Dahlias to die for

September 29, 2009

Cloudburst

Cloudburst

My friend Charlene and I went to the Le Tour des Plants, a nursery hopping expedition along the Willamette Valley in Oregon.  We had a tremendous day of fun and found great plant bargains.  The idea is to visit as many nurseries as you can, get your passport signed, buy plants, then on to the next nursery.

Fascination

Fascination

We turned in our passports at the last stop to be entered in a drawing for fabulous prizes which neither of us expects to win, but it’s fun to think we might.  We ended up with only  four stamps on our passports as we were sidetracked by a number of non-participating nurseries between each of the participants!

First Kiss

First Kiss

We only quit when we had to…the nurseries were closing.  We seriously could only have fit 2 more plants in my car if Charlene held them on her lap.  One of the highlights of our day, although not on the tour was Swan Island Dahlias.

Purple Taheijo

Purple Taheijo

It was just starting to sprinkle as we arrived, so we tried to be quick but were soaked anyway within an hour.  Smitten by the color of all the gorgeous dahlias in bloom, we were both happy to have been there rain or not.

Sugar Lips

Sugar Lips

These photos represent only some of the list of ‘must haves’ I made up to purchase in the spring.

Red Devil

Red Devil

All but one from my half of our carload of plants has been planted after a week of planting.  You now know that the process of planting in my garden is more complex than simply digging a hole.  The perfect location for each new beauty is either already inhabited by another lovely, or an undeveloped section of my garden.

Lindy

Lindy

If the location is already inhabited, it means relocation.  Finding a better spot for the current resident, which could mean an entire series of plants must be relocated!  If the perfect location is undeveloped, of course it means taking the time and energy to dig out rocks, add compost to the soil, then locate and add companion plants for the newest ‘had to have it’ plant!

Brushstrokes

Brushstrokes

In the end, I expanded three garden sections into the undeveloped areas surrounding them.  Fortunately we’ll soon be entering our rainy season so I won’t have to worry about rearranging my sprinklers until next spring!

Glamour Girl

Glamour Girl

It’s going to look fabulous around here next year.  I can’t wait to see it!

Bed Head

Bed Head

And just when you thought all my dahlia selections were pinks and purples…into the mix comes a tangerine!  I love all colors but as you can tell was drawn by the pinks & purples at Swan Island Dahlias!

Swan Island Dahlias

Swan Island Dahlias

Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time…..

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Ornamental grass

'Morning Light' Miscanthus

The subject for September’s ‘Picture This’ photo contest at Gardening Gone Wild is ornamental grasses.  I’m once again throwing my hat in the ring as I’m known for not being afraid to take a risk.  The other participating bloggers have turned in magical photos and I’ve waited until the last minute, but here it is shown at the top.  ‘Morning Light’ Miscanthus coincidently shot in the morning!

Room with a view

Room with a view

Judging this month is Nan Ondra who’s written several books, only one of which I have but it’s a favorite ~ “Foliage“.  Her book  Grasses: Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design is now on my list to acquire since I’ve found some ornamental grasses that I adore so I’d better learn more about them.

The prize is being awarded once again by High Country Gardens, another favorite!

Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus'

Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus'

I’ve only recently begun adding grasses to my garden as it took me years to dig out the football field of grass that once covered it.  A couple well meaning friends gave me ornamental grasses in the beginning stages of my garden, but they were thugs that wanted to run rampant, so I dug those out too.

Japanese Blood Grass

Japanese Blood Grass

Until the last two years I’ve avoided anything grass like the plague.  Didn’t even want to look at it in a nursery!  Now I have several varieties that are lovely and well behaved so far like ‘Northern Lights’ Hair Grass, ‘Shenandoah’ Switch Grass, Variegated, ‘Morning Light’, and ‘Cabaret’ Miscanthus, Silver Feather Grass and Japanese Blood Grass to name a few.  I’m sure I’ll want more after reading Grasses: Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design!  Do you have a favorite non-invasive grass I should put on my list to buy?

'Cabaret' Miscanthus

'Cabaret' Miscanthus

Thanks for stopping in.  There’s so much more to tell you next time!

Sunrise

September 19, 2009

Sunrise!  Thank you God.

Sunrise! Thank you God.

Spectacular morning!  Thought I’d share it with you while you’re waiting for my next post.   I’m writing about the wonderful time I had touring the Le Tour des Plants put on by the Oregon Association of Nurseries.  Coming soon.  I promise!

Thanks for stopping by!  Until I get the next entry finished up…..

Top of my garden

Upper section of my garden, near the road.

When I began my garden blog it was really just for me.  A tool to share my garden progress with friends who were just starting out as well as my mentors, to share my achievements.

