I cannot get over the thrill of plants emerging in spring, tender vibrant leaves bursting forth from earth. And it happens every year. How is nature so smart? Also every year, I’m taken by surprise when I swoon over flowers. I claim I garden primarily for foliage. But you know what? It’s a damn lie.

Cistus 'Bennett's White' is not in the ground yet. But a new bed on the rise.
Cistus ‘Bennett’s White’ is not in the ground yet. But a new bed is on the rise.

Pretty spectacular in bloom, this Cistus was recommended to me by Greg Shepherd at Xera Nursery. I get overwhelmed amidst the riot of nursery stimuli. I’m learning to ask for help–and it’s amazing what I find that way.

Cistus 'Bennett's White' has big blooms on my 2 gallon plant.
Cistus ‘Bennett’s White’ has big blooms on my 2 gallon plant, and scads more to come.

I’ve been lusting for Romneya coulteri, but also warned that it is heartily promiscuous. Cistus ‘Bennett’s White’ is reasonable facsimile, don’t you think? (p.s. I still want the Romneya–despite its wily ways.)

Romneya coulteri -- fabulous though promiscuous.
Romneya coulteri — fabulous though promiscuous.

I also have this little ground cover blooming now. Do I know what it is? Noooo. Dangit. But its flowers repeat theme. Glad I could be helpful. (And if you know, please fill me in.)

And a miniature replica of the flower. Noid. Anyone?
And a miniature replica of the flower. Noid. Anyone?

I hear there are people disciplined enough to not only plan their gardens, but also stick to a theme or color. That’s never going to happen at Flamingo Park. This Peony was in the garden, along with several others, when we moved in. I call her Floozy. We had two near 90 °F days in Portland and surrounds, and the poor plants are so confused. I was able to observe this plant blooming in real time–with petals popping at about 20 second intervals. Crazy.

My Floozy peony. Two near 90 °F days in April are wreaking havoc.
My Floozy peony. Two near 90 °F days in April are wreaking havoc.

The blooms didn’t last long, and were a bit bleached by all that sun. I thought about putting an umbrella over them, but alas, I did not. Getting a decent picture was challenging in the bright light.

Paeonia Itoh. No further id. But dubbed 'Floozy'.
Paeonia Itoh. No further id. But dubbed ‘Floozy’.

Halimium ocymoides is loaded with piercing yellow blooms. And quick too. I have a feeling it’s going to exceed it’s 4′ spread.

Halimium ocymoides with brilliant yellow flowers.
Halimium ocymoides with brilliant yellow flowers.

See, this is its second season. Vigorous, no?

Halimium ocymoides
Halimium ocymoides

This Bletilla below was a gift from friends Dennis and Kathy. They live in Warren, Oregon out Hwy 30 and beyond–which is also the route to Cistus Nursery and Joy Creek Nursery.

(A quick aside, the two Clematis on my friends porch shown in the Hwy 30 & beyond post, are from Joy Creek Nursery. I thought you’d want to know.)

Dennis & Kathy's groovy Clematis from Joy Creek Nursery.
Dennis & Kathy’s groovy Clematis combo from Joy Creek Nursery.

The Bletilla flower color is marvelous against its Epimedium backdrop.

Bletilla striata - a gift from friends Kathy & Dennis-out Hwy 30.
Bletilla striata – a gift from friends Kathy & Dennis-out Hwy 30.

See.

Color from Bletilla striata pops against lush foliage.
Color from Bletilla striata pops against lush foliage.

How about one more, or maybe 2 more?

Pulsatilla montana aka the lovely Mountain Pasque Flower.
Pulsatilla montana aka the lovely Mountain Pasque Flower.

The Mountain Pasque Flower is lovely in its own right. But the seed head, oh lordy, fabulousity incarnate.

Pulsatilla montana seed head. Fabulosity incarnate.
Pulsatilla montana seed head. Fabulosity incarnate.

And these too.

I leave you with a puppy. Megan‘s latest foster pup from Oregon Humane Society, held by big bad little brother Elliot.

Elliot Wagenblatt holding his  sister's foster puppy. So far, named Puppy.
Elliot Wagenblatt holding his sister’s foster puppy.

Cheers