Wednesday, June 11, 2008


UPDATE: my annual plant sale is this weekend!!! there might be pictures, or i might just drink beer all day and act really weird and obnoxious to people. either way, I'll have fun!!

While the rest of the country experiences record heat, we are experiencing a completely typical Oregon springtime.

The problem is, this is Washington.

The rain and overcast have been relentless. Everything in the garden that is native has become huge and waterfat, pushing soft new growth that will burn and curl the first time the sun hits it. Many of my regular garden ornamentals are the size one would expect them to be around mid-July. Everyone is flowering right on schedule, though, and the rain has been gentle enough, at least, to spare my irises. Heres how it stands...

Here is some of my potted stuff all weeded and ready to sell! The straggly stuff down at the bottom is some mellissa officionalis that I'm rooting. That stays.

...and here is the rest of it, with an ever-vigilant Girldog hard at work making the garden rat-free....or at least guatamalan soccer player-free. Actually she's eating grass. She likes to barf. My dog is bulemic.

Blue, yellow fin, new red and russet potatoes, with garlic and shallot on the side. Yum yum! You can get away with this kind of intensive planting in a raised bed.

From right to left...Early Girl (looking very sad and needing some sunshine and warmth) yellow pears middle-they're a cherry sized tomato- and finally the plum-cherry tomatoes that I saved seed from out of a Wendy's salad because they tasted so good. Far left, some more garlic (serpentine)

My strawberry bed burst at the seams so I 'fixed' it by pounding a couple of stakes into the ground there. The yellow aquilegia has been living there for the past 5 years. These plants are COVERED with baby berries. I really need to move the setts this year.

The herbs have a permanent bed too, like the strawberries and the asparagus. This year they've gone absolutely batshit magongo. I've already had to knock back the rosemary and the thyme is next. It should be next. Except the bumbles get all drowsy and goofy after they drink from the flowers and fall asleep all over it. If you bump into the plant, they tumble off and wake up. This is of course too cute to disrupt in any way so...the thyme is safe for now I guess. Because I am a dork.

Sunnies, and replacement veggies. Because slugs happen.

I can't mow a good 1/3 of my property because....see out there beyond the fence? Thats what it looks like underneath all the buttercup there on my side. Standing water. Seasonal lakefront - I has it.

I think this turned out wickedbad if I do say so myself. This clematis is going nuts pumping out the blossoms! And I was right, too...once the sun hit them, they do blue up really nice. This is my revenge on the whole 'reel lawnmower' tribe here. When I was a kid they made me do our lawn and my grandmothers with one of these pigiron monstrosities. HA UPON YOU VILE REEL LAWNMOWER!

This is pretty 'Sombriel', a climbing rose that a friend of mine gave me a cutting of. I held it for a couple of years, then it went in the ground at the end of the season last year. It overwintered on its own roots and never noticed a thing, and this spring it is covered in buds. The blossoms have that kind of a cupped, 'bourbon' habit, and that beautiful, broken 'rosamundi' coloration. This is the closest thing I could get to a gorgeous hrt called 'Gibson Girl' that I used to love as a kid. One more thing about this rose...the smell....! Oh my God, its like a drug! The most perfect, old fashioned rose aroma ever; and the damp carries it like a plume all around the yard. Just scrumptious!

Here is little penstemon alpina 'Firefly' in a bucket. The throat of the little blossom is very slightly more yellow than the outer petal, which gives the flower an artificially illuminated look. It's really subtle, but when you're down next to it you look twice. This wants full sun, a very acid soil and sharp, sharp drainage. Hummingbirds find it very frustrating; it's the right color but so bitty-!

Native heuchera 'Fringecup', pink and white forms, planted with a bronze 'Plum' series bronze heuchera. I'm curious to see that these kids will do. (On the left, the long stems with the bronze leaves is penstemon 'Huskers Red'. the tall stuff poking right out of the middle is perennial linnarea.)