Shortly after I started, I wondered how many other garden blogs there might be & when my search revealed 1,110,000,000 for ‘gardening blogs’ I knew I’d never read them all!  I started on page one, looking at many of the sites and noticed over & over that my favorites contained the icon for Blotanical.  My curiosity sent me to check it out and what a find!!  I joined immediately.

I had to use Blotanical for a while before understanding all the avenues I could traverse because there’s so much content.  I am now having a lot of fun and truly enjoy the other blogs & blotanists I’ve found there.  Mind you, I’m still ‘new’ to it, and am continually learning, but everyone there is very friendly & encouraging to newcomers.  You can choose favorite bloggers, favorite blogs and favorite posts.  You can send & receive messages to other gardeners, and ask questions (or answer them!) in the forums.  There’s so much more, but these are the basics that I am now comfortable using.  I just figured out how to edit one section of my profile, so you can finally see the ‘about me’ next to my profile picture.  Thanks to Diana for helping the technically challenged!

This time of year there is a vote for the 2009_Blotanical Awards.  There are so many blogs from which to choose for each category!  And so many categories that no blog gets left out!  It will be difficult to choose the best of photography (you know I love big colorful photos, and there are so many talented photographers who are blogging about their gardens!).  How can I choose the best blog design (I have it narrowed down to my top three!) or The Best Blog Name?!  There’s also a Newcomer blog of the year (wouldn’t that be ME you ask?  No, silly, I can’t vote for myself, so hope YOU will, tee hee!!).  A couple of the big votes are Garden Blog of the Year, and Blotanist of the Year – I have my favorites, but how does one decide among them???  There’s even a category for the favorite blog from each state and eight countries!  Yes, Blotanical is an international connection for gardeners of every kind.  If you don’t see me for a few more days it’s because I’m checking out each blog to vote for my favorites!  While I’m doing that, you should go check Blotanical.com/ right now!  Be patient if it takes a little time to load, the wait is worth it!

Thanks for stopping by! until next time…..

In the Pink!

September 10, 2009

Cosmos with visitor

Cosmos with visitor

As summer nears it’s end, I find myself wandering the garden taking in as much as I possibly can to sustain my memories during the winter months, just around the corner.

Pink Veronica

Pink Veronica

Breathing in the fragrance and gazing at the surrounding color, imprinting the lovliness into my soul.  I’m already planning for next year as I go through, eyeing the changes I’d like to make, which plants will be moved to a new location and what new plants I need to buy to fill in empty spots.

Osteospermum

Osteospermum

I think I’ll go buy those new plants now!  The Le Tour des Plants is coming up, September 12 through 20th.  It’s put on by the Oregon Association of Nurseries and last year I had so much fun and brought home so many bargains that I cannot wait until Saturday to go nursery hopping!

Yarrow

Yarrow

While I go back to planning my shopping list, I leave you with the current blooming PINKS from my garden.  Pink because that’s the mood I’m in when shopping for plants.  In the PINK, even though I hope to find more blue flowering plants, something with reddish foliage and I need lots of shade loving plants, whether pink, red, purple or yellow!  I need groundcovers for the sunny and shady sides of my garden, but nothing invasive as I’ve done my share of digging out invasives!

Oriental lily

Oriental lily

What I’d love to find are tallish shrubs and smallish trees that can withstand dense shade.  I want to build a natural fence using plant material, but so far most of what I’ve tried fails to thrive along my densely shaded zone 5 border.   I’d love to hear your suggestions of what can grow under fir trees.  I have a Japanese maple that’s doing well, two varieties of Ilex, an Elderberry, a couple of Ribes, and a Mountain Laurel, that are growing ever so slowly.

Gaura with Sedum

Gaura with Sedum

I have Rhodies fronting this area with plenty of Hostas, Ferns, Brunnera,  Epimediums, Lily of the Valley, Columbines, Arum, and Asaram.   I have Astilbes and Astrantias, Heuchera’s, Tiarellas and Heucherellas.  Pulmoneria and Bergenia, Rodgersia and Spiderworts.

Sedum

Sedum

I have lots of other tiny plants that will eventually fill in, varieties of Saxifragia, grasses on the smallish side, little vines and evergreen groundcovers.

Poor Man's Orchid

Poor Man's Orchid

What I really need is a large backdrop to block out my neighbor’s property and dense enough that the deer will look for a way around instead of through it.  Suggestions anyone?

Pink Turtlehead

Pink Turtlehead

Thanks for stopping by!  Until next time…….

Phlox, Poor Man's Orchid, Black Eyed Susan, Pink Butterfly bush

Phlox, Poor Man's Orchid, Black Eyed Susan, Pink Butterfly bush

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