As I wrote in my previous post, the Pacific Northwest coast of North America is a real plantsmen's paradise. The botanical and horticultural interest and knowledge here are amazing, and I've often called this area for a "horticultural hotbed". I guarantee that I don't exaggerate one single bit. The propitious growing conditions here allow an extremely wide range of plants to thrive, so many gardeners embrace the possibilities with open arms and minds (to a degree that I sometimes quite miss a good garden design focused discussion...).
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Searching for treasures at the Bloedel Reserve Spring plant sale...
A deep red Trillium cuneatum - any takers...?
An erect Arisaema sikokianum - a quite streamlined, architectural little plant.
A masuri berry, Coriaria nepalensis, is a rare, deciduous shrub with arching stems. It bears red, hanging flowers during the summer. Something for my all too sunny backyard?
The large entrance pond by the main house. The plant sale took place on the front lawn; a magnificent setting for a botanical event.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
At last I found the name of my mystery Fritillaria with checkered racing stripes on its waxy, green petals, that I wrote about two posts ago. As I suspected, it is not a F. pontica at all, but Fritillaria hermonis ssp. amana, native to Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. It is a vigorous bulb, and there is a small forest of tiny shoots on its feet, all coming up from bulbils that emerge from the mother bulbs.
Another slender-stemmed Fritillaria species is also in full bloom in my garden for the moment. Fritillaria latakiensis has green-striped, almost black flowers with a brush-stroke of yellow on the petal tips. It comes from the hills of Southern Turkey and Syria. Just like F. hermonis above, it also loves well-drained soil in a sunny spot and increases obligingly if left undisturbed.
I don't think Anemone nemorosa 'Monstrosa' is monstrous at all; I rather find its frilly flowers a fun, extravagant contrast to the common, modest A. nemorosa flowers. It is a bit like a tiny drag queen, wanting to put up a show instead of being proper. Still, with its small stature and the freshest of spring colours, white and green, it never goes over the top.
The lemony-white Erythronium citrinums, citrus or cream fawn lilies from Oregon and northern California, are also out; I have several tufts of them in the back of my garden now. I've written about them in a earlier post, and they really are one of my favorites (hmmm... do I use that word too much in connection to plants?). I've been planning to plant a part of my garden in Saltsjöbaden with native North American West Coast plants. Erythroniums will definitely be included in it, together with trilliums and other wonderful woodland goodies from these shores. Actually, I might start collecting them here on my blog first...
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Agapetes 'Ludgvan Cross' is an amazing member of the heather family; the form of its delicately striped flowers reminds me of glass vases of the Art Nouveau-period.
With so many plants already blooming in gardens, I shouldn't be complaining, but the tireless rain makes enjoying them challenging. So yesterday, we took ourselves to the Volunteer Park Conservatory. It is one of my favorite garden haunts in Seattle, an classic, old-fashioned greenhouse with great selection of ferns, palms, cacti och other exotics. As I've already written its story (we'll at least a short version of it...) earlier, I won't be repeating any of it here, I'll just show some of the treats we found yesterday. If only they would have turtles and butterflies, the whole family would be pretty well catered for...
The lush displays of the five rooms of the greenhouse are continuosly updated with seasonal displays of flowering plants with well-coordinated colours.*
Some kind of an Impatiens, I think; I couldn't find the name tag of this plant with delicate, pinkish white flowers.*
Even the fly-eating plants, Saracenia alata, were in full bloom; I've never seen them flowering before.*
An unspecified member of the Ficus-family, with bright, leathery, orange fruit growing along its erect stems.*
Tiny flowers of variegated Devil's backbone, Pedilanthus tithymaloides variegata (well, that's a mouthfull...), this amazingly sculptural plant in the cacti room comes from Mexico.*
And another beauty from the cacti room; Pachypodium succulentum from Africa; I think its flowers are amazingly similar to pelagoniums.
**And finally, another angle of the interior of the beautiful fern house.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
A mysterious Fritillaria pontica, as you can see, its petals are clearly checkered...
I think some of my Fritillarias are behaving quite strangely, and I'm not trying to come with a late April Fools Day joke... I got these bulbs a year and a half ago from Marian, who always had the most amazing and rare plants in her garden. I had labeled them as Fritillaria pontica, the Balkan fritillary, and I swear they looked like the ones below last year, when they flowered for the first time in my garden. But yesterday, when I photographed them, I noticed that they are clearly checkered, which Balkan fritillarias are not supposed to be. Now I've been wondering if I've just lost my control and forgotten what I've planted. Or have they really changed? Maybe they were inspired by the more common Fritillaria meleagris nearby and wanted checkered skirts this spring, too? This is a bit of a mystery, I must follow closely as they keep opening their buds...
Fritillaria ponticas, when they still were at home in Marian's garden.