open garden season: Hardy Plant Society of Oregon

open garden season: Hardy Plant Society of Oregon

Anita Barbey and Todd Liebow kindly opened their historic garden to Hardy Plant Society members this weekend. (Just join already. Months of fabulous garden tours and all for $35.) From the HPSO guide: The garden was designed and constructed for Lady Anne Kerr McDonald and her husband Sir James McDonal in 1940. It includes rare mature trees–Stewartia monadelpha, Trochodendron araliodies, Acer Griseum, Sciadopitys verticillata, Cunninghamia lanceolata, and Metasequoia gylpostroboides.

I did not take pictures of any of those things, because I forgot while looking down. And I was distracted by all the other gardeners I needed to talk with. (more…)

plant lust list: Canna musafolia

plant lust list: Canna musafolia

 

How much fun is it to say Banana Canna. Right up there with Sambucus. This post has nothing to do with Sambucus–aside from the delight in saying its name. Sambucus was my first deliberate Latin plant name utterance. Megan taught me when she urged me to buy a lacy Fern Leaf Elderberry. That plant got big and gorgeous. No worries. The new peeps poisoned it and it is long gone. I will not be bitter, I swear.

Canna musafolia aka Banana Canna is not only fun to say, it’s leaves are big, dramatic, and it sways romantically in the breeze. You’ll think you’re on vacation. (more…)

Zone Denial Pacific Northwest Style: gambling on a mild winter

Zone Denial Pacific Northwest Style: gambling on a mild winter

When we first heard the forecast, Bill lamented not having Champagne in stock. It’s a tradition. We watched the first flurries from our toasty living room. It was no blizzard, but lovely just the same. Bill started a fire. The dog slept. We ate lunch on the sofa and had a glass of wine.

Lunch on the sofa. Soup requires careful balance.

It was early in the day, but after all, snow. The forecasts had been all over, though most said no accumulation “on the valley floor,” that’s the Willamette Valley floor. They always says that. (more…)

plant lust list: Bergenia

plant lust list: Bergenia

Yesterday on Facebook, fellow gardening geek Dale Hickey, posed the “name your current plant crush” challenge. I love that game, and immediately thought Bergenia, a plant I fought to eradicate in my former garden. Now I’m buying them again, albeit cooler varieties. How about you? What’s your current squeeze. Formerly disdained, or not. (more…)