Sunday, December 30, 2012

Winter Work-Out in the Garden

     Finally it's after the 21st of December where the days gradually get longer and we are heading for spring although it's the first day of Winter. Well this is the time of year where my garden needs a little clean-up before the spring bulbs push up and I need to lose a few pounds that I gained over the holidays.  This plan worked last year, I worked an hour a day till Spring in the garden to get my work-out in (and not over do it) and little by little the garden gets ready and I get ready too for Spring, win win! 
     Only it's cold out there but I need to cover a few plants before we get even colder, supposed to get as low as 29 the rest of this week.  I need to cover some of my plants that are marginally hardy like my Dierma (Angels Fishing Rod) that I got a few years ago that was small and have been waiting for it to finally bloom, I think it is finally mature enough to bloom this year so I don't want to lose it now, can't wait to see it bloom.  I also planted some antique rose starts that I collected in a very old garden, about 30 of them and I want them to get a little extra protection too.  I'm really excited about those, some are very old varieties like the Crested Moss ( Chapeau de Napoleon) and several others.
    I have tried many coverings over the years and I find some evergreen boughs cut and laid over the crowns of plants I want to protect works well. In our wet climate here in the Pacific Northwest the boughs are loose and give some good air circulation while giving protection works best.
      So it's foggy and wet out there and about 39 degrees but once I get moving I'll be fine, it's just getting all the clothes on and out the door that's the hard part, but if I want any more of these yummy "Dream bars" that my husband made that I have already had 3 of I better get out there.  The poor birds need their feeder filled anyway so here goes.  Maybe I'll take the camera out and see what I might like to photograph and post for winter interest in the garden. 
     Happy New Year, one more day of 2012. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dried Flower Heart Wreath

This years winter dried flower project is the Rose Heart Grapevine Wreath.  These roses are from my sons wedding that was in our backyard this fall.  I'll give this to the bride for Christmas this year, it really turned out pretty.  I used a grapevine wreath as the base and hot glued lime green Annabelle Hydrangea, Celosia, Baby's Breath, Nigella seed pods, White Roses that were painted red by the bride and one of the ribbons that were tied around the chairs at the wedding. I hope she likes it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas)

I love Spanish Lavender (lavandula stoechas).  It looks like little bees or as one customer came describing the flowers looking like candy wrappers.  When they are blooming people just love them , they really stand out in the garden. They also press nicely for pressed flower designing.  They can be a little finicky in our wet climate but I have them in the garden in a well drained area under an evergreen tree where it's pretty dry and seems to like it there.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Clematis montana to cover a chain link fence

A favorite clematis to cover a chain link fence that are so ugly.  This one is clematis montana pale pink and it's a fast grower and makes a thick cover, so pretty when it blooms.  They press pretty too!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fly Agaric Mushroom

I have a new Amanita muscaria or commonly called Fly Agaric mushroom photo.  This one is much better, what a find.  The first time I have ever seen these was last Thanksgiving when we visited family in Oregon. I already have one posted on this blog but the one we found last year was a little mangled and old so I went this year hoping for a perfect one.   Wow, these are exactly as I imagined what I wanted, a little group of three of different sizes, how lucky is that?  This is the only group we saw on our walk, not so easy to find, I was so excited when I saw these.  Actually my husband spotted them in a fenced in field and luckily these were only a foot from the wire fence so I could get some good pics.  I always thought these were a fantasy cartoonish thing, I never knew they were a real mushroom. A perfect red and white spotted group, really a fun find!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fatsia or Japanese Arailia Northside shade plant

This is Fatsia or Japanese Arailia and it's on my front porch on the north side of the house in shade which gets an hour or two of light in the morning but that's it.   It does beautifully in our pacific northwest.  I pull it closer to the house if we get some 25 degree temps. I had some die back last winter but it comes back beautifully.  It even bloomed this year. A great plant for the north side.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spring Garden plant combinations

Great garden combo a happy accident. I love exbury azaleas because they are so shockingly electric. The Darts Gold in the background really sets of the azalea. I love the little dainty blue veronica deltoides in the foreground and the pink pom poms of the polygonun bisorta.  Oh and not to forget the Forget me Nots just down in front of the orange azalea, my first favorite flower as a child, they are the sweetest little flower.
I have decided to catch up on last springs blogging and photos because when it's spring I have no time to blog.  I'm too busy gardening, working at our local nursery and my art business on Etsy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Backyard Wedding

Alice in Wonderland wedding. We had my sons wedding on the last, very last sunny good weekend October 6th 2012.  We were incredibly lucky. We had a stretch of 80 + days of dry weather and this was the last of it, it was a perfect day about 72 degrees, pretty perfect for October I would say.  Here's the arbor they were married in front of.

