I usually think of March as Pieris japonica month but it is one of those plants that blooms for a loooong time. Here’s some photos from May 3. From a distance it still looks in bloom, albeit in a dingy get-it-over-with kind of way. An up close look shows the reason for the dinginess. Go here to see my original post on Pieris japonica.
Sometimes my brain thinks in botanical names and sometimes in common names – hence wallflower (Erysimum) with Heuchera (coral bells). Most of the colored leaf Heucheras don’t have coral bells (unlike the old-fashioned green-leaved versions you still see around here and there) so coral bells seems like a misnomer. As for the the wallflower, I find Erysimum a bit of a tongue twister, even in my head. As for the plants… Read more »
May 1, 2013
Aren’t the little pink cones adorable? Of course, they won’t stay pink, they’ll eventually turn brown but this would still be a nice plant to have in the garden. Dwarf conifers add great permanent texture; the needles act as a great foil to larger-leaved plants and contrary to popular belief, some conifers clearly display some great seasonal color. Read more »
Most people want gardens that look good all year, while needing little work and scanty water. Here in Seattle and the maritime PNW, two out of three of the above is pretty easy. Getting a really good-looking garden all year that is low maintenance and drought tolerant requires a lot more thought and planning. Read more »
Ceanothus with Euphorbia characais
I know many of the most glorious Ceanothus took a hit in the harsh Seattle winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11 but I’ll still plant them because they stop me in my tracks every year with their radiant blue flowers. Read more »
Used under creative commons from ajari's photostream
Candytuft, basket-of-gold, heaths/heathers and lithodora are the common denizens of Seattle’s rockeries cloaking the ubiquitous dull gray basalt in a bright cacaphony of color each spring. A subtler and much less common beauty can be found in Phlox subulata ‘Candystripe’. Read more »
Some plants lose their flowers gracefully, even beautifully, others don’t. One that falls into the beautiful category is the hawthorn, shown in the above photo, covering the ground beneath it in a blanket of pale pink. Read more »
Seeds failing to germinate, tomatoes refusing to ripen, and basil languishing are all typical signs of summer in Seattle. It’s often beautiful with pleasant temperatures for people but oh, those poor tropical, heat-loving plants just sulk. I’m sure someone has managed to ripen a melon in Seattle but I haven’t met them.
What a plant needs temperature-wise involves daytime temps, nighttime temps and soil temps. Our cool nights, even in the height of summer, shock and delay growth for many heat-loving plants. (FYI, please, do not buy that poor little basil plant sitting in front of the grocery store at the moment and plop it in the ground expecting it to grow. It needs night time temps reliably above 55°F.) Read more »
April may have a plethora of fragrant shrubs but May doesn’t do too badly either. Two distinctly different fragrant May-blooming shrubs are Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’ (taking over as the Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ starts to wane) and fragrant deciduous azaleas. Read more »
Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera ‘Aurea Nana’. What a mouthful. Dwarf golden threadleaf cypress isn’t that much better. Whatever one chooses to call it, this is a useful shrub. Wow, how’s that for damning something with faint praise? Read more »