Thursday, April 30, 2015

Flora Flora Flora!!

Brace yourself.  As my pal Michelle says, Blog Burst ahead!
 
If you're not into flowers and garden stuff, go ahead and skip this one.  It's okay.  I don't mind at all
 

 Thyme and lavender pair beautifully
 This looked a lot better in real life.  I'll bet there's another shot like this in this post somewhere
 This is a cool little annual that I cannot remember the name of.  It reseeded itself and I'm very happy about that
 Cistus (Rockrose).  A staple of impossible strips of land in Southern California.  Likes it pretty well up here, to a point.  This is the last remaining one of the original 4 I planted 9 years ago

 Alpine strawberry 'Alexandria'.  Survives like a champ, tastes heavenly, disdains attention
 I started this last summer, left it out all winter (not that we HAD a winter, but it was in the 20's for a few days)

 Japanese maple with two baby hostas sharing the pot
 My succulent nursery.  I plop bits of them here, and transplant them when they are big enough.  These guys are big enough
 Matthiola (stock).  Divinely scented and beautiful

 Gizmo and Ho Dog's rhodie.  Normally, it's reached it's peak of bloom on Ho's birthday, May 17th.  Lately, it's been done by then
 Adorable little Lewisia
 Rare and gorgeous primula aureolis
 Pansy party in a pot.  Didn't even know they were there
 The big red paeony under the ancient lilac.  Love those tight buds that look like 50's helmet hair on women

 The dogwood we lost to the snowstorm several years ago came back from the stump and I've been training it as a multi trunked specimen.  It rewarded me by blooming for the first time this spring
Knew there'd be another shot of this in here somewhere!
 
 

Gerry and Cassie at 75+ Days

It was a fine morning to take pictures.  Next time, I'll try to not get so caught up in watching the calves that I don't notice I'm shooting almost directly into the morning sun
 
 Gerry, 75 days, momma LeeLu in the background
 Cassie, above and below, 79 days

Gerry
 
 

Cliffhanger

What is there NOT to love about succulents?  I ignore them.  I forget to water them.  I leave them outside, in 20 degree and below weather for over a week without any protection.  And what do they do in response?  Procreate like mad.  Live on nothing but the side of a stump planter.  Grow wherever they land if there is anything but concrete under them.
 
Gotta love that toughness
 

 Nope, nothing is in the actual dirt, that stem detatched from the part still left in the planter.  This one is totally stuck to and growing on the bark and moss alone

Ersatz Plant Carousel

So, my buddy Carla got me hooked on Pinterest, which if it isn't the greatest time-sucker on the Internet, it can't be too far back in the pack.  And, that got me all fired up to repurpose some stuff for the garden.  Like this old, beater plant caddy that is not only rusting out, but the casters have long since froze up.  There had to be a use for it.  My first thought was to pull the casters off and hang it on the dairy barn garage wall with clay pots of succulents in it.  Except them casters aren't coming off without help from a cutting torch.  So, while I was digging around in the old red barn, I found the old, ugly light globe.  And, literally, the light bulb went off above my head.  I grabbed some plastic pots, figured out what size would fit, then found a set of square ones that would also fit, dropped some river rock in the bottom of the globe, and I now have a plant carousel.  Once the succulents are running strong and cover up the plastic pots, it should look pretty cool
 




The Iris are Coming, the Iris are Coming!

Yes, some of the early ones have already come (and the little one, 'Renewal' has also gone) but the main flowering is just about to explode on us in the main bed by the new spa.
 
Don't forget to click the pix and see on a big screen for the best show
 
 Too bad the background is so blah and ugly
Dutch iris, probably 'Discovery', which near as I can tell, of all the Dutch iris it is the most prolific and indestructable
 
 

Drunken Pot Tower Update

Things were looking mighty fine for my modifications to the drunken pot tower, right up until the morning I came out to startle a bunch of robins, pulling the barely rooted succulents out of the holes to go after whatever they thought was in there.  Most survived the rude eviction, but they were set back a bit.  Now with the weather warming, I expect they will explode with new growth
 

And one even flowered!
 
 

Bean Tower Planter Update

The 'Half Pint' snap peas are doing great, only had two no shows.  The ancient carrot tape of 'Tendersweet' and 'Danvers Half Long' actually sprouted!  Some of the old lettuce seeds sprouted as well.  Dale hasn't welded up the top of the tower yet, no biggie as the beans don't even go into the ground until next month
 

Early Bird Roses

 'Complicata'.  The very first and thus far only bloom, and I could smell it from the greenhouse (which is why I went looking for it)
 'Michelle du Pre' showing her warm weather colouring
 This is a rose with a history.  I believe it to be 'Harrison's Yellow', a rose that many pioneer families brought west with them on the Oregon Trail.  This one was one of many planted on the banks of Oliver Creek, on the original property line of the ranch, probably when the original donation land claimant staked out the property lines back around the 1840's.  Don rescued a few of them when the owner in the 1970's was ripping them out, and two years ago gave me the last remaining survivor.  This is that plant
Cricket poses with 'Alchymist'
 
 

Hippie Iris

Always the first of my 'hippie' iris to bloom, Royal Blue Batik
 



It Truly is Poetry

Poet's Narcissus.  The last daff to bloom, and so worth the wait.  The fragrance combines with the lilacs, roses and 'Brandywine' crabapple to bring the finest French perfume to its knees in supplication to its superior
 


Wish You Were Here, Still

Just keep adding little bits and pieces, pots and flags, plants and, um, plants to the garden arbour/greenhouse sitting area.  Have plans for a draw down fabric shade for the west side, for those warm summer days.  Although Cricket doesn't seem to feel it's necessary
 



It's time to bring out Dale's special swing chair for the season