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 »
Alright, I’m having a mental block. All my attempts to come up with a pithy yet evocative description of these plants falls short so today, I’ll just let the pic explain itself.
- yellow flowers, far left and bottom right – Aurinia saxatilis, basket-of-gold, evergreen
- blue flowers, center – Rosmarinus officinalis, quite possibly ‘Tuscan Blue’ based on how deep a blue the flowers are, evergreen
- chartreuse, short, right – Euphorbia myrsinites, donkey tail spurge, a self-sower so beware.
Veronica peduncularis ‘Georgia Blue’
Blue flowers still wow me. I’ve been gardening in Seattle for 20+ years and every spring I still marvel at the Lithodora diffusa. I can’t believe I live in a place where a common rockery plant can have such jaw-dropping electric blue flowers – and it’s not alone. Less common but with blue flowers that are just as wowsome isVeronica peduncularis ‘Georgia Blue.’ Read more »
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (left) and Magic Carpet spirea 3/2/2013
There’s something to be said for being a laissez-faire gardener who is dilatory in cutting back you plants. Here, the autumn hues of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ stems are beautifully complemented by the brilliant orange new growth of Spiraea japonica ‘Walbuma’ aka Magic Carpet spirea. A moment in garden time soon to be lost as the stems of the sedum inevitably get cut back to let the new stems, now just tender little blue-green nubs, have their time in the sun and the fiery orange leaves of the spirea fade to chartreuse. Read more »
Red twig dogwoods with heavenly bamboo and ceanothus (far right), October 2012
One of my earliest posts showed leafless red twig dogwoods (Cornus sp.) backed by heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) and Ceanothus. It was a great winter/early spring plant grouping. Read more »
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ with Pennisetum orientale. At top left is a spent flowerhead of Allium cristophii.
Aren’t these two gorgeous? I’m feeling mighty pleased with myself since I both took the photo and put this combo together. (I know putting Sedum with a grass doesn’t exactly qualify as innovative but it still pleases me.) Read more »
Oregano self sows all over a yard I care for and let me tell you oregano seedlings do not like to let go of the soil. I tend to pull up the smaller ones, hoping not to throw out my back as I do so, and hack back the larger ones. Every now and then, though, an oregano seedling chooses such a perfect spot to seed itself that I almost forgive all its brethren the unfortunate places they have picked. Read more »
Prunus laurocerasus limbed up
Cherry laurels are reviled and I admit that the full-sized version (Prunus laurocerasus) can be supremely annoying. They are often planted as hedges in Seattle. A plant that wants to reach 15-30′ wide being used as a hedge on anything smaller that an estate is criminal. I had one. It engulfed stairs, other plants and small children whenever you looked the other way. Prune, prune, slave, slave and not even great flowers to cut for the house. Cherry laurel hedges always win. Read more »
A summer only hedge
People often don’t hang out in their front yards – too public. You can put up a fence, or a hedge tall enough to give privacy or you can have your hedge and eat it too. 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 »