Saturday, June 14, 2008

Naked pictures of hairy men with their weens hanging out


Oh yeah! Another gardening post! Take it and like it, baby!

Clematis Niobe, new and old blossoms

"Sweet William" father in law's name is Bill. Nuff said!

Blue camps come up everywhere, and I let them. Come on...they're blue!

Arty shot of new little Diascia leaves and buds. Diascia is sold as an annual and is used in making hanging baskets. I found that it perennializes like a champ for me and I have it all over the place.

My weeping Alder, a popular rat bivouac.
I have the underside of this tree caved out so that it makes a fort. I like to take my Barbies under there and play Jungle Explorer.

Under the weeping alder. No one can see me! I'm hiding! I can see the garbage can, but it can't see me! *snork!*

Another arty shot, yellow columbine against centranthus ruber. Yeah, you've seen them before. And you're seeing them again now, huh! There ya go, then!

A cluster of tiny, newborn spiders warming in the sun before they rappel out and blow away on their little silk strands. Wherever they land is where they'll stay for the rest of their lives.

Another arty shot! Lucky you! Papaver nudicaule surrounded by pretty foliage. PRETTY, DAMMIT!

Substandard, crappy shot of the cornflower that I have coming up everyplace. This is what is meant when someone describes something as 'cornflower blue'. Minus the hunks of gravel and the sticks and stuff, of course.

Another arty shot! Wow! Watch out Diane Arbus! (which should be easy for her seeing as she's all dead and stuff.)
I tried to get a detail of what bumblebee 'damage' looks like. This is caused by the larger bees, which can force their funnel-like mouthparts through the structure of the petal and draw out the nectar from the spurs. If you see this, DON'T SPRAY. Because I will come smack you down.

Here it is a little better. You can see the spur has actually been clipped away.
A columbine is designed to be moth and hummingbird pollinated, but the bumbles get hungry too. This doesn't kill the plant or even cause the blossom to die. It doesn't effect the production of seed either. DON'T SPRAY. BUMBLEBEES ARE NICE AND ARE OUR FRIENDS.

See? Here is a nice bumblebee. Is it trying to break into my house that needs painting and yes I'm going to be doing that this August so shut up? No, it is having a sip of nectar from the linnarea there. LEAVE THE NICE BUMBLEBEES ALONE.

And so, as the sun slowly disappears down the gullet of a cosmic anaconda we bid a fond farewell to Rancho FirstNations. I am under the alder tree out of frame to the left there waving 'bye bye'.

Bye bye!

...oh OK, fine. Here:

What? It's Flag Day! He's flying his! Are you flying yours?

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.