New plants! (they just showed up on my doorstep)

New plants! (they just showed up on my doorstep)

We have such a wealth of amazing nurseries here in the Pacific Northwest that I’ll admit to not doing much online plant shopping. While it’s fun to browse, I usually default to visiting a local establishment where I am seduced by the plants that surround me. However what happens when there’s a certain plant I simply must have and I can’t find it locally? An online order is placed, post haste! Read More…

breaking news: Iris confusa

breaking news: Iris confusa

I meant to write about another topic. Actually, two other topics. And then I took pictures of this Iris confusa. You can understand why I had to post these, right? And here I thought I didn’t like Iris that much. When will I learn not to write off a whole category of plants? Does anyone else do that, proclaim disdain for an entire genus–and then get their well-deserved, yet happy comeuppance? I hope I’m not alone.

Read More…

Aucuba japonica ‘Longifolia’ — “a supreme shrub for dry shade”

Aucuba japonica ‘Longifolia’ — “a supreme shrub for dry shade”

Last week my partners each wrote plant features: one a new discovery and one an old favorite — both dramatic beauties with sexy texture for days. Wanting to be one of the cool kids I thought “what plant should I write about?” and looked around my garden for some showstopper to introduce you to. But my eyes kept returning to the Aucuba japonica ‘Longifolia’…which is really the opposite of flashy, more like a dependable old friend. Read More…

A groovy plant: Rhodocoma capensis

A groovy plant: Rhodocoma capensis

Rhodocoma capensis aka Cape Restio is described by our friends at Xera Plants thusly: “Light textured perennial from South Africa, this species forms a 6′ fountain of stems like giant green feather dusters. Resembles bamboo and grass—though related to neither. Full sun in well drained acid soil–amend with bark, no fertilizer or compost. Regular H2O. Dies to the ground below 15 °F. Returns from the base in spring.”

Read More…

New Plant Obsession: Itea ilicifolia

New Plant Obsession: Itea ilicifolia

Somehow, this plant escaped my notice, and boy do I feel silly. It has everything I love in a plant. Dramatic, cascading, pendulous, prolific, foot-long green flowers! Which is quite enough for me. But it’s fragrant, bee-friendly, and evergreen to boot? I am dying.

Read More…

plants on the move + some

plants on the move + some

I sometimes hesitate to show before and after photos of my former garden. It’s distressing for us gardeners to see the fruits of our love and labor laid to waste. Recently, though, I’ve been perusing old photos in consideration of my new garden. I was pleasantly reminded of what survived the transplant–and also of what I’d left behind and have since replaced. Honestly, I’m okay. I hope you will be too.

Read More…

Never say never, redux

Never say never, redux

I am a long time proponent of the one-plant-per-pot style of container gardening. Even with succulents I prefer to keep it simple and let that one strong plant stand alone — all the better to appreciate its features. However as I’ve said before (for example here) never say never… Read More…

blades of garden: earning their keep

blades of garden: earning their keep

I admit, I’ve been avoiding the garden, Oh, it’s been warm enough to be out there, and I’m at least keeping my bird feeders full. The problem is, every time I go out there, I see weeds. And I’m not done with my inside projects. So many test colors on so many wall. Ai yi yi.

The picture atop this post is from several seasons ago in my Alameda Hellstrip. I loved that combination, especially the Phormium, which is sadly no longer with us.

Read More…

Shopping cart gardens

Shopping cart gardens

Since Megan shared the exciting news yesterday that plantlust.com is now shipping plants I thought it would be fun timing to share a few images I’ve been collecting of shopping cart gardens. Get it? Online shopping/shopping carts? “You have 2 items in your shopping cart, proceed to checkout or keep shopping?” — oh ya, that’s right — if you have to explain a joke it’s not funny. Anyway… Read More…