You have to look hard, but there is a blurry baby bumblebee flying around these native mountain penstemons. Bumbles love this plant. When it's sunny most of the blossoms will have a bumblebutt sticking out of them.
Once again, the throat is several shades different enough from the outer coloration that it makes the blossom appear artificially illuminated.

This delphinium opened yesterday. I literally could not fit the whole plant into the picture; its just huge and waterfat. I had to wire it up to the front porch rail so it wouldn't split at the crown. It not only gave me a central spire, but secondary branches of flowering stems, and they extend halfway down the main stalk. Its ginormous!

Clematis tanguitica 'Radar Love'. Also known as Orange Peel clematis. This is a really nice selection. It comes lemon yellow-this picture was shot in the shade. The blossoms give way to a silvery globe of silk threads, like a sea urchin, and that finally dries to a soft white puffball. I have one mixed in with my clematis armandii and another mixed in with my 'Jackie Kennedy' rose.

Odoreaters are IMPORTANT. Use them.

Developing seedheads on spent Oriental Poppies. You almost hate to clip them; they're so odd and beautiful.

Quail Feather in a bucket. This plant wants nasty, crappy, dry, hard soil and full sun. The raindrops just lay on the feathery leaves like gems; it never gets soaked.

There was something so 'straight out of the wild' about this little mutt cross of Siberica or Japanese Iris that I rescued it out of my bosses compost heap. That was over 12 years ago. I have another clump of it back by the standing puddle thats as tall as I am. This is out front planted as part of my 'trap crop'....a bunch of streetside flowers that I planted so that kids will pick them and stay out of my yard. It works like a charm, too.

The miniature farmer makes off with some of my sedum in his miniature truck.

Iris chrysographes. Absolutely perfect, elegant and fleeting. I would rather have a garden full of these than I would have a diamond ring. This is simply one of the miracles of the earth, this flower.


  1. Wait a doggone minute here!

    Is this the same miniature farmer who was knocking down your door to buy your truck a few months ago?

    Or am I getting my storylines confused?

  2. There you go with the word “bitty” again.

    I thought I discussed that with you earlier.

  3. mj: yes, yes it was. he has returned to trouble my councils and purloin my sedum. fie upon his tiny soul. i am ignoring the bitty clip. lalalala woooo, woo, lalala, i am ignoooooring you wooo woooo, lalalalaaaaaa....

  4. The best possible use for a golf shoe I can imagine - including or especially playing golf.

    Having just watched a row of lettuce seedlings wither in the strong wind, I'm envious.

  5. Ooh - chrysographes - I wish I had a thick field of them. Looking out mournfully at my water-logged garden, unhappy strawberries and Russian vine that if I squint I can actually see and hear it growing! Your garden has some great plants and is beautiful. That instrument of childhood torture..ouch I can still feel the strained muscles in my wrists and arms...I mean...lawnmower deserves nothing else do you hear! xx

  6. malc! yeah, i never understood golf. but the shoe makes a nice, expensive place to plant things. //lettuce is a troublesome beast anyway. its either fainting like Camille or blasting out the flowerstalks and then coming up everyplace. stoopid lettuce!

    rocky: hey you!!! its goofy, but every time i look at the thing imprisoned there with clematis climbing up it, it just warms the cockles of my little heart. HA HA ON YOU BAD LAWNMOWER!

  7. 'bitty'
    What a monster post , your yard is huge , and you have some fabulous plants , I envy your herb bed :-(

  8. How lovely!

    don't forget to make a tea out of the dried poppy heads, doesn't taste too good - but you won't care.

  9. So that's what you use the golfing shoes for. And there was me thinking you were a bourgeois oppressor of the masses who liked nothing better than to downsize steel plants as you played a round while chuffing on your fat cigar.

  10. Jesus had standing water too and he was the way, whats yer excuse?

  11. youve been deleting comments over at the voices havent you.... anyway, i'll be back with better comments soon!

  12. Anonymous2:59 PM

    Well a brilliant post Ms. FN. I have a lot of photoes from my allotment but they are on my phone and I need some device to transform them from the phone to the PC so I can do a allotment post... I have flowers on the lotty as well as veggies, I have all kinds of beans and salads at the moment... I don't know what device I need to do the photo thing by the way...

  13. meh, the garden is great. but we will see what we will see when we will see it, shall we.... muwahahahahaaa....
    you have inspired cheese into the blogging world and her reply was "i like her, i really like her!"
    so as i posted she will be guest blodging at the voices soon enough and be prepared to be amazed. proper speeling, punk-u-ation and no sentences that run on and on and on and on and on... what was i saying...

    *eats some of the pretty artemesia petals and wanders around through the standing water, creates mud, covers self and blends into nations garden like a wild naked gnome*

  14. Ahhh! (breathing deeply) thanks for the iris 'fix.' Ditto delphinium and penstemon. And as for clematis...
    So busy, it's taking ages to back-read, but I laughed at the rat story.

  15. beast: just ignore her.ol' booby woman. you gotta plant an herb garden; just a small raised one right outside your kitchen. its wonderful! everything i have, would grow ten times better in your climate, too. most culinary herbs want the same exact conditons so you can just jam them in all together.

    frobi! oh, my blushes! sir you are too kind!:D once i get my somniferums going i just may try that. is it as constipating as eating or smoking the tar? and btw...what about your garden, ratty? come on, make with the pix!

    garfy: well yes, i am a bourgie oppressor. but cool oppressors prefer to oppress sans embarrassing footwear. i prefer to think of myself as one of the cool ones.

    knudie: I am not the way. I am THE MEANS, BABY.

    voices: yes, and I'll do it again too. you cannot defeat my deleting fu! MY DELETING FU IS POWERFUL!!

    muttley: i can't imagine how either. they should have a website you can go to, though, or a service # you can call. I would LOVE to see your lottie!*hopping up and down excitedly*

    voices: once i saw her in the tutu, i knew that you had a winner. i will be looking forward to that post. cheese seems like an awesome lady!

    dinah: i wish the crysographes lasted longer. i've been dividing it like mad so that I can make up for brevity with surfeit! now lets see what you have blooming down your way!

  16. i loved the planter for the hens and chicks...bravo!

  17. Quit doping the bumblebutts! (I love that word. i'm going to use it.)

    I also love your sedum growing in random containers. Where's the toilet, though? You forgot the toilet.

  18. It's gorgeous! All of your fiddling has worked wonders.

    Does your Girldog ever chew on Guatamalan Soccer players? This might be upsetting her stomach.

    There is an inexpensive salve that can be applied to your Girlparts to help clear up your clematis.
    It's easy to apply and can be re-applied, and re-applied until you have forgotten all about your clematis..or what the weather is like..or what day it is.

    I hope this helps.

  19. Wait a minute. Did you say, "blue potato"? How's that work?

  20. *climbs out of bushes naked and dirty wondering where hes been and how to get home from here*

  21. I now have delphinium envy.

    You have a lurvely garden, indeed. Still needs a bidet birdbath, though.

  22. daisy: they're just fun. You can move them anywhere theres a bare patch and whammo, instant interest! nothing beats a plant you can literally lay ON the dirt and then walk away from, either.

    cb: i figure a bumblebee has a bumblebutt, right?//NO TOILET PLANTER. NO. NO NO NO.

    coppens ol lad: Wowo HAHhat worrks? thansk ysu! *resumes 'application'

    danger panda: a Blue Potato! seriously! they're from the Andes, and the flesh of the potato is actually blue. they taste really good and sweet, too. you just huck one in a hole in the dirt and wait, and a few months down the road you have a bunch of cute baby blue potatoes. then you devour them in a slavering frenzy.

    voices: dammit, gimme back the gnome hat. thats MY gnome hat. fricken' miscreant. get back here.

  23. XUL: woops! the delph came as a complete surprise. wadn' nuttin i done did. we could use a few new shots (you see what I did there? 'SHOTS'? GET IT??? AHAHAHAHAHAAA!)
    of your garden too, bucko.