We had three tents and beautiful satin chair covers and ivory bows. The bride made 5' tall paper mache mushrooms for the theme of Alice and Wonderland, they turned out pretty cool.  It was pretty tough keeping some green lawn with our stretch of dry weather and still having color in the garden in October.
Here's the mushrooms that my new daughter-in-law Ashley Welch made out of paper mache in my garden, wish I could keep them up but the rains will ruin them.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

More of Val's Garden

Inside the house is more garden goodies. This is a beautiful Green Tea glass collage hanging in the window.
I have seen this before in catalogs and always wanted one and she had it, I'm so jealous, now I must find one again someday.
Val is on the right and Sherry, another gardener is on the left under the arbor.
The Fairy miniature garden, everywhere you look there is something. I'm sure I missed something because there are so many gardens within her garden.

This is a cool sedum I have never seen before, just when you think you have see it all there is always more cool plants, love it.  I don't know the variety though so I will hopefully find this one some day. A little editing here ,finally found this one for myself at Wells Medina Nursery in Bellevue, it's called Sedum alboroseum. "Mediovariegatum" lucky me!
Garden Tools garden chocked full of antique garden tools.

Val's Garden

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Perennials for Container Planting

Here are some of my favorite perennials for containers that are reliably hardy for zone 7, maybe even hardier. I fill my pots with these perennials then add annuals to fill in for added color to save on costs of filling all my containers.  All these perennials have beautiful foliage.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Woodland Anemones

So cute Anemone nemerosa double woodland white. It spreads fast and also comes in a single lavender, I love them both for my woodland garden.

The lavender one is Anemone nemerosa "Atley".  Both good in zones 4-8.

Here is Anemonella thalictroides with leaves that are dainty and similar to Thalictrum.  This is only 8" high and so pretty. zones 4-7

Woodland and Shade Plants

This is Omphalodes cappadociaca (Starry Eyes) an early spring blooming shade low growing plant. Blooms March-May and good for zones 6-9. Grows about 9-12" high.

This is the solid blue form Omphalodes verna (Blue-eyed Mary).

This one is Polygonatum ordoratum (Solomon's Seal) for the shade garden. Grows 24-30" tall with arching stems and white bell flowers along the stem, very graceful.  zone 3-9

Here is Oxalis acetosella )Wood Sorrel).  A beautiful woodland ground cover I saw in our Olympic National Rain Forest as an understory.  It's about 6-9" tall with white flowers in spring. zone 6-11

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Finally a post, I have been very busy setting up my new Etsy shop in the last few months. 
This is one of my first favorite flowers that I remember from my childhood, so sweet! I let them self seed all over my garden and later I just yank them out to make room for some annual plants for summer.  There are always some seeds left over for them to come back next year.  I just added pink ones to my garden last year.    These are great for pressing too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tropical Flowers in Barbados

Just back from Barbados and saw lots of tropical plants there, so beautiful but not my expertise.  If anyone knows the names of these I would love to hear from you.  It was like being in a house plant jungle. I was just oooooing and aaaaahhhing all over the place.   Course my favorite part was the aquamarine water and the beaches. All kinds of Palms everywhere and the perfect comfy temperature all the time including the water. I swam with big turtles, so amazing and saw beautiful schools of colorful fish while snorkeling. Here are some more flowers I saw:
This is a rare black Anthirium that the host of Hunts Garden showed me, so beautiful.
I don't know what this is but it was gorgeous all tucked in the tall foliage.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter finally

I think we finally have winter now, 13" total last week and down as low as 22 degrees.  That is for sure winter for us. I have been waiting to have my climbing rose Cecile Brunner go dormant so I can move it (see a couple of posts below about moving the rose).  Now I hope it survived these low temps, it's not one that can get into the 20's for very long without protection.  Luckily I did protect the crown of it at least. It was really fun to have all the snow around but now it's turned back to our usual, tons of rain and more rain.  I already see the bulbs coming up for spring so I know spring is around the corner, YAY!  I love it when the days start getting longer little by little.  I have been to the nursery and the Sarcococca or commonly called Sweet Box is blooming and it smells wonderful, like jasmine. This would be great by my front door on the north side because it likes the shade and would smell so good at my entry.  Another plant I don't have and here it is just January and I want a new plant.  Just when I think I have enough plants there is always something else I "need".  Well onward we go , next stop Spring! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Winter dried flower project

Here's a great way to have dried flowers last longer, put in a shadow box.   You can make your own with any box about 4" deep that is the dimensions of the opening and cover with decorative tissue or handmade paper.  There is a bunch of baby roses, blue, lime and peegee hydrangea, yarrow, berries from a palm tree in this arrangement.

 Also make a box out of some heavy paper sprayed with gold paint splatter inside the box to hold the flower arrangement.  Do the arrangement first then wire the box onto the frame.  Hang in an area out of direct sunlight and in a dry area, not in a bathroom and inside of course although I took this picture outside.

This one was done years ago and given as a gift and the flowers inside finally faded. I was asked to redo the arrangement and now it's freshened up and will last for several more years.

This idea was seen in a shop years ago and it was 200.00 so I thought I would make it myself.  One of those things I saw that I really did go home and make. One time I saw a sign at a craft fair in a booth and it said "sure you can make it but will you"?  So true, I see so many things I could make but never end up doing it.