Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday Vignette - Time for a Garden Party!

This garden party comes from the vintage market at the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival.  While winter still holds us firmly in it's icy fingers, this kind of garden party will have to do.  Only 25 more days until spring!
I'm joining Anna at Flutter and Hum, the host of our Wednesday Vignette meme.  Click here to join the party.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Four-Letter Word Beginning with "S" followed by the "F" word.

That's right, snow.  What were you thinking?   After our warm January and a cloudy  wet Candlemas we all thought that spring was arriving. 

If Candlemas day be dry and fair,  The half o' winter to come and mair. If Candlemas's day be wet and foul.  The half o' winter gane at Yule.  Seems that modern weather forecasters pay little attention to ancient Scottish wisdom.  Sunday morning brought big beautiful snowflakes.

The flakes were were joined for a time by hail.

Not a lot of snow but instead of melting off as usual, the mercury plummeted and brought that "F" word, freezing.  Again, where was your mind.


This was the only kind of snow drop I'd hoped to see.

Truth be told, the other two "S" and "F" words may have been uttered by more than one gardener in the PNW.

Even the early-blooming "Tommies" (crocus tommasinianus) are closed against the cold and look a little frost-bitten around the edges.

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' doesn't seem to mind but the Camellia japonica flowers are frozen and will drop.  Fortunately, there are more buds to take their place.  Magnolia buds have started to fatten up and I worry that they might succumb as the temperatures get even lower over the next couple of days.

I've never seen hellebores do this before.  Hopefully they'll pop back up when the weather warms. 

Stachyurus praecox doesn't seem to mind. 

I keep throwing boiling water on top of the frozen bird baths so that our feathered friends can have a drink.  Interesting how fast it refreezes.

Rhododendrons do this when it gets cold but it's still sad to see. 

I was planning on bringing the dormant begonia tubers out of the basement and putting them into the stained glass room this weekend but why try to heat that space when it's so cold? 

Meanwhile, there ares some bright spots in the greenhouse even though it's a bit messy out there at the moment. 

Scadoxus puniceus is popping up and soon it's happy orange pompom blooms will open.  Maybe spring isn't so far off after all. 
How's your garden faring this winter? 

Monday, February 19, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Recently, my garden blogging pal Alison (Bonney Lassie) gave me this sweet vase she'd purchased at Disneyland.  She'd noticed that I seemed a little grumpy about the cold snap predicted (and now beginning) and needed a little cheering up.

For those of you in cold winter climates, predictions of temperatures in the high teens may seem downright balmy but here it  felt as if spring would arrive early and plants, usually much later to make an appearance have begun to show their faces because of our warm January.  For those of you in the Pacific Northwest who are fretting about your plants, I offer these winter blooms from my garden in Alison's vase to pass the cheer along.

Joining the vase is this bird nest, a symbol of hope that spring will, indeed arrive...eventually.

A visit to Vassey Nursery (in the snow!) yesterday found the folks there busy protecting plants and unpacking all sorts of new merchandise like this cool and inexpensive head pot.  She's wearing a primrose dragged in from the cold.

The little red cyclamen begged to be added to the picture.  Who could say no to such a sweet redhead?

The crocus opened in the warmth of the house and,  like a cherished friendship warmed the cockles of my heart. 

As I write this, the wind is howling outside, the snow and hail on the ground are frozen and the temperature is below freezing (Accuweather says the real feel is 10 degrees) but inside there's a little pot of spring.

Perhaps this head pot's name should be Alison.  Thanks pal for the thoughtful gift, it made my day!
Cathy at Rambling in the Garden is the inspirational host of In a Vase on Monday.  Click here to see her vase this week and to find links to those of other participating bloggers.

Friday, February 16, 2018

February 18 Foliage Follow-Up

Pam at Digging hosts Foliage Follow-up on the day after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day to remind us of the important role of foliage in our gardens.   Join me in wishing this spectacular person, longtime blogger, inventor of the Garden Bloggers' Fling, and author a very happy twelfth blogging anniversary!

Here's some of the foliage currently thrilling me in my garden at the moment. 

This begonia, purchesed at a fall plant sale from Windcliff Plants never made it into the ground.  The pot is in a sheltered area outside and the foliage never died back.  Crazy!

Likewise, Darlingtonia californica, the carnivorous Cobra Lily, never died back this year.

I love the pink tones that this Hebe takes on in cold weather.

While it weeps during the winter, this Cylindropuntia, a cutting found by the side of the road beneath a free sign, will perk up again as the weather warms.

Arum italicum has looked glorious all winter long and, as warmer temperatures arrive, it'll die back for the summer. 

 The big excitement is that some  plants have decided it's time for spring.

Syneilesis palmata

Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty'


Persicaria 'Red Dragon'

Begonia pedatifida

 Tree peony 


Mecanopsis 'Lingholm'  How grateful I am to live in a climate that is favored by the glorious blue poppy.  They like it even better in Alaska!

I keep forgetting the name of this ground cover but love the hairy new growth.

Join the party and show us your foliage!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

February 18 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on the fifteenth of each month.  Click over to her blog to see what's blooming in gardens around the world today. Here's what's happening in my zone 8 Western Washington garden.

Primroses (cheating as these came home from the store already in bloom, those in the garden are a bit behind.)

Camellias japonica

My Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' seems to be happy enough now and is starting to bloom.  Isn't this a little late for those to be starting?



There are a lot of these in my garden because they seem to thrive on neglect and don't mind dry shade.

Really, these are all different varieties and these are only about half of them. 

 Feel free to skip ahead if you're tired of the hellebore parade. 

Whew, you made it!

 Daphne odora.  There's nothing quite as sweet and welcome as this fragrance in the winter garden.

Of course there's also Chimonanthus praecox (Wintersweet.)

The parade of winter continues with Lonicera fragrantissima, a hummingbird favorite.

Weedy but swell Euphorbia wulfenii

Garrya's tassels are so long that the wind blows them up onto the leaves into an unsightly tangle. 

Arctostaphylos something or other

helleborus argutifolius

 Sweet little violets are making inroads toward taking over the lawn.  Hooray!

Viburnum × bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is no slouch in the fragrance department either.  

 Jasminum nudiflorum

Stachyurus praecox

It must be spring if the crocus are blooming, right?  
Happy GBBD all!