms continuously from spring until fall, followed by a variegated Jasmine, a couple of Choisyas, the Anemone, Schisandra vine, and a cutleaf Japanese Maple, the one featured in my opening shot.

Another star of the garden for the entire summer and fall is the wonderful spreading Geranium Rozanne, here with Baby Blanket rose.

The Heather with the cute purple balloon flowers is very large and covered with flowers-
And a pink heather

My newest plant is a wonderful Veronica spicata 'Summer Border Blue', which unlike my old Veronica has very stiff stems that don't flop, and an intense blue-purple bloom.

Another new plant is Echinacea 'Raspberry Truffle', not a color I would call raspberry but one of my favorite sunset peach/apricot colors.

Other plants blooming are Agastaches, Oreganos, Nasturtiums, Larkspur, Gilia, Zephirine Drouhin rose, and 4 of my new Goldenrods which I will feature on Wildflower Wednesday.

What's blooming in your garden?