Hydrangea, lacecap variety, cultivar unkown and Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’
Don’t these shrubs look healthy and quite magnificent together? I expect they’ve been getting some supplemental water or the hydrangea in particular wouldn’t be looking so spritely. This planting is east facing with a fair amount of exposure from the south. Although both the Choisya and the Hydrangea can take quite a bit of shade, both are more beautiful with a fair chunk of sun (provided you’re willing to water). The sun helps the blossom set on the hydrangea and the golden color on the Choisya. Gorgeous now in late summer, in winter it will be okay. The Choisya is evergreen and bare naked hydrangeas are far from the ugliest shrubs around.
Edible nasturtiums and calendulas for the vegetable or ornamental beds
I’m about to put some raised beds in my hellstrip (the sunniest part of the yard) to grow edibles. I started to write vegetables and herbs but I’ll actually have strawberries, blueberries, possibly grapes and edible flowers mixed in so even though growing “edibles” sounds all trendy it is also accurate. Read more »
Attractive late summer planting. Isn’t that purple-leaved plum in the background a nice touch?
At times in my life I’ve been good at keeping notes about plants I grow and occasionally I’m really greatful for my diligence because I instantly recognized the airy grass billowing so beautifully and pinkly in the above picture but the name – anath.. something. Usually that’s enough for google but not this time so I actually went hunting through my old notecards and there it was, Anemanthele lessoniana, pheasant grass (aka Stipa arundinacea). Read more »
Oh, I do like this idea. Doors under the deck to hide its dark, ugly underbelly – and all of the ladders, wheelbarrows and buckets that are typically stored there. I’m always on the lookout for fences that are functional and decorative and this one definitely qualifies for both. I’ve walked past this house dozens of times and finally really noticed how clever they were -which really makes me wonder about my observation skills. The fence is tall, screening a deck and the different width slats make it mildly interesting. They’ve got a plant growing up the side (that clearly gets adequate water despite the apparently small planting “hole”) and a couple of planting boxes to soften up the whole big wall feel but it’s those clever doors under the deck that makes this such a great design. Imagine how this would look walking by without those doors – dark, dirt and chances are, clutter. With the doors, ugliness is hidden and passersby get only a pleasing view. A great solution to an off-the-ground deck.
An institutional planting that almost does everything right. Someone chose a varied plant palette for this apartment/condo complex on 24th NW in Ballard. Banana (Musa sp), Hydrangea aspera, purple-leaved elderberry (Sambucus), weeping blue Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica glauca ‘Pendula’) and a host of other plants give provide color and texture to the planting beds around this building. It looks great now, in another year or so, they will have a problem. The planting width is a few feet and many of these plants will get 8-10′ wide. Read more »
The botanical names given to plants have meaning. Take Pseudotsuga menziesii whose common name is Douglas fir. This PNW native tree is similar to a hemlock (Tsuga) hence a pseudo tsuga. It was first described by naturalist Archibald Menzies. The common name comes from NW explorer David Douglas. If something has macrophylla as its species name expect big leaves. If it has alba in it, think white. Read more »
Miscanthus sinensis with Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm??”
I have mixed feelings about the big ornamental grasses. They can be stunning, showstoppers, drive into the curb beauties. They can also be a total pain to look after and downright ugly if not cared for properly. Read more »
Powdery mildew on Nandina domestica (Heavenly bamboo)
Powdery mildew is a fungus but a strange and counter-intuitive one; it hates water.
A variety of fungi can cause powdery mildew, some species will attack an array of different plants; others are host-specific. Powdery mildew likes shade and mild temperatures and it dislikes water. Leaf temps above 90°F may kill some powdery mildew. Direct sunlight can slow it down and the spores die in water. Read more »
Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ (6-8″H x 12″W)
The plant breeders clearly spend a lot of time working on hostas which is rather refreshing since a hosta is all about leaves and not flowers. The up side of the leaves being the focal point of the plant is that you get your pleasure throughout the growing season – unless the slugs enjoy themselves too well when the hostas wake in the spring, eating holes right through the curled leaves so that every leaf has a hole. For the rest of the summer you gnash your teeth every time you look at that holey hosta. If only you’d put out bait, bought sieboldiana hybrids (more slug-resistant) or found a really nice fake hosta. That would teach the slugs. Read more »
Hawthorn suffering from Entomosporium leafspot disease
In April I wrote about hawthorns (Crataegus sp.), the good and the bad. The photo above is an example of the bad. Really, do you want this in your yard? If you have one of these unfortunate trees, is there any reasonable thing that you can do to keep it from defoliating? Not really. Read more »