Saturday, October 18, 2014

Autumn Favorites

Fall is my favorite season. Not really for the colorful leaves, which I like, but the cool air and the way the light hits everything. I've been thinking that this light is the same in spring, but what's different is that (in my climate) we are still outdoors and there's less rain so there's more opportunity to be outside and watch the seasonal changes.

We finally made a trip back to the Wildlife Botanical Gardens. I've been there often enough now that I recognize plants that I keep gravitating toward. One is this tree, Eastern Redbud. I like the leaves and I know if I were to look back through old posts, I've probably shown photos of this tree in other seasons. Last weekend it had just started to turn, but the leaves lying around on the ground were eye-catching covered with droplets of water.

Here's another plant I know I've admired before, but until now I'd never seen the berries in fall. Wow! I absolutely love this and when I've got a yard I intend to try growing it. Porcelain Berry. The week before I'd seen 2 photos on Instagram and was surprised that it grows here in the Northwest. As you can see it does quite well.

The thing that strikes me when I'm at the gardens is the large number of plants and trees with fruit or berries or pods. The point of the gardens is to showcase plantings that attract birds and wildlife. These types of plants are underutilized in most local landscapes, which is odd to me, since they are very ornamental.

This tree was covered with rosy fruit (I'm guessing a crabapple, forgot to look for the tag).

Of course, every trip to the gardens results in one photo that I really love. I've posted it on Instagram and plan to add it to my Flickr page. The plant is a fennel and the purple flowers in the background are blooming like crazy in mid October. 

Gratitude is my word of the year.

Today I'm grateful for:
online shopping, returns by mail
gluten free corn dogs, just discovered in the freezer section
Blogger, grateful that I stuck with it
Where Women Create, found it in the magazine section at the grocery store - love it
I'm grateful for more substantial things like my pets and Chris, but these little things provide small increments of joy in my life.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Gardens at Edgefield

Figs growing in the Herb Garden.  

Last week my mom and I decided to drive to Troutdale and get coffee at McMenamin's Edgefield. I've talked a lot about Edgefield this year, because Chris and I chose it as the site for our wedding in November. I had never been there until last January. I'd heard of it, but really wasn't prepared for this huge historic site and all that it contained. I wasn't expecting the Herb Garden or the landscape surrounding the various buildings.

So, my mom and I parked, then counted the miles and the time it took from her house. We got out of the car and I immediately pulled my phone out to snap a couple of pictures. I will identify any plants I can, but I've learned that the gardens at Edgefield contain such a variety of plants that I usually have no idea what I'm looking at. (Feel free to id in the comments).

These succulents were next to the parking space:

Then as we walked up the ramp past the Black Rabbit Restaurant I snapped this:

The leaves are enormous.

Once we had our coffee, we walked back to the Herb Garden. Last summer she had liked the big pots of Lantana. That morning she told me that my great grandmother had loved Lantana and she had planted the red along her patio in San Diego.

We took this picture to remember to buy Lantana for her garden next year.

We were in the garden less than an hour on an October morning. Yet, we wandered around pointing out one plant or another. Many of the trees had berries or were dropping strange fruit on the ground.

I had to admire this Artichoke plant, note the bed frame to the right.

This planting looks like it was snapped in the middle of summer.

The gardens here are as unique as the rest of the establishment. 
It's really too bad that they don't offer floral services.


Gratitude is my word of the year.

Today I am grateful for:
Sun in October in the Pacific Northwest.
Summer-like warm temperatures.
Family that I can rely on.
Starbucks offering coconut milk, after I gave up all milk drinks, like lattes.
Friends that come up with simple ways to solve a problem.
Finding a pet sitter at my vet.
And ...
my mom, for putting up with me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Plant of the Summer - Asarina

Blue Asarina.  

This summer my plant selection deviated from most plans I'd made. Usually, the very first trip to the nursery results in several plants that I hadn't intended on buying. Which of course happened this year. I did have a list and I stuck to it, but I think the later trip to the grocery store where I bought the yellow zinnias was my red flag. When dealing with a small garden space you have to have room for each plant. Mine contained more yellow zinnias than I'd intended and put an early end to my nursery shopping.

I had several plants die and I'm really not sure why. There was the blue poppy, dead in under a week and the Black eyed Susan vines, which I quickly replaced with plants that did fine.

On my last visit to Chapman's Greenhouse I found Asarina plants. My mom and I had been there a couple of years ago and she had a clipping from a magazine with a photo of Asarina / Climbing Snapdragon Vine. They are a small nursery, but they did grow it. At the time it was too early and the plants weren't mature enough. When we went back they were gone.

So when I found them this summer I bought a red one for her and a blue one for me. Mine sat in the plastic pot for awhile. Then I tried to set it up on the 1/2 wall, but it was too windy, too sunny, and hard to water. So I planted it in a clay pot and set it on a table in the corner of the deck. It sat there unnoticed until I realized it was almost touching the ground, then I discovered several blooms.

That's when I decided to replace the pots in the Potlach clips on the screen with the Asarina.

After striking out with several plants earlier in the season, it is very gratifying to have this plant do so well on it's own.


Gratitude is my word of the year.

Today I am grateful for:
The beginning of Fall
The rain that did my watering today
my mom's magazine clippings
drafting work that has kept me busy all summer long
Black Rabbit Sunday brunch