Monday, April 11, 2011


The Euphorbia have taken over one a small space on the side of my garage. This year's display is spectacular.

One of two Hostas that are shooting up under my big Cedar tree.  They look like some sort of bulb plant like a daffodil or tulip and in the photo below, they are slowly unwrapping themselves into beautiful leaves.

If you plant them, they will grow.  My first tulips.

A sweet, all-white daffodil.  Along with the tulips, the only bright spot in my ugly dog run, which is 
getting a face lift this spring.  

A pretty Azaelia I just bought and ready for planting. 

A newly revived hydrangea.  I bought this as a plant last Easter and planted it in a sunny spot last summer.  Big mistake.  Hydrangeas don't like sun pounding down on them all day long. It will get moved in a few weeks.  

My grated pear tree, which has four different kinds of pears.  It's just blooming and leaving
 right now.  We had a last-minute snow storm in the Portland hills last week.  It could have killed the possibility
 of any fruit this fall. Fortunately, the city was spared a big dip in temperature.

This tiny little Grape Hyacinth is such a pretty color and shape.  It multiplies like crazy and is a 
wonderful spring flower.  

A pretty pink Peonie that is more than three times its original size from last year.  Should 
produce some gorgeous blooms in another month or so.  

These daffodils should open any day now.  I ran out of room in the garden last November and 
decided to fill an unused planter at the foot of my door walkway.  

We're still  mired in cold, damp, rainy weather at nearly the halfway mark in April.  Friday we were teased with a beautiful, warm, sunny day that lulled us into thinking that a few days of sunshine were at last here. It was not to be.  It got cooler and more overcast on Saturday morning as my friend, Trish Hamilton arrived to take me to the Hardy Plant Sale that happens every year at the Portland Exposition Center.  We arrived for the show ten minutes before the door opened and there were already long lines snaking through the Exposition lobby.  We grabbed a box flat to capture our purchases and at 10:00 AM we filed in to view a huge selection of plants being offered from local Portland-area growers.

I haven't quite been bitten by the garden bug yet. Gardening is a messy, dirty business and my 60-year-old-knees loudly protest whenever I have to put any weight on them, even for a few minutes.  Gardening requires vigilance, vision and a capacity for attacking weeds at will.  Still I've managed to amass a large variety of flowering shrubs, bushes, and flowering plants, and a few trees in a very short time.  My weeping cherry, purchased last season rewarded me with a nice flowering display a week or so ago.  My daffodils in the dog run have bloomed, and yesterday, I noticed the tulips I put in last November are just beginning to bloom there was well.  The Hostas have thrown up their annual shoots and their tightly-wound leaves are in the process of unfurling.  The peonies are shooting up and should bloom at the end of next month (sunshine permitting).  The lilac bush is sprouting its leaves. I don't think I'll get blooms this year, as this is the first year since I planted it. The Japanese maples are budding, as are the hydrangeas, and grape Hyacinths. All the rose bushes are ready for blooming, sporting their vibrant red-green leaves and I hope these produce spectacularly this year.  I worry because if it continues to be such a soggy spring, they will pout and not produce as well, which was the situation last summer.  The white Camellia produced a spectacular display again this year, but I can't wait for my friend Dyanne to visit and help me prune it back into a more manageable shape.  It's entirely too big right now, cutting down on the light in the guest bedroom.  But the three weeks it is in full bloom just take your breath away.

Back to Saturday's flower sale:  I was lusting for a gorgeous white lilac tree, but I'm not sure I have a place for it at the moment.  And I'm told it will grow to 30 feet.  At about 12-14 feet currently, it was certainly on its way and the price was very tempting.  Sanity took over.  I settled instead on a Viburnum which will produce large pink flowers very much like a hydrangea.  It can take some muted sun, and I've got just the spot for it.

A plant I see in a lot of gardens in Portland is Helleborus, which has a blossom that reminds me of a sturdier clematis.  The version I bought is called 'Pink Lady' but it looks more purplish than pink.  It too likes shady areas of the garden, so it will go on one side of my fountain, along with a bunch of new Hostas.

These two delicate "lamp shade"-shaped flowers are called Fritillaria.  They look like they were designed in the Arts and Crafts era.  They are very delicate, pretty bloomers.  The next plant is a Cordyline, known as 'Red Sensation'.  It too grows in sun and partial shade, so I think it will go on the patio in a pot where it will get just that kind of light.

I had such good luck with a geranium last summer that when I passed this pretty little pot, I couldn't resist.  I'll plant it in the same hanging pot I put last year's specimen in and see what happens.  You can see on the left inside my vegetable planter box, the bright green shoots of my returning Tarragon.  Oregano and Italian parsley along with last year's Sage are planted.  Thyme, mint and chives also came back and are thriving in their own pots where they don't amok.

I decided for my hanging tomato planters off my bedroom balcony, I'll plant cherry tomatoes this season. I purchased Sun Gold (yellow) and Baby Girl red cherry tomatoes and they will be planted in a few weeks when I'm sure the cold won't kill them.  And finally I found this stunning echeveria with it's light green throat and coral ruffled edge and underleaf.  I will keep it as a houseplant indoors until it's warm and then bring it back in next fall.  

1 comment:

  1. I love peonies! They were beautiful back in NJ. Be sure to send pictures. You sure have a beautiful collection of plants this